If you publish desktops from your Xenapp servers you will be pleased to know that you can make over your desktops with the look and feel of windows 7. This will make the xenapp desktops more appealing and user friendly to your staff/users etc.

One caveat you will need to know before implementing this is that it only works for newly created profiles, so if you have staff who have been logging on and off the Xenapp servers before configuring this then those profiles will need to be deleted and recreated if you would like them to have the windows 7 look and feel enabled.

The windows 7 theme can be applied fairly easily by following the below:

1/ If your xenapp 6.5 server is a fresh build (which if not why not) then the windows desktop experience feature is installed as part of the xenapp 6.5 next next finish routine if this is an upgrade from a previous version then you will need to check that it has been installed as a “feature” within the windows server role manager.

2/ Next open powershell with elevated permissions and ensure that powershell is set to execute signed scripts. To find out what the policy is set to enter “get-executionpolicy” which will probably say Restricted to change this enter “set-executionpolicy allsigned” and hit enter.

3/ While still within powershell execute the “New-CtxManagedDesktopGPO.ps1″ script that is located on the xenapp server c:\program files (x86)\Citrix\App Delivery Setup Tools\” upon a xenapp server. This will create 4 extra gpos within Active Directory.

From within active directory you will need to link the new gpos to the correct OU’s and depending upon your requirements and you may also have to configure group policy loopback to apply to users (if you are linking your policy to OU’s containing the xenapp computer accounts for example) depending on how your AD is configured.

The 4 policies that are createdare as follows:
CtxStartMenuTaskbarUser: Which makes published desktops look like Windows 7.
CtxPersonalizableUser: This policy locks down the desktops removing some control panel applets and denying the ability to add/remove programs etc.
CtxRestrictedUser: This settings stops users from changing their default taskbar, wallpaper or start menu.
CtxResctrictedComputer: This policy removes the ability to interact with certain drives and windows update.

As a rule you would only really need the first policy to configure the look and feel of the desktop but there are alot of good reasons to use one or more of the others as you are presenting a server desktop (albeit hopefully disguised as windows 7) to the great unwashed of staff/users.

Author: Dale Scriven

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2 Responses to Make Citrix Xenapp 6.5 look like Windows 7

  1. Catherine says:

    Is it possible to create a Windows 7 look and feel on XenApp 5 running on Windows 2003 Server ?

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