Citrix Application Layering 4.x – Creating OS Layer & Platform Layer

Create a OS Layer

See Citrix CTX225952 (4.x Layering Best Practices) –

Step 1: Install Operating System (Ensure it is fully Patched) on a new VM (I am installing Windows Server 2016 – VM  Name: LAB-APL-OS-W2016)

NOTE: Do not join the Computer to the domain. This will be done at the platform layer.

Step 3: Disable IPv6 (recommend if your deployment mechanism is PVS)

Step 4: Ensure Automatic updates is disabled before continuing


Step 5: Execute “citrix_app_layering_os_machine_tools_4.5.0.exe”, leave destination folder as default and click Install


Step 3:Open Command Prompt as administrator and launch C:\windows\setup\scripts\setKMSVersion.hat


Step 3:


Step 3: Saved Succeded will appear .runipkato.cmd will be created in C:\Windows\Setup\scripts\kmsdir which will be used by ELM to activate KMS properly.


Step 3: Execute “Setup_x64.exe” found in C:\Windows\setup\scripts


Step 4: At Welcome to Installation wizard, Click Next


Step 5: At specify answer file, leave as default as we will be using PVS, Click Next


Step 6: Installation will progress


Step 7: At Install Wizard completed, Click Finish


Step 8: Open C:\Windows\Setup\Scripts and run the otpimization script (Optimize64)


Step 9: Citrix Optimization Script builder will be displayed, with various optional customizations. Scroll down to bottom and Click Save to file


Step 10: Run the Optimizations.cmd as administrator to perform the customization on the operating system


Step 10: Shutdown the Machine


Step 10: Ensure in Hypervisor OS is Powered Off.

Step 11: Go back to ELM Appliance , Select Layers>OS Layer and Select Create OS Layer


Step 12: At Create OS Layer Wizard , enter the following information. Click Down Arrow

  • Layer Name:  W2016OSLayer
  • Layer Description: Windows Server 2016
  • Version: 1
  • Description: add description if required
  • Max Layer Size (GB): 60GB


Step 13: At Create OS Layer Wizard in Connector, Select New


Step 14: At connection type, Choose XenServer, Click New


Step 15: At XenServer Connector,  add the following information and Click Check Credentials

  • XenServer Address:
  • Username: root
  • Password: password of root


Step 16 : AT Virtual Machine Clone Setting, Select the VM Template, Storage and Click Test

  • Virtual Machine Template : LAB-APL-OS-2016TMP
  • Storage Repository: Local Storage
  • Layer Disk Cache Size in GB : Left blank

NOTE: A template needs to be created in XenCentre , no disk should be attached to this template.



Step 17: Ensure Configuration Name is set, i have set XENSERVER-POOL, Click Save


Step 18: Ensure setting save successfully , then click Close


Step 19: At Connector Configuration, now Select the newly created XenServer, then Click Down Arrow


Step 20: At OS Disk Details, Click Select Virtual Machine


Step 21: At XenServer Connector, Specify the LAB-APL-OS-W2016 and Click Save


Step 22: Confirm the OS Machine Name/Disk Size and click Down Arrow


Step 23: At Icon Assignment, leave default or assign a different icon. Click Down Arrow.


Step 24: Ensure all details are correct and click Create Layer


Step 25: The OS Layer will now be imported into the Appliance and appear as not deployable until it fully imports


Step 26: Expand Tasks to confirm import is running, this may take a number of minutes to complete.


Step 27: Once successfully imported, the OS Layer “W2016OSLayer” will now appear as deployable


Create a Platform Layer

The Platform Layer is where hypervisor tools, VDA tools and PVS Target Device software are installed.

See the following Citrix Article CTX225997 Considerations When Creating a Platform Layer in Citrix App Layering 4.x.


Step 1:Within the UMC, navigate to Layers -> Platform Layers -> Create Platform Layer.


Step 2: Enter the following details and then  Click Down Arrow

  • Layer Name :   VDA W2016 x64 (OS version is included as Platform layer is linked to specific OS Layer)
  • Version: Indicate the version (i have specified 7.15 which is the version of VDA)
  • Max Layer Size (GB): Leave default which is 10GB


Step 3: Select the Windows 2016 OS Layer (W2016OSLayer -1), Click Down Arrow


Step 4: Select XenServer – XENSERVER-POOL, Click Down Arrow


Step 5: Select “This platform layer will be used for Publishing Layered images”, enter the following details then Click Down Arrow

  • Hypervisor: Citrix XenServer
  • Provisioning Service: Citrix MCS
  • Connection Broker: Citrix XenDesktop


Step 6: Enter Package File Name “VDA W2016 MCS” and Specify Disk Format “VHD”, Click Down Arrow


Step 7: Select the Appropiate Icon for the Platform Layer, Click Down Arrow


Step 8: Verify the details of the configuration, Click Create Layer


Step 9: The VDA W2016 x64 Platform layer will appear as not deployable.


Step 10: Expand the Task pane at bottom , there is a pending action which is creating the platform layer.


Step 11: At bottom task windows, the platform layer will be created and progress given at what stage it is at.


Step 12: Power up the VM Created on XenCentre


Step 13: Join Computer to the WILKYIT.COM Domain (OS & App Layer must not be joined to domain)

NOTE: Domain Join in Platform Layer does not capture local groups changes , there following must done.

  • Add Domain Admins group to the local Administrators group
  • Add Domain Users group to the local Users group

This is best to be done through Group Policy and applied to the Computer Account

Step 14: Now Install the VDA

Download the Citrix 7.15 ISO from the Citrix Downloads (XenApp_and_XenDesktop_7_15.iso) and Click Upgrade Studio and Server Components


Step 15: At additional components, click next


Step 16: Leave configuration at “Automatically”, Click Next


Step 17: At Summary screen, confirm everything is correct, Click Upgrade


Step 18: Click OK at warning that you cannot cancel the upgrade to proceed..


Step 19: Core components will be upgraded.


Step 20: At Smart Tools, Select i do not want to participate in Call Home


Step 21: After upgrade has finished. Click Finish

Step 22: As platform layer layer does not capture/merge local groups created during the VDA Install. The following must be done (best via Group Policy)

  1. Create Direct Access Users local group.
  2. Create Local Anonymous group
  3. Add Domain Users or Authenticated Users group to the local Remote Desktop Users (could also be to the local “Users” group)
  4. Add NT SERVICE\BrokerAgent account to the local Performance Monitor Users group
  5. Add NT SERVICE\CitrixTelemetryService account to the local Performance Log Users group

Step 23: Click Shutdown for Finalise


NOTE: if there is pending reboot due to software installs, updates etc. The below message will be shown. Reboot the machine to ensure there no pending reboot


Step 23: Within the UMC, navigate to Layers -> Platform Layers. Right Click VDA W2016 x64 Platform Layer, Click Finalize


Step 24: Click Finish at Finalize Layer Wizard


Step 25: Expand the Task pane at bottom , there is a pending action which is finalising the platform layer.


Step 26: It will eventually complete, with the below message confirming it is ready for use


Step 24: The Platform layer has now changed to Deployable.


Next – Citrix Application Layering 4.x – Creating App Layers , Templates and Publishing

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