Step-by-Step – Install Citrix XenApp 7.13 Server VDA

Hello and welcome to the next part of the series dealing with installing a Citrix XenApp / XenDesktop 7.13 on Windows Server 2016.

This is the manual part where we are doing a next, next, I agree walk-through for all of you that are new to Citrix XenApp or want to see what changed in the installation from older versions.

Be sure to take a look at the prerequisites before moving on:

Supported operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2016, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2012 R2, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2012, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter Editions

The installer automatically deploys the following requirements, which are also available on the Citrix installation media in the Support folders:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 (4.6 and 4.6.1 are also supported)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 (Windows Server 2008 R2 only)
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1, 2010 SP1, and 2013 Runtimes (32-bit and 64-bit)

The installer automatically installs and enables Remote Desktop Services role services, if they are not already installed and enabled.

You are ready?

Insert the DVD in the drive or mount the ISO file. If the installer does not launch automatically, double-click the AutoSelect application or the mounted drive.

Click START either in the XenApp or XenDesktop line.


On the next screen Choose Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Server OS.

On the next screen choose “Enable connections to a server machine” because we haven´t installed Provisioning Services yet. Click NEXT.

Leave the option for Citrix Receiver enabled and choose NEXT. You could also uncheck the Citrix Receiver option if you don´t want to create shortcuts through Citrix Receiver or do not want to test double-hop scenarios.

On the next screen choose if you want to be able to integrate App-V packages on your VDA. if will leave the checkmark enabled. This gives us the chance to install the App-V infrastructure later. Click NEXT.

In the next screen choose to configure the location of the Delivery Controller manually. In a later configuration step, we will configure it via Group Policy.

If you want to dive deeper into the configuration options I suggest the “VDA Configuration Options – Part 1” Blog Post by Martin Zugec which brakes down the configuration options into those 5 possibilities:

  1. Auto-Update Method
  2. Policy-based Method (LGPO or GPO)
  3. Registry-based Method (Manual, GPP, specified during installation)
  4. AD-based Method (Legacy OU discovery)
  5. MCS-based Method (Personality.ini)

For now we should be fine with “Do it later”. NEXT.

The installer will ask us one more time if we are sure. Yes, we are. Confirm the message with YES.

Leave all the next Features enabled because it should be fine for our lab or test environment.

Optimize performance will set some optimizations for the VDA (only in virtual environments) that you can check here. In enterprise environments, I would create a GPO for that optimizations to be in full control of the optimizations. I created a GPO template that you can download here.

The Remote Assistance Feature is necessary for our support staff. We won´t be able to shadow users if we don´t install that feature. You might remember, we also installed Remote Assistance on the Controller where Citrix Director was installed.

Use Real-Time Audio Transport for audio to enable the use of UDP for audio packets.

Framehawk opens the UDP ports used by Framehawk. Have a look at to get more information about Framehawk. Citrix recommends that you enable Framehawk only for users experiencing high packet loss. It is also recommended that you do not enable Framehawk as a universal policy for all objects on the Site.

Enable Citrix App-V publishing components enables the VDA to launch App-V packages. Further information can be gathered here:

Click NEXT.

We will leave the Firewall settings as suggested. Click NEXT.

The next step shows us a summary of our installation settings and the warning that the installed VDA won´t register with a Citrix Delivery Controller. We´ll configure it later.

Let´s scroll down a bit to see the Features and Firewall settings that are part of the installation. Click INSTALL.

The server will reboot several times. The installation will resume automatically after logging back in.


Resume after reboot.

After completion, we can configure the Call Home feature. If you participate your configuration and usage data will periodically be sent to Citrix. You will be able to log in to Citrix Insight Services that I will explain in a separate blog post. If you´re curious browse and have a look for yourself.

Click I want to participate in Call Home and click CONNECT the type in your User name and Password. Click OK.

When you´re done click NEXT.

At the end click FINISH and the server will reboot one last time.

If we look at Programs and Features you will see the installed programs.

And that´s it for today. We installed the Server VDA on Windows Server 2016 with the help of the graphical user interface and with default options.




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