Category Archives: Thin/Zero Clients

Wyse zero clients, XenApp, and local printers

If you are deploying Wyse Xenith zero clients to support a XenApp shared desktop infrastructure, you may run into a situation in which a locally attached USB printer is not mapped inside the XenApp session. I doubt this is real news to anyone as this may happen on any device, but the odd thing I witnessed last week is that I had, in this case, a Lexmark E250d attached to a Xenith zero client and when connecting to a XenApp session, not only did it not map, but there was no event log 1106 or 1107 “MetaFrameEvents” entry in the Application Log on the XenApp server. It was like the printer was not plugged in at all, though it was detected by the Wyse device itself.

One thing I did not know, is that the Xenith zero clients, do not support the Citrix Universal Print driver. I received the following from a Wyse engineer:

In the meantime you should realize that there is no support for the Universal Print driver on the Xenith. The only printing options through a Xenith/ThinOS device are by using a network printer, having printer drivers installed on the Citrix server or by using a 3rd party print utility such as ThinPrint which does support Wyse devices. In order for the Universal Print driver to work from Citrix, you would need to have a Windows OS installed on the local device.

Server 2008 R2 has a built-in driver for the Lexmark E250d called “Lexmark E250d (MS)”. However, even with these drivers installed, the printer was not mapped, and still, there were no Event Viewer logs/errors. The printer worked fine when attached to a computer or laptop.

Returning to the Xenith zero client, I tried enabling some additional options in the xen.ini file and added the following option to my “SessionConfig” line:

VUSB_PRINTER=Yes

But the problem persisted. I then opened Admin Mode on the device and looked at the printer settings, the defaults of which are shown below:

I was hoping for a “USB” printer option but there was none to be found, but while the port was LPT1, I clicked the Test Print button to see what would happen and to my surprise, a test page came out of the printer. Seeing that, I changed the print properties of the thin client to the following:

After making these changes, I logged back into my XenApp desktop and was able to print to the printer. Looking back at what I had done, I basically had changed:

a. The xen.ini to include the VUSB_Printer=Yes option
-I know that this change, by itself, did not result in any change

b. Set the Printer Identification variable on the print properties to match the driver installed on the XenApp server.

c. Enabled the printer on the print properties of the zero client.

I should have tested B and C individually to determine if one of these settings resulted in a successful print mapping but I didn’t. Should you run across this problem and test each option, let me know what you find.

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VMware View – Setup Kiosk Mode

VMware View supports Kiosk Mode which transparently connects a locked-down endpoint, typically a thin or zero client directly to a virtual desktop session. When using Kiosk Mode, users are not required to manually launch a VMware View Client and enter credentials as all configuration and provisioning is executed in background when the endpoint is powered on and the user is presented with a familiar interface; a dedicated kiosk virtual desktop session or application.

Configuring Kiosk Mode does require some additional configuration steps on the View Connection Server. Specifically, the command-line utility vdmadmin must be used to enable kiosk mode and to create AD accounts. You can create kiosk accounts based on the MAC address of the endpoint but in this example, I have chosen not to do so. VMware View requires that all AD accounts to be used for kiosk mode authentication begin with “custom-“.

1. To enable kiosk mode authentication of clients for the View Connection Server VCS01, allowing clients with automatically generated passwords to authenticate themselves without providing a password, execute the following command from a View Connection Server:

vdmadmin –Q –enable –s VCS01

2. To create an Active Directory “custom” account, execute the following command:

vdmadmin –Q –clientauth –add –domain MYDOMAINNAME –clientid “custom-public” –password “SomePassword”

3. You can get a list of those kiosk mode accounts already created by running the command:

vdmadmin –Q –clientauth -list

You get an output similar to the following:

4. Finally, you’ll likely have some configuration to do on your endpoint device. Newer VMware View zero clients like the Samsung NC190 have the capability to configure Kiosk Mode in their device configuration screens as shown below:

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Part 2 – Connecting a Wyse Xenith Client to a Citrix Shared Desktop – MIME Types

In Part 1, I went over setting DHCP options, in this post, we’ll look at the MIME type/IIS configuration. In order for the Xenith clients to use the xen.ini configuration file, two MIME Types (.ini and .) must be registered within IIS.

1. On the IIS server (in Part 1, the IIS server was the Citrix web interface server), open the Internet Information Services Manager MMC.

2. Select the Default Web Site and on the right-hand pane, select MIME Types under the IIS heading.

3. Under the Actions pane, click Add.

4. On the Add MIME Type window, enter .ini for the File name extension and text\plain for the MIME type. Click OK.

5. Under the Actions pane, click Add.

6. On the Add MIME Type window, enter . for the File name extension and text\plain for the MIME type. Click OK.

7. Once again, verify that the xen.ini configuration file is stored in the C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wyse\wnos directory as shown below:

8. Reboot the Xenith client(s) and verify a successful boot to the XenDesktop/XenApp start page and enter valid user credentials. Once the user has been authenticated, the shared desktop should launch automatically.

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Part 1 – Connecting a Wyse Xenith Client to a Citrix Shared Desktop – DHCP

I have increasingly seen customers turn to zero clients when deploying Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop, or VMware View. Personally, I have used the Samsung NC190 on VMware View deployments and the Wyse Xenith C00x zero clients on Citrix deployments and both have been easy to setup and manage. I like the Teridici Management Console for the PCoIP clients and Citrix XenDesktop includes a Wyse Xenith Manager but I have not worked with it much so I can’t offer an opinion. However, much, if not all, of the configuration of the Wyse Xenith can be done through DHCP and when combined with a customization file (xen.ini) stored on a web server, all that’s involved in delivering a Citrix desktop is to connect it the network and power it on.

In this post, I’ll go over the steps to configure the DHCP options to allow for an “instant-on” experience. In part 2, I’ll go over registering the IIS extensions.

Configuring the DHCP Server

The first step is configuring the DHCP server as the Xenith clients make use of DHCP options 161, 162, and 181. DHCP options 161 and 162 to implement the xen.ini file which enables you to automatically set the default configuration of all Wyse Xenith thin clients in your environment.

DHCP option 181 is used to specify the Citrix Web Interface URL which allows a network connected Wyse Xenith to automatically detect the location of the XenDesktop/XenApp server where a user can log on and access their desktop. Without an automatic detection set-up, an administrator must enter the address locally on the thin client using the Remote Connections dialog box.

1. Open the DHCP admin MMC, then right-click your DHCP server and select Set Predefined Options

2. On the Predefined Options and Values window, set the Option class to DHCP Standard Options and then click Add.

3. In the Option Type dialog box, enter the Name, Data Type (String), Code (181), and Description. Click OK.

4. When returned to the Predefined Options and Values screen, enter http://YOURCTXWEBINTERFACE for the String value and click OK.

5. Before adding options 161 and 162, copy the xen.ini file to a central location which the Wyse thin client have access. I have copied the file to my Citrix Web Interface server after creating a Wyse virtual directory with the path C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wyse. However, the xen.ini file was copied to C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\wyse\wnos as I believe, if memory serves, this is the default path for the Xenith clients.

6. Return to the Predefined Options and Values window, and verify the Option class to DHCP Standard Options and then click Add. In the Option Type dialog box, enter the Name, Data Type (String), Code (161), and Description. Click OK.

7. When returned to the Predefined Options and Values screen, enter http://YOURCTXWEBINTERFACE for the String value and click OK.

8. Create another option for 162. In the Option Type dialog box, enter the Name, Data Type (String), Code (162), and Description. Click OK.

9. When returned to the Predefined Options and Values screen, enter / for the String value and click OK.

10. Finally, enable these new options on a Scope or Server level as shown below:

That’s all for the DHCP Configuration, in the next post will look at setting the required MIME types on the default web site to ensure the Xenith clients can access the xen.ini file.

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Filed under Citrix, Remote Desktop Services, Thin/Zero Clients, VDI

VMware View Ready Zero Clients

Zero clients are an increasingly popular technology trend, especially in VDI deployments, that contain no local operating system, so they provide instant-on, little endpoint administration, and no vulnerability to viruses or malware. Much like a thin client, a zero client moves the computing power back to the data center, leaving little more than a keyboard and monitor at a users’ desk.

The following graphic, found here on the Teradici support site, displays the VMware View ready zero clients:

If you are experiencing audio lag or latency when watching streaming internet video, download firmware update 3.2.1 for your zero client. I have found that the necessary firmware can be downloaded from the Wyse support site regardless of the VMware View ready zero client used. In my most recent experience, I was able to apply the Wyse P20 firmware update to a Samsung NC240. Though the audio latency was not completely removed, the performance was “fairly acceptable”.

http://www.wyse.com/serviceandsupport/support/dlOraFW.asp?which=114&model=P20(Wyse

If you do not already have it, you will need to download the Teradici PCoIP management console which is also downloaded from the link above. The Teradici PCoIP management console is a virtual machine which can be hosted within vSphere of VMware Workstation.

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