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This chapter is from the book

Using the ICA Client

After you have created the connections you need, it is time to use them. Whether you have set up a custom ICA or application set connection, when you are connected into a Citrix server many of the same concepts apply. In this section you will learn more about the important concepts and procedures that you need to understand after you make a connection.

Access to Local Hard Drives

It is very easy to access your local resources with the Citrix ICA client. By default, when you log on, your local drives will become part of your Citrix MetaFrame desktop. With the Microsoft Terminal Server client, you need to first share your local drives and then connect to them in Terminal Server to access them.

If you remapped the Citrix system drives higher in the alphabet during installation, when your client connects their drive letters within Citrix, they will be the same as their local drives. In other words, if the user needs to save a document to his local C: drive from within an application running on Citrix, he just saves it to the C: drive on Citrix. Citrix has already taken care of mapping this C: drive to the user's local C: drive during logon.

If instead, the Citrix system drives were not remapped and start with the letter C:, when the user logs on his local drives will be available higher in the alphabet, usually starting with the letter V. You need to instruct your users that if they need to save their documents to their local C: drive from within Citrix, they need to save it to the V: drive, not C: drive. This can be very confusing for users, so it is highly recommended to remap drives during installation if your users will need to save documents to their local drives.

Mapping to a Single-User Drive

By default, when you log on to Citrix, all of your local drives will be brought into your Citrix server setting. Not only is this not always necessary, but it also takes additional time during logon to scan for your local drives. You can have the Citrix server attach to the user's C: drive and nothing more during logon by doing the following:

  1. Open either your central user logon script or the individual USRLOGON.CMD scripts for each server and add the following line, replacing drive letter with the drive letter in Citrix that you want your users to use for their local C: drive.

  2. net use [drive letter]: \\client\c$
  3. Go into the connection settings for the ICA connections on the box and remove the check next to Disable Client Drive Mappings.

For environments where some users also need access to their D: drive, or you want to control who has access to their local drive in Citrix, you can create a ctx-map c and ctx-map d command. Using the KiXtart logon script techniques shown in Chapter 9, "Setting Up Terminal Server Users," you can easily create a logon script that checks whether they are members of the respective groups and then map the appropriate drive.

ICA Connection Center

One very important feature of the Citrix Program Neighborhood client that is often not fully utilized is the ICA Connection Center. The ICA Connection Center is accessible by clicking the small ICA icon that appears in your taskbar tray after you establish a session to Citrix. The ICA Connection Center is shown in Figure 12.8.

Figure 12.8 ICA Connection Center.

Using the ICA Connection Center, you can do the following:

  • Disconnect Enables you to disconnect from a server but leave your session still running on it.

  • Full Screen Enables you to switch to full-screen mode for a particular application running at the server. This option is available only when you select a server that you are running an application on using Seamless Windows.

  • Properties Enables you to gather statistics, such as number of packets sent and received, for a particular session.

  • Logoff Enables you to log off of an application running on a server.

  • Terminate Enables you to terminate or reset an application you are running on the server. This option is available only when you are running the published application in Seamless Windows mode.

Training Users on the ICA Connection Center

It is very useful to train your users about how to take advantage of the features of the ICA Connection Center. When they initially make a connection to Citrix MetaFrame server, the red dot on top of the I in ICA, on the icon will bounce while the connection is being established. When the connection is made, it will be listed in the ICA Connection Center.

Sometimes applications error out and get stuck on the server. This might prevent the user from reconnecting, because she reconnects to the application in an errored state. To get around this issue, first you need to be using published applications and Seamless Windows. Then train your users to go into the ICA Connection Center, select the application, and then click Terminate. In this way the application is terminated on the server, and they should be able to reconnect without a problem.

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