XenDesktop 5.0: Tips for a smooth installation

Last week Citrix XenDesktop 5.0 was released, which I was eagerly anticipating since XD 4.0 had a number of warts which made it unusable for the environment I support. XD5 was supposed to fix all of the show stoppers, so the day it was released I downloaded the HUGE 18GB installation package.

This weekend I finally got time to do the installation and ran across a few hurdles, but in the end I was successful but wasted a number of hours I could have spent out doors in our lovely 83 degree December weather. Here are some installation tips to bypass the hours I spent troubleshooting the installation.

1. It’s extremely important if you use VMware vSphere to have a trusted SSL certificate installed on your vCenter server. Nearly a year ago I wrote a blog on exactly how to do this. You can check it out here, and as a side note the instructions work for vCenter 4.1 too. The SSL certificate should use the FQDN of the vCenter server. When selecting VMware as the host type, use the following address format:


Symptoms of this error include a message in Desktop Studio when entering the VMware credentials:

The hypervisor was not contactable at the supplied address.

This error message is nearly completely useless and doesn’t give you any good details on what’s really wrong. It should pop up with a warning that the SSL certificate is not trusted and then point you to a KB article that describes how to install a trusted certificate. Or it could even give you the (less secure) option of ignoring the certificate error, which would be great for quick POC deployments and less frustration.

2. If the server VM you are using to install XD5 in has FIPS encryption mode enabled make sure that in IE under Advanced settings you have at least TLS 1.0 selected. If you only have TLS 1.1 and 1.2 selected then you get different errors depending on the deployment scenario you choose. If you chose “Desktop deployment” you will get the following errors:

In XenDesktop 5.0 Desktop Studio:
GUI Popup: Unknown error occurred.

Detailed logs show:

Reset-BrokerServiceGroupMembership : Unknown error occurred

+ CategoryInfo : InvalidOperation: (:) [Reset-BrokerServiceGroupMembership], SdkOperationException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : Citrix.XDPowerShell.Broker.UnknownError,Citrix.Broker.Admin.SDK.ResetBrokerServiceGroupMembershipCommand
In the Windows Applilcation Event logs you may see:
Log Name: Application

Source: Citrix Broker Service
Date: 12/12/2010 3:16:25 PM
Event ID: 1005
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer: Q001XD01.contoso.net
The Citrix Broker Service failed to connect to the XenDesktop database.

Please check that the database is configured correctly.

Error details:
Exception ‘NewIcon: Unhandled Error’ of type ‘Citrix.Cds.DAL.DALDataStoreException’.
If you use the “Quick Deploy” wizard then you will get the following error:
Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation.
You will also get the same event ID 1005 in the application logs as described above. Thanks Citrix for giving us consistent errors in the Desktop Studio GUI for the same problem…not!
3. If you are using vDS (virtual distributed switch) like the Cisco Nexus 1000v or the built-in VMware one, beware! If you configure your master template VM with a network port on a vDS, but configure your vCenter host connection options to deploy VMs to a non-vDS network you will be unable to create a new VM pool.

4. If you want to use webcams with XenDesktop, yes they do work! I tried my Logitech 9000, and made it work in “small” resolution which is 320 x 180. Anything higher and I got no video image. The small size resulted in real time video and it was extremely smooth and high quality image. Looked like native performance to me..on the LAN.

In conclusion, XD5 is vastly easier to install and configure than previous versions. But there are still some rough edges. As I do more testing I’ll post periodic updates.

Update 1: Found another bug in MCS (machine creation services), that you can read about here for a workaround.

Update 2: If you want to use Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) and use the VMware VMXNET3 driver, you must apply Citrix hotfix CTX128160 found here, or your VMs will crash during boot.

Update3: I updated the FIPS encryption issue since the problem is caused by a combination of enabling FIPS encryption WITH a non-standard IE setting (TLS 1.0 is unchecked under advanced settings). You can safely have FIPS encrypiton enabled with a default IE configuration.

Update 4: Citrix released XD5 SP1, which fixes a few of these issues. Check out my post here.

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February 10, 2011 11:58 pm

Hi Derek,

Excellent post there, I managed to do everything but I am still getting the message “The hypervisor was not contactable at the supplied address.”

I have done the SSL as your steps have mentioned and tried again, FIPS is also disabled, I have given the vmware user account full permission as well but it still comes back as the same issue.

Anything else I should check on?


February 12, 2011 9:51 pm

Have you verified the SSL certificate you installed is trusted? Open your web browser and navigate to the FQDN of your vCenter server. If you get any type of certificate warning, then something is wrong.