September 23, 2009
I have recently had to build a new Citrix XenDesktop environment for some testing which included Citrix Provisioning Server and Citrix XenServer. Along the way, I had various issues and struggled to find a single, comprehensive, troubleshooting article so I am going to have a stab at it here since I had to go through various tests in order to sort my issues. Having said this, there are some very good technotes on the Citrix web site here – http://support.citrix.com/product/xd/v3.0/technote/
- Enable logging for the Workstation Agent and ensure that access to the C$ share of the master XenDesktop image is enabled, including a firewall exception for file sharing. This is so that you can get at the log file without having to log on interactively to the image. See this article for how to enable the logging by a simple edit to the WorkstationAgent.exe.config file: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX117452
Obviously ensure that the Workstation Agent (Citrix Desktop Service) is successfully starting, as are other Citrix services, and the log shows it registering with the DDC.
- The event logs are also obviously another place to look when things fail although this can be tricky if your VM has been connected enough to want to reboot when the connection attempt has failed.
- You can also enable logging for the Desktop Delivery Controller service which is detailed in the link above. Ensure that the DDC service and other Citrix ones start successfully.
- PortICA logging can be enabled – http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX118837 – which could show potential ICA problems. It didn’t for me but will stay enabled in my base image whilst I am still testing.
- Citrix tracing tool (CDF – Citrix Diagnostic Facility) – this didn’t help me as it only currently supports a small number of client side features such as USB. It can also be run on the machine running the Workstation Agent but I didn’t do this. http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX120269
- I did have some errors when using the XenDesktop Setup Wizard so I followed the steps to get a log file for this. I couldn’t get the log produced via the command line so ended up modifying the .config file as described here: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX118278
My issues actually turned out, I think, to do with the fact that the template I was specifying in the wizard had an 8GB disk attached (it was my Gold Build VM that was booting off the PvS disk but still had the original hard drive in case I needed to rebuild the PvS disk) so each new VM created by the wizard was creating a new 8GB disk and I simply didn’t have the storage for it (not that I got an error suggesting this). I therefore created a new VM in XenServer that had the memory, NIC and CPUs I wanted but had no hard disk so actually didn’t have an OS installed (it never even got booted). This doesn’t matter since the OS comes from the vdisk/vhd you specify, separately, in the wizard.
- Check that you can logon with the required accounts to the VMs in your XenCenter/XenServer console. This should show any domain joining or account issues, e.g. expiry or permissions. Also check network connectivity to/from them.
- Fire up your gold image VM, since it should be on a standard image disk so the changes will be lost when it shuts down, add it to a new desktop group without a hosting infrastructure so that you just use the name of the VM in the group. This should tell you if the problem was something funny about the desktop group or the VMs that comprised it.
- My issue was that I was launching the connection from Web Interface but I wasn’t getting a session, just a failure popup – “Unable to connect to the desktop. This may be a temporary problem. Click OK and then try starting the desktop again. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator”. Before acknowledging the failure popup, look in your %temp% folder for the ICA file that it dynamically created. It won’t be a .ica file but instead will most likely be a .tmp file although will probably start “ica*”– easily spotted by modification time, particularly if you sort on modification time. It is actually the argument to cdsbar.exe if you look in Task Manger on Vista or with SysInternals/Microsoft Process Explorer. Open the ica file in notepad and check that it makes sense – e.g. is connecting to the right thing (“Address=”) and that the entity can be resolved/contacted. Note that the ica file, in best Mission Impossible style, will self destruct, i.e. be deleted, when you ok the failure popup thanks to the “RemoveICAFile=On” line. Note also that there is little point in saving the ica file for later use since it has a logon ticket in there which most likely will have expired.
- This leads on to checking that port 1494 is accessible in the virtual desktop by telnetting to it. However, port 1494 is only alive for a brief while after the connection is initiated so wait a few seconds after you have clicked on the icon to launch the session in Web Interface, or Program Neighborhood, before trying the telnet. When accessing a pool, look at the temporary ICA file to figure out which machine to check or reduce the pool to a single machine. We are not really looking for anything here other than the connection succeeds although you will probably see the characters “ICA” displayed.
- As by this stage all logs were looking fine and port 1494 was working, I put on a network monitor, in this case SysInternals/Microsoft Process Monitor, on my client machine (the one accessing Web Interface) and filtered on wfica32.exe. This is when I found that some traffic was going through my proxy that I hadn’t allowed for – bingo, problem solved when the proxy was disabled. In my defence, I had tried accessing from a different client (this should probably be a separate line item in this troubleshooting “guide”) but that had also failed, albeit probably for different reasons as it wasn’t using a proxy.
- Watch for proxies! Obviously configure them as necessary or disable them.
- I did have some “funnies” with my XP VMs created by the XenDesktop Setup Wizard and running off PvS. I think they were because after creation I had switched the master disk away from Standard Image mode. My excuse is that you have to manually hit F5 to do a refresh after changing vDisk properties and I didn’t! I was actually getting the error described here: http://forums.citrix.com/message.jspa?messageID=1393521
Sometimes the streaming console (StreamConsole.exe) on the PvS box can help diagnose these kinds of issue. Unfortunately it didn’t in this case.
- I also got caught by my base image having miniscule event log sizes (64KB) so even though they weren’t up for long, it was enough for them to fill up and not to overwrite so it was back to the base image to set larger sizes and set them to overwrite as needed.
September 17, 2009
This is the eleventh installment in a series of posts about the new features and options in AppSense Version 8 Service Pack 2. (If you have not yet downloaded this latest release, you can read more info and download it from here )
AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 introduces new functionality to the Registry Hive action – Registry Hive Exclusions.
This feature allows the administrator to specify registry settings to hive out at a specific level and then exclude certain keys or values beneath that level in order to reduce the registry file size on disk. For example, you could hive out the whole Microsoft Office key, but exclude settings for Microsoft Access.
Note: You can use wildcards for the key name and you can explicitly exclude a key name with an embedded wildcard character by enclosing the key name with quotes “”. However, it is not possible to specify a key path with a leading wildcard such as *\Software”wildcardkey*”.
Note: It is not advised to use keys that start with HKEY_CURRENT_USER since the software does not use this key internally
Note: Registry Hive Exclusions currently only work when hiving out settings rather than hiving them in. This is the preferred method since it reduces the amount of required storage space on the network.
As this is an ever growing blog topic, the previous posts on the other new features we have detailed can be found below:
NEW FEATURE No. 1 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run As
NEW FEATURE No. 2 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Connect As
NEW FEATURE No. 3 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Improved compression and data handling protocol
NEW FEATURE No. 4 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Manipulation of files in Personalization Analysis
NEW FEATURE No. 5 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run Once
NEW FEATURE No. 6 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Group SID Refresh
NEW FEATURE No. 7 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Trigger Action Time Audit Event
NEW FEATURE No. 8 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Stop If Fails
NEW FEATURE No. 9 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – New Application Categories in the User Interface
NEW FEATURE No. 10 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Refresh
NEW FEATURE No. 11 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Registry Hive Exclusions