Chapter 10: Administration of Citrix MetaFrame Servers

Chapter 10: Administration of Citrix MetaFrame Servers

The Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server extends the functionality of terminal servers considerably. This chapter covers the tools and concepts that come into play after the installation of the MetaFrame server and the corresponding ICA clients have been completed. In this chapter we’ll do the following:

  • Get to know the MetaFrame administration tools that configure the connections, handle the day-to-day administrative tasks, and set up licenses.

  • Learn what published applications, desktops, and content are needed and how to set them up.

  • See how Citrix approaches the problematic issue of printing and offers practical solutions.

  • Read about the extensive scalability of MetaFrame environments and about their limitations.

  • Examine the options for making a MetaFrame environment secure.

MetaFrame Administration Tools

MetaFrame administration tools are the programs that the administrator uses on the server side to configure and manage the Citrix MetaFrame server. These tools are integrated into the terminal server, and they allow ICA clients remote access to the complete desktop or to published applications. The MetaFrame settings are therefore carried out in different standard tools that are similar in many ways to the corresponding administration programs for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services. In some cases, particularly for MetaFrame-specific configurations, the work can be done even with Windows Server 2003 standard tools.

Citrix Connection Configuration

An ICA connection is the logical access that a MetaFrame server provides to its clients. Citrix Connection Configuration is the tool used for setting up the ICA protocol after the installation and during the operation of MetaFrame. It has many of the configuration options that Terminal Services Configuration provides. (See Chapter 2.)

Adjustable Parameters

In the same way as for RDP connections, various parameters for ICA sessions can be configured for the connection, the user, or the clients. Settings for the connections relate to all users and clients that communicate with the server in a predefined manner—for example, using a specified network card in a server that has more than one network card installed. These settings are established in the ICA Connection Configuration. User settings relate to an individual user or user group, and the connection type is irrelevant. The corresponding configuration is carried out through the extended properties fields in user administration. The client configuration was covered in the “Program Neighborhood” section in Chapter 9. It concerns mostly the default settings for screen size, screen colors, logon information, security, and compression.


Citrix Connection Configuration allows a range of parameters to be set up differently for various types of connections on the MetaFrame server. For many of these settings, the possibility exists to overwrite user-specific or client-specific values. This indicates that the connection-specific settings have a higher priority status.

The hierarchy of the ICA connection settings is very similar to the familiar RDP connection configuration hierarchy (also discussed in Chapter 4) of a terminal server with no extensions and is as follows:

  • Policies The standards defined by the Management Console for MetaFrame XP have the highest priority. However, it is important not to confuse these policies with the Group Policies in the Microsoft Active Directory directory service.

  • Connection configuration The settings can overwrite both client and user- specific settings, but is still subject to the predefined policies.

  • User configuration The settings at the user and group level that can be carried out in computer administration to overwrite the client settings.

  • Client configuration The settings for a user on the respective ICA client have the lowest priority.

Selecting a Configuration

When the Citrix Connection Configuration interface is launched, a rather unassuming window appears. It primarily lists the installed communication protocols, including their key parameters. However, when this window is compared with the Terminal Services Configuration, a small difference in the start views becomes apparent. In fact, after the installation of Citrix MetaFrame, the settings for the ICA parameters can be set, almost without exception, by using Terminal Services Configuration. The Terminal Services Configuration was developed as an MMC snap-in, which is contrary to the Citrix Connection Configuration. This explains the major differences in appearance that emerge as one works with the two tools.

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Figure 10-1: Comparison of the main windows of Terminal Services Configuration (left) and Citrix Connection Configuration (right front).

It is even possible to create a new ICA connection within the Terminal Services MMC. If the Connections list item is enabled in the left-hand window, the main menu will display the option Action\Create New Connection. By clicking here, a wizard is launched that allows a new ICA or RDP connection to be defined.

By selecting the ICA protocol in the Citrix Connection Configuration interface, its respective parameters can be configured. The start dialog allows the connection name, connection type, and transport protocol to be viewed and the comments to be modified. In the local network, the LAN adapter and the maximum number of ICA connections for the chosen adapter can also be selected.

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Figure 10-2: The Citrix Connection Configuration start dialog for modifying the ICA protocol.

The Security menu item in the main Citrix Connection Configuration interface window can be used to set the access permissions for individual users or groups for the type of connection selected. This includes the same options as for RDP, which are described in Chapter 2.

Client Settings

If the Client settings are configured through this interface, a number of options can be set in the corresponding dialog box, some of which are specific to ICA. These control the settings for local interfaces, printers, maximum color depth, clipboard, and system sounds. Again, there is a corresponding tab in the Terminal Services Configuration MMC for the same settings.

Client assignments for local drives, printers, LPT and COM interfaces, clipboard, and audio support can be individually enabled or disabled for each connection configuration. If the client’s drive assignment is not disabled, the client drive assignments will automatically be re-created during the session logon procedure. The logical order of the drive letters follows the convention selected at the time of MetaFrame installation.

If the client’s printer assignment and the LPT connection assignment are not disabled, the printer connected to the client will automatically be integrated during the session logon procedure. If the client’s default printer is also to be used as the default printer for the session on the MetaFrame server, this option can also be selected at this point. It is even possible to completely block out the server’s printer. To minimize the time it takes to generate the assigned printers during logon, it is possible to assign the client’s default printer only.

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Figure 10-3: The respective dialog boxes for configuring client settings in Terminal Services Configuration (left back) and in Citrix Connection Configuration (right front). The check box By Default, Connect Only The Client’s Main Printer that is missing in the Terminal Services Configuration can be found there in the ICA Settings tab.

Multimedia Bandwidth

The ICA protocol may be configured for better audio data stream control than with RDP. It is, for instance, possible to transmit audio at various quality levels within ICA.

If the ICA settings button is selected in the Citrix Connection Configuration start dialog, a dialog box appears that allows audio quality to be modified. The same ICA parameters can also be set up in Terminal Services Configuration, where there is an additional tab for the purpose. This tab is also called ICA settings. Figure 10-4 shows a direct comparison of the two configuration tools.

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Figure 10-4: The audio quality settings for controlling the multimedia bandwidth. Highlighting the corresponding tabs in Terminal Services Configuration (left back) and the dialog field in Citrix Connection Configuration (right front).

The three possible quality levels for audio data streams can be set as follows:

  • Low In this setting, the audio data sent to the client is compressed to a maximum of 16 kilobits per second (Kbps). This substantially impairs the audio quality, but allows for acceptable performance in connections with very low bandwidth.

  • Medium This setting is recommended for most LANs. All audio data sent to the client is compressed to a maximum of 64 Kbps. This impairs the sound quality slightly, but it is acceptable in most cases.

  • High For this setting, the server must have a lot of bandwidth and available high processor performance. The transmission of audio data to the client requires about 1.3 megabits per second (Mbps), but results in a sound quality comparable to that of a CD. However, the clients are often unable to render this sound accurately.

Advanced Connection Settings

By far the widest possibilities for configuring an ICA connection are available in the Citrix Connection Configuration under the Advanced... button in the start dialog. Apart from a few differences, the parameters of the ICA protocol are the same as those of the RDP protocol. For details, please refer to Chapter 2, which contains a description of the individual functions in connection with Terminal Services Configuration. The only additional options available in Citrix Connection Configuration are Only Run Published Applications and Disable Wallpaper.

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Figure 10-5: The configuration of all major ICA parameters. In this example, many settings are already predetermined by the server administrator.

The user interface in Citrix Connection Configuration is considered by most administrators to be less intuitive than that of Terminal Services Configuration. On the other hand, with Citrix Connection Configuration, almost all settings can be carried out in one dialog box, without having to switch between tabs.

It can take a little while to get used to the naming conventions for shadowing in the Citrix Connection Configuration. For this reason, remote assistance options are compared to shadowing options in the following list:

  • Is Disabled in the Citrix Connection Configuration is the same as Do Not Allow Remote Control in Terminal Services Configuration.

  • Is Enabled: Input OFF, Notify ON in the Citrix Connection Configuration is the same as Use Remote Control With The Following Settings: Check Require User’s Permission and Select View The Session in Terminal Services Configuration.

  • Is Enabled: Input OFF, Notify OFF in the Citrix Connection Configuration is the same as Use Remote Control With The Following Settings: Uncheck Require User’s Permission and Select View The Session in Terminal Services Configuration. Because of privacy protection reasons, this option is prohibited in some countries.

  • Is Enabled: Input ON, Notify OFF in the Citrix Connection Configuration is the same as Use Remote Control With The Following Settings: Uncheck Require User’s Permission and Select Interact With The Session in Terminal Services Configuration. Because of privacy protection reasons, this option is prohibited in some countries.

  • Is Enabled: Input ON, Notify ON in the Citrix Connection Configuration is the same as Use Remote Control With the Following Settings: Check Require User’s Permission and Select Interact With The Session in Terminal Services Configuration.

Management Console for MetaFrame XP

After an environment based on Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server is successfully installed and configured, the issue of administration needs to be considered. The Management Console for MetaFrame XP is a centralized tool available for this purpose.

The Management Console for MetaFrame XP is a Java application and therefore requires a suitable Java Virtual Machine. This is established on the target server automatically when Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server is installed. However, it is possible in principle to install the Management Console for MetaFrame XP and the Java Virtual Machine on any other suitable computer in the network.


The Management Console for MetaFrame XP can be directly invoked using the command line, if required. To do so, you need to go into the \Programs\citrix\administration folder and to enter java –jar tool.jar in the command prompt. The same command can also be used to publish the Management Console.

When the Management Console for MetaFrame XP is launched through Start\All Programs\Citrix\Management Console or by using the command line, the first thing that appears is a dialog box, which can be used to log on to a suitable server. It is possible to log on to any server in a MetaFrame server farm because they all access the same set of data and configuration options through the common zone data collector (ZDC). However, to consume less network bandwidth and also to improve the response time of the Management Console, it is best to log on to the MetaFrame server that contains the zone data collector. This is directly connected to the IMA database server. The configuration information for the IMA database server can be viewed and modified through the Management Console.

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Figure 10-6: The logon dialog for launching the Management Console for MetaFrame XP. If the pass through authentication is selected when the Management Console is invoked the first time, next time the logon occurs automatically if the user is already working on the MetaFrame server console.

As few instances as possible of the Management Console for MetaFrame XP should be opened in parallel because they cause quite a large permanent stream of data. In addition, this often leads to problems if several administrators modify the same objects at the same time.

Farms and Server Properties

If the main window of the Management Console for MetaFrame XP is opened after a successful logon, all relevant information concerning the MetaFrame server farm can be accessed. The list of elements on the left-hand side is known as the console structure and displays a hierarchy of objects underneath a root object. The object in the topmost position in the management console structure is the server farm. Under it are positioned the administration functions and components.


The access to the objects of the console structure is controlled by the delegated administrator options described under "Administrators" later in this chapter."

If the topmost object in the list containing the name of the server farm is enabled, the related properties can be modified in a corresponding dialog box. Several options are available here:

  • Connection Limits Determines the maximum number of connections and log options.

  • ICA Keep-Alive Offers the possibility to set a heartbeat that is sent from a server to the client devices to determine if a connection is open.

  • ICA Settings Configures the ICA display and the automatic reconnection of clients.

  • Information Contains connection information, published resources, and zone information.

  • Interoperability Configures the compatibility with the earlier version, MetaFrame 1.8.

  • MetaFrame XP Settings Responds to ICA broadcasts, client time zones, DNS address resolution for the XML service, enables content redirection, and allows remote connection to the Windows Server 2003 console session.

  • SNMP Enables and configures the SNMP agents on all servers.

  • SpeedScreen Browser Acceleration Optimizes the screen output and defines the handling of the Macromedia Flash Player.

  • Zones Displays all zones in the server farm; the individual servers can be prioritized for the election of the zone data collector.

    Click To expand
    Figure 10-7: The Management Console for MetaFrame XP viewing the current sessions of a server within a farm.

So, the settings for each server in a farm can be viewed and modified. The current status of the server is displayed on the right-hand side in various categories. These contain information categorized by users, sessions, processes, licenses, printers, printer drivers, and other aspects, depending on the version installed. Different actions belong to each category of server properties. In the User and Session categories, for instance, it is possible to connect sessions, disconnect them, shadow them, reset them, query the status, log off, or send messages.

The general configuration of the server can be accessed through Properties in the Actions menu item. As with the server farm, a separate dialog box is used, which categorizes the configuration options based on the following (depending on the product version, you might not be able to see all the options):

  • Hotfixes List of all installed service packs and hotfixes.

  • ICA Keep-Alive Selection of the option to use the farm-wide configuration of ICA Keep-alive or to configure a server’s keep-alive settings individually.

  • ICA Settings Configuration of the farm settings or the individual settings of the ICA display, and the automatic reconnection of clients.

  • Ignored Processes List of processes that are not monitored if the Resource Manager is installed; in the default settings these are system processes.

  • Information Information on the version of MetaFrame installed, the operating system, and the network port used.

  • MetaFrame XP Settings Dialog box containing some important configuration options. Here, the system can be made compatible with earlier versions of MetaFrame and the ICA browsers available there. This affects browser lists using UDP and the response to ICA broadcasts. Furthermore, server logon and shadowing logs can be enabled or disabled. There is also the option to change the selected ports for communications with the XML service and for the client- to-server content redirection of documents.

  • Metric Summary Schedule Defines when the Resource Manager data is summarized into a report, if the Resource Manager is installed.

  • Printer Bandwidth Available client printer bandwidth and setting of an upper limit (in Kbps) for the bandwidth used by client print jobs.

  • Published Applications List of published applications. For improved clarity, the list can be divided into groups. These groups are, however, independent of the configured applications grouping in the Program Neighborhood client.

  • Reboot Schedule In combination with the Resource Manager, it is possible to set times when the system should automatically reboot.

  • Resource Manager Alerts Recipients Configuration of recipients of e-mails or text messages with warnings that can be sent from the Resource Manager, as long as the latter is installed on the system.

  • SNMP General Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) configuration of the farm settings or individual activation and configuration of SNMP agents. This is used to allow communication with a system that allows the MetaFrame server to be managed using SNMP.

  • SpeedScreen Browser Acceleration Improves the response times for published applications that generate HTML output. This includes Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, or Internet Explorer version 5.5 or later. Can, if required, optimize integrated output through Macromedia Flash Player.

The data display in the Management Console for MetaFrame XP can be updated in two ways: manually and automatically. Manual updating is the default setting and can be invoked by pressing F5. Automatic updating for user and license data can be selected by going to View\Preferences... in the menu. However, this setting is not recommended because it uses up a lot of network bandwidth.

If the number of servers in a farm increases and it becomes difficult to maintain an overview of them, the servers can be logically grouped in folders. Go to Actions \New\Folder to create a new folder. This can also be achieved by simply right-clicking the Servers node in the left-hand pane and from that menu selecting New Folder. Please note that grouping servers logically in this way has no effect on their functionality.

Although this represents only a rough overview of the possibilities of the management console, it is easy to see that it offers centralized access to a wide range of configuration options. This chapter goes on to outline more specific possibilities of the Management Console for MetaFrame XP.


All available options of an enabled list object can be accessed in the left-hand window of the management console by clicking on Actiions. The same is true for selecting the available actions through the context menu of a list object.


The policies in the management console are completely independent of the Group Policies in Active Directory and therefore represent a separate infrastructure of permissions for MetaFrame settings. The policies allow selected settings for the Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server to be assigned to certain users or user groups. New policies can be created easily by going to Action\Policy\Create Policy or by using the context menu. Existing policies can have user accounts and a relative priority with respect to other policies assigned to them.

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Figure 10-8: Configuring a policy using the context menu.

The configuration options within a policy are quite extensive. They allow exceptions to the default settings to be defined for certain users or user groups. It is possible, for instance, to define a rule for a user group that uses a higher encryption level. Rules in a policy with higher priority override policies of lower priority.

Policies can always be used whenever the basic settings of the Management Console for MetaFrame XP are not to apply to all users equally. This is often the case in large companies or organizational structures. Individual users or user groups are assigned to the policies that should apply to them.

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Figure 10-9: Defining a rule within a policy.


MetaFrame administrators manage the settings of server farms. In the case of large- scale installations, it can be helpful to delegate individual tasks to different persons at different hierarchical levels. For example, it is often desirable to give an administrator the responsibility for adding and removing servers to and from the farm only, therefore allowing this administrator to perform only this task. That is why the Management Console for MetaFrame XP has the option of assigning user- defined permissions.

Through the context menu of the MetaFrame XP Administrators list object or the Actions\New\MetaFrame XP Administrator... menu item, it is possible to open a wizard to add a new administrator. After an existing user account or group has been selected, the permissions for all objects can be defined. This applies especially to user policies, printers, licenses, servers, sessions, and published applications. Depending on the version of Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server used, there might be other objects in the list as well.

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Figure 10-10: Wizard dialog box for adding a new MetaFrame XP administrator.

MetaFrame administrators with user-defined access rights can execute all of the tasks assigned to them without requiring full access to the farm configuration. If one of these administrators picks up an object for which he or she does not have permissions, the right-hand side of the console remains empty.


Using Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server requires Citrix licenses. It is, of course, also essential to have Microsoft licenses for the terminal server, as described in Chapter 2. The Citrix licenses allow access to the extensions that a MetaFrame server offers when compared with an unmodified terminal server.

There are two types of Citrix licenses:

  • Product licenses Required for the different types of Citrix products. In the case of MetaFrame XP Presentation Server, these are the product licenses for the different versions of XPs, XPa, XPe, Feature Release 1, Feature Release 2, or Feature Release 3. As of Feature Release 3, Feature Release levels require an additional license separate from the product license. For each version of Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server, only one product license is required per server farm. An unlimited number of servers can be added to the farm. Each product license includes a single connection license so that an administrator can always log on to do any necessary configuration work. The only exception to this licensing model is the demonstration version of the MetaFrame XP Presentation Server, which requires a license for every server.

  • Connection licenses Required for users who log on to the servers in a farm using an ICA connection. The number of connection licenses required corresponds to the number of concurrent users. The Citrix licensing model therefore differs considerably from the Microsoft licensing model, which is based on one license per named user or per device. (See Chapter 2.) The connection licenses for a MetaFrame server farm are dependent on the product version; however, connection licenses for a higher or robust version can be used with a lower or more simple version. The Citrix connection licenses are managed in a common pool that can be used for all servers in the farm.

All licenses for the Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server are managed at the farm level and stored in the IMA database. Each MetaFrame server knows which license it needs and retrieves it from the IMA database, providing the latter is available, at the start of the IMA service. Each server’s local host cache obtains a copy of the license information to enable it to remain functioning if the connection to the IMA database is lost. The licenses are monitored at run time by the zone data collector.

The connection licenses are usually kept in a common pool and are therefore available to all MetaFrame servers in the farm. However, it is possible to tie connection licenses to an individual MetaFrame server. Some environments require this for organizational reasons.


If a MetaFrame server in the farm loses the connection to the IMA database, users will still be able to log on to it for a maximum of 96 hours. After this time period has elapsed, it will be impossible to log on without a connection to the IMA database.

License Components

To make both license types manageable for different product versions, the licenses consist of several components. Knowledge of these components is helpful in understanding the administrative tasks connected with licensing.

  • Product Code An eight-digit number that gives a MetaFrame server its product identity. Citrix distinguishes between XPs, XPa, and XPe and between versions for sale, not for resale, for evaluation, for demonstration, and for beta tests. Additionally, there are the feature release versions that generate their own resulting product code in combination with a product identity. With this number, the MetaFrame server knows which license(s) it has to request from the IMA database when the IMA service is launched.

  • Serial Number Each MetaFrame server license consists of a 25-digit serial number. This number is entered using the Management Console for MetaFrame XP either during the installation or during administrative tasks. Using its unique serial number, a MetaFrame server can identify which product licenses and how many connection licenses were purchased. It might be necessary to enter several serial numbers to establish all product and connection licenses on the MetaFrame server farm.

  • Machine Code A randomly generated eight-digit number that is added to a license’s serial number during the installation. This prevents a license number being used for other server farms. The serial number and the machine code together are often called the license number.

  • Activation Code Before the licenses added to a MetaFrame environment by keying in the corresponding serial numbers can be used permanently, they need to be activated. This involves registering the serial numbers and the corresponding machine code with Citrix, whereupon they will be assigned to a fixed owner. To be activated, both the serial number and the machine code must be sent to Citrix, who will then generate a unique 10-digit activation code. This code must then be keyed in to the respective MetaFrame server. The easiest way to do this is to request an activation code via the Citrix portal at The MetaFrame environment can be used for a limited period without activating the license. For most Citrix licenses, this is 35 days. After this time, the environment will stop working if it hasn’t been activated.

Citrix offers other types of licenses that are suitable for migration, upgrading, or for large companies. For the latter in particular, it can be very time-consuming to activate a large number of MetaFrame servers. This is why Citrix provides the Mlicense command, which allows the process of activation to be automated.

License Management

License management is done through the Licenses list object in the Management Console for MetaFrame XP. All license information can be viewed or modified in four tabs on the right-hand side of the management console.

  • Summary This tab provides an overview of the licenses installed, focusing on the product codes.

  • Connection Displays all available connection licenses. Double-clicking any listed license brings up a dialog box in which the corresponding properties can be modified. This also includes adding, activating, and deleting licenses.

  • Product Displays all available product licenses. Double-clicking any listed license brings up a dialog box in which the corresponding properties can be modified. This also includes adding, activating, and deleting licenses.

  • License Numbers This tab displays all license numbers that are installed. The status of the license numbers is shown by the words Not Activated or Activated. Double-clicking a license brings up a dialog box displaying an overview of the license sets and the combination of serial number and machine code.

    Click To expand
    Figure 10-11: The product licenses view.

The Actions\License menu item can be used to add, activate, or delete licenses or to copy them to the clipboard. It can also be used to create a new server-related assignment of licenses so that the licenses are no longer available in the common pool.

Shadow Taskbar

The actions of other users can be monitored by redirecting or shadowing their sessions. The session being shadowed is displayed in the session of the person executing the command. The session being shadowed can be controlled from the other session using the mouse and keyboard. Under the default settings, the shadowed user is asked to allow or reject the shadowing of the session. The mouse, keyboard, and notification options can be controlled for connections by the Terminal Services Configuration or Citrix Connection Configuration utility programs, or by the user administration for individual users.


A shadowing session must support the screen resolution used in the respective shadowed session. The system console cannot be shadowed, and within a console session no other sessions can be shadowed.

The Shadow Taskbar allows shadowing from one location to begin following correct authentication. After activating the Shadow button, you can choose which user session should be shadowed in the environment of the user initiating the shadowing.

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Figure 10-12: Selecting a user session to shadow.

To facilitate a better overview of the shadowed sessions, each is represented in the Shadow Taskbar by a separate button. These buttons can be used to switch quickly between the open shadowed sessions.

For security reasons, the start and the end of the mirroring icon bar can be logged in the Event Viewer. The same applies to the start and end of shadowing sessions. This function is enabled through the context menu of the Shadow taskbar. Furthermore, a shadowed user can terminate the shadowing of the respective session at any time through a special dialog box.

Figure 10-13: The option to terminate shadowing of a user session.

SpeedScreen Latency Reduction Manager

A frequent point of criticism from users is the time lag that occurs between entering an instruction and the session responding to the corresponding mouse action or keyboard input. This time lag is known as latency. Depending on the performance level of clients, network, and server, and the signal runtime between the involved components, latency might create unsuitable conditions for the productive use of a terminal server environment.

To resolve this situation, Citrix developed SpeedScreen technology and the Latency Reduction Manager. SpeedScreen makes it possible to precalculate a local reaction to user input based on the available information at the client level and to display the result. Any minor deviations to the image calculated by the server are corrected when the server is contacted and returns the real image. The slow reaction speed of the human eye means that the corrections between the precalculated and the real image are usually not noticed.


This technology existed with traditional green terminals, as well. It was called the local echo. This name is still used today for the reduction of latency times with terminal servers. Because green terminals do not use graphical elements and use only certain determined font types, the technology was relatively simple to realize in that environment. In a terminal server environment, the term local echo refers to entering letters in a character string only and not to the whole SpeedScreen functionality. The client uses the same or a type as close as possible to the font type that is locally available to represent the letter in advance after the user has entered it. Only when the MetaFrame server has answered with the real letter is the display adjusted where applicable and the correct letter displayed.

The SpeedScreen Latency Reduction Manager allows global settings for immediate mouse-click response and local text echoing. This can also be enabled for individual applications and their input boxes. This is relatively time-consuming, however, because each individual application window and all of the desired input boxes need to be incorporated separately. The only connections that will generally benefit from this are those with small bandwidths or long signal runtimes between geographically distant locations.

ICA Client Update Configuration

A common problem in large network environments is the management of the clients and their software versions. Basically, this is also true of the MetaFrame environment. A special tool has therefore been provided that allows the ICA clients to be updated as smoothly as possible. The starting point for this tool is a server-based database with the necessary ICA client software and the corresponding updating functionality located on the ICA clients. A corresponding service is established on the server that copies the new files onto the client with an existing ICA connection.

The database on the server contains all of the installation files that belong to the supported ICA clients. Each ICA client has a unique product, model, variant, and version number that allow it to be identified. If a new version of the installation files for an ICA client is incorporated into the database, the update takes place the next time older clients are connected. The administrator can determine whether a user can intervene in this process. A central database therefore allows all of the ICA clients to be updated.

Client software is added and deleted using the options provided in the Client menu item. New clients to be incorporated into the database can be downloaded from Citrix via the Internet.


An update using the ICA Client Update Configuration tool can be performed only for clients of the same model. This means it does not allow migrating a 16-bit client to a 32-bit client.

New client models can be added using a corresponding menu item. To do this, the path to the installation files must be entered. Then the display shows the name, product, version, model, variant, and icon for the client. Finally, the updating options on the client platform are determined.

The database might contain several clients with the same details concerning product, model, variant, and version. However, only one client can be enabled for each category. This client is the one used for the automatic update.


Under the default settings, the client update database is located in the %SystemRoot%\ICA\ClientDB directory. A new database can be set up on the local server’s hard disk or on a shared network drive.

The ICA Client Update Configuration has some shortcomings, which is why many administrators of production environments do not use it. Its inability to support Multicast mechanisms or compression procedures means that more suitable software distribution tools often need to be applied, as described in Chapter 5.

Additional Functions and Commands

Besides the standard functions described earlier, Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server also contains integrated components for the specific support of large server environments. This includes the management of resources on the one hand and the automated installation of applications on the other. Some of the Resource Manager’s properties were implied in the descriptions earlier. A more precise description can be found in Chapter 11. The Installation Manager allows applications to be distributed to MetaFrame servers in different package formats. In this respect, the underlying concepts are similar to those of commercial tools for software distribution, as presented in Chapter 5. This is why we will not cover the Citrix Installation Manager in more detail.

In addition to the graphical tools for system administration, Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server comes with a large number of command line extensions. In particular, they allow system parameters to be changed and the runtime environment to be analyzed. The following table lists the special MetaFrame commands individually.

Table 10.1: The MetaFrame Commands




Configures the settings for automatically reconnecting clients to a MetaFrame server or a MetaFrame server farm.


Specifies an alternative IP address, which a MetaFrame server relays to the client if it requests one. This function is feasible for MetaFrame servers behind firewalls.


Secure script interpreter as a simple alternative to Windows Script Host for executing commands before an application is launched. The App commands consist of the elements Copy, Delete, Deleteall, Execute, Path, and Workdir.


Adds another server to a published application.


Generates logon and logoff reports in the security log of the Event Viewer. The output can also be redirected into a file.

Change client

Displays the assignment of hard disks, COM connections, and LPT connections on client devices and allows them to be modified. All parameters of the Change command (such as Logon, Port, or User) are part of the standard scope of Windows Server 2003 and not of Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server.


Allows the membership of a MetaFrame server to be changed to a different farm.


Used for adding, deleting, requesting, and managing licenses on MetaFrame servers in a farm.


Sets the number of printer queues for clients.


Changes the connection port of the Citrix XML service.


Changes the assignments of drive letters on a MetaFrame server. This command should never be executed after applications have been installed on the MetaFrame server.


Checks the consistency of the IMA data store.


Configures the IMA data store for a MetaFrame server farm.


Configures the connection port for TCP/IP that is used by the ICA protocol. The default port is 1494.


Configures the connection port for TCP/IP that is used by the ICA protocol. The default port for accessing the management console is 2512 and for the accessing the IMA database it is 2513.


Migrates the IMA data store from Microsoft Access to Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Database Engine (MSDE). The Migratetomsde service program should be executed from the Support\MSDE folder on the CD provided with the MetaFrame XP Presentation Server.


This command is used for adding and activating several licenses on a MetaFrame server including the creation of a backup copy. Text and XML files containing the license numbers and other required information provide the basis for the automated execution of this task.

Query farm

Displays farm information.

Query process

Displays process information.

Query server

Displays the status of the available MetaFrame server in the network.

Query session

Displays session information.

Query termserver

Displays information on the terminal server.

Query user

Displays user information.


Allows the configuration of display settings that affect the graphical output for ICA clients.