Connect to Citrix Pools (Windows Virtual Machines)

Connection Instructions

Note to Google Chrome Users: If you have Citrix Receiver installed but xen.msi.umn.edu continues to ask you to install it, please try another Web browser. There seems to be an issue currently between Citrix and Chrome which we are currently investigating (4/30/2015). We have reports that Mozilla Firefox works without issue.

IMPORTANT: As of 3/27/2015, there is a problem occurring when some users try to access xen. Though the user is not typing an incorrect password, they will receive an "invalid credentials" error message and be unable to log on. We have discovered that this can be fixed in most cases by performing a password reset. If you encounter this error, please reset your password and try again before contacting us. Please be assured that we are working to find and correct the root of this problem and we thank you for your patience.

Note: For remote access to MSI Systems, your computer must be connected to a Virtual Private Network (VPN). More information on how to use VPN can be found at http://it.umn.edu/services/all/data-network/vpn/

  1. Download and install the Citrix Receiver.
  2. In a web browser, navigate to xen.msi.umn.edu.
  3. Login with your MSI username and password:
  4. After login, you will see several icons, similar to the below image. These icons correspond to virtual machine pools, offering different resources and capabilities. See the Windows Systems Overview for more information about the available pools.
  5. Click an icon to start a session in the pool. There may be some delay during login; the connection window will appear black during this time.

File Transfer

Local disks will appear as 'Other' drives on the Citrix desktop. The first time you open Windows Explorer, you will see a prompt like below:

Select 'Read/write access' (or 'Read-only access' if you prefer) to allow access to your local drives. They will appear as 'Other' drives, as below:

Troubleshooting

Cannot Connect to Server

If you are off-campus, you need to be using a VPN to access MSI resources. For information on how to set one up, see here.

"Cannot Connect" while using Google Chrome

This appears to be an issue with the current version of Google Chrome. Please try using another web browser, such as Firefox, to see if the issue persists before contacting MSI.

SSL Error, Connection Refused

The .ica files downloaded from xen.msi.umn.edu expire within ~1 minute of download. If you have not launched the desktop within that time frame, you will receive the above error when attempting to connect. To avoid this, have the web browser invoke the Citrix Receiver directly (web browsers will typically allow you to select a program to open a downloaded file) and save this setting. This way, the browser will immediately open the file and avoid any timeout issues.

Cannot start desktop {desktop name}.

This message indicates there are no available desktops to connect to. In an exclusive pool, this will occur if every available desktop has a user logged in. If this error is encountered on an exclusive pool for an extended period or ever encountered in a shared pool, there may be a system problem; please contact help@msi.umn.edu.

Notes for Linux users

SSL Error

Receiver for Linux ships with its own set of certificates, which may not include the correct certificate for xen.msi.umn.edu. If this problem is occuring, you will receive SSL errors when attempting to launch a desktop. To fix, place this certicate into the directory /opt/Citrix/ICAClient/keystore/cacerts.

Launch from Browser

Web browsers on Linux may not recognize the ICA file type downloaded from xen.msi.umn.edu. It will be necessary to manually select '/opt/Citrix/ICAClient/wfica' as the application to launch the desktop. See the below picture for an example of this (Firefox):

LinuxICA

 

Disk-Full Errors

As described at the the Windows Systems Overview, the C: drive on Citrix systems has very little available space, and should not be used. However, some programs use the C: drive as temporary storage space, which can cause "Disk Full" errors to appear. Many applications have an setting to control where temporary files are stored – if so, choosing a folder on the S: or L: drive will prevent the error from occurring.

Other applications lack such an option. In this case, another alternative is to copy files to the L: drive and work on them there. As it is local, rather than network, storage, applications may not have to use temporary files. However, as the L: drive is for temporary storage, it is important to copy any changed files back to your U: or G: drive when finished.