Many of you have known me for the last few years as the external champion for Remote PC Access – recently I transitioned over from Sales (where I spent 9.5 years as a Sales Engineer, and later technically supporting our SE’s worldwide) to Desktops and Apps Product Management team officially owning Remote PC Access.  In addition, I’ve also taken ownership of our Local App Access, Flash, Multimedia, and Video Streaming technologies.  More to come on these subjects!

When Citrix released XenDesktop and XenApp 7.0, the VDA was slipstreamed into the base ISO image of the entire product.  This meant for customers desiring to use Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) models or isolating the installation using other methods of packaging, were forced to host the ISO on a network share, and remotely install the VDA using these command line options.  If the network failed for some reason, this could cause installation issues and painful repair/uninstall challenges.

To somewhat mitigate this, alongside 7.5’s release we created a CTX support article that guided customers in how to manually extract certain folders and files, allowing you to leverage them as an isolated VDA installation source.  Customers then created their own packages with these files.

Now with the return of everyone from the holidays (and I have your attention!), I am proud to share with you that our first step in providing a more appropriate VDA for use with your ESD solutions is available through our downloads section by logging in with your MyCitrix account.  This stand alone 7.6 VDA is located under each product Edition’s “Additional Components” section.  There is a Workstation VDA and separate Server VDA available to deploy.

This encapsulating EXE passes through the same command line options found using the full ISO.  We have a new chapter posted in eDocs guiding you on prerequisites, considerations, and examples.

The most common use case we heard for the stand alone VDA applied to Remote PC Access, and you will find we’ve included the most popular command line to exclude Receiver and the optional components like Citrix Profile Manager during the installation.  We’ve interviewed many customers who treat the Receiver as a separate client install, and Citrix Profile Manager is not applicable in a Remote PC Access deployment.

Please feel free to leave comments below, and hope you are having a great New Year!

EDIT:  we are aware that some customers are attempting to install this VDA executable without using elevated privileges.  We will be updating the eDocs chapter to reflect recommending using elevated privileges prior to installation.

UPDATE:  we are aware that using the /extract command can exhibit undesired results, however using a 3rd party utility (like 7-zip) would provide a method to extrapolate the layout properly.  We will be updating documentation to reflect this.  Thanks for all the great feedback!

Gabe Carrejo

Principal Product Manager, HDX