Citrix and RDS

The Turbo subscription feature provides the ability to select applications from the Turbo.net Hub and have them automatically update as new versions are released.

This is ideal for RDS and XenApp servers as you can add this to your automated server builds for seamless integration with your existing infrastructure.

Creating an organization

Sign in to your Turbo.net account and click on the Organizations tab. Then press New Organization.

Enter an Organization URL (how it will be accessed as a web address) and Organization Display Name and press Create Organization.

You can customize many other properties, such as an avatar, contact email address, and social media links, by clicking on the Manage tab and filling out the appropriate fields.

Note that organization accounts can also have their own management and billing information distinct from the user or users that administer the organization.

Setting up a channel

Now that the organization is configured, we need to set up the applications that will be part of the subscription.

In this example, we’ll select applications from the Turbo.net Hub using the web interface. (You can also push and add custom images.)

Click on Hub and select the checkbox next to applications you would like to add to your channel.

By default, the Latest (evergreen) version will be selected. You can expand the version list to select a specific legacy version.

Finally, click Add To in the top bar and select your organization name from the list.

Navigate back to the organization home page and notice that the applications have been added to the organization.

Subscribing to the channel

Now that the organization is ready and we have a channel configured, let’s subscribe to the channel on the XenApp server.

In a shared user environment like Citrix and RDS, we almost always want our settings to apply to All Users, so we need to setup the Turbo Client with the --all-users flag.

(If you previously installed the Turbo Client you’ll need to uninstall it before proceeding. You can uninstall Turbo from the Add/Remove Programs section of the Windows Control Panel.)

Launch a command prompt and install the Turbo Client for All Users:

# Install the Turbo Client for All Users
> turbo-plugin --all-users

(The latest Turbo Client installer can be found at http://turbo.net/download.)

Now run the turbo subscribe command to subscribe to the channel. Again we use the --all-users flag to indicate that the changes should apply to all user profiles, not just the current user.

> turbo subscribe --all-users <org or user id>

Note you can also use an individual user account name to subscribe to applications associated with that account, although an organization account is strongly recommended for Citrix and RDS scenarios.

Notice that the application icons appear on the Start Menu:

The applications can now be added to the Citrix environment just like a native application.

For example, in Citrix Studio click Create Application to go through the application wizard:

The containerized application will appear in the application list alongside native applications:

Simply select those that you desire and complete the wizard. Once added, the applications will be available to the assigned users in Citrix StoreFront:

Subscribing a XenApp farm to Turbo.net

The Turbo.net Hub includes tools that automatically subscribe a XenApp 7+ or 6.5 farm to a Turbo channel. These tools use the Citrix XenApp automation interfaces to eliminate the manual steps used above.

As before, we first make sure the Turbo plugin is installed with the --all-users and --silent flags. (You should uninstall and reinstall Turbo if you previously installed it in a single user profile.) In this example, we use an API key to authenticate the login.

To subscribe your farm, run the xa7-subscribe container from the Turbo.net Hub. The parameters following the -- are passed to xa7-subscribe and provide the name of the Turbo channel, delivery group, and API key to be used by the subscription process.

> turbo-plugin.exe --all-users --silent
> turbo login --api-key=WvUjfpjqtx0as1CczTX5mPZ5pdXgc1w2t91HRzVc3Qc
Logged in as citrixorg
> turbo try turbocitrix/xa7-subscribe -- citrixorg -deliveryGroup Default -apikey WvUjfpjqtx0as1CczTX5mPZ5pdXgc1w2t91HRzVc3Qc -waitonexit
Using VM 11.8.817.5 from local
Using image clean:25 from local
Using image vcredist:2008 from local
Using image xa7-subscribe:2016.02.26 from local
Running new container xa7-subscribe#3d2a1d9f with visibility private

Checking if Turbo client is installed...

Subscribe to citrixorg...

Aptana Studio subscribed
Mozilla Firefox subscribed
7-Zip subscribed
Atom subscribed
Audacity subscribed
Dia subscribed
LibreOffice Writer subscribed
LibreOffice Base subscribed
Beyond Compare subscribed
NPP Notepad++ subscribed
Google Chrome subscribed
LibreOffice Calc subscribed

Aptana Studio published
Mozilla Firefox published
Atom published
Dia published
LibreOffice Writer published
LibreOffice Base published
Beyond Compare published
NPP Notepad++ published
Google Chrome published
LibreOffice Calc published
Deployment successful

And with that our applications have deployed to our XenApp farm!

screenshot2

For more information on the script parameters, see the Turbo Subscribe for XenApp7 repository.

If you are deploying to XenApp 6.5, use the same process but substitute xa6-subscribe as the repository name. The corresponding Turbo repository for the script is at Turbo Subscribe for XenApp6.5.

The source code for the XenApp deployment tools is available on GitHub at https://github.com/turboapps/citrix.

Questions? Projects? Talk to us.