Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Citrix Receiver 4+ rants and "Your apps are not available at this time. Please try again in a few minutes or contact your help desk with this information"

The environment I'm working in is a mix of XenApp 6.5, 5.0 and Presentation Server 4.5.  The 6.5 and 5.0 farm also have a nearly identical test farm.  We've been migrating the applications off the Presentation Server farms and are moving them to XenApp 6.5.  At this point in the migration we have around 5-10 applications left on 4.5 to move, with around 400-450 on the 6.5 farms and probably around 20-30 or so on the 5.0 farms.  These farms utilize a Citrix Webinterface 5.4.2 frontend for web interface and PNA.

We have standardized the environment on mostly Citrix Receiver 3.3 and some 3.4.  Time has marched and we've been tasked with getting Receiver 4+ working the Windows 7/8/10 rollout.  We were not able to do so with the earlier versions of Receiver 4 because things like sort icons into custom folders on the desktop and Start Menu.  This feature came in around 4.2.  In our environment memberships to applications are granted through group membership and Citrix PNA allowed the user to 'roam' from computer to computer only displaying the applications they have access to, as opposed to a bunch of applications they do not have access with the onus on them to pick and choose the correct applications.

So we started work on planning this migration and have started with the latest greatest (as of today) Citrix Receiver 4.3.  We have been able to come close to simulating all the features of the Enterprise editions of 3.3 and 3.4.  Namely:

Citrix Receiver automatically connects and populates a folder (MyApps) in the Start Menu and on the desktop.
No self-service.  Applications are automatically presented to you and defined by Group Membership.
Single sign-on.  Receiver will take your Windows logon credentials to use for authentication.

We do have some outstanding items.  We've set the client to have all applications as 'MANDATORY' which does populate the applications in the MyApps folders; but applications marked as 'Create shortcut on the desktop' in the applications properties in AppCenter are not created.

Anyways, onto the problem.  Now that we have Receiver 4.3 setup, SSON working, PNA working, we logged onto our system and watched the applications populate.

Slowly.

Really Slowly.

Eventually a dialog popped up.




Then another, and another, and another.


And these dialogs are completely custom!  They are NOT native Windows dialogs!



So if you have multiple ones of them, sometimes clicking the X (close button) or OK doesn't work because the dialog appears 'modal' and you need to click the button on the 'active' window.  But you generally don't know which one that is so you have to go through and select each dialog from the task bar and try clicking ok until you magically get lucky and select the one that has priority.  Then you do it all over again as the next primary window *may not be the one on top*.

1 minute 24 seconds to populate 470 applications

Just for giggles, how fast does Receiver 3.3 populate the same list?

8 seconds.  And all the icons show up.


Alright, so you've passed that point and are now looking at your applications.  But they are missing icons!



But not all applications are missing their icons...  Only some.

So let's find out what's consuming all this time and maybe, just maybe, we'll solve our "Your apps are not available" error message.

First thing we need to do is enable Citrix Receiver Logging:


Next is to exit and restart receiver and logs will start to generate.  They are located here:
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Citrix\Receiver
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Citrix\AuthManager
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Citrix\SelfService

The most important log tends to be the 'SelfService.txt' log.  If you search that log for the "Your apps are not available" error message it pops up in locations like this:

So this dialog popped up for an application called 'BMTServe'.  And what does BMTServe look like?

Generic icon!
But BMTServe was not the only application that encountered this dialog.  From my video it popped up numerous times.  Searching the SelfService.txt file for 'Your apps' and looking for the application it references points to an application with a blank icon 100% of the time.  Not every application that produces a blank icon causes this prompt, as we literally have ~250 applications with blank icons and the dialog pops up anywhere from 0 to 10 times.  Sometimes it pops up 2 times, sometimes none, sometimes 10 times.

So, why are these icons blank?

Citrix Receiver 4.3 seems to only prefer 32bit icons or icons of a particular size.  I haven't confirmed what exactly yet, but I do know that 8bit 32x32 icons don't seems to get 'translated'.  The Citrix logs all but confirm this as well.

I confirmed with Citrix that icons are required to be 32bit and the order they are checked is 48x48, 32x32 then 16x16.

This is how Receiver processes icons that are formatted correctly:

The icons were processed instantly. 00:00:00. But if they are formatted in a way that Receiver decides it needs to 'reformat' them:
This call to get an icon took 11.6 seconds!!! If it doesn't get the icon formatted in the way it wants, it appears the SelfService.exe setups a queue of icons that it needs and 're-requests' them from the server. Could it be that Receiver is submitting too many queries? The error mentions to check the authmansvr.txt log file. This log file shows the following:
The error appears to start at "CWindowsReceiver::CallARGetConnectedVpnGateway" When this call is successful it returns:
So, I guess it's possible that trying to re-pull the icon data is causing authmansvr.exe to crash...?  Another crazy thing is I was attempting to automate this process of terminating Receiver and relaunching it to see if I could get a gauge on the frequency of this occurrence and this is what I saw:


Ok, I thought, not so bad.  Just two messages the first couple launches?  It shouldn't be too much of an issue...  But then I looked at my application folder:

Left is when I get all my apps (and usually the message box) the left is all those 'successes'
It appears Receiver removed all applications producing that dialog box.  When I was terminating and relaunching receiver it was ONLY populating 195 applications as opposed to 493 it was supposed to. No wonder I wasn't getting any messages!  On a hunch, I looked at each of the 195 applications it kept and they all had good icons.  I then took a random sampling of about 30 of the 300 or so applications that it did not keep and none of them had proper icons, all blank.  So another bullet towards icons causing my issue.

9 comments:

Sunshine Bear said...

Same situation. 3.4.X receiver with storefront 3.0.1 and Xenapp65. Icons are there and appear really fast. 4.X with storefront 3.0.1 and Xenapp65 it takes over a minute for the icons to appear and half of them are missing from the published desktop icons. The applications still launch ok, but my users are just going to call in wanting their icons and not take that long for them to appear.

Magnus said...

did you ever find a resolution to this issue as I am facing the same thing with receiver version 4.3. All of the apps shortcuts populate, however you get this message about half way through the population. The app shortcuts all work too. I am thinking that there is a timeout value that can be adjusted somewhere but I haven't found it as of yet

Trentent said...

I've submitted a bug report with Citrix and am trying to work through with them. No resolution yet and the issue still occurs with Receiver 4.4 but with 4.4 the icons do come down correctly, just not all of them (when this error shows up).

Magnus said...

With the testing that I have been doing it has been hit or miss. Sometimes it works fine, other times it doesn't work at all although when it does work I get all of the icons / shortcuts.

Sunshine Bear said...

I skipped 4.3 and went to 4.4. No problems with 2-3 minute launches like before and the missing icons problem went away. I tried to talk to support for a few hours but the guy I got was a frontline grunt and didn't help very much

Corey Griot said...

Did you ever find a resolution to this issue? I'm experiencing the same thing, and have a support case open with Citrix for the issue, but I'm not looking forward to navigating through the issue with Citrix support.

Trentent said...

No Resolution from Citrix yet. I have an open ticket with them but I haven't had a chance to work with them lately because of a more serious issue I'm having with AppV. I still encounter most of these issues with 4.4 still..

Anonymous said...

Did you try the pnaclient.dll private hotfix that was created for Citrix Receiver 4.3? I'm in the same boat on 4.4 is why I asked and just thought about this when I read this blog. I have a copy of it and can try it in a minute to see what happens.

Anonymous said...

I know this post is pretty old, but as I'm working on a 4.4 rollout and having the exact same issue I was hoping to hear if you go this all sorted out. Your post is the only thing I have found so far that really details the issue I'm having. Thanks