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Citrix App Layering Persistent Virtual Machine Template Windows Updates Broken Windows 10


Derek Gamble

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Hi there,

 

We're using Citrix App Layering ELM version 19.5.0.5 for the creation of Persistent and Non-Persistent VDIs to use with Citrix MCS. We also use Nutanix AHV as the hypervisor platform. Client Operating System is Windows 10 1809.

 

Everything works well with the Non-Persistent configuration and publishing for use with MCS.  However, for the the Persistent template there's something happening on the Platform layer that's breaking the Persistent template's ability to patch the operating system. 

 

We noticed that the first batch of machines created for testing when running a patch cycle (Ivanti is in use for that) the 3rd party updates like Adobe Reader and Chrome were installing fine but the Operating System fails to patch. Errors in CBS.log suggested missing manifest files so we tried to use the DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /Check, Scan and RestoreHealth options to run repairs for this. We ran DISM attempting to allow missing/corrupt files to be pulled from Windows Update and also from the source installation media but these attempts failed.

 

To allow testing we created a new OS Layer where we had successfully applied July updates and ran the DISM commands which all came back clear - no corruptions or errors - so all good on the OS Layer. We then created a new Platform Layer which has the Citrix Apps (VDA, Workspace, WEM, C++ versions and Citrix Optimizations). Once this was created and published we again tested the health of the udpates store with the DISM commands and straight away had issues with the same errors and messages we were seeing on the final published template. So we know that there's something in the Platform layer which is causing the problem but can't currently figure out what it is. We're reviewed the output of the Optimizations.cmd and the AppLayering script and nothing seems as if it would cause any store corruption.

 

Has anyone saw anything similar with Citrix App Layering when working to create templates that need to be persistent and therefore have the OS patched monthly?

 

Many thanks,

Derek

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App Layering is only designed to be used with no -persistent desktops precisely for the issue you are seeing. You can use an app layered image to create a dedicated static desktop but then there is no wAy to update the image you have to yse something like SCCM from then on.  
 

The user layer is the way we support a persistent type of desktop with app layering but its not truly persistent its pretty persistent. 

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Ah, thanks Rob. Especially for the quick response. We did put the SCCM client on to the end published image too but obviously the security patches won't apply regardless of the method being tried then.

 

We though that we'd be able to use the App Layering process to publish an image for use with a persistent Citrix MCS/Delivery Group as a base template and use either Ivanti or SCCM for patching the OS ongoing. 

 

So, as App Layering is designed for non-persistent we can't patch the OS but other applications like Chrome can be updated so App Layering isn't a candidate for use as a method to create a base template for persistent devices.

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