UPDATE: Custom VMware Tools Install for Windows 7 Citrix XenDesktop VDI

Following on from the posting of Tuesday 28th June 2011 ( http://cosonok.blogspot.com/2011/06/custom-vmware-tools-install-for-windows.html ), my current preferred custom VMware Tools Install is as below:

Note: when troubleshooting perfomance issues with VDIs - storage, networking, VMhost utilization, memory, CPU, applications and processes running, all need to be taken into account.

Custom VMware tools setup:

YES – Toolbox

VMware Device Drivers
YES – Memory Control Driver
NO – Thin Print
NO – Paravirtual SCSI
NO – Mouse Driver
NO – Shared Folders
NO – SCSI Driver
NO – SVGA Driver
NO – Audio Driver
NO – VMXNet3 NIC Driver
NO – VMCI Driver
NO – Volume Shadow Copy Service
NO – Wyse Multimedia Support

Guest SDK
NO – WMI Performance Logging

Note: this is using the E1000 adapter and not the VMXNet3 adapter.

The above configuration is quite a departure from the original post of 28th June, and was reached at from various debates with colleagues and experiences in the past. With 2.5GB memory given to the machine, this performs very well for a heavy user (Office apps running, vSphere client, call logging systems, 10+ internet browser tabs open {including java based monitoring systems}, task manager, process explorer, ...) on a highly utilized VMhost server.

Regarding increasing the priority given to Citrix processes; after max-ing out the CPU on a test Windows 7 VDI using prime95.exe (a freely available to download prime number generator,) with VMware tools installed as above, and then reducing the priorities of various 'Citrix Systems, Inc.' processes to below prime95, it was found that the priority given to the Citrix processes does not adversely influence user experience, and even with 2 max-ed out vCPUs and no above normal priority given to any 'Citrix Systems, Inc.' process, the Citrix VDI remained nice and responsive.

Caveat: The above is just one permutation from many.

Tip: Some applications performance is improved by adjusting the executable or shortcut Compatibility settings; ticking options like 'Disable desktop composition,' 'Disable visual themes,' 'Run in 256 colors,' and 'Disable display scaling on high DPI settings' (example below.)


  1. Is this the same when using VMXNet3 adapter?

    1. Hi Anonymous,
      If using the VMXNet3 adapter, the VMXNet3 NIC driver component of the tools must be installed.

  2. Hi Vidad,

    what about if you need audio for the virtual desktops? My customer wants to use Skype?


    1. Hi Cristian, you'd need to do a bit of testing but Citrix will provide a HDX audio driver. To be honest, this custom tools configuration was installed on VDIs in an environment that was suffering resource contention, so needed to keep things as light as possible. The only VMware tools component that really causes issues with Citrix is the SVGA driver. Cheers!


Post a Comment