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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

XenApp 6.5 deployed from a SCCM 2007 OSD Task Sequence

I have in the past made heavily use of MDT 2010 to automatic deploy XenApp servers and applications. One of the major advantages is that the servers are always installed exactly the same way and it is also very easy to replace or update components in the future.

So when I recently had the opportunity to move it all to an SCCM 2007 R3 OSD Task sequence, my first thought was that it would be a very easy task, but I was wrong.

It quickly became clear that I was facing three challenges that were not so straightforward.

• XenAppSetupConsole.exe failed when it was started from a SCCM OSD task sequence.
• XenAppConfigConsole.exe also failed when it was started from a task sequence.
• The installation of the Citrix Receiver stopped but continued if a user moved the mouse.

When you consider that it works like a charm from a MDT 2010 task sequence, I must admit that it came as a surprise that there were this kind of problems.

Fortunately, it could be solved, but maybe in a rather unconventional way. I am sure that there are other ways around this, but this worked.

XenAppSetupConsole.exe can work from an SCCM task sequence by using a good old favorite PSEXEC. PSEXEC is available at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897553
XenAppConfigConsole.exe can be successfully completed by using a MDT 2010 tool called serviceUI.exe. See more information at http://blogs.technet.com/b/cameronk/archive/2011/01/25/can-i-use-serviceui-exe-to-launch-other-programs-besides-the-udi-setup-wizard.aspx
And finally the problem with the installation that would only continuing when the mouse was moved. I knew that I had seen this before, so here I was glad to find that I had made a note of it in OneNote. By hiding the "Progress bar" before the installation starts, the installation succeeded.

See more information about hiding the Progress bar at http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2010/03/26/hiding-and-showing-the-task-sequence-progress-dialog-box.aspx
Now I can deploy XenApp servers from SCCM 2007 as well as from MDT 2010. This also means that I do not need introduce new products such as Provisioning Server, but can use a tool which is already well known and in corporate use.

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