Friday, February 14, 2014

Mouse jumps around in Xenapp published app / fixed using Citrix Receiver


  • We had a problem where the mouse jumps around when running Citrix published apps.
  • Resolution identified as installing Citrix Receiver and ditching the Online Plug-in.
  • Craig gets unhappy because Citrix Receiver no longer allows launching of apps from the tray.
  • Unhappiness directed at Microsoft.
  • Resolution found for launching apps almost like we've always done.

We recently had a problem where the mouse jumps around when a dialog box is displayed.  This occurs when an end user is running a published (seamless) application from our Citrix XenApp 6.5 farm, using the Online Plug-In version 12.x or 13.x, and they have multiple monitors and the monitors do not all have the exact same resolution (or orientation).  Pretty specific, I know, but this problem is not really the focus of this post.

If you are having the specific problem mentioned above (the mouse jumping around when a dialog box appears when running a published app from a XenApp farm), then you may want to know that the fix is likely to uninstall the Online Plug-in and install Citrix Receiver. We installed version 3.4 Update 3 (at the suggestion of a Citrix technical support representative), which is not the latest version.  It does correct the mouse problem (yea!).

However, suddenly my end users can no longer launch applications from the system tray, which they've done for some 12 or so years now.  Bummer, to say the least.  Here's what I know: says:
Cause: Receiver for Windows 3.0 - Citrix has specifically deprecated support for the option of launching applications from the Notification Area menu to achieve a better and more intuitive user experience in Receiver deployments. This type of access on Windows 7 causes issues. Application access from the Notification Area is no longer consistent with Microsoft User Experience Guidelines. (bold type added for emphasis)

To those who would ask the question "why would you want this functionality anyway?":  Some have suggested that we should use the Start button, because that's where programs should be launched from.  The answer is simple: On a local computer there are lots of applications that are not work-related (not essential to performing one's daily tasks) and that are just "in the way."  My users should not have to wade through this just to access the targeted, concise application list that they need to do their everyday work.  (Do I really need a Program Group and icon for Microsoft Silverlight?  How about the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center?  Java?  Quicktime?  SQLXML 3.0?  ...are you getting the picture?).  Using XenApp I can customize an application list that contains only those items that our end users need.  Yes, I could probably remove some of the unneeded application folders/shortcuts with desktop management tools, but I don't need to... I have Citrix XenApp that can populate a concise application list -- oh, wait.

In addition, there are some applications that are installed both through Citrix and locally.  It is sometimes important for an end user to specifically launch one or the other.  Using the Start button is a bit problematic (and less efficient, at least) in this regard.


So in order to resolve the mouse problem I have to install Receiver, which will now greatly inconvenience our users.  They'll have sometimes 15 applications open - layered on top of one another.  In order to get to their concise application listing they'll have to minimize applications so that they can see their desktop, open up the folder that Receiver has placed on the desktop, then locate and launch the app.  Using the Start button is a last resort in my mind.

Furthermore, I can't even find a way to pin the desktop folder that Receiver creates onto the Taskbar.  It only wants me to pin it to Windows Explorer, which means the user has to click the Explorer icon on the taskbar and then click the Citrix Applications folder.  ARGH!

Thanks to another poster in a forum (nod to your post Reto Gloor).  Here's exactly what I did (worked on both Windows 7 and Windows 8):

  1. Uninstall the Online Plug-in.
  2. Install Citrix Receiver 3.4 Update 3.  Not sure why the technician did not want us to use the current version, 4.1.
  3. Tell Receiver (3.4 update 3) to display a desktop icon:
    1. (right-click the Receiver's tray icon and select About.
    2. Click Advanced.
    3. Click Online Plug-in Settings.  Note that a reboot may be required before you'll see this option.
    4. Click Options
    5. Click Application Display.
    6. Check "Show applications on desktop" and give the folder a name.  Actually for me the name field is grayed out.  It says "Citrix Applications".  I don't know if that's a default name or not, because that's the folder name we used before.
    7. This will display the named folder on your computer's desktop.
  4. Right-click on an empty spot on your Windows 7 or 8 Taskbar and select Toolbars | New Toolbar.
  5. You will be prompted to Choose a folder for the new toolbar.  Browse to your desktop and select the named Citrix applications folder.

This will place a nice folder icon thingy just to the left of your system tray.  It works great for me... now will roll out to a few end users who are having the mouse problem, which is where this all started!