Keith Smith

Sr. Citrix/Virtualization/Systems Engineer. Experienced and technically inclined professional with a successful career in handling diverse and increasing responsibilities within information technology industry. Virtualization expert with primary focus on Citrix Solutions. Extensive knowledge of Citrix NetScaler Solutions. Highly analytical in facilitating pre and post technical support through accurately assessing technical challenges and successfully transforming ideas to appropriate workable solutions.Certifications: MCP/MCTS/MCSA/MCITP/CCNA/CCDA/CCAA/CCEE/CCIA

Jun 032014

I am in the process of building out a new XenApp environment for a customer, and was thinking… “It would be so nice to automate the ‘Configure and run discovery’ settings”. So how do you accomplish this? I know my service desk would appreciate it!

The answer is a custom “MMC”. Below are the steps to accomplish this.


Part 1: Create the custom MMC

  • Open up a 32bit MMC console (universally will work better and create less stress)
    • On 32 bit OS run “mmc”
    • On 64 bit OS run “mmc /32”

  •  Click File > Add/Remove Snap-in…

  •  Select the console you are going to push out to your users and add it to the “Selected snap-ins”
    • (In my case it is going to be AppCenter)

  •  Right Click on “XenApp”
    • Select “Configure and run discovery”

  •  Select the “Skip this screen in the future” box
    • Click Next

  •  Click on Add
    • For the server, I am going to pick my two XenApp Controllers
      • Depending on your setup, and where you are publishing this, you will need to pick the correct server(s)… (setting up a load balanced VIP on your NetScaler….  hmmm….)

  •  Click Next

  •  Check the box next to “Close this wizard when discovery is successful”

  •  Change the options of your new custom MMC console
    • Click on File > Options…

  •  In my case, I want to restrict access to areas of the tree
    • I am going to select “User mode – limited access, single window”

Below is an explanation of each option:

  • Author mode
    • Enables full customization of the snap-in console, including the ability to add or remove snap-ins, create new windows, create Favorites and taskpads, and access all the options of the Customize View and Options dialog boxes. Users creating a custom console file for themselves or others typically use this mode. The resulting snap-in console is usually saved in one of the user modes in this table.
  • User mode – full access
    • The same as author mode, except that users cannot add or remove snap-ins, change snap-in console options, create Favorites, or create taskpads.
  • User mode—limited access, multiple window
    • Provides access only to those parts of the tree that were visible when the console file was saved. Users can create new windows, but cannot close any existing windows.
  • User mode – limited access, single window
    • Provides access only to those parts of the tree that were visible when the console file was saved. Users cannot create new windows.


  •  Now we want to save our custom MMC
    • Click File > Save As…

  •  Save it where ever you would like. I am going to save mine to c:\custom mmc\AppCenter.mmc on each of my terminal servers.



Part 2: Publish the custom MMC

This section could be done a dozen different ways. I will show you how to publish out the mmc we just created as it being accessed directly from each server.

  • Select “Skip this screen in the future”
    • Click Next

  •  Enter in a Display name for your application
    • In my case I am using “Citrix AppCenter”

  •  Use the defaults
    • Application
      • Accessed from a server
        • Installed application

  •  Location to mmc.exe and the location of the custom mmc
    • Command Line:
      • c:\windows\system32\mmc.exe “c:\windows\system32\AppCenter.mmc”
    • Working directory:
      • c:\windows\system32
    • Click Next

  •  Click Add
    • Select the Servers or Worker Group that contains the servers you would like to publish out the mmc too.
      • Click Next

  •  Click Add
    • Add the users that need access to the mmc
      • Click Next

  •  Go to where your Citrix management console is installed (where the console is installed), and right click > properties
    • Then click on “Change Icon…”

  •  Copy out the location of the .ico

  • Go back to your application you are publishing and click “Chang icon…”

  • Click Browse
    • Input the location of the .ico file you just copied
      • Click OK

  •  Click Next

  •  Click Finish

You now have a management console that your admins will not have to configure for discovery!