USB Support in XenApp/Presentation Server Products

  • CTX816193
  • Created onMar 26, 2014
  • Updated onApr 24, 2014
Article Topic Other


This article contains information about USB Support in XenApp or Presentation Server.

USB Support in XenApp or Presentation Server

Citrix support for peripherals attached to a client device is a fundamental functionality leveraged by the Citrix Server Based Computing (SBC) model. Support for many client-side peripherals exists. Therefore, when either using local or remotely published applications, end-users can seamlessly utilize their peripheral device resources.

Client-side peripherals are supported in one of two basic methods:
  • Device Level Redirection – This method involves redirection (also called “mapping”) of the high-level device as recognized by the operating system, such as keyboards, mice, or printers. Such devices are not detected by the operating system by the hardware ports to which they connect, but rather by the device itself. For example, whether a keyboard has a USB or Serial port connector, or a printer has a Parallel, Serial, or USB connector, they are detected by the operating system as keyboards and printers. In the latter scenario that is for a parallel printer, the printer mapping functionality is used; LPT port redirection, which is described in the following section, does not play a role.
  • Port Level Redirection – This method involves redirection of the low-level port itself. This includes COM, LPT, and USB ports. These ports are generically identified as ports by the operating system and traffic to them is redirected between server and client. XenApp supports the generic redirection of only COM and LPT ports on the client device.

Many USB peripheral devices are supported by the Device Level Redirection method described previously. The following is a general list of the types of USB devices that are supported:
  • USB Keyboards

  • USB Mice

  • USB Printers

  • USB Bar Code Scanners (which emulate keystroke entries)

  • USB Smart Card Readers

  • USB Storage Solutions (such as external drives and memory sticks)

The following USB device types are not currently supported running over a MetaFrame connection. Note that the device are usually configured to operate with a local application on the client device and after the data is captured to transfer the data file to the server by using the normal client drive mapping functionality of MetaFrame.
  • USB Image Scanners (such as flatbed scanners)

  • USB Cameras

  • USB Card Readers (such as for credit cards)

  • USB Check Readers

  • USB PDA Cradles

USB Port Level Redirection

At this time Citrix does not support USB devices that require low-level port redirection. Because of the large number of USB-based devices that are available and the proprietary nature of each manufacturer implementation of USB, it has not been possible to date to make a generic USB port redirection solution available as a standard part of the MetaFrame product. Citrix is, however, investigating the possibilities for creating USB solutions for particular devices at the high-level device redirection as previously described. Contact Citrix Systems for the possibility of creating customized solutions for such products, or for information on future support for them within the standard product.

USB Drivers and ICA Clients

Note that all of the USB peripheral support above assumes the existence of a proper USB device driver for the operating system on the client device, and for a corresponding Citrix ICA Client for that same operating system that supports the mapping functionality at hand. For example, not all Citrix ICA clients support the use of smart cards whether or not a device driver from the manufacturer exists.

USB Printers on Macintosh Computers

The Citrix ICA Client for Macintosh OS provides general support for printers attached by using Macintosh USB ports. Some manufacturers supply printer drivers that allow a print file to be sent directly to specific USB printers. Another alternative is to print by using a network print server, instead of using the Client Printer Mapping functionality in the ICA Client. Refer to Citrix Documentation - Mac Printing to Map client devices.

USB Printers on Windows Based Terminals

USB support for Windows Based Terminal client devices is vendor dependent. Contact the Windows Based Terminal vendor for the latest information about USB solutions for their devices.

Additional Resources

Citrix Documentation - Configuring USB Support for VM Hosted Apps

Citrix Documentation - Configuring USB Support for XenDesktop Connections

Automatic translation

Important: This article was translated by an automatic translation system (also referred to as Machine Translation, or MT) and has not been translated or reviewed by people. Citrix offers a machine translated version of this article to allow for greater access to the support content. However, automatic translation is not always perfect and may contain errors of vocabulary, syntax or grammar. Citrix is not responsible for inconsistencies, errors or damage incurred as a result of the use of MT articles from our customers.Thank you.
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