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How to Implement Zoom in Citrix VDI

by Ray Davis, CTA

This guide is geared around explaining how Zoom and Citrix work together, and it will show you the architecture and provide information for what is needed on clients. There is information added in the document for education purposes as well. At the time of writing this blog, I tested everything on an older version. However, I updated some screenshots to reflect a new version. I did keep the old screenshots to help show the details as well. The same principle applies though.

  1. Zoom requires both the “Zoom Media Plugin” + “Zoom Client for VDI” to match exactly from version 2.1.5 documented at – https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360031768011-New-Updates-for-Virtual-Desktop-Infrastructure-VDI-
  1. The Citrix Team handles the “Zoom Client for VDI” installations on all VDI machines. The information here is strictly for informational purposes.
  1. You can use SCCM to push out the “Zoom Media Plugin” to corporate devices for your company-managed device.
  1. Personal devices that used to connect to Citrix VDI/Published will need the “Zoom Media Plugin” installed on their personal device. We provided a URL for the employee to go and download this. Remember: it’s important to make sure the Plugin needs to match the Client and VDI sides.

The current VDI installer is:

Zoom VDI installer
5.459208

The Clients need to have this version:

Zoom Plugin for Clients
5.4.59208


VDI downloads and backward compatibility Chart

This is a link to show you the backward compatibility for Citrix and how to get the downloads:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360041602711-VDI-downloads-and-backwards-compatibility

Remember when upgrading the plugins, the VDA VDI installer must be at the same version or newer than the plugin on the clients. Suppose the client has a newer plugin installed than the backend VDA VDI install. It will not work the way it is supposed to, and the offloading process will NOT occur. I always find it safe to upgrade the VDI installer first (Citrix VDA), as it will be greater than the Zoom HDX Plugin on the clients. It seems to work well this way. In your case, test things before you deploy.

“To be compatible, the plugin version must be equal or less than the Zoom VDI application version. Installing a plugin with a version greater than the Zoom VDI application is not supported. Zoom always recommends updating the Zoom Plugin after updating the Zoom VDI application, as many new features require an updated plugin.”


Zoom VDI Plugins for Clients URL

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360052984292

Updated:

VDI Release Version 5.7.6 – Zoom Help Center

The VDI plugin on the left goes on the VDA (Arrow Red).

The Zoom HDX Plugin (Arrow in Blue) is the installer for the client.

They both are needed to work together to offload the audio and video to the client.

High-Level Architecture of Zoom in Citrix

*I didn’t create this as I referenced it in this blog. Context is at the bottom of the blog.*


How to install the “Zoom Media Plugin” for a personal device

Open an internet browser of the user’s choice.

Put this URL in the search bar https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360052984292

Download the required Zoom Media Plugin for the operating system that is needed.

In this example, I have a Windows Operating System. I downloaded Windows x86 or x64: 5.4.59208.1207. Once it downloads, the Zoom Media Plugin. The typical area of download will be store in the Downloads folder.

Double click on the  ZoomCitrixHDXMediaPlugin.msi. It will now open up and start the process.

Click next.

Click Next.

Once it starts installing, it will ask you if you want to allow the software to change your device. Click yes.

If you receive this error, you have to close out of the Citrix session and Exit Citrix Workspace.

Before exiting the Citrix Workspace, please save all your work and properly exit the running application.

Once you complete this, proceed to exit from Citrix Workspace.

Go to the task tray in the right-hand corner, Hit the up arrow, and click “sign out.”

If you get this, click sign out.

Give it 30 seconds, and proceed to Exit Workspace.

Go to the task tray in the right-hand corner, Hit the up arrow, and click “sign out.”

Now go back to the zoom install, and click retry.

You will then see this.

You can verify this shows in the control panel, under programs and features.


You have completed the Zoom Media Plugin on the client device you are using. Now you go log back into the Citrix Virtual desktop and resume your work.

Testing Cam and Audio

VDA session:

Open up the Zoom setting on the VDA and look at the statistics to see what is doing.

I picked my mic up just fine.

Rolling out and removing user’s installs with WEM.

When I needed to start rolling this out, I found that Zoom makes a user install. Just like Teams. So, I found an uninstaller CMD and deployed it with Citrix WEM.

When a user goes to connect to a meeting, this will come up.

  1. It appears though if you have the Zoom VDI client in first, it will not install this either.
  2. I Created a WEM external Task that will run this.  %appdata%\Zoom\uninstall\Installer.exe /uninstall /silent.
  3. I plan on app masking this location, and I just need to make sure I don’t break Zoom and understand the details first.
  4. Ideally, I would app mask this location C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Zoom
  5. Add Zoom.exe into the CPU optimization area.

Troubleshooting

  1. Citrix Virtual Desktops – Zoom – Microphone and video not working in ICA session
  2. https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX275259
  3. Download and install the Zoom Citrix Media Plugin found in the link below. Install the client of the VDA and the plugin on the endpoint:


Note: Plugin version must be the same on the VDA and endpoint
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360041602711

Additional resources:
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360031096531-Getting-Started-with-VDI

 Zoom’s Troubleshooting Resource
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/200305593-Troubleshooting

 VDI Client Registry Settings
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360032343371-VDI-Client-Registry-Settings

 
Group Policy Settings
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360039100051-Group-Policy-Options-for-the-Windows-Desktop-Client-and-Zoom-Rooms

Getting Started with VDI
Getting started with VDI – Zoom Help Center


Resources
http://axendatacentre.com/blog/tag/zoom-is-unable-to-detect-a-camera-citrix/

How to deliver optimized Zoom meetings with Citrix | Citrix Blogs

I run Zoom in a published Desktop as well, but I do not run it as a seamless application such as a published application. Zoom has a statement around this as well.

Note: Running Zoom as a published app is currently not supported.”

Citrix virtual channel considerations

Another Topic I wanted to touch on is in CVAD 2109, they added a new security enhancement around virtual channels. Citrix will allow there own virtual channels only. Which means you need to add 3rd party channels.  Thanks to Jonathan Pitre for updating and reminding me of this. This means, if you dont add them, Zoom will not be able to work as intended before 2109. 

Virtual channel security | Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 2109

This is an example of HDX RealTime Media Engine that is blocked (not Zoom) but I wanted to touch on it really quick. 


“All built-in Citrix virtual channels are trusted and allowed to open without further configuration. However, there are two features that require explicit entries in the allow list due to external dependencies:”


Here are the Zoom virtual Channel parts you will need to add. Thanks again Jonathan!

Here is the Policy in Studio. Example is showing HDX Realtime, but I wanted to show the Policy screenshot:

Citrix documents a lot of stuff, and often we over look it because of all the content they have in different areas. They are working on bring it all into a unified front as well.

This concludes the operations on making Zoom work in a Citrix VDI setup. Hope this helps someone out.

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