My organisation delivers a number of applications via Citrix which on the whole works very well.

However, some applications require uploading of files from the users local Windows filesystem. The experience of this is very confusing for users. They do not realise that the file dialog invoked from a Citrix application is showing the Citrix server filesystem, and are understandably confused when they can't find their own documents.

Citrix does provide access to the local filesystem through drive mapping - C: becomes "C$ on Client(V:)". However, the My Documents shortcut then goes to the user folder on the server.

How have other people tackled this problem? Is there anyway to automatically map the My Documents link in the Citrix file dialog to %CSIDL_MYDOCUMENTS% on the client computer so the users don't have to navigate through this foreign looking file system?

We are using Citrix Presentation Server 4.5, but happy to hear about solutions that work on more recent versions since others may face the same challenge.

As if that wasn't fun enough, some of our users are on Macs. The C$ on Client mapping actually maps through to the root of the Mac filesystem, so it isn't a lost cause. Has anyone done anything smart for Mac clients in regard to this?

  • I've tackled this by trying to educate users on the difference between the computer they're sitting in front of, and the one they're actually connecting to, and pointing out that they're actually different. Usually followed by drinking and cursing God. That said, I'm also interested in technical solution that causes less liver damage. – HopelessN00b Aug 1 '12 at 13:51
  • Hah - good luck with that. I've been there, but now I see a key part of my job as making things easier for my users, so they don't have to understand how the system they are using work. They have other things to worry about, like bringing in the money used to pay my salary :-) – dunxd Aug 1 '12 at 13:58

I don't know much about Citrix environments, but it seems to be a feature in newer releases:

Displaying Local Special Folders in Sessions

To make it easier for your users to save files to their special folders locally, you can enable Special Folder Redirection. Special folders is a Microsoft term that refers to Windows folders such as Documents, Computer, and the Desktop.

Without Special Folder Redirection enabled, the Documents and Desktop icons that appear in a session point to the user’s Documents and Desktop folders on the server. Special Folder Redirection redirects actions, such as opening or saving a file, so that when users save or open files from special folders, they are accessing the special folder on their local computers. In addition, for the Citrix online plug-in, the Documents folder in the Start menu maps to the Documents folder on the client device.

To use Special Folder Redirection, users must access the farm with the Citrix online plug-in 11.x or later or the Web Interface.

Even for older releases, you could set HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\Personal to your desired path (in your case \tsclient\c\whatever), but would need to be able to construct it somehow using external information as the session would not carry anything beyond the name of the computer connecting. If your clients are within a domain (and thus under your administrative control), you could create a file in a predefined location containing the desired information like reg query "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders" > c:\paths.txt which you could access and evaluate from within the user's session logon script.

  • That is correct, it's available in Xenapp 6.0 and 6.5. – KJ-SRS Aug 1 '12 at 14:30
  • Thanks. Figures it would require upgrading to make work. – HopelessN00b Aug 1 '12 at 15:31

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