Friday, 17 September 2010

Hosting the Internet Explorer 9 Beta in XenApp 6

image Installing beta software on your XenApp farm might sound like a bad idea – because it probably is actually.  Still, if you have a server that you can use to host test applications for a while before being wiped it could be a good way of satisfying the curiosity of some users without them trying to install it on their main desktops.

This took a lot more messing about than I was expecting, I thought it might be worth sharing this in case anyone else is trying the same thing.  I’d be very interested in how other people felt IE9 Beta worked on XenApp as well.

Pre-requisites and the Beta Service Pack

To install IE9 on your XenApp 6 2008 R2 server, first you need the pre-requisites:

The pre-reqs for IE9 Beta are generally on this page:

You should just need the one in near the end of the list for Windows Server 2008 R2.  Personally I could not get the IE9 beta to recognise that it was installed though and had to go even further into Beta territory by installing the Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 beta!

Download from this site: (click the second green Get Started Now button…)

After a reboot I had an upgraded Windows 2008 R1 SP1 beta server!  I’m really not going to put this into live service without a rebuild…


You are now ready to install the IE9 pre-req update.  Go to this site:

and click the link “download the x64 SP1 beta package now”


Install and reboot.


Installing IE9 Beta

You should then be able to download the IE9 beta – get the x64 version from here:

Scroll to the bottom of the screen to the server section and download the version for Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit


And run the executable!  Follow the installation through, with the above updates it should succeed.  Reboot at the end of the install.




Publishing IE9 Beta to the farm

After a reboot I did indeed have IE9 installed locally…


Finally, I published an IE9 as a Hosted Application on my XenApp 6 farm (launching from "C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe").  I put a start page on the end of the address as well to give the users something nice to look at.


Fixing the server!

Sadly, when I came to test the application as a Citrix app I found it would not work.  I tried publishing both IE9 x86 and x64 and even tried Notepad with the same impact – when it connected my server would drop all its external connections and become unmanageable until rebooted.  Also, Windows was worryingly claiming that Remote Desktop Services was unlicensed.  I assume this is all because SP1 is not ready for launch yet. I went into Control Panel and into Programs and Features and Installed Updates then removed the beta Service Pack then rebooted again!


I then removed the update KB2259539 that I installed earlier and installed the one for 2008 R2 without the beta service pack and rebooted.  Again.

And it works!  I have IE9 published on the Citrix farm, from a server which I still wouldn’t trust with anything else but that is more stable than when it had SP1 beta (which is NOT ready for a XenApp Server trial!). 

A quick test revealed that HDX MediaStream for Flash still works in the IE9 beta, which is a bonus.  Seems very fast and stable.  And a bit like Chrome…


Anonymous said...

Indeed, didn't install prerequisite, also installed flash x64-bit ;)

Labmouse said...

That's the spirit, let's get as much beta software on there as we can!! Hmmm, I like the sound of this...

Internet Explorer 9 hardware accelerated rendering support — Enhanced support for Internet Explorer 9 Beta. It takes advantage of hardware accelerated graphics in Internet Explorer 9 Beta, utilizing hardware rendering surfaces to improve graphics performance and enable seamless composition.

Okay, I'm installing too! :-) Cheers for the feedback,


pravin said...

wow!!! that is great thank you for your share.
Internet Explorer 9 is a grate thing....
yes i am going to install this wow thing..


Anonymous said...

I'm 100% sure you never used Internet Explorer 9 to post in this blog. Did you?

Anonymous said...

If you, only once, tried to use IE9 to post you would realize it can't even allow you to do so. Poor IE 9, not compatible with Blogger.

Windows VPS said...

Yes you have done good posting, i am also thinking to upgrade my IE8 to IE9.

graham goch said...

I would simply say to you all “awesome information”
Hoster Talk

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