Citrix Profile Management 4.0
Profile management (formerly known as User Profile Manager) ensures that the user’s personal settings are applied to the user’s virtual desktop and applications, regardless of the location and end point device with best reliability and performance.
Profile management is enabled through a profile optimization service that provides an easy, reliable way for managing these settings in Windows environments to ensure a consistent experience by maintaining a single profile that follows the user. It auto-consolidates and optimizes user profiles to minimize management and storage requirements and requires minimal administration, support and infrastructure, while providing users with improved logon and logout.
Profile management is available as a feature of XenApp Enterprise and Platinum editions and XenDesktop VDI, Enterprise and Platinum editions. Customer entitlement to use this feature is based on Subscription Advantage as outlined in the EULA. Download usage rights of Profile management on previous versions of XenApp and XenDesktop are allowed per the terms of the EULA. Download is extended to Presentation Server 4.5 (Enterprise or Platinum editions) and XenDesktop 4.0 (VDI, Enterprise and Platinum editions). Please refer to the EULA as the final authority of usage rights.
What’s New in Profile Management 4.0
This version includes issues fixed since Version 3.0 was released. For the list of fixed issues, see CTX124164. In addition, this version includes the following new key features:
- Offline profiles. This feature is aimed at laptop and mobile device users who roam. Citrix offline profiles have minimal configuration and reduce disruption when network connections are lost by caching files locally until the network (and therefore the user store) is available again. This feature works with domain-joined computers only.
- Cross-platform settings. For several common applications, this feature allows you to migrate users’ profiles and to roam them when the users connect to the same application running on multiple operating systems. Without this feature, if users connect to an application that creates a Version 1 profile on one platform and a Version 2 profile on another, they would have to duplicate the application’s settings. For information on these profile types, see Version 1 and Version 2 Profiles.With this feature, users avoid duplicate settings. Common files and registry settings are identified, grouped together, and stored in the cross-platform settings store. When the user switches platforms, Profile management fetches the common items for the appropriate platform from this location (in addition to any platform-specific files and settings from the user store) so the user gets the same experience on both platforms. For a list of the applications and operating systems supported by this feature, see Operating Systems and Applications Supported By Cross-Platform Settings.
- Support for prelaunched applications. The Session Prelaunch feature in Citrix XenApp enhances the launching of published applications by starting a session automatically when a user logs on to a farm. No configuration of Profile management is required.
- Localization. The English version of Profile management is now supported on Traditional Chinese, Korean, and Russian operating systems.
- Diagnostics. The name of the computer is now included in the log file name, which facilitates troubleshooting.
- Built-in variables. In some settings, you can now use specific variables to describe the profile version, the operating system, and its bitness.
Existing Features of Profile Management
Profile management 4.0 includes the following major features from previous releases:
- Support for folder redirection. This feature allows you to avoid duplicate items in local profiles when folder redirection is used. In addition, Profile management can mirror folders, allowing the correct processing of transactional folders. For example, mirroring the Internet Explorer cookies folder means that index.dat is synchronized only with the latest version of the cookies that it references, not earlier versions that are no longer required. Without mirroring, multiple copies of the referenced files (cookies from multiple sessions, for example) can cause profile bloat.
- Deleting stale cookies. Profiles in some deployments can become bloated with stale browser cookies when Web sites are revisited. A setting in the ADM file can be used to delete the stale files.
- Citrix streamed user profiles. This feature offers alternative options for speeding up logons and logoffs by fetching parts of users’ profiles from the user store only when they are needed. One of the options is to use the cache entire profile feature, which fetches all of the files but staggers their delivery in the background.
- Active write back (formerly Active profile write back). To improve profile integrity if sessions terminate abnormally, files that are modified on the local computer can be backed up to the user store during a session, before logoff. This is particularly useful in Citrix XenDesktop deployments, where a user might otherwise leave their session open for a long period without local file changes in their profile being mirrored in the user store.
- Diagnostics. Profile management is integrated with Performance Monitor (Perfmon), allowing you to measure several aspects of logon and logoff, a subset of data from the log files, and streamed user profile performance. Perfom counters are integrated with Citrix EdgeSight. No configuration of Perfmon is required to use the counters, and you do not need to be a full administrator on the computer used to manage Profile management. You can also create trace logs with Citrix Diagnostic Facility in the event of advanced troubleshooting initiated by Citrix Technical Support.
- Localization. The Profile management software and documentation are localized into French, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.
- Profile migration. Allows you to migrate profiles to and from physical computers and virtual ones. Depending on the configuration settings, Profile management can copy existing roaming profiles and local Windows profiles to the user store. Existing mandatory profiles can be used as the basis for Citrix user profiles when saved as a template.
- Consistent user settings. Solves the “last-write-wins” problem that occurs when the last open session overwrites all of the profile data from previously closed sessions.
- Easy integration. Profile management can be integrated easily into existing deployments. No new infrastructure or changes to logon and logoff scripts are required.
How Profile Management Works
Profile management addresses user profile deficiencies in environments where simultaneous domain logons by the same user introduce complexities and consistency issues to the profile. For example, if a user starts sessions to two different virtual resources based on a roaming profile, the profile of the session that terminates last overrides the profile of the first session. This problem, known as “last write wins”, discards any personalization settings that the user makes in the first session.
You can tackle the problem by using separate profiles for each resource silo. However, this results in increased administration overhead and storage capacity requirements. Another drawback is that users will experience different settings depending on the resource silo they access.
Profile management optimizes profiles in an easy and reliable way. At interim stages and at logoff, registry changes, as well as files and folders in the profile, are saved to the user store for each user. If, as is common, a file already exists, it is overwritten if it has an earlier time stamp.
At logon, users’ registry entries and files are copied from the user store. If a locally cached profile exists, the two sets are synchronized. This makes all settings for all applications and silos available during the session and it is no longer necessary to maintain a separate user profile for each silo. Citrix streamed user profiles can further enhance logon times.
Profile management helps to safeguard application settings for mobile users who experience network disruption (if the offline profiles features is configured) and users who access resources from different operating systems (if the cross-platform settings feature is configured).
For a more detailed overview of Profile management, see http://community.citrix.com/x/AoEAAg.
Known Issues in Profile Management 4.0
The following known issues exist in this version.
With the cross-platform settings feature configured, your Windows XP wallpaper should be displayed when you roam from Windows XP to Windows 7, but instead the default Windows 7 desktop wallpaper is displayed when you first log on to that operating system. To work around this issue, reset your wallpaper after you first log on to Windows 7. Subsequent changes to the wallpaper are preserved and roamed when you next log on. [#27210]
With the cross-platform settings feature configured, the checkbox Prevent programs from suggesting changes to my default search provider (a search setting) in Internet Explorer 8 can be selected on Windows XP but the selection is not displayed when you roam to Windows 7. There is no workaround for this issue. [#33796]
If you upgrade Profile management on a computer when a user is logged on to it, the upgrade fails and data in monitoring systems (for example, Perfmon counters) might become unreliable. Always follow the documented upgrade procedure by ensuring all users are logged off first. [#35098]
Occasionally, when a user logs off from a computer, a stale profile folder with a domain-name suffix is created locally. This issue occurs even if Delete locally cached profile is enabled. For example, the folder C:\Users\folder-name becomes C:\Users\folder-name.domain-name. The issue may affect XenApp users and XenDesktop users with persistent virtual desktops but not those with pooled desktops. To work around the issue, delete all stale cached profiles from the system. [#47933]
Users may experience no wallpaper (a black background to their desktops) in two scenarios. Each has a different workaround. In the first scenario, a stale profile results in the same symptoms as issue #47933 but additionally no wallpaper is displayed. In this scenario, the same workaround for that issue can be employed. In the second scenario, which occurs only on Windows XP, there is no stale profile but users still experience no wallpaper because the required image file is not processed by Profile management. To work around the issue in this scenario, include the entry Application Data\Microsoft\*.BMP in the Files to synchronize policy. [#47935]
If you misconfigure the Folders to mirror policy, the system may inadvertently delete user data in the user store the second time this policy is applied. For example, if you add the same path twice or add two subfolders of the same parent folder. To avoid this issue, configure the policy according to the Profile management documentation. [#157322]
If the Path to user store policy contains a trailing space, the specified folder in the user store has no owner (on the Security tab of the folder’s Properties dialog box) and is therefore unusable. To workaround this issue, remove the trailing space and run a gpupdate. [#246793]