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In this post I will walk you through the process of creating, assigning and upgrading a new and existing Citrix AppDisk on your Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 estate. In the past I have covered adding Turbo Containers to Citrix AppDisks in this article I am going to just run through installing standard software into a Citrix AppDisk Layer, assigning the new AppDisk to an existing machine catalog, then updating that application to a later version.
Lets get going.
First, the software. For the initial AppDisk I am going to install 7Zip v9, then we will upgrade that disk to version 15.
Open Citrix Studio and navigate to AppDisks
On the right hand side in the action pane click Create AppDisk
Click Next to the Getting Started screen
Pick a size for your new AppDisk – for this installation a 3GB AppDisk is more than enough!
Pick a machine catalog to use for your AppDisk creation.
NOTE: There are some conditions that you will need to meet in order to use a machine catalog for Citrix AppDisk provisioning.
- The machine catalog needs to be provisioned using either MCS or PVS
- You need to have sufficient hosting space and compute to cater for the new machine to power up and create a new disk (the size you specified earlier)
- The machine you want to use cannot be a member of an existing delivery group
- Don’t create snapshots of the machine prior to creating the AppDisk
Give your new AppDisk a name (excuse the typo below)
Click Finish – your Citrix Studio will show the AppDisk as creating. At this point your Hypervisor will spin up a machine in your machine catalog, create and add a new disk to it and perform a pre-install inventory of the device. Don’t worry is it takes a while (it may well do) and let it reboot as needed.
Once Citrix Studio has finished the creation Citrix Studio will show as Ready to Install Applications
Log into the machine that Citrix Studio prepared for the new AppDisk and install the software you want into the layer. Just install it and configure it as you normally would.
Once finished with the install, log out of the machine and switch back to Citrix Studio. Right click your new AppDisk and select Seal AppDisk
Click Yes to the prompt
Citrix Studio will now show the disk as sealing
If you look at your hypervisor now you will see CPU and memory spikes on the machine Studio created. Don’t worry about this and just wait for it to do its thing, Studio is taking a post install inventory and writing the details back to the AppDisk. Once finished the machine will shut down.
Switch back to Citrix Studio and you will see the AppDisk as Ready
Navigate to Delivery Groups
Right click a delivery group that is provisioned with MCS or PVS and select Manage AppDisks
Click on Add to attach your new AppDisk
Select your AppDisk from the list and click OK
Click Next to specify the roll out schedule
Select how you want to apply the AppDisk to the delivery group. To attach the AppDisk the end point will need to be restarted so you can either do it now or wait for the next reboot. I am going to attach it immediately
Click finish to apply the changes
Wait for the delivery group to have an available machine then log into the desktop. You will note that 7Zip is now showing as installed.
Open the application and display the about screen and you will note that it is the version we installed into the AppDisk earlier
OK, so what happens when the vendor releases a new version of the software and you want to upgrade your deployment to all or some of your delivery groups.
Lets upgrade 7Zip to a newer version.
Switch back to Citrix Studio, navigate to AppDisks, locate your AppDisk you want to upgrade, right click it and select Create New Version
Select the machine catalog you want to use for the upgraded version. NOTE: The same rules apply with the machine catalogs here as earlier in the post.
Give you new AppDisk a name different to the prior version
Click on Create New Version, Citrix Studio will now show as Creating AppDisk. What Citrix Studio is doing now is creating a clone of your existing AppDisk, attaching it to your machine, booting it up and doing a pre install inventory
This may take a little while again, be patient and wait for Citrix Studio to show the AppDisk as Ready to Install Applications
Once done, log into the new machine used for AppDisk creation. You will note that 7Zip is installed, this is because we now have a clone of the old AppDisk attached to this server ready for the upgrade.
If you look at the server storage you will see the attached clone AppDisk
Once logged into the server run the software installer as normal and upgrade the software
Once complete, log out, switch back to Citrix Studio, locate your new AppDisk, right click it and click Seal AppDisk
If you want to know what machine Studio is using for the AppDisk creation (Although you probably already know!) you can select the AppDisk and at the bottom of Studio it will show the machine details for the machine being used
Click Yes to the prompt for sealing the AppDisk
Studio will show the disk as sealing
Again, be patient here as this may take a while. When Done Citrix Studio will show the AppDisk as ready
So, lets upgrade the software attached to our delivery group. In Citrix Studio right click the delivery group with the existing version of 7Zip attached. Then select Manage AppDisks
Click the old version of 7Zip and select Remove
Then click Add, select the new version of 7Zip and click on OK to attach it to the delivery group
Select the roll out method again. I will use immediately
Click Finish to apply the changes
Wait for a machine from the delivery group to become available again and log into the desktop. Again, you will notice that 7Zip is installed
If we open up the application and look at the about screen you will see that it is now running the upgraded version of the software
Thats it, a guide on how to create, assign and upgrade Citrix AppDisks in XenDesktop 7.8.
Hope it helps some of you out, as always please comment and share.