Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Installation Manager for XenApp 6 – installing Acrobat Reader

Now we have Installation Manager installed, we should probably use it.  An MSI and MST file combination is a good standard install, so this is rolling out Acrobat reader to your Citrix servers.

Customising Acrobat Reader

  • Download Acrobat Reader – I got the latest version (9.3.4) from the Adobe website, after a little searching:
  • Also download the Adobe Customization Wizard 9:
  • Install the Adobe Customization Wizard on your PC – accept all the defaults.
  • Extract the EXE using this command: AdbeRdr910_en_US_Std.exe -nos_ne
  • Wait for the window that pops up to do its work…
  • You should then find the extracted files in this folder on Vista and Windows 7:
    %LOCALAPPDATA%\Adobe\Reader 9.3\Setup Files
  • Run the Adobe Customization Wizard
  • Open the AcroRead.msi you just extracted into Setup Files
  • Select Installation Options on the left – set to run Silently and Suppress Reboot


  • Select Shortcuts.  Remove the desktop shortcut.
  • Select EULA and Document Status.  Click the checkbox to suppress the EULA dialog
  • Select Online and Features.  Disable all features and all updates.
  • Exit from the application and it should ask you if you want to save changes to AcroRead.msi.  Say yes, and it will create the file AcroRead.mst in the same folder as the MSI file.  Move the contents of this folder to your shared fileserver ready for Installation Manager to use them.

Distributing Acrobat Reader using Installation Manager

  • Open Installation Manager
  • Click “Schedule MSI/MSP package…” on the right hand pane
  • Enter a name in the Task name box
  • In the Target List box, you can just enter the names of the servers to install to, separated by commas (no spaces).  Alternatively, click “Servers…”.  This will bring up a worryingly empty list.


  • Select Citrix Server Selector (assuming they are in a farm – otherwise use the Windows Server Selector) and click Add
  • Enter the name of a Citrix server (maybe the Data Collector?) in the “Server Address” box and click GO!
  • You should get a nice list of your servers and server folders.  Select servers (use CTRL to select multiple) and click “Add >” to select them.
  • Put the installation files you prepared earlier in a shared folder on a fileserver.
  • Select the MST and MSI files using the Browse buttons (or by just typing of course).
  • Enter a time for the install – or leave it as Now.
  • Select the checkboxes to log off users or reboot the server as needed.  With this install I am just denying logons.


  • Click the Advanced button and change the cache location for this task to the one on the shared file location which holds and MST and MSI.  I don’t know if this is necessary but without this change it seems to have trouble finding the task.  You can also change the retry settings here. By default it will retry every 10 minutes for 1 hour.
  • Click OK to schedule your install!
  • Right click the task every few seconds and select Refresh.  It should succeed – you also get the PowerShell code that is fired at the servers.

Distributing an MSP update

  • Once this is succeeded you should have Acrobat Reader 9.3.0 installed.  To update this to 9.3.4 (currently the latest), create a new task, as before.  This time, when you browse for the MSI file, change the drop down at the bottom to MSP files and you should see a list of MSP files:


  • Select (now for the annoying bit) the oldest.  In the case of this upgrade you need to update it to 9.3.2, then 9.3.3, then 9.3.4.  If you go straight for 9.3.4 it will fail with the status “Installation Failed: 1642”.  So select 9.3.2 and carry on.
  • You won’t need a transform for this so just select the right servers and change the Shared Folder under Advanced settings to be the one with the MSP in and run it.  It should work and you can check the installed version of Acrobat is upgraded. 
  • Repeat the process creating installation tasks for the 9.3.3 and 9.3.4 updates.  At least it will easy when the inevitable 9.3.5 comes along!


Anonymous said...

How do you perform an install with a required Command Line Option such as TRANSFORMSSECURE=1?

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