Installing and Configuring Citrix XenApp 6.5 (Part 1)

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


The first part of this series describes the installation steps of the first server (which will create the XenApp environment) and the following server that will join the XenApp environment afterwards.


Citrix XenApp needs to have a database in which the (static) settings are stored. For a small environment an SQL express can be used, which will be located at the first server you install. This works fine, but has some disadvantages. First of all, this server is important and should be available as much as possible (Citrix XenApp servers have the ability to work without a database for 96 hours). Secondly, the server also has the SQL database role, so should always have resources available to carry out the tasks for this role. Therefore a dedicated SQL server is advised, when one is available. When you are planning to have more than 10 Citrix XenApp servers, Citrix advises to use this dedicated SQL Server even if one is not available.

When using a dedicated SQL server, the database should be created in advance via the normal SQL steps. Both SQL and Windows Authentication can be used.

Figure 1: Creating the SQL database for the XenApp 6.5 environment.

Installation Part 1

If you have installed an earlier release of Citrix XenApp you probably remember that you have to provide a lot of configuration settings during the installation phase. From XenApp 6 Citrix changed this behavior by separating the actual installation and the phase to set-up or connect to the XenApp environment. Also with previous versions several prerequisites should be installed in advance before the XenApp installation could be performed. Nowadays, all these prerequisites are embedded in the installation phase. In other words if a prerequisite is not available it will be installed automatically. However, this requires some additional reboots, so depending of the infrastructure you could install some of those prerequisites in advance (like the RD Session Host role and .Net Framework). In this article, I will not install these in advance as to show you the full installation process.

The installation process can be started either using the autorun functionality or starting the setup.exe from the folder XenApp Server Setup.


Figure 2: Starting the setup using the Autorun functionality.

As mentioned earlier on, install will detect if any prerequisites are not available yet. Because I did not configure anything in advance a message will be shown that .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 is not installed. Choose OK to install .Net Framework 3.5 SP1.

Figure 3: .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 is not installed.

The installation process will install .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 automatically. After this installation the actual XenApp installation will be started showing the XenApp Server Role Manager. Via Add Server roles the installation wizard continues.


Figure 4: The first XenApp installation Window

The first setting is about the version of XenApp you are using. Depending of the version, some options in XenApp will not be available and some components/products are (not) shown. In this article I will use the Enterprise version.

Figure 5: Choosing the XenApp edition.

The license agreement is shown next, accept the agreement and continue.

Figure 6: Accepting the license agreement

Depending of the selected edition of XenApp, you can choose which components you would like to install. The options you choose during the installation should depend on the size of the infrastructure.

  • License server: This component is needed once per organization. Normally this will be installed separately on an existing IIS server (which is a requirement), and on a dedicated server or combined with the Web Interface. The License server is there to make sure that the XenApp product (and other Citrix products) can function with the correct licenses.
  • XenApp: This is the actually XenApp component, publishing applications and/or desktop to the end-user.
  • Web Interface: This is a component that provides end-users access to the Published Applications/Published Desktop using a portal website and/or Service site (formerly known as PNAgent).
  • Secure Gateway: The software based solution to provide secured access to the XenApp environment via SSL.
  • Power and Capacity Management Administration: the software package to manage the option to shut down and start-up Citrix XenApp servers depending on the amount of users connecting to the farm.
  • EdgeSight server: The back-end component of the Citrix Monitoring product.

For larger infrastructures the components will be installed separately on different servers, but in very small environments the various components can be shared. I would like to advice to separate the XenApp role whenever possible. The License server and Web Interface can be combined perfectly. If a Secure Gateway SSL solution is deployed, it can be combined with Web Interface and so on. Because this article is about installing and configuring XenApp, I will select the XenApp role only.

Figure 7: Choose XenApp Roles

After choosing the XenApp role several sub components can be selected.

  • XenApp Management: This is the administrator console for the XenApp farm. This can be installed on every server or just one. I personally prefer to install the console on all servers.
  • Windows Desktop Experience Integration: This component is related to Published Desktop and makes the look and feel of this desktop look like Windows 7.
  • XML Service IIS integration: In small environments and where the Web Interface is installed (which requires IIS), this option should be selected so that XenApp can share ports with IIS.
  • EdseSight Agent/Single Sign-On Plug-in/Power and Capacity Agent. When deploying/using one of these functionalities, the XenApp server should have the agent software installed, and can be accomplished by selecting the corresponding agent in this selection window.

In this article, I will not use any of the agents or the IIS integration feature; however, I will install the console and the Windows Desktop Experience feature.

Figure 8: Choosing sub roles of XenApp

As stated before, the installation will take care of the prerequisites. The installation wizard will show all prerequisites that will be installed and any related reboots if required.

Figure 9: Review prerequisites.

Before the actual installation process starts, a simplified view will be shown, displaying the prerequisites, sub-components and roles that will be installed by the installation process.

Figure 10: Enumeration of the components that will be installed.

A reboot is required which is shown in the progress window. After closing the progress window using the Finish Button, the required reboot will be shown in the XenApp Server Role Manager. Choose this reboot option to really restart the server and choose Yes to the prompt if you really want to reboot the machine.

Figure 11: A reboot is required to continue with the installation.

Figure 12: Reboot the server using the XenApp Server Role Manager.

The XenApp Role Server Manager will load and shows that the installation can continue. Choose the option to continue the installation.

Figure 13: After the reboot, the XenApp Server Role Manager shows that the installation can be resumed.

Again the components that will be installed are shown (the components that were installed before the reboot are not shown anymore). Click the Install button to continue.

Figure 14: Components can be installed.

After a while all components are installed and the Finish button will be shown.

Figure 15: All components are installed.

The last step of the installation is specifying the license server. Independent of where you installed the license server, you need to specify this part.

Figure 16: Specify Licensing question

Enter the name of license server. Note, that the default communication port is 27000.

Figure 17: Specify the license server name and communication port.

Next step is about the type of licensing used. In this article, I will use XenApp but the choice depends on the licenses you have purchased.

Figure 18: Select the correct license model.

The above shown steps are exactly the same for all XenApp servers. When the license configuration is selected, a configure option will be shown. This configuration will start the process to create or join farm with all corresponding configuration settings. This part of the configuration will be described in the next article of this series.

Figure 19: Licensing configured, it’s time to configure the XenApp server to create or join a farm.


In the first part of this series, I described and discussed the installation steps of a Citrix XenApp 6.5 server. In the second article I will show you the steps required to create and join a Citrix XenApp farm.

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

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