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Issue with new 19.11 and "offload Compositing"





The new feature "offload Compositing" in vCenter connector breaks our Windows 2016 and Windows 10 masters.

Since we upgraded Windows 2016 and Windows 10 catalogs we noticied that some layerized applications (office, arcGis, and so on) is just not working anymore.

Publishing a new master with the new offload Compositing feature disabled solve the issue.


Known bug?



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I have a similar problem. Since upgrade to 1911 ( and activating "Offload Compositing" for vSphere our Office Standard 2016 app layer is broken.


After publishing an layered image (Windows 10, and Office Standard 2010) with offload compositing, the installation of Office 2016 always requires a setup reconfiguration after starting an app (Word, Excel) which takes a few minutes. After the reconfiguration, the app Word and Excel works fine and it's acitvated via KMS. Outlook is starting. but doenst connect to exchange server via autodiscovery.


Without offload compositing the published image works fine (without reconfiguration of Office after starting an app).


I created already a support case. 



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@MBi good to know that i am not alone with this case.


@Rob Zylowski1709158051 what logs or informations could be helpful to investigate this issue?

First, i focused on KMS activation issue but could find any errors in the ActivateOffice_log.txt file. Recreating the Office app layer as described in the office recipe did not help. Then i disabled offload compositing - as this was my only change after upgrading to 1911 - and the image works again.


Our environment: ELM 1911, vSphere ESXi 6.0 for creating/updating and publishing (Machine Creation) Connectors, Citrix Xendesktop 7.15 CU5.

The problem is reproducible and occures in the layered image directly before provisioning it for Citrix Xendesktop 7.15 CU5 (with MCS). After provisioning it the issue also occures.


Offload compositing speeds up the publish processing by 2-3x times, which is great! Unfortunately the image is not usable for us right know.

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I hate to jump on the bandwagon but I have also found an issue with using Offload Compositing in 1911.  My O365 apps seem to be working correctly after versioning them and running the optimizer again however I found that where I modified the settings on the ELM to give me a 50 GB Writable C drive that it reverted to 20 GB with Offload Compositing enabled.  I entered the settings again from the article below and they were ignored.  So, I unchecked Offload Composting and republished the image and it once again gave me a 50 GB C drive. I have a case open for this.  




On a positive note it was MUCH faster packaging and deploying images!

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I am having the same issues as well. I need to do a better look through the forums before I post...


Did support get an estimated time of when they expect the fix to go out? Seeing the speed improvements now and knowing I can't use it because of Office stinks! I think i'll have to stop using Offload Composting completely for now as I don't wan to run into one of our other applications having weird issues.

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Hi jfraust506, the fix I was referencing only applies to the issue I mentioned about increasing the size of the Writable Partition.  If OC is enabled, the modification is ignored.  I didn't do any additional testing of apps other than to open Outlook and confirmed that it was working for me after versioning and and running optimization again.  


They simply said that the partition resize issue "should be fixed in the next release".  For now, I've rolled back to my previous version.  

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Hello Everyone!


It is great to see all of the interest in our new offload compositing feature! We love hearing that the performance improvements are so dramatic. As is the case with most enterprise software solutions, when we make big changes it can cause unforeseen issues elsewhere in the product. While we thoroughly test and verify every component of App Layering at each release, occasionally there are still some bugs that slip through the cracks. Regarding the KB referenced earlier in this thread:



The changes to expand the writeable partition documented in this article are not common practice and are intended for special circumstances where data is being written to the partition in excess of what we consider to be healthy or normal. The intent for expanding the writeable partition is to stabilize the image, however it will not fix the underlying problem which is a process, service or application in Windows generating excessive writes in the image. Isolating and addressing the cause for the excessive writes is the best approach to resolving the issue, and Citrix recommends that customers experiencing this behavior open a support case and work with Technical Support to fully resolve this behavior.


Offload compositing does not currently support the process described in the article for expanding the writeable partition. We are currently taking a closer look at the issue and discussing how to address it. Any changes we make will include support for offload compositing too. There is currently no estimate on when we might release such a fix or enhancement.


At this time, customers experiencing this issue should do the following:

  1. Uncheck "offload compositing" for any connectors publishing images that have implemented the changes in the KB to expand the wrtiteable partition. With offload compositing disabled, the images configured this way will continue to run without any issues.
  2. Engage with Citrix directly to open a support case, and work with Citrix Technical Support to isolate and understand what specifically is causing the excessive writes within the layered image.

We do apologize for any inconvenience caused by this problem.


Best Regards,

App Layering Product and Development

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Updating office 2016 layer and then publishing a new template with OC enabled results in office throwing an error when trying to open something like word


Message is :We're sorry but this feature appears to be broken and needs to be repaired.  Use the programs and features option in the Windows control panel to repair Microsoft Office. 


This doesn't happen on the appliance running


Any news on what causes this issue or when there might be some kind of fix for it?

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