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Deployment Guide: Citrix Profile Management Containers

  • Contributed By: Steve Beals Special Thanks To: Steven Gallagher


The Citrix Profile Management Profile Container is a VHDX-based profile solution that allows you to store the profile folders of your choice or the entire user profile on the VHDX profile disk. A VHDX file is created per user on your profile storage share and mounted to the VDA session when the users log on. This resolves any issues with slow logons and improves the logon experience. Once the users have logged into their virtual application, their profile folders are available immediately.

The Citrix Profile Container has the following architecture:



Before configuring your environment's profile containers, verify that you meet all Citrix Profile Management system requirements. For more information, see System Requirements.

  • Either a supported Windows Desktop or Server OS virtual machine.
  • Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) downloaded (Either LTSR 2203 or later or Current Release is acceptable).

Create the User Store

The user store is a central network location that stores the Citrix user profile containers. Either a Server Message Block (SMB) or Common Internet Files System (CIFS) file share can be used for the user store.

  • Create your SMB or CIFS file share based on your organization's best practices and network location.

  • Set the following Share permissions to the file share created:


  • Set the NTFS permissions for the user store:


  • The Special Users permissions must be set as follows:


Install Profile Management

Citrix Profile Management can be installed during the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) installation. However, if you already have VDAs deployed without Profile Management, you can install the Profile Management .msi on your updated master image. For this deployment guide, Profile Management is installed during the VDA installation.

  1. Mount the Virtual Apps and Desktops ISO and launch Autoselect.


  2. Select the option that fits your deployment.


  3. Click Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Multi-session OS or single-session OS if that is the case.


  4. Select the appropriate environment configuration for your deployment and click Next.


  5. Click Next.


  6. Select Citrix Profile Management and Citrix Profile Management WMIplug-in and click Next. Ensure to select any other component options you require for your deployment.


  7. Add your Delivery Controllers and click Next.


  8. Select applicable options for your deployment. Click Next.


  9. Select Automatically and click Next.


  10. Click Install.


  11. The Virtual Delivery Agent installs, and the server restarts multiple times during the prerequisite installation.


  12. lick Next.


  13. Select Restart machine and click Finish.


  14. Once the VDA has restarted, validate that the Citrix Profile Management Service is running on the VDA by opening services.msc.


Create Machine Catalog and Delivery Group

Use either Citrix DaaS or Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops to create a machine catalog and delivery group of the virtual machines as you normally would. We use Citrix DaaS for our deployment and run through this process.

  1. Click Manage and Connect to Citrix DaaS Studio.


  2. Select Machine Catalogs


  3. Click Create Machine Catalog.


  4. Select the Machine Type. This must match the virtual machine operating system where you installed the VDA


  5. Choose how you want to deploy your machines. This POC guide has Machines that are not powered managed and deployed through Other service or technology within our Azure subscription. Click Next.


  6. Click Add machines, and we choose the VDA we created earlier.


  7. Select the VDA we created earlier and click Done.


  8. Choose your minimum functional level for this catalog, and click Next.



  9. Click Next on the Scopes blade.


  10. Click Next on the WEM (Optional) blade.


  11. Click Next on the VDA Upgrade (Optional) blade.


  12. Enter a Machine Catalog name. Review—and click Finish.


  13. This will now create your machine catalog.


  14. Once completed, you see that your machine catalog appears in the Citrix DaaS Studio.


  15. From the left side menu, click Delivery Groups to start creating your delivery group.


  16. Click Create Delivery Group.


  17. In the Create Delivery Group dialog that opens, Select the catalog you created earlier and choose the number of machines from the machine catalog that will be assigned to this delivery group. Click Next.


  18. Assign users at this stage. Click Next.


  19. You can specify applications that appear to the end users under their workspace, or if you want to deliver only the desktop, leave this blank and click Next.


  20. Select Next on the Scopes screen.


  21. Leave the default selected on License Assignment and click Next.


  22. Choose the name of your Delivery Group and the display name that your users see, and click Finish.


  23. You can specify applications that appear to the end users under their workspace, or if you want to deliver only the desktop, leave this blank and click Next.


  24. Select Next on the Scopes screen.


  25. Leave the default selected on License Assignment and click Next.


  26. Choose the name of your Delivery Group and the display name that your users see, and click Finish.


Configure the Profile Container Policy

Citrix Profile Management containers can be either enabled to capture a portion of the user profile or the entire user profile. For this deployment, we enable the containers for the entire user profile. The profile container policy can be created with Citrix Policies or Group Policy (GPO). If using the GPO method, the Citrix Profile Management .admx and .adml files must be copied into the SYSVOL\PolicyDefinitions within your domain. We use Citrix Policies for this deployment.

  1. Log in to Citrix DaaS or Virtual Apps and Desktops Web Studio and select Policies.


  2. Click Create Policy.


  3. Expand and select Profile Management.


  4. Select Basic Settings, Enable Profile Management, and click Enable.


  5. Select Path to user store and click Edit.


  6. Enable the policy and enter the path to the file share where the profile containers are stored. Using #SAMAcccountName# creates a subfolder for each user in the file share.


  7. Select Profile container settings, Profile Container, and click Enable.


  8. Select Enable VHD disk compaction and click Enable.


  9. Select Profile Management, Profile container - List of folders to be included in profile container, and select Edit.


  10. Enable the policy, put a * for the contents, and click Save.


  11. If you are setting up profile containers for multi-session scenarios (Virtual Apps, Hosted Desktops), select Advanced Settings, Enable multi-session write-back for profile containers, and click Enable.


  12. Select View selected only, review the settings configured. Click Next


  13. The next step is where and to whom the profile container policy will be assigned. We are assigning this to a specific Delivery Group for our deployment only. Assign your policy based on your deployment needs.


  14. Select the appropriate Delivery Group, click Enable, and click Save.


  15. Click Next.


  16. Review the policy summary, provide a name for your policy, select Enable Policy, and click Finish.


  17. The Citrix policy to enable and create profile containers is now enabled.


  18. You can change the priority of the newly created policy based on your requirements by clicking Change Policy Priorities.


Optional Configuration Settings

The following policy settings are not required to enable profile containers within your deployment. However, they should be considered to ensure proper scalability and high container availability.

VHD auto-expansion feature. By default, the profile container has a storage capacity of 50 GB. Enabling this feature will automatically expand the profile container VHDX file by 10 GB increments up to a maximum of 80 GB when enabled.


Replicate user stores. To ensure profile redundancy and high availability to your profile containers, the Profile Management user store can be replicated to multiple paths on each user logon and logoff.


Include and exclude folders and files. To prevent the profile container from bloating, you can exclude folders and files from it. You can include folders and files when their parent folders are excluded.

Container Validation

Now that the profile container is enabled, users have a profile created for them upon login within the profile user store set within the Citrix policy. All settings will now be saved to this container.

  1. Log in as a test user via Citrix Workspace/Citrix StoreFront and launch a virtual application or desktop, depending on your deployment setup.


  2. Once the application or desktop has launched, browse your user data store and validate that the profile container VHDX file has been created for the user.



This guide walked you through the installation and configuration of Citrix Profile Containers for either a Citrix DaaS or Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops deployment. This consisted of creating the user store for the profile containers, installing Citrix Profile Management on the VDA, and configuring the Citrix Policy to enable profile containers. Finally, we launched a virtual application and validated the profile container is active for the user.

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