Citrix Provisioning Services + VMWare VMXNet3 NIC Drivers = Fail

Assume that you’re setting up a new XenApp Farm with Provisioning Services in your ESX environment. You’ve meticulously set everything up: your  image is fully configured, you’ve created the vdisks, configured your provisioning servers, and you’ve created your provisioned VMs from the template that you created from the VM that you used to create your  image. The VM that the template is based on runs perfectly. You bring up one of  your provisioned servers only to be SLAPPED ACROSS THE FACE with a BSOD.

Turns out that provisioned Citrix VMs and the VMXNet3 NIC driver are not BFFs.

What are your options? Well my friend, it appears you can do one of two things:

1.) Switch network adapters on your VMs to the E1000 (I cannot vouch for this one as I haven’t tried it)

2.) Install the Hotfix CPVS56SP1E011 from Citrix. You’ll probably want to install it on the VM that you are using to create your  image, then v to v it, and ensure that the resultant files are copied to your vdisk.

Download Hotfix CPVS56SP1E011 Here: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX128160

A quick note:
Should you ever need to update the VMware tools on your provisioned servers, you’ll want to uninstall the hotfix and the Provisioning Services target device software. Once you have installed the updated tools, you’ll want to install thew PVS target device software and the hotfix.
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How to publish a network share in Citrix XenApp 4.5

Pictured above: A Citrix user who can't find his files.

From time to time, a Citrix user may need convenient access to a shared folder on the network. The easiest way to provide this access is to publish an icon that acts as a shortcut to that specific folder. The problem is that in XenApp, you can’t just publish a share or directory; you have to publish explorer.exe with the specific UNC path to the folder that you want to make available. Creating the icon is simple enough but this article serves as a quick reference for those who may not do this often.

The process:

  1. Open up the Citrix Access Management Console and expand Citrix Resources – XenApp – (Your Farm Name) – Applications.
  2. Right-click on “Applications” and select “New – Publish Application”.
  3. Click on the “Next” button to skip past the welcome screen.
  4. In the field under “Display name:” type in the name of the folder that you are publishing. In the field under “Application description: “ type whatever you like then click on the “Next” button.
  5. Make sure that the radio button next to “Application” under “Choose the type of application to publish.” is selected. The radio button next to “Accessed from a server” under “Application type” should be selected as well. The drop-down box under “Server application type:” should have the “Installed application” option selected. When the settings match the picture below, click on the “Next” button.
  6. In the field under “Command line:” enter “%windir%\explorer.exe “\\UNC\Path\To\Folder”. You can leave the “Working directory:” field blank. Once you have entered in the appropriate information, click on the “Next” button.
  7. Click on the “Add…” button to choose which Citrix server(s) explorer.exe will be available to run on when the user clicks on the icon for the published application (the folder/share that we are publishing). The “Select Servers” dialog box will pop up with a list of the Citrix servers in your farm that you can add to the list of servers to run the application from. When you have completed the list of servers, click on the “OK” button then the “Next” button.
  8. The radio button next to “Allow only configured users” should be selected as well as the “Citrix User Selector” option from the “Select directory type:” drop-down box. Click on the “Add…” button to bring up the “Select Users or Groups” dialog box. From here, you can click on the “Add List of Names… “ button to type in your user’s names manually. You can also put a check mark in the box next to “Show users” then navigate and double-click on the user that you would like to add.  Once you have selected all of the users that you would like to allow access, click on the “OK” button, then click on the “Next” button.
  9. Note: At this point you may get an error message “Failed to read icons from file: %windir%\explorer.exe”. This is okay. Click on the “OK” button.
    From this screen, you can change the icon for the published application, and determine where it will appear for the user. For the sake of brevity, you can accept the defaults and click on the “Next” button.
  10. Click on the Finish” button to publish the application immediately. If you need to fine tune your options, you can always go into the published application’s properties by right-clicking on it in the Citrix Access Management Console and selecting the “Properties” option.

Your newly published application should appear in your Applications folder in the Citrix Access Management Console . The application shortcut should also appear for the users that you allowed access to the published application when they log in to the Citrix environment.

UPDATE:

If you have done this from a XenApp 6/6.5 farm, you may notice that when you launch the published share, it immediately disconnects/closes. This can be fixed by adding an entry the registry on the XenApp server. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\wfshell\TWI and create a new DWORD called LogoffCheckerStartupDelayInSeconds and give it a value of 10.

Further Reading:

http://zenapp.blogspot.com/2010/11/publishing-explorerexe-in-xenapp-6.html