Setting up a Basic XenDesktop 5 Proof Of Concept – Part 1 of 2: Walkthrough from Install to Desktop Deployment


XenDesktop5 ISO (available from )
XenDesktop Express Edition License (available from )
Hosting Environment - Citrix XenServer / VMware vSphere / Microsoft Hyper-V
Domain Controller (vDmC) - Windows 2003 or higher with domain functional level Windows 2000 native or higher
+ DHCP (not totally essential depending on hosting model used)
+ Windows updates and antivirus as necessary
Windows 2008/2008R2 Std/Ent (vContoller) – domain joined
+ Windows updates and antivirus as necessary
Windows 7 Master Image (vMaster) – domain joined
+ Windows updates and antivirus as necessary

Part 1: Walkthrough from Install to Desktop Deployment

Everything from this point should be done using a domain login with sufficient permissions on vDmC, vController, vMaster to install software

Attach XenDesktop5 ISO
Select 'Install Virtual Desktop Agent'

Choose 'Quick Deploy'
Click 'Yes' if the prompt 'XenDesktop will disable the WDDM driver before continuing' appears (this may temporarily stop mouse and keyboard integration with guest tools)

Select 'Install'
Click 'Close' and then the virtual desktop will restart
Install Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Microsoft Silverlight, and other software as required (if have access to a XenApp server then install the Citrix Receiver,) also now would be a good time to run through some desktop optimizations (e.g. could use VDI Optimizer tool from as written by one of the MCS deployment team – see )  

Install Adobe Flash Player (used for the consoles)
Attach XenDesktop5 ISO
Select 'Install XenDesktop'

Accept default settings and click 'Next'

Default settings include all of the following components:
1) XenDesktop Controller – Creates and manages virtual desktops for users
2) Web Access – Provides users with web access to their virtual desktops
3) Desktop Studio – XenDesktop configuration and management console
4) Desktop Director – XenDesktop daily operations and helpdesk web site
5) License Server – Manages XenDesktop Licenses
6) SQL Server Express 2008 R2 – Used for the controller database

Click 'Next' to enable default ports on the Windows firewall
(defaults ports are 27000, 7279, and 8082; as used by the License Server)
Click 'Install'
Verify installation process was successful and click 'Close'

Desktop Studio will automatically open
From Desktop Studio, either select 'Quick Deploy' or can choose from the other options for a more advanced deployment configuration. The options are:

Quick Deploy - Streamlined configuration ideal for proof-of-concept or smaller production environments
Join existing deployment - Add the XenDesktop Controller installed on this server to an existing site
Desktop deployment - Advanced configuration ideal for large production environments
Application deployment - Configuration of VM Hosted Applications

Here can select the Quick Deploy wizard which will get a working proof-of-concept up and running in minutes. The second part of this article follows a different approach that can be used if access to the hosting environment's management servers is not allowed (e.g. no access permitted to VMware Virtual Center, Citrix XenServer, or Microsoft Hyper-V)


  1. Hello Vidad Cosonok,

    I have a question, because we have an issue when our domain controller is running under windows 2000. In your thread, you said : "Domain Controller (vDmC) - Windows 2003 or higher with domain functional level Windows 2000 native or higher". Where did you get this information ? From Citrix ? Do you have a link ? Because I can't find Citrix saying your Domain Controller must be 2003 or higher.

    Thanks a lot !

  2. Hello Julien

    Apologies about my delay in replying. The information in this post was from the Citrix XenDesktop 5 evaluators guide.




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