Configuring XenApp 6.5 with HTML 5

First the basics: "...HTML5 is a markup language used for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web and a core technology of the Internet. It is the fifth revision of the HTML standard (created in 1990 and standardized as HTML 4 as of 1997)[2] and, as of December 2012, is a candidate recommendation of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).[3] Its core aims have been to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices (web browsersparsers, etc.)..." source: Wikipedia

What is Receiver for HTML5 1.1?

There are a lot of use cases out there where the deployment of the traditional Citrix Receiver (currently on version 4.1 Cumulative Update 1) is not always a feasible solution. A great alternative provided by Citrix is called Receiver for HTML 5.(currently on version 1.1)

Although the name implies the use of a Receiver client, the actual client (A Windows fat client running Windows XP, 7 or 8, a thin client, a Mac computer, an iOS or Android or a Blackberry device (among others) DOES NOT need any Citrix Receiver package installed; The end-user working on this client device opens a Citrix StoreFront  URL in a browser that supports HTML 5 (the big three browsers support HTML 5) and after entering his/her credentials, the applications are enumerated and the user can launch the apps and desktops provided.

StoreFront is the back end engine which actually has the HTML 5 client configured; so once you configure StoreFront with the HTML 5 via "Receiver for Web" node and the appropriate Store to enable HTML5 access followed by the  "Deploy Citrix Receiver." option you are almost ready to go

The second part of the configuration is on the XenApp side.

There are four important things that have to be configured/checked on the XenApp server

1. Make sure you have the latest Citrix Rollup Pack (as of this writing, in March 2014, the latest Rollup Pack is 03 - per CTX129229 ); the original media that came with XenApp 6.5 DOES NOT contain the CtxLibWebSocket.dll file which is necessary to be present (when installed, this file is located on the C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\XTE\Modules folder

2. Make sure you have the latest Citrx GPM console installed (as of March 2014, the latest version is 1.7); The original GPM engine that came with the original XenApp  media has GPM 1.5 console which doesn't contain the WebSockets policies); You need to visit the Citrix download page , log in with your Citrix login credentials and browse to  Citrix donwloads page and download the file. extract the contents and execute the CitrixGroupPolicyManagement_x64.msi file

3. Once step 2 is completed then you need to configure the HTML 5 policies via Apps Center:
So open Apps Center and navigate to Policies-Computer tab, verify the Computer tab is selected and click Edit then click the Settings tab under ICA category. Click WebSockets, and then Add on the WebSockets connections policy and select the Allowed radio button and click OK.
Click Add on WebSockets port number and set the port to 8008 or use the check box for the default port. The settings must now be reflected, then click OK.

4. Make sure that the XTE service is listening on two ports: 2598 and 8008 (type on a CLI prompt: netstat -bano > C:\netstat.txt and when opening the txt file look for XTE.exe; it should have two instances of XTE.exe liste; one is associated with port 2598 and another associated with port 8008)

Note: Alternatively, you can check this registry location HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Citrix\XTEConfig\ for the Websocket configuration
AND also on this location: (HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Citrix\ICAPolicies) “WebSocketsPort” and “AcceptWebSocketsConnections” should be present if they were both set correctly.

These steps are also well explained on the following CTX article: CTX139239

From Citrix E-Docs: "...Receiver for HTML5 integrates with Access Gateway and StoreFront to enable users to access desktops and applications directly through their web browsers. Resources provided by XenDesktop, AppController, and XenApp are aggregated in a StoreFront store and made available through a Receiver for Web site. Users without Citrix clients installed on their devices log on to the site using HTML5-compatible web browsers and access their desktops and applications directly in browser tabs...."

Good article explaining an issue with missing CtxLibWebSocket.dll on a XenApp server is available here.
I can only see the use of Receiver for HTML 5 feature increasing and becoming a popular component for the Citrix admins out there,since it really makes their lives much easier once you have the initial configuration completed. It is also easier on the end-user who no longer has to worry about what version of Receiver they have and if they ever need to upgrade to a newer version or not


2 Responses to “Configuring XenApp 6.5 with HTML 5”

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