Configuring Citrix PVS on Ignite

Follow these steps to configure Citrix PVS on Ignite:

Create PVS Server:

  1. Create Windows Server from template and join it to a domain. Alternatively, use a PVS server configured outside of Ignite.
  2. Install SQL Server.
  3. Install Citrix XenDesktop License Server (if there is none in your environment).
  4. Install Citrix Provisioning Server and Console (complete installations).
  5. Run the Provisioning Services Configuration Wizard. 
    • On the DHCP services page, select The service that runs on another computer.
    • On the PXE Services page, select The service that runs on this computer: Provisioning Services PXE service
    • On the Database Server page, if SQL is not a named instance, leave the Instance name field blank.
    • On the New Farm page, select Use Active Directory groups for security.
    • On the stream and soap services page, enter user credentials.
    • On the TFTP Option and Bootstrap Location page, check the box beside Use the Provisioning Services TFTP service.

Setup PXE boot in Ignite:

  1. On the Hardware page, click Show Network Settings and make note of the router's IP Address.
  2. SSH into the router's IP address as user manager (with the password chosen when the hardware was registered.)
  3. Run sudo su and re-enter the manager password to gain root privileges.
    • If this is not the first time PXE has been setup, run rm /etc/dhcp/dhcp-site-custom before proceeding to the next step.
  4. Run /usr/share/cloudistics/ -p <pxe_server> -f <bootfilename>, replacing <pxe_server> with the IP address of your PVS server and <bootfilename> with ARDBP32.bin.

(Optional) Setup DHCP outside of Ignite:

  1. Log into your Domain Controller (or a machine with AD tools installed) as a domain/DHCP administrator.
  2. Launch DHCP and navigate to the Scope Options for the scope that will be used for the Citrix PVS devices (create a new scope if necessary).
  3. Right-click Scope Options and select Configure Options
    • Select Option 66.
    • For the string value enter the IP address of your Citrix PVS server.
    • Select Option 67.
    • For the string value enter ARDBP32.bin.
    • Click OK on the Scope Options dialog box

Create instance for PVS desktop:

  1. Create a desktop instance in Ignite.
  2. Join the instance to a domain.
  3. Add an additional 10-20GB disk to the instance, which will be used for the page file, redirected Event Logs, and additional files that need to be persistent across reboots (for example, license files, user profiles); configure this as hard drive D: in Disk Management.  
  4. Move the page file to the D: drive: System>>Advanced System Settings>>Advanced tab>>Performance Settings>>Advanced tab>>Virtual Memory Change. 
    • Deselect Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
    • Select C: and select the No paging file option, then click Set to apply changes. 
    • Select D: and select the Custom Size option, enter the values for the size of the Windows Page File or select system managed, then click Set to apply changes. 
    • Click OK to close the window, and reboot the instance.
  5. Install all applications and updates.
  6. Create shadow storage associations on the volumes: Open an administrative command prompt and run vssadmin list volumes. For all volume paths, run vssadmin resize shadowstorage /for={volume-path} /on={volume-path} /maxsize=unbounded.
  7. Export a copy of Cloudistics VSS Provider registry entry then remove it because it will conflict with the Microsoft Shadow Copy Provider and prevent creation of the PVS image.  After the initial image capture is complete, the registry entry needs to be re-imported so template creation can succeed.
    • Open Regedit and navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Providers\".
    • Expand Providers.  Click the sub-branch called {f059e3d4-3ea4-4995-ac79-ceff02b8af55}, and verify the right-hand panel shows "Cloudistics VSS Provider".
    • Right-click on the {f059e3d4-3ea4-4995-ac79-ceff02b8af55} key and select Export.  Export the file to a memorable location.  Right-click on that key again and select Delete.
    • Restart Volume Shadow Copy service, and then reboot the instance.

Create a Group Policy Object that applies certain settings only to PVS target devices:

  1. Log into your Domain Controller (or a machine with AD tools installed) as a domain administrator.  
  2. Launch Active Directory Users and Computers. Create a new Organizational Unit (OU) called "PVS VMs" that will contain all of your PVS Target Devices’ AD Computer Accounts. Move the PVS Capture VM AD computer account from Computers into the new OU you created.
  3. Configure Group Policy: Launch Group Policy Management and navigate to the new OU you created. 
    • Right-click the OU and select Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here; enter a GPO name and click OK
    • Right-click the new GPO and select Edit.  
    • Navigate to Computer Configuration >> Policies >> Windows Settings >> Security Settings >> Local Policies >> Security Options.  Double click the Domain member: Disable machine account password changes policy, Enable it and click OK.
    • Navigate to Computer Configuration >> Policies >> Administrative Templates >> Windows Components >> Event Log Service >><Event_Log>.  Double click the Control the location of the log file policy, Enable the policy and configure it to point to D:\<Event_Log_name.etvx>, then click OK.  Repeat these steps for each Event Log (Application, Security, Setup, and System).
  4. Reboot the PVS Capture VM, and log into it.  Open an administrative command prompt and run gpresult /r; under Computer Settings->Applied Group Policy Objects, verify the GPO name is listed.

Create PVS target device:

  1. Log into the Citrix PVS server and launch the Provisioning Services Console.
  2. Navigate to Sites>>{site name}>>Device Collections.  Right-click on the Collection and select Create Device.  Enter the name of the PVS Capture VM, ensure the Boot From option is set to vDisk, enter the MAC Address of the PVS Capture VM (in the instance's Profile page in the Ignite console), and click OK to create the PVS target device.

Create the capture image:

  1. Log into the PVS Capture VM
  2. Copy Citrix Provisioning Services ISO onto the VM, launch it, and click Target Device Installation.  Complete the wizard to install.
  3. Launch the Imaging Wizard after installation completes.  Click Next, enter the FQDN and credentials for the PVS server.
  4. Select Create a vDisk.  Enter a name for the captured image (e.g., VM-name_IMG_1), select the Store and set the vDisk type to Fixed.
  5. On the What to Image page, select Choose partitions to image and optionally increase volume size.  On the Configure Image Volumes page, select everything except D:
  6. Select Optimize the hard disk for Provisioning Services before imaging.  Click Edit Optimization Settings and ensure all options are selected.  Click Next and Create to create the capture.
  7. When prompted, select the option to not reboot the instance so it shuts down instead.
  8. In Ignite, on the Profile page of the instance that you want to boot to PXE, click Actions > Edit Instance > Edit boot order.
  9. Move the vNIC to the top of the boot order and click Save. Start the instance.
  10. Log into the instance. The Provisioning Services Imaging will automatically resume the capture.  Click Done when complete. Reboot if prompted.
  11. Import the saved Cloudistics VSS Provider registry entries by double-clicking on the file you exported from the registry. Reboot the instance for the registry change to persist.
  12. Shut down the instance.

Prepare the image for production use:

  1. Edit the instance Profile: delete the disk containing the OS (and any other disks that were captured by PVS) so only D: remains
  2. Create a template from the instance. Do not select the option to run sysprep.
  3. Log into the Citrix PVS Server and launch the Provisioning Services Console.
    • Navigate to the PVS store that contains the image.
    • Right-click on the captured image and select Properties.
    • From the vDisk Properties window, change the access mode from Private Image to Standard Image.
    • From the same window, change the Cache Type to Cache in device RAM with overflow on hard disk
    • Set the maximum amount of RAM on the device that will be used as a write-cache (e.g., 4-8GB); this will amount to all the RAM used by the instance.
    • Ensure the Enable Active Directory machine account password management and Enable streaming of this vDisk options are enabled. 
    • Click OK.
  4. On the PVS server, click the collection. Right-click on the target device, select Properties, and verify Boot from is still set to vDisk. If it isn't, set it to vDisk and click OK.
  5. Power on the PVS target device. It should automatically PXE boot.

Create a new PVS target device:

  1. Create a new instance from the template of the first target device, deselecting Start instance upon creation. Make note of the new instance's MAC address.
  2. Log into the PVS server and launch the Provisioning Services Console.  Navigate to "Sites">>{site name}>>Device Collections, right-click on Collection and select Create Device.
  3. In the Target Device Properties window, enter the name of the new instance, ensure boot from is set to vDisk, and enter the MAC address of the new instance. Click on the vDisks tab and click Add beside vDisks for this Device.  In the Assign vDisks window, select the PVS Image to use for this device and click OK.  In Target Device Properties, click OK to create the target device.
    • (Optional) To create multiple target devices simultaneously, right-click on the first target device in the collection and select Set Device as Template. Create a .csv file containing information about the new target devices (one device per line). The entries should be in the format:
      • DeviceName,MAC,SiteName,CollectionName,Description,Type
      • DeviceName = name of the new target device (machine name)
      • MAC = MAC address of new device (e.g., 001122334455, 00-11-22-33-44-55, or 00:11:22:33:44:55)
      • Type = 0 for production, 1 for test, 2 for maintenance
  4. Right-click on the newly created PVS target (or for multiple, select multiple target devices then right-click on them) and select Active Directory>>Create Machine Account.  In the window that appears, select the Organizational Unit to use (the one created for PVS targets), and click Create Account.
  5. Power on the new instance.  It should automatically PXE boot.


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