Citrix

Retrieving Citrix user accounts via PowerShell

2012-06-07
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Retrieving Citrix user accounts via PowerShell

Here’s a neat little two liner to pull all the AD accounts associated with Citrix applications:

Awesome.

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AppV and Application Compatibility

2012-03-13
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I was having an issue with a old application that we want to run on our Citrix XenApp 6 farm; Microsoft Enterprise Reporting 7.5 SP4 (7.5.303). Namely, it wouldn’t run. It’s not compatible with Server 2008 R2 unless you’re running SP5. Well, we’re going to get rid of it in a few months but we want to get rid of our 4.5 farm. So, we need to migrate the application to XenApp 6 and Server 2008R2 from Presentation Server 4.5 and Server 2003 SP1.

First thing I did was setup a Server 2003 SP1 box and installed the AppV sequencer on it and sequenced the application. I then set it to run on 2008R2 64bit and moved the package over to it. It would crash. Analysing the crash logs would present to me the error… ERAPP32 was crashing its heap. In order to get it to work I had to set it to run in compatibility mode for XPSP3. Once I set this it worked flawlessly. So what I needed to do was push this fix to the rest of our Citrix servers before deploying the AppV application. If you’ve ever read ACT (application compatibilty toolkit) and merging it with AppV it’s kind of a difficult job.

But there is a easier way.

Stored in the registry is the AppCompatFlags key that contains the applications and the shims you can apply to an application. If you put the path to your AppV application it will actually enable it to run in the compatibility mode that you specify. This was my registry entry:

And now the application works almost wonderfully (ER is a painful application)

🙂

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Utilizing PowerShell to make Citrix VM Templates

2012-03-05
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Because my company doesn’t utilize provisioining servers for deploy new Citrix XenApp servers, I’ve had to come up with a couple of PowerShell scripts to make VMWare Templates that I can then deploy multiple XenApp servers. You need VMWare PowerCLI to run this script. This is my script:

This script does the following:
1) Sets the inputs from a piped in object (get-vm VMTOTEMPLATE | create-template)
2) Sets a series of variables ($vm, $name, $newname, $date, $templatename, etc.)
3) We setup a startup script on the target server to make into a template that:
a) Removes the computer from the domain
b) renames the computer to a generic name (XATEMPLATE)
c) Adds registry keys that will allow sysprep to run
d) Configures XenApp to “Image” mode
e) Shuts itself down once running the script is complete
f) deletes the script from running on startup
4) We then set the target to autologin with the local admin user name and password so the startup script in step 3 will be run
5) Begins the cloning by making a new-vm with the target machine
6) We unplug the NIC from VMWare so that when it starts up the script won’t actually remove the machine from the domain, but will remove itself from the domain
7) start the clone
8) the PowerCLI will now wait till the machine turns itself off…
9) Then it will reconnect the NIC, remove any stale templates and then makes a new template and then removes the clone VM.

Done! 🙂

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Citrix IMA service issues

2012-03-05
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If Citrix is giving you grief because IMA won’t start after unjoining and rejoining a farm, do the following:
IMA Service Fails to Start and MFCOM Service Hangs in a Starting State
Document ID: CTX127922 / Created On: 20-Jan-2011 / Updated On: 20-Oct-2011
Average Rating: (5 ratings)
View products this document applies to

Symptoms
IMA Service fails to start and MFCOM Service hangs in a Starting state.
Event ID: 7024
The Independent Management Architecture service terminated with service-specific error: 2147483649 (0x80000001).
– Or –
The IMA service terminated with service-specific error: 2147483647
Cause
When looking into the services manager, the MFCOM Service is in status “starting”. MFCOM and IMA Service fail to start because of a corrupt radeoffline DB.
Note: This issue also occurs after an incomplete or corrupted install of a Citrix Hotfix. Make sure you terminate the MFCOM32.exe as instructed below and re-install the hotfix properly. This can also ensure that the MFCOM Service will start successfully.
Resolution
Stop the mfcom.exe service using Task Manager.
Execute the following commands:

 

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Purposeful limitations

2012-02-15
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I have a Citrix environment without a provisioning server. This means that since I’m going to build my VM’s out as opposed to up I need to script a method to automate deployment of Citrix servers within the VM environment. Fortunately, VMWare gives us the PowerCLI. A PowerShell that you can use to manipulate VMWare.

While I was working on this I ran into some some weird issues while working with VMWare and deploying OS Customizations.

It turns out if you burn your 3 activations VMWare cannot customize the OS anymore from VMWare. BUT(!) there is a dirty little trick that works for Server 2008 R2 (only one I’ve tested anyhow) that can allow you to work around the issue. The issue is VMWare’s OS Customizations does a Generalize pass using Sysprep. If you exceed the 3 activations, sysprep will fail because it will notice this at the Generalize pass. The solution that I’ve read is to add this line to the sysprep.xml file:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929828

Unfortunately, VMWare does not appear to have a way to allow you to add the SkipRearm to the XML that it generates through the OS Customization GUI. But you can add a couple of registry keys that appear to have the same effect. They are:

These two keys will signal to sysprep that this image can be generalized even though it has exceeded its activation count.

So, what I’ve found is you need to set these registry keys *prior* to shutting it down to convert into a template. Then when you deploy from template and it starts up and engages sysprep, sysprep will run without issue.

So how do you put this all together? Here is my scenario:
We do NOT have a golden image template of our Citrix environment. This is because it is incredibly fluid. Changes occur to applications on the servers fairly regularly and documentation/memory is difficult to ensure that when we commit to putting these changes into the template that they are actually done. So how are we going to do this? We are going to take a 3 prong approach:
1) We have a dev environment where developers can modify/change and generally mess up their VM’s to their hearts content. The whole goal of this environment is to get their application working at 100%. The developers do not need to answer to anyone and have free reign to modify and experiment.
2) We have a test environment where, when the developers think the application is tweaked/modified/configured exactly right; will pass off documentation to me to install in this environment. Any errors or modifications that happen outside of their documentation will be further documented and verified.
3) Once step two is validated we can then push on to install on the production servers.

The issues we encounter is some of our application installs are huge, multi-step non-automated processes with large configuration tweaks post install. Once we get a solid install on one of the production servers our perferred method of redployment (because I’ve automated this process thus eliminating possible failure points) will be to template and redeploy with VMWare. This is the script I’ve written to accomplish this:

I’ve shamelessly stolen and modified this script from elsewhere. To execute this script, copy and paste it in a PowerGUI prompt then run:

It will execute the following:
1) Pull the following parameters from the target VM to reclone:
The VM Object
The VM Objects Name
The New Name for the temp clone
A Template Name
The Datastore the VM resides on
The folder the VM resides in
And the VM Host
2) We then copy a script to our target machine that does the following:
Removes the machine from the domain
Renames the machine
Prepares the addition of our two Sysprep registry key fixes
Prepares a 20 second count down
Deletes the script that executes step 2.
3) We add the default username and password and autologon registry values. As of this writting this is not working for some reason
4) We execute the command that preps the machine for cloning with Citrix. The machine you run this against will need to be rebooted as this will prevent new logons, but existing should continue (I think).
5) We start the cloning process and unplug the NIC on the new machine. We don’t want the new machine to come up and unjoin the original machine from the domain. From here, it will auto-power on. Ideally, it will login automatically and run the preconfigured script. (You may have to login manually to get it to do its thing) Once done it should shut itself down.
6) Now VMWare will wait until the machine is powered off. Once it’s powered off it will reconnect the NIC and make a template out of the VM and delete the temporary clone.
7) Lastly it will now setup the OS Customization dynmically and create a VM with it.

Voila!

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PowerShell to Clone VM’s

2012-01-31
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I need to create a Provisioning Server of my own. We don’t want to purchase the software to do so and we may not need to do so… VMWare has PowerCLI which may provide enough to do the following:

1) Notify the VM that it needs to disable Citrix logins
2) Have the VM disable logins and then check for logins. If none are found kick-off the cloning process. Kick off consists of:
2a) Unjoin from the domain
2b) Shutdown
If users are still logged in, log them off forcefully at midnight and start the process
3) Use VMWare Templates to clone the VM with the VM name.
4) Shutdown original VM’s with the same names
5) Startup new VM’s and join to domain…

Done?

I have a script that does the cloning… I got it from this site:
http://www.vtesseract.com/post/16447807254/clone-list-powercli-function
http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-18155

I had issues with running it though. For some reason my PowerShell wouldn’t run it with the comments in it so I had to take them out:

You can run it with a command like so:

Get-VM MyVM | Clone-List

I will need to modify this script to see if I can use VMWare Templates (I think that’s the right terminology) and Citrix XA PowerShell to see if I can get this to work… We shall see 🙂

EDIT – It’s not VMWare Templates… It’s OSCustomizationSpec I think.

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