• How do I tell if Shadowing is Allowed or Prohibited on a Server

    November 4, 2008


    Citrix XenApp Server products allow Farm Administrators and Users to interact with other user sessions.

    Shadowing can be a useful tool for user collaboration, training, troubleshooting and monitoring. This capability is useful for supervisors, help desk personnel, teachers, and anyone else who may need to examine another user’s session.  During Setup, you can limit or disable shadowing.  You can disable shadowing of ICA sessions on all servers in a farm if, for example, legal requirements prohibit shadowing of user’s sessions.  Or, you may want to disable shadowing on servers that host sensitive applications such as Human Resources or Payroll.

    During Setup, you will see this dialog box:

    Setup of Shadowing during install

    The decision made on this screen cannot be changed without reinstalling XenApp.  This is from page 66 of the XenApp 4.5 with Feature Release 1 (AKA XenApp 5.0 on Server 2003):


    Important: Shadowing restrictions are permanent. If you disable shadowing or
    enable shadowing but disable certain shadowing features during Setup, you
    cannot change the restrictions later. Any user policies you create to enable user-to-
    user shadowing are subject to the restrictions you place on shadowing during
    Setup. Do not disable shadowing as a substitute for user- and group-specific
    connection policies.

    Prohibit shadowing of user sessions on this server. Select this option to
    permanently disable shadowing of user sessions on the server. If you disable
    shadowing during Setup, you cannot enable it using other Citrix Presentation
    Server configuration utilities or by creating connection policies.


    The problem that an Accidental Citrix Admin will have is how to tell if shadowing is Allowed or Prohibited on a server they now manage?  Whether shadowing is Allowed or Prohibited, all shadowing components are still installed.

    • The cshadow.* and wshadow.* program files are still installed in C:\Program Files\Citrix\System32
    • The Shadow Taskbar is enabled
    • Citrix policies for shadowing can still be created and applied.

    So how does the Accidental Admin determine if shadowing is Allowed or Prohibited? Well, you will start with the Terminal Services Configuration Console. Within the console, under the Connections node, examine the Property sheet for the ICA-tcp object. When the Property sheet is displayed, click on the ICA-settings tab.

    Start, Program, Administrative Tools, Terminal Services Configuration

    Terminal Services Configuration Console

    The following screen shot shows what the ICA Settings look like when shadowing is Allowed:

    ICA Settings with Shadowing Allowed

    In the bottom area there is a Shadowing section that allows Shadowing to Inherit user config or set to:

    • is disabled
    • is enabled: input OFF, notify OFF
    • is enabled: input OFF, notify ON
    • is enabled: input ON, notify ON

    When shadowing is prohibited:

    ICA Settings when Shadowing is Prohibited

    When shadowing is Prohibited during the installation of XenApp, the Shadowing section of the ICA Settings is grayed out.

    This was tested in my lab using XenApp 5.0 on Server 2003.

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    About Carl Webster

    Webster is a Sr. Solutions Architect for Choice Solutions, LLC and specializes in Citrix, Active Directory and Technical Documentation. Webster has been working with Citrix products for many years starting with Multi-User OS/2 in 1990.

    View all posts by Carl Webster

    One Response to “How do I tell if Shadowing is Allowed or Prohibited on a Server”

    1. Max Says:

      Good Job, I was looking for DSVIEW as recommended by citrix but cannot find the tool and the download XA media is corrupt when downloaded in mycitrix!

      Thx 🙂


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