How to get Citrix XenDesktop VDI and HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection on the User Device work?
Configuring HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection
HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection allows you to move the processing of most Adobe Flash content to LAN-connected user’s Windows devices rather than using server resources. This includes animations, videos, and applications. By moving the processing to the user device, Flash Redirection reduces server and network load, resulting in greater scalability while ensuring a high definition user experience.
Recently, I came across a situation where the Citrix HDX MediaStream and Client-Side Flash redirection did not work. Here are a few things to consider, however these are the latest version today, things may change when the vendors update their product versions in future.
Environment details, versions may vary but you could find interesting spots from this blog to narrow down your own Flash problems:
Windows 7 64-bit
Internet Explorer 10
ActiveX Flash Player
Windows 7 32-bit
Citrix Receiver 4.1
ActiveX Flash Player
Situation was that when users browse web sites including Adobe Flash content e.g. YouTube, Flash was rendered on the Server-Side, though XenDesktop default policy is set to use Client-Side rendering for the flash contents by default.
It generated lot of vCPU load on the virtual servers and video was choppy and audio was not synchronized. This can have a huge impact on users, depending on the size of the infrastructure.
How to get XenDesktop VDI and Adobe Flash Client-Side redirection to work?
First thing was the update latest Flash version, which is today Adobe Flash ActiveX version 184.108.40.206 for the Internet Explorer. Same version needs to be installed on the client device as well. Be aware, that Internet Explorer is the only browser which use ActiveX player, as for the other browser e.g. Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox Adobe Flash Plug-In needs to be installed. But in this blog I will only focus on the Internet Explorer 10 and Windows 7 64-bit VDI.
Adobe Flash Player archive source – all versions:
You can make sure of installed Flash players version to launch Flash Player tool -> Advanced from the Windows Control Panel.
This should normally be enough to get Client-Side Flash rendering to work, but if it’s not working, we might have a problem.
The next thing was to check Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) version and update it, if necessary. I found out that there was a newer version, which could possibly solve my issues.
As the environment was XenDesktop 5.6 Desktop Delivery Controllers, latest VDA agent was:
Hotfix Rollup XD560VDAWX64400 (Version 5.6.400) – For Citrix XenDesktop Virtual Desktop Agent Core Services x64 – English
or if you have 32-bit VDI
Hotfix Rollup XD560VDAWX86400 (Version 5.6.400) – For Citrix XenDesktop Virtual Desktop Agent Core Services x86 – English
After that I realized we have to check Citrix Receiver version on the client device too, I found out there are some problems between Receiver 3.4 and 4.1 versions with VDA 5.6 (depending exact versions of course), so as I know latest working versions was the Citrix Receiver 3.3 and the latest 4.1 (220.127.116.11). You can download Citrix Receiver 4.1 from there:
Citrix Receiver for Windows 4.1 (18.104.22.168)
If you need to Single Sign-On (SSON) enabled, remember to use command: “CitrixReceiver.exe /includeSSON”
Now we have all client and plugin versions up-to-date on the Client machine and on the VDI Image, but we still need to configure some policies to get it work, even as I said before Flash Client-Side redirection should work by default, in some cases it does not work.
Use this checklist:
Use Citrix HDX Monitor to narrow down any issues, it shows easily what is wrong:
Check Internet Explorer 10 – Citrix Known Issues
In the VDI machine, you might need to add registry setting for the Internet Explorer 10
“IEBrowserMaximumMajorVersion” = dword:0000000a
(use hexadecimal 00000010 for the IE version 10)
Enable XenDesktop policies:
Flash Acceleration -> Enabled
Enable Active Directory Group Policies:
To configure HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection on the User Device with Group Policy Objects
Create or select an existing Group Policy Object.
Import and add the HDX MediaStream for Flash – Client administrative template (HdxFlash-Client.adm), available in:
– For 32-bit computers: %Program Files%\Citrix\ICA Client\Configuration\language.
– For 64-bit computers: %Program Files (x86)%\Citrix\ICA Client\Configuration\language.
To enable HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection on the user device:
Configure Enable HDX MediaStream for Flash on the user device to determine whether Flash Redirection is enabled on your users’ Windows devices. If no configuration is set, one of the following will occur, based on your users’ environment:
– XenDesktop Viewer is used: Flash Redirection is disabled by default.
– XenDesktop Viewer is not used: The user receives a dialog box the first time they access Flash content in each session in which the user can enable HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection.
– Locked Desktop Appliance is used: Flash Redirection is enabled by default.
1. In the Group Policy Object Editor, expand either the Computer Configuration or User Configuration node.
2. Expand the Administrative Templates and Classic Administrative Templates (ADM) nodes and select HDX MediaStream for Flash – Client.
3. From the Setting list, select Enable HDX MediaStream for Flash on the user device and click policy setting.
4. Select Not Configured, Enabled, or Disabled.
5. If you selected Enabled, from the Use HDX MediaStream for Flash list, select Always, Ask, or Never.
Note: Selecting Ask results in users receiving a dialog box the first time they access Flash content in each session in which the user can enable HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection. If the user does not enable HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection, the Flash content is played on the server. Selecting Always and Never do not result in this dialog box. Select Always to always use HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection to play Flash content on the user device. Select Never to never use HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection and have Flash content play on the server.
6. For the policy to take effect:
– Computer Configuration: Changes take effect as computers in the organizational unit restart.
– User Configuration: Users in the organizational unit must log off and then log on to the network.
Test it and now your Adobe Flash Client-Side direction should work!