PreConfiguring Citrix Receiver

Posted on 2012/08/03

In some environments, specifically healthcare and clinical environments, it may be desirable to remove many of the self-service aspects of the Citrix Receiver. Nurses and physicians do not always have time to go through a registration/setup sequence. In these environments, it would just be great if we could do the following without user intervention.

  1. Auto-configure the default application store and skip the Receiver configuration wizard
  2. Auto-subscribe applications from the store
  3. Auto-launch the Citrix Receiver when the user logs on

Unfortunately, setting up the Citrix Receiver so that users just get their applications was not intuitive since the Receiver and StoreFront services are designed to be self-service oriented and require user intervention.

This configuration assumes all users are XenDesktop users and so they are already authenticated to the domain, allowing the use of pass-through authentication to minimize the user intervention. The environment also assumes using the latest versions of all Citrix Products, including CloudGateway Express 2.0 (with StoreFront Services 1.2), Citrix Receiver 3.3, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5.6, and Provisioning Services 6.1.

Citrix Receiver Install

First remove any installed ICA Clients or Receivers. Install Citrix Receiver with the following command line to configure pass-through authentication and setup the default store automatically:

CitrixReceiver.exe /includeSSON STORE0=”My App Store;;on;My XenApp Applications”

The store name and server URL must be identical to those found in the provisioning file. The best way I found is to save the Provisioning file (*.cr) from the CloudGateway Express server and copy and paste the strings for Store name (<Name>) and Server URL (<Address>)directly out of that file. The provisoning file can be obtained by opening the StoreFront console and selecting the store then choosing Export Provisioning File from the Actions list from the StoreFront console as shown below.

Exporting StoreFront Configuration

Exporting StoreFront Configuration


Note: If you want users to be able to add additional store locations or to support HTTP stores, you will need to add the parameter ALLOWADDSTORE=A to install command-line.

Also, for single sign-on to work correctly,  you will need to open GPEDIT.MSC and add the ICAClient.ADM template from \Citrix\ICA Client\Configuration folder set the following policy.

  • Local user name and password: Enabled and Enable Pass-through Authentication selected

For more information on this process, see this Citrix KB CTX133982

if you want pass-through authentication to occur automatically, you will need to to uncheck the username and password authentication option and only allow pass through. It turns out that with this release that if the User name and Password option is selected, users get prompted even if pass-through authentication would work. By disabling user name and password, users won’t gett prompted. Of course, if users will be accessing the Receiver from non-corporate devices or using different credentials, then don’t disable this setting. 🙂

Disabling User name and password Authentication

Disabling User name and password Authentication

Preventing Initial Receiver Configuration

I looked briefly for a way to prevent the ConfigurationWizard from launching automatically for each new user. I did not see any setting in the icaclient.adm template. I could not find anything in the Startup folder, the RunOnce or Run keys of HKLM or the Default user. While it is probably in an ActiveX Stub somewhere, I was in a hurry, so I finally resorted to just renaming the ConfigurationWizard.exe (in both the Citrix\Receiver and Citrix\ICA Client\Receiver folders) to something else so it doesn’t launch automatically for each user.  I am sure there is a better way to do this; I just haven’t figured it out yet. If you know it please post a comment with the better steps.

Auto Subscribing Icons for Users

When publishing the application, add the string “KEYWORDS:Auto” (without the quotes) to the description field. When the Receiver sees this in the application description, it will auto subscribe the application for the user and still hide the “KEYWORDS:Auto” string from the description.

When the application needs to be automatically added for some users and not for others, just publish the application twice, using one group of users with the KEYWORDS:Auto in the description and leaving the other group without it.

Incidentally, you can make these applications easier to find by adding the keyword “Featured” to the string separated by a space, so that your string reads “KEYWORDS: Auto Featured” instead. This shows the application in the Featured group at the top of the Receiver Application list.

Auto Launch the Receiver

This step turned out to be the easiest of the three. Just go to the All Users Startup folder (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup) and add a shortcut to the Citrix Self-Service Receiver (C:\Program Files\Citrix\SelfServicePlugin\Selfservice.exe) executable.

Now Receiver works more like the legacy PNAgent. J Of course, making it work like PNAgent does not mean you get all the features of PNAgent. For instance, if you need the Pre-Launch code from XenApp 6.5 that leverages PNAgent, for now you will need to use the Citrix Receiver Enterprise (with PNAgent) and Web Interface 5.4.

If you liked this blog and want to be notified of future blogs, please feel free to follow me on Twitter @pwilson98. The author would like to provide special thanks to Jonathan and Brian for their contributions to these steps!