Wednesday, 21 March 2012

XenApp 6.5 Windows Server Customization

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These are a list of settings that i change to a XenApp server (6 and above) before i start the install of XenApp, if you have a any additional changes that you make please let me know.  A lot of these configurations are taken from the this XenApp guide, and my own experiences.

Configure Windows 2008 R2 with license and IP information.
Apply SP2 and latest windows updates as required.
Setup the page file to run on a drive that doesn't contain any apps - look here for info on setting up page file.
Change power setting to high performance.

Turn off IE ESC (Enhanced Security) through server manager.
Disable Data Execution Prevention on Windows 2008 : bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff
Disable Windows animated boot : bcdedit /set bootux disabled

Disable Windows Scheduled tasks

  • Application Experience > AitAgent
  • Application Experience > ProgramDataUpdater
  • Autochk > Proxy
  • Customer Experience Improvement Program > everything under this node (Consolidator, KernelCeipTask, UsbCeip, ServerCeipAssistant, ServerRoleCollector, ServerRoleUsageCollector)
  • Defrag > ScheduledDefrag
  • DiskDiagnostic > Microsoft-Windows-DiskDiagnosticDataCollector
  • Power Efficiency Diagnostics > AnalyzeSystem
  • Server Manager > ServerManager
  • Windows Error Reporting > QueueReporting
Configure GPO's for XA Server - 
  • Disable UAC - User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation
  • Disable Windows Services through GPO - Windows Firewall, Multimedia Class Scheduler, Network List Service, Network Location Awareness, Windows Defender
  • Disable Windows Updates - Configure Automatic Updates: Disabled
  • Disable Error Reporting - Disable Windows Error Reporting: Enabled
  • Disable CEIP - Turn off Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program: Enabled
  • Disable System Restore - Turn off System Restore: Enabled
  • Disable Printer mappings for RDP sessions - Do not allow client printer redirection: Enabled
  • Use Windows Group Policy Preferences to apply the following registry changes.
Hide System Hard Error Messages - HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Windows
Spooler Warning Events - HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers
Paging of the ExecutiveHKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
Registry Lazy Flush Interval HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Configuration Manager\
“RegistryLazyFlushInterval”=dword:00000060 (dec)
Worker Threads HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Executive\
“AdditionalCriticalWorkerThreads”=dword:00000064 (dec)
SMB 1.0 Client Optimization Note: Tuning SMB 1.0 is required in mixed (2003 / 2008 R2) environments, where SMB 2.0 cannot be used.

"MaxCmds"=dword:00002048 (dec)
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ Lanmanserver\Parameters
"MaxWorkItems"=dword:00008192 (dec)
"MaxMpxCt"=dword:00002048 (dec)
"MaxRawWorkItems"=dword:00000512 (dec)
"MaxFreeConnections"=dword:00000100 (dec)
"MinFreeConnections"=dword:00000032 (dec)
SMB 2.x Client Tuning - HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\ LanmanWorkstation\Parameters
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Disable Logon Screensaver - HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

And remember to optimize your Av as well using the following Citrix guide.

For more XenApp registry changes have a look at XenApp 6 Tuning GPO for Windows 2008 on

NOTE:  Once you have your GPO setup the way you like it take a backup of it using GPMC for future use, as once you have these settings configured within a GPO you can simply import these settings back in.


  1. Hi Will,

    Do you believe that all of the settings above should be applied to both Physical and Virtual XenApp servers? What about provisioned Virtual XenApp Servers?



  2. Hi Will,
    Great post, i'm getting my experience in deploying xenapp 6.5 currently and finding your resources great help.

    Just a quick question, in regards to GPO settings. In regards to the registry optimizations should they be configured in the computer configuration, or user configuration.


    1. Andy,
      Typically as a rule of thumb if the key is HKLM I typically apply this to the computer policy and if it is HKCU I apply it to the user policy.

      Hope this helps.