Autostart Citrix Desktop, in the Client / End User Issues forum on BrianMadden.com
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Autostart Citrix Desktop, in the Client / End User Issues forum on BrianMadden.com

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Guest Posted: Fri, Mar 9 2007 12:09 PM
Hi

We are using Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 on Windows 2003 SP1 and to set the scene we are looking at converting our existing "older" PC's to be thin clients (of sorts) by re-imaging to a clean install of Windows XP SP2 and have nothing more other than a citrix client installed on them.

This may seem a strange plan, but we already have the XP licences, the PC's are about 3 years old so have no problems running XP and replacing with Wyse terminals (or equivalent) seems a waste until the hardware actually fails!

The ideal we are after is to have the user power up the PC and be presented with the usual Windows logon screen, login as normal and have a published full screen Citrix Desktop autostart and when they log out for the XP machine to shut down.

As you can probably tell we're trying to be sneaky and make it so the users don't realise what's happening!! [;)]

I've figured that I can:
[ul][*]Add the users domain account to the XP's "Guest" group so that their local profile is deleted when they log off
[*]Change HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\Shell from the default of explorer.exe to stop the user getting at the desktop on the XP Box
[*]User a script or batch file in place of explorer.exe (above) to somehow auto start the citrix app and then shut the pc down.[/ul]
What I can't seem to figure out is a way to automatically start the citrix published desktop.

Any advice/thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
Paul
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There are a couple of options, but the easy one would be to set the ICA-Client into the Startup folder, so the users get the icon to start the published desktop.
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Guest replied on Sat, Mar 10 2007 1:01 PM
We'd like the login to the desktop PC and the following connection to the Citrix server to be completely transparent... as in no need for further user activity after presing ctrl-alt-del and entering their credentials.


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Have you considered replacing the OS with a linux based thin client build, i.e. PXES or ThinStation? The other thing you might want to test if you have Software Assurance is Windows FLP (Fundamentals for Legacy PCs).

http://www.sessioncomputing.com/ppt/WindowsFLP.ppt


http://www.sessioncomputing.com/thin-clients.htm


Patrick Rouse

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Have you looked at auto logon feature of windows (including XP). Just google 'XP auto logon'. There's a registry key or I think there's also a powertoy to configure it. I've used that in the past to auto-login a workstation and then launch the ICA connection out of the startup folder. Then all users need to do is login to the application/published desktop and bob's your uncle.
The New Zealand Citrix User Group - http://www.cug.co.nz
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Hi Guys

I've finally got myself registered, thanks for your advice so far [:D]

We've looked at http://www.2x.com/thinclientserver/ and it is pretty good - good management tools, PXE boot etc - we did have some issues with sound (USB headsets) and drive mappings although I guess we may end up exploring this kind of solution again as it does provide a good (and cheap) solution. At the moment I was just keen to explore what is possible with what we've already got.

We're anticiping user resistance to change as we begin moving over to a thin infrastructure and people deliberatly finding problems, therefore if they saw the XP boot screens etc we think we can blag them long enough so when we do move away from "fat" XP clients we can hit them with - "well its been like this now for X time" - sneaky! [8D]

NZ CUG - interesting idea on the autologin.... that's gonna be worth testing.

Patrick - We do have a select agreement with MS and Software Assuance, what would the benefit of using Windows FLP over XP?

Thanks!
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The advantage is that it uses less hardware resources than your typical new computer, i.e. PII 233MHz & 128MB RAM is a typical configuration. I haven't been able to test it yet, because I don't have SA and it's not available to MSDN Subscribers, but I'm hoping the FLP Team will be able to get me a build so I can kick the tires.

You could also look at XPe based terminals, but that would not take advantage of your current hardware.

Connecting users to a 2003 Server full desktop provides the same basic UI as XP. As for end user buy in, make sure you've got backing from management, and a clear reason for switching to thin client computing. Knowing that you'll save X number of $$$ on support costs will usually override user's complaints about non-mission critical features.

Thin client devices w/o moving parts, i.e. hard disk and optical storage consume quite a bit less energy than a PC, so this is also something to consider when choosing devices.

Patrick Rouse

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I think your simplest solution would be to install the full PN on the workstation, then create a Custom Connection to your published desktop. Create a shortcut on the desktop for the published desktop and move it into the Startup folder. Once the user logs on, the published desktop should launch automatically and pass through the user's credentials.

Why is it called "Common Sense"? It doesn't seem all that common!

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I think I've nearly cracked it!!

Changing the shell from explorer.exe in the registry to a script that runs this command:

"C:\Program Files\Citrix\ICA Client\wfcrun32.exe" /batch /INIAPPSRV:"\\FILESERVER\Citrix\APPSRV.INI" /INIWFCLIENT:"\\FILESERVER\Citrix\WFCLIENT.INI" "Desktop Full Screen"

Gives us the desired results. [:D]

The only thing I can't seem to figure out is how to disable this annoying popup message:

Tip: Exiting Full Screen Mode
Your hotkeys, such as Alt+Tab, will apply to the session you are starting in full-screen mode. The SHIFT+F2 hotkey controls the appearance of the title bar of the session window. To view your desktop, press SHIFT+F2 and minimize the session window.


I've disabled all the hotkeys in APPSRV.INI and the popup window does have a tickbox that has the option "Do no show this message again" but I can't figure out where is stores this change to make it not display it by default.

Any suggestions?

I have found http://support.citrix.com/forums/thread.jspa?forumID=125&threadID=84584&tstart=30 and this isn't very helpful as the ALT-TAB keys need to work in the Citrix session.
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Sussed it!

The following registry entry is needed to prevent that "tip" popping up [:D]


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Citrix\ICA Client\Keyboard Mapping\Tips]
"In full screen mode"=dword:01323fa9

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