Where are Citrix Session Limits Configured?

A previous answer to an Experts Exchange question reveals specific configuration settings for session limits, but it fails to tell where these setting should be made:


Question:  What is the difference between the settings in Citrix Policies (ICA\Session Limits) and similarly named settings in the "ICA Listener Configuration Tool", can the ICA Listener Configuration Tool be set by GPO?, how do Session Linger and PreLaunch Settings figure into the equation.

Citrix Support articles

... detail two locations for making configuration settings; however, there is not much discussion about the relationship and interdependencies of the two configuration methods ("policy settings" versus the "ICA Listener Configuration Tool").

There are also similarly titled settings in both locations, but documentation does not clearly differentiate between them - such as "Session Timers/Limits"  and "Disconnected Session Timer/Limits.
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Whenever possible, just Citrix policies for your configuration.  That's because these settings are stored in the data store and centralized.  The one exception to that are session timeout settings: always use AD GPOs for these.  The Citrix policy settings don't apply as you might surmise, so in this one case, use GPOs.

I would never use the local policy settings for anything because that's the last place anyone will check.  Also, if you make these changes manually, there's a chance of an error.
Casey HermanCitrix EngineerCommented:
So to get the timers to work they are based off the RDS session host timers. The Citrix times themselves do not work for whatever reason.

The only limits I would configure in the Citrix Policy Session limits is linger and pre-launch if you are using them.

Session linger maintains an open session on the citrix server when not in use.  So if a application is launched again the session is already started and all it has to do is launch the application and display it to the user.  Then when it is closed it stays running until the linger limit is exceeded.

Pre-Launch is when you set and app to prelaunch when the receiver logs in.  So when you log in it creates the session on the app server that is supplying the application. Then pre-executes the application before you decide to click on the icon.  Then once you click on the icon the app instantly appears on your screen. (Smoke and mirrors) The user thinks it is blazing fast.  This runs until the session limits are reached for the prelaunch application.

Getting published desktops and other apps to limit themselvers properly-

So what you need to do is in the OU that the Xenapp servers reside create a GPO or modify an existing GPO and add/adjust these settings.

Computer Configuration->Policies->Administrative Templates-> Windows Components->Remote Desktop Services->Remote Desktop Session Host->Session Time Limits

Under there you will see these options and I set them for these limits as well.

Set the limit for disconnected sessions Enabled / set to 30 minutes
(In case of a power failure the user can reconnect to their open session)

Set time limit for active but idle Remote Desktop Services Sessions Enabled  /set to 2 hours
(This allows them to lock their workstation and come back say after lunch. Then goes into disconnect and follows the above setting Disconnect rule)

Set time limit for active Remote desktop Services Sessions Enable / set to 18 hours
(Who in their right mind works for 18 hours straight right? Probably a hung session at this point anyways so lets disconnect it. Then it follows the disconnect rule. Else they can reconnect if they are truely working)

Terminate session when time limits are reached Disable
(This is an evil setting. If any network glitches or anything happens the user is logged off)

You can modify these as you need to suit your network but the above works to handle sessions for me.


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DWStovallAuthor Commented:
@ joharder,

I always appreciate your insight, but I'm a bit confused about what you are saying here.  Can you clarify a bit?


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