This article contains information about Citrix XenDesktop 5 Support Statement for Microsoft KMS and MAK activation with Machine Creation Services (MCS).
XenDesktop 5 introduced a new technology for creating virtual desktops simply and easily for the VDI use case. This is referred to as Machine Creation Services (MCS).
KMS Activation Support
KMS-based Windows 7 activation does not work with MCS by default, but the following workaround has been tested and is fully supported by Citrix.
Creating a Master Image
- Create a master image virtual machine and install Windows, Virtual Desktop Agent, and all software required.
- Make a snapshot of this master image.
- Rearm this virtual machine using slmgr /rearm, and then shut down the virtual machine.
- Make another snapshot of the virtual machine. Add a note that this is the rearmed image.
- Use the second rearmed snapshot as the master image for creating a catalogue.
- When the MCS-created Virtual Machines start, they will request activation from the KMS server using a unique identity. After 25 total Virtual Machines have been started, the KMS server is activated because it has reached its minimum machine activation count.
Updating a Master Image
- Create a Virtual Machine from the first unarmed master image snapshot (from Step 2 above).
- Make the required changes (drivers, software, etc).
- Take a snapshot of this updated master image.
- Rearm the new master image (slmgr /rearm).
- Take a snapshot of the newly rearmed master image.
- Update the catalogue to use the new rearmed master image.
Note: Every time you make updates, you must go back to the master image that has not been armed, because there is a limit of three rearms per machine. Do not restart the master images that have been rearmed, as this completes the rearm process.
MAK Activation Support
Currently MAK-based Windows 7 activation is not supported with any version of MCS. Also, Personal vDisk (PVD) at the moment does not support MAK activation, whether using MCS or Provisioning Services.
XenDesktop 5 with Provisioning Services 5.6 Service Pack 1 or higher fully supports the use of Windows 7 KMS and MAK activation.
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