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Control XenDesktop 5 VM Logoff

The release of Citrix XenDesktop 5 introduced a powerful PowerShell engine that allows you to tweak and script almost every aspect of XenDesktop 5. This time, I want to show you a handy little tip that I frequently use when troubleshooting or even during a proof of concept.

When users connect to a XenDesktop 5-pooled VM, the default behavior is to restart that VM as soon as the user logs off. This action flushes all the changes that the user has made during the session and restores the VM to its pristine state, ready to accept a new user. This behavior, of course, only affects VMs that are based on a master image using MCS in Pooled mode or using Streamed with Provisioning Services.

While this behavior is very desirable when everything is working well and there are no issues, it can quickly become very annoying when you are troubleshooting, because the VM will reboot every time you log off. This is also an annoyance if you are in a POC and need to log off but don't want the VM to reboot.

To change this log-off behavior, you can use the PowerShell tab from the Citrix Desktop Studio console as follows:

  1. Load the correct Citrix modules that enable this feature. In most cases, these modules are enabled by default. But just in case they are not, run this command: Add-PSSnapin Citrix.*
  2. Identify which Desktop Group you want to apply this change against. You would typically do this against the Desktop group you are working on. To list the available Desktop Groups, run this: Get-BrokerDesktopGroup
  3. Once you have identified the Desktop Group, change the log-off behavior from "reboot VM" to "don't reboot VM" by running this command: Set-BrokerDesktopGroup -Name "DG Name" -ShutdownDesktopsAfterUse $False

When you are done troubleshooting or if for any reason you want to change the log-off behavior back to reboot VMs, run this command: Set-BrokerDesktopGroup -Name "DG Name" -ShutdownDesktopsAfterUse $True

PowerShell is very useful when working with software like XenDesktop, where you need to script changes.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 03/02/2011 at 12:49 PM


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