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Citrix XenApp Mobility pack & RES Workspace Manager, lets fix those issues!

Late last year Citrix announced the availability of the XenApp 6.5 mobility pack. This mobility pack allows more native gestures to tablet users within their desktop session. Having testing it first hand, its really, really cool, but has a few issues to be aware of.

Firstly, it tends to enumerate hidden drives like c: or whichever drives you hide with Group policy, Kees Baggerman blogged about this issue a number of weeks ago:





and to confirm, there is definitely a private hotfix available for this. My own call reference with Citrix was SR60726532 if you wish to log a call yourself and receive the hotfix, you can quote this number.

The hotfix itself is just a binary replacement for the touchoptimizedDesktop.exe file in c:\program files (x86)\citrix\system32.

Secondly, the Mobility pack’s start menu will enumerate both the local start menu and the users controlled start menu via RES Workspace Manager.


*red applications shouldn’t be visible



This presents a show stopper as the user is able to launch local applications they are not assigned without the security rules assigned. I logged this with both Citrix and RES. Citrix politely told me to PFO and RES agreed to log a feature request to add support.

If like me, you’d prefer a workaround while RES work their magic, Follow the below steps:

modify the permissions to the default start menu (c:\programdata\microsoft\windows\start menu):





Modify the ACL’s on the Programs folder as follows, ensuring to remove the users group and everyone group from the acl:




After doing so, the users start menu inside of the Mobility pack, should be correctly populated:




And that should be it, your fondleslab users should now be able to experience the XenApp mobility pack in all its glory!

Forcing a XenApp Application to open with the Citrix Desktop Viewer using the Default.ica

February 15, 2012 2 comments

This post is just a quick FYI for use with ThinKiosk. This also works great with RES Workspace Manager desktop’s published as applications. Although RES no longer recommend using the publishing option in RES, many customers still use Workspace Manager as a published application.

The Citrix Desktop Viewer adds great functionality to users, allowing users to configure preferences, send [Ctrl] [Alt] [Del], quickly jump between fullscreen and windowed mode etc.

To force an application to open using the Desktop viewer, add the following code to your default.ica file:

[RES PowerFuse Desktop - RESPF]
connectionbar=1
TWIMode=Off

Where “RES PowerFuse Desktop – RESPF” is your application name.

this will appear as below:

Replacing Windows Devices and Printers with RES Workspace Manager PowerPrint

January 29, 2012 14 comments

This post is with thanks to @patrickdamen for the great idea of using a building block and @antonvanpelt for taking time from his busy weekend to test the fix, thanks gents!

So one of the great features of RES Workspace manager is PowerPrint. Powerprint, among other things allows for you to map printers and track preferences depending on your location. Powerprint is so powerful most administrators will remove users ability to use the native windows functionality in favour of this tool.

A downside to the latest incarnation of Workspace manager is that PowerPrint is quite hard to find for the users, instead of being on the root of the Windows xp style start menu, its not moved down two tiers into the Workspace manager start menu folder on the windows 7 style desktop.

With the attached building block, you can replace the native windows shortcut to “Devices and Printers” with a link instead to powerprint!

This building block works by hacking and taking over the Class ID for Devices and Printers and populating the class id with entries for PowerPrint. In order to use this building block, follow my previous blog post on how to hide the Windows “Devices and Printers” from the users.

The great thing about this hack, is it reuses native windows functionality the user will be used to and makes powerprint much easier to access by the user. That being said, I’m not sure RES will be enthusiastic with this hack, so use it at your own risk.

The (32 bit) addition to the name is a bit of a mystery at the moment, I’ve a call open with RES and I suspect its wow6432 related.

Download the building block here:

Removing users access to “Devices and Printers” in a Server 2008 R2 / Win 7 Environment.

January 27, 2012 1 comment

I love a good challenge. Recently I read the following article from Microsoft about how to tackle the title of this blog. This hack didn’t actually stop the users from accessing the cpl as clever users will just use rundll32 to get around the limitation. This also knocked other “show the following control panel items” policies out.

This really inst a huge issue to most environments, as users will probably want to enumerate their printers at one stage or another. But in a RES Workspace manager environment, RES provide a much better interface for printer management which really defunct’s and eliminates the need for the windows method.

The culprit can be seen below:

This problem for me, all stems from the “NoSetFolders” chestnut, anyone who’s tried to lock down a Terminal services environment from Windows Server 2000 onwards will be aware that this “handy” group policy removes the users ability to use [Windows Key] and [E] to open explorer. This issue still isn’t fixed in 2008 R2 and I’m beginning to think Microsoft just wont fix it. Hey no big deal right? Yes, quite a big deal if you ask pedantic users.

Anyway, I digress. Once you remove the NoSetFolders key, the user has the ability to see the devices and printers as below on the start menu, hence my situation.

To remove this folder view for all users, its time to hack the registry!

The Class ID belonging to this start menu item can be found here:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}

This dastardly key also has a 32bit relation that can be found here:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}

As with my previous post about removing screen resolution and personalise, its just a matter of removing the users ability to see this registry key.

So below you will find the steps to take to remove this item:

  1. Take a backup of this key, you’ll thank me if you get it wrong!
  2. Browse down to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}
  3. right click this key, choose permissions, click advanced then owner
  4. Select administrators from the list, then choose “Apply”.
  5. browse to the permissions tab and remove the “users” group. (you may need to remove inheritance)
  6. Click “apply”, then “ok”.
  7. Repeat step 2 to 6 on HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}
  8. Tada! go grab a coffee to celebrate your domination over the windows operating system.

And that’s it, even if the user tries to view the option theres a blank place on the start menu where devices and printers should be. Check back next week and I’ll show you how to replace this shell icon with PowerPrint from RES software.

PS: You can also quite easily script this, Remko provided me with a great script that I’ve modified below to suit this purpose.

Read more…

Reporting RES Workspace Manager realtime licensing with PowerShell.

November 1, 2011 3 comments

This is an old script I use internally but I had somebody ask me how I was doing it at Citrix Synergy. I figured if they needed it why not share the script.

Finance departments love interval based licensing reports, to get snapshots of usage as the day goes by. From this they like to draw trends and watch out for closing in on capacity.

We could get this reporting quite easily with Citrix’s LMSTAT.exe utility but RES did not offer a similar product. A quick support call later, the following SQL statement was shared with me to report committed licenses:

"select count(strLicenseType) as LicenseCount from dbo.tblLicenses where strLicenseType ='HARD'"

Using the above command as an SQL query will return the currently in use licenses from your Workspace Manager Database.

Taking this a step further, we needed to retrieve this number every 15 minutes and report to excel. I used powershell to achieve this with the least administrative work. Below is the Powershell function I wrote to achieve this task. This script connects into the database you specify, runs the sql query and returns the license count:

Function get-RESlicensecount{
    param(
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
          [String]$server,
          [Parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
          [String]$database,
          [Parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
          [String]$username,
          [Parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
          [String]$password
    )#end param

    $SqlQuery = "select count(strLicenseType) as LicenseCount from dbo.tblLicenses where strLicenseType ='HARD'"
    $SqlConnection = New-Object System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection
    $SqlConnection.ConnectionString = "Server=$Server; Database=$database; user id=$username ; Password=$Password ; Trusted_Connection=False"
    $SqlCmd = New-Object System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand
    $SqlCmd.CommandText = $SqlQuery
    $SqlCmd.Connection = $SqlConnection
    $SqlAdapter = New-Object System.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataAdapter
    $SqlAdapter.SelectCommand = $SqlCmd
    $DataSet = New-Object System.Data.DataSet
    $SqlAdapter.Fill($DataSet) | out-null
    $SqlConnection.Close()
    $result=($dataset.tables[0] | select-object licensecount).licensecount
    Return $result
}

get-RESlicensecount -server "SQLServerName" -Database "DatabaseName" -username "Username" -password "Password"

The output of the command should simply list the number of committed licenses for you to report / ammend as you wish:

Drop me a comment if you need the additional excel component. It’s much longer and fairly unique to our implementation.

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