• Learning the Basics of Citrix XenApp 5 for Windows Server 2003 (Part 2 of 7)

    This article was updated on December 19, 2008.

    If you would like to read the other parts in this article series, please go to:

    In Part 1 of this 7-part article, you learned how to create a MyCitrix.com account, request an evaluation copy of XenApp 5, generate and download a new license file and downloaded your evaluation software.  In Part 2 of this article, you will learn how to create your Virtual Machine (VM) and install Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x86.

    To simplify this learning process, you will take most of the VMware Workstation VM creation defaults and make only minimal configuration changes to Windows Server 2003 R2.  Some of the VM creation options you have may be different than what I have because of possible hardware differences between our two lab server setups.  First, make sure you have a Windows Server 2003 R2 Product Key and ISO image file accessible.

    Note:  What if you don’t have a copy of Windows Server 2003 R2?  To download a 180-day evaluation copy of Windows Server 2003 R2 as an ISO image, go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/bb430831.aspx .  You will need a Windows Live account or you can create an account.  Once logged in, follow the simple procedure to register for your software.  Once registration is complete, you will receive an e-mail with a link to get your Product Key and another link to download the software.  The downloads come with a “.img” file extension.  Simply rename the files with a “.iso” extension and save the files where they can be accessed by VMware Workstation.

    Let’s get started.

    Start VMware Workstation 6.5 and then click File -> New -> Virtual Machine

    Click Custom (Advanced) and then Next

    Make sure Hardware compatibility says Workstation 6.5 and click Next

    Click Installer disc image file (iso) and then click the Browse button

    Browse to your ISO image file, select it and then click the Open button

    Click Next

    On this screen, enter your Product Key and change the Full name field from Administrator to CitrixONE.  If you leave the Full name field set to Administrator, you will get a warning about a conflict with an existing system name.  In my experience, when the VM attempts the automatic logon process during the Windows Setup process, you will get an “Invalid password” error and you will be locked out of the system.  The only way to recover is to force a power off of the VM, delete the file from the hard disk and redo the VM creation process.  The Full name is the computer account name in Windows.

    There is a bug in VMware Workstation 6.5.1 where the Full name you enter here is not kept in its entirety.  In my testing for this article, the Full name was changed from “CitrixONE” to “citrixon-58b013”.  This bug will require you to change the Windows Computer Name at the beginning of Part 3.  This bug has been reported to VMware.

    Once you have entered your Product Key, CitrixONE and Password, click Next

    If you wish, change the Virtual machine name to Learning XenApp 5 to distinguish it from your other VMs.

    When you change the Virtual machine name, the VM name in the Location field is also changed.  Click Next

    Accept the default of One for Number of processors and click Next

    Change the Memory for the virtual machine to 4096 (or the maximum you can set if you do not have 4096 available for Guests).

    Why 4GB of RAM for this VM?  From my experience, Server 2003, with Terminal Services Licensing and Terminal Services in Application Server mode, runs best in a virtual environment with 768MB of RAM.  You will also be installing:

    • Citrix License Management Console which uses Java
    • Web Interface
    • Access Management Console
    • Presentation Server Console
    • Access Datastore database
    • Citrix Web Client

    and you will be using Internet Explorer to test running a Published Application.  Most of these will be open at the same time so the more RAM assigned to this VM the better.

    Click Next

    Accept the default Network connection of Use network address translation (NAT). Click Next

    Accept whatever the recommended setting is for your setup for I/O adapter types.  Click Next

    Take the default Create a new virtual disk.  Click Next

    Accept the recommended Virtual disk type for your setup.  Click Next

    Change the Maximum disk size (GB) to 12.0 and check Allocate all disk space now.  If you allocate all disk space now, it will take a little longer to create the empty VM but the installation of the server OS is much faster.  Click Next

    Accept the Disk File name generated.  Click Next

    Check Power on this virtual machine after creation.  This saves a few seconds in the setup process that keeps you from having to manually power on the VM to continue the VM creation process.  Click Finish

    VMware Workstation now creates the disk for the VM and goes through the initial power on sequence.  In my experience, the power on screen is always black and no status messages are displayed.

    Once the VM creation process has completed, you are returned to the Guest OS work screen.  Click Power on this virtual machine

    At this point, the Windows setup process takes over.  You will not have anything to do for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Following are a few of the setup screens you will see.

    After 15 to 20 minutes, you will be at the following screen:

    At this point, we will be doing several things at the same time:

    • Installing the VMware Tools
    • Canceling the Windows Server CD 2 install
    • Activating Windows Server 2003 R2
    • Setting video hardware acceleration
    • Bypassing the Windows Server Post-Setup Security Updates
    • Selecting not to display the Manage Your Server at logon

    On the current screen, click Cancel and then click OK on the Windows Setup warning.

    The VMware tools begin to install automatically and the Windows Server Post-Setup Security Update screen appears behind the VMware tools installer.  Click Finish on the Windows Server Post-Setup Security Updates screen.

    Click Yes on the Windows Server Post-Setup Security Updates popup box.

    The Manage Your Server screen appears.

    Check Don’t display this page at logon and then click the “X” in the upper right hand corner.

    You are now back to seeing the VMware Tools installer.  If you have a retail version of WIndows Server 2003 R2, you will also notice the Windows Activation popup in the systray in the lower right corner.  Click anywhere, besides the “X”, in the activation popup.

    When I was going through this process, the VMware Tools Installation popup appeared over the Windows Activation screen.  Click Yes on the VMware Tools Installation popup and then click on the Let’s activate Windows screen.

    Click Yes, let’s activate Windows over the Internet now and then click Next

    Click No, I don’t want to register now, let’s just activate Windows and then click Next.

    You should see the Thank You! screen.  If you see any activation error screens, correct the errors and complete the Windows Activation process.  Click OK

    A Notepad document from the VMware Tools installation appears.  Exit Notepad.

    Display Properties is now shown.  Click Advanced

    The Default Monitor and Standard VGA Graphics Adapter Properties now appears.  Click the Troubleshoot tab.

    Move the Hardware acceleration slider all the way to the right to Full.

    Click OK

    Click OK

    Click Yes on the VMware Tools popup to restart the VM to complete the Windows setup.

    After the VM restarts you are now at the Windows CTL-ALT-DEL prompt.

    You have now successfully created your VM and installed Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x86.  This process took 24 minutes and 31 seconds for me.

    In Part 3 of this article, you will install the Windows Server 2003 prerequisites for XenApp 5, the License Server and Web Interface and all Windows security updates.

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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

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