Citrix XenDesktop: Printer issues on VMware Hosted Machines

I love citrix.  I also hate it – mostly when it comes to printing.  Of course my initial response to printer issues is always the same.  STOP PRINTING SO MUCH CRAP!  However, the health care industry has just not been able to figure it out.  Getting staff to just fax (don’t get me started on faxes) from their desktops is a seemly impossible task.  They would much rather print it out then turn around and fax it.  In a future post I’m going to go deeper into printing and how much money is wasted, especially in clinic’s like ours, but for now I digress.

So we are getting ready to upgrade our VDI environment and roll it out to a larger segment of the Clinic.  In the course of this we are dumping XenServer.  We had initially done some testing with XenServer for hosting our virtual desktops.  It’s free and has all the features a hypervisor should have.  However, the management of another system for a clinic our size seems silly.  So as we going to be upgrading I wanted to reclaim the hardware our XenServers were running on and move them into our VMware farm.

Once we migrated the master images over and recreated our pools for existing users we ran into a nasty little issue.  The GPO’s that were assigning printers just stopped working.  All the GPO tools was showing it was executing but no printers were showing up on the pooled machines.  There were no errors in the event logs related to GPO.

It came down to a permissions issue.  The Citrix Print Manager Service on the pooled machines (and master image) was using the account “.\ctx_cpsvcuser”  This account apparently has permissions issues after the move and subsequent creation of the pool machines.  This citrix KB explains it far better than I could.

Basically turning the service to login with the “local system” account works but better is to just fix the local security policy to let that account log on as a service.  We set the master image to local system in our case.  Being we are dumping all these machines and installing everything a new DDC on the latest version, whatever.  My answer still remains the same.  STOP PRINTING SO MUCH CRAP!


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