Installing and Configuring Citrix Desktop Director 2.0 for use with XenApp 6.5

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If you’re anything like me, the minute you heard that Desktop Director 2.0 would now integrate with XenApp 6.5, you became all excited!  If you haven’t used or seen Desktop Director yet, you are in for a treat! If you’ve tried configuring an existing Desktop Director instance to point to XenApp 6.5, you may have experienced my frustrations and in my experience the eDocs guide linked here was no help.  According to eDocs, this should be as simple as configuring Service.AutoDiscoveryAddresses for XenDesktop and Service.AutoDiscoveryAddressesXA for XenApp. If you’re supporting multiple XenDesktop sites and multiple XenApp farms, you should be able to comma separate these sites/farms with the Service.MultiSite=true flag, right? ( I have built and rebuilt in my lab multiple times without success using these recommendations. All configurations result in XenDesktop sites being listed, but no XenApp session data or search options.  Below you will find some of my tips to get this all setup in no time. Let’s get started:

I recommend building a standalone (or multiple with http/https Load Balancing) Desktop Director servers to support your implementation. For smaller environments you can use your Zone Data Collector if: a) XML Broker uses a port other than 80 b) Manually install IIS and change the default port binding.

To install Desktop Director 2.0, I prefer to use the XenDesktop 5.5 media and the following procedure. Launch AutoSelect and choose Install XenDesktop:

Accept the terms and conditions and click Next:

Deselect all options except Desktop Director and enter the FQDN of your XenApp 6.5 zone data collector (multiple entries needed only for multiple farms). Click Next:


Review the installation summary and click Install:


Once the installation has completed, click Close:

Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager and expand ServerName Sites Default Web Site DesktopDirector.  With DesktopDirector selected, double click Application Settings:

Scroll down the list until you find Service.AutoDiscoveryAddresses and double click this entry:

Change the Name from Service.AutoDiscoveryAddress to Service.AutoDiscoveryAddressXA. Click OK to save changes:

Close out of IIS Manager.  In Active Directory, create a security group that you can use for binding permissions required for Desktop Director.

Add necessary members for administering sessions through Desktop Director:

On the XenApp zone data collector you specified earlier, open the services mmc snap-in and locate the Citrix XenApp Commands Remoting service:

If the service is disabled (default), open the service. Set the startup type to Automatic and start the service:

Download the updated ConfigRemoteMgmt.exe tool from Extract and navigate to the Desktop Director 2.0 folder. Extract

On each XenApp server (Zone Data Collectors and Member Servers), open an elevated command prompt and navigate to the extracted ConfigRemoteMgmt directory.  Execute ConfigRemoteMgmt.exe /configwinrmuser mydomain.localdesktopdirector:


Ensure all configurations return positive results:

In AppCenter, create a custom administrator for DesktopDirector users using the following procedures. Open AppCenter and navigate to Administrators. Select Add administrator on the right hand navigation:

Click Add:

Click Add List of Names:

Enter the domaingroup for the DesktopDirector security group and click OK:

Click OK:

Click Next:

Select Custom and click Next:

Select Administrators and deselect Log on to Management Console (Enabled by default for Custom administrators):

Select Applications and choose View Published Applications and Content, Disconnect Users, Log Off Users, Send Messages, and View Session Management:

Select Servers and choose View Server Information, Disconnect Users, Log Off Users, Send Messages, and View Session Management. Once these permissions have been added, click Finish:

Optional: Secure the DesktopDirector IIS instance with an SSL Certificate. Self-signed or Enterprise PKI certificates both accepted.  If you don’t secure the site with an SSL certificate, you will receive a notification at the login screen that You are not using a secure connection.

Optional: Configure multiple identical Desktop Director web servers and load balance the 80/443 service using a load balancing appliance (F5/NetScaler) or Microsoft NLB.

Finally, validate your configuration by opening a web browser and navigating to the desktop director virtual directory (http(s)://%servername%/DesktopDirector). Login with a user account in the DesktopDirector security group:


If all configurations have been setup properly, your login will be processed and a search box will be returned.  Search for an active session using a user’s proper name or username (Select the user or hit enter to search):

Click the image below to view full screen and examine all the wonderful data now available to your help desk users!

That’s it!  You now have a functional Desktop Director deployment for XenApp 6.5.  Feel free to leave any comments, questions, or additional thoughts below.

Thanks in advance,


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  1. RobertoRoberto09-11-2014

    Great post. I could make every step but when I go into Desktop Director I can search for a user and click on them. After that I see in the header of the Website the username and a green button “active” but the main window is empty. I can’t see any session informations or Options (send message, logoff, etc.).

    I can only search for users… have you an idea what could be wrong? Thanks.

    • RobertoRoberto09-12-2014

      I found the error… it was Internet Explorer 11. If I use Firefox, I can see all Settings 🙂

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