Getting Started with Xendesktop 4 (Part 4)

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:


In the previous articles we installed a XenServer, installed and configured XenCenter and prepared the environment with a Windows XP workstation and a Windows 2003 server.

Installing Desktop Delivery Controller

We will start with installing the Desktop Delivery Controller on the Windows 2003 server. The software is delivered as an ISO file, so you could add the ISO to XenCenter when using a virtual machine or burn a CD when you have chosen to use a physical machine.

The installation starts with a dialog box. The installation will notify you to start this installation on a Windows 2003 server so it shows the option Install Server Components.

Figure 1: Welcome dialog Citrix XenDesktop

Like all software installations you also need to accept the license agreement.

Figure 2: Accepting the license agreement

In the next Window you can select which components you would like to install on this server. You can host the components on different servers, but for evaluation purposes they can go together. In production environments you would probably install the License Server on a separate server.

Figure 3: Selecting the components

If you are familiar with Citrix XenApp (formerly known as Citrix Presentation Server/Metaframe) you know that Citrix collects machines in a group called a Farm. During the installation the first server will create the Farm. In the next dialog box you can specify the name of the Farm. If you are installing more servers you would then select Join existing farm.

Figure 4: Create a new farm.

As described in article 1 there are several XenDesktop editions. You need to select the corresponding version as shown below. In this article I will use the free Express edition.

Figure 5: Choosing the XenDesktop edition.

As mentioned in article 3 the DDC requires a database. By default this database is created locally, but that’s not the right choice for larger environments. For evalation purposes it ok, but if you have an SQL server available you can choose to use it. If you choose to store the database (datastore called by Citrix) locally the next few steps will not be shown.

Figure 6: The possibility to us a existing database server or place the database locally on this server.

Citrix XenDesktop only supports a MS SQL Server database. So actually there is nothing to select in that drop down box apart from MS SQL. The Configure button is needed to set-up an ODBC connection to the database. Remember that Citrix won’t create the database on the SQL server, but expects that you have already created the database.

Figure 7: The first step in the SQL database connection settings.

The configure button will show the standard ODBC wizard. In the first dialog box you can configure which SQL server will host the database.

Figure 8: Selecting the SQL server to host the database

Secondly, authentication will be configured. XenDesktop can use both Windows or SQL authentication. It depends on your configuration and/or organization policies which one you would use. In this article I will use SQL authentication.

Figure 9: Configure the authentication for the database

Then you should change the default database to the created SQL database on the server.

Figure 10: Select the database created for XenDesktop.

The ODBC settings are collected and the ODBC connection can be created by pushing the Finish button. 

Figure 11: Finalizing the ODBC wizard.

As the last step you can test the configured settings via the Test Data Source button. If the test is succesful click the OK button.

Figure 12: Testing the ODBC configuration.

Now we can continue with the XenDesktop installation via the Next buttons which is not grayed out anymore.

Figure 13: Database configuration succeeded, installation can continue.

All the information needed is collected and the actual installation can be started.

Figure 14: All information is collected, installation can take place.

As mentioned in the previous article the DDC has several prerequisities which can be installed before or the installlation wizard will install them automatically. In the next figure you will see that Windows components are being installed (so ensure that you have the i386 directory of the Windows 2003 installation media available).

Figure 15: Windows components are being installed initiated by the XenDesktop Installation.

Depending on the prerequisites installations it can occur that the server needs to be restarted. The XenDesktop will continue automatically when the server is started again.

Figure 16: A reboot is required to continue.

Figure 17: The installation continues automatically after the reboot.

During the installation the Printers part of Citrix has not passed Windows Logo Testing, so a warning is displayed about that topic. You can continue using the Continue Anyway button. You will get this message several times.

Figure 18: The printer part has not passed Windows Logo Testing.

After the last reboot the installation process will mention that the installation is finished and that two one time configurations steps can be performed.

Figure 19: Setup Complete, but intial configuraiton steps can be performed.

First the DDC Active Directory Configuration Wizard will be started. The first dialog box is just an information window about the steps and actions to follow.

Figure 20: Active Directory Configuation Wizard.

Within Active Directory Citrix XenDesktop needs a dedicated OU. In the next dialog box you can specify this OU and if needed the new OU can be created within the selected OU. In the figure below I let XenDesktop create an OU called XD_VANBRAGT in the root of my Active Directory domain VanBragt.Local.

Figure 21: Configuring the XenDesktop OU.

XenDesktop will perform the actions needed when the Finish button is pressed.

Figure 22: Completing the AD Configuration Wizard.

A summary report of tasks performed will be shown.

Figure 23: The results of the Active Directory Configuration Wizard.

When the wizard completes you can start the Access Management Console. Since we will be continuing with adding the XenDesktop license and installing the virtual machine component, we will choose No.

Figure 24: Start the management console or not.

To Install the license you need to start the License Management Console. This can be done using the shortcut in the Start Menu or opening a Internet Explorer and typing the following url http://<ComputernName>/lmc/index.jsp. By default the management console opens at the configuraiton tab where you can add the licenses. Within the Express edtion the license is available in the downloaded set of files (because it’s a free edition, in other cases you should purchase the product and download the file from your MyCitrix account) you can go directly to step 2: Copy License file to this license server.

Figure 25: Configuration tab of the License Management Console.

In the next Window you need to browse to the license file and applying the file using the upload button.

Figure 26: Configuration tab of the License Management Console.

When the upload is ready the license will appear in the configuration tab, and also at the current usage tab where you will find the XenDesktop licenses showing up (10 available licenses).

Figure 27: Liceses are added to the License Server.

The last step of the installation phase (for the first basic setup, I will cover more advanced and logical setups in the articles to come) we need to install the the XenDesktop agent on the machine that will host the virtual desktop. This agent is updated on a frequent basis, so check the Citrix website for the latest version. The installation is pretty straight forwarded. The agent requires .Net Framework 3.5 SP1, if this is not available on the client an automated installation will happen.

Figure 28: .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 is a required component.

The first couple of windows are just informational messages and a licence agreement part, so simply accepting and pressing Next. I will skip these figures. The third dialog box askes for the TCP/IP port that will be used for communication. By default the port is 8080 but it can be changed.

Figure 29: Specify the communication port.

The installation automatically detects Windows Firewall and offers to automatically configure it correctly so that communcations can occur. Also the window displays exactly which settings will be added to the Firewall rules. I suggest let the client configure the firewall, so you are sure that it will function.

Figure 30: Windows Firewall configuration.

The next step is to connect the virtual desktop to a XenDesktop Farm. Because the farms are published within AD the list is automatically delived. Choose the correct farm and continue with the Next button.

Figure 31: Selecting the XenDesktop Farm.

After this dialog box the installation parameters are known and the client will be installed when the Install button is pressed.

Figure 32: Reado to Install the agent.

The last dialog box after you click the Finish button asks you to restart the machine. After the restart the client is ready to be added to the Farm configuration, where we will continue in the next article.

Figure 33


In this article we installed the basic components that help us configure our first XenDesktop farm. The configuration will be explained in the upcoming articles.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

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