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Using Chrome as the Default Browser with Citrix XenApp

Posted on 2014-01-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-01-15

We have a XenApp farm infrastructure (5 XenApp servers) and have published Chrome as a browser to be used. We are trying to setup Chrome to be the default browser that users can use. The settings of Chrome do not allow the user to setup the default as is it dictated by the GPO. We downloaded and setup the Chrome GPO and applied the settings but are still running into issues:
- Chrome continually asks users to make it the default even if they have selected yes
- If user logs in and get connected to XenApp server 1, sets the default and sets their homepage, when the log off and reconnect, if they get connected to any other XenApp server, Chrome gives an error that their profile is corrupted and they need to reset it

Our main issue is that with IE, majority of sites are blocked due to restrictions, we initially tried to open sites as required but this is resulting in a significant number of support calls and user frustration. We found that Chrome worked for most all sites required so wanted to use that as the default browser.

Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks.
Question by:Shani1780
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 39765005
Chrome, although one of the best (for some, the best) browser, in its Windows version is not fully Windows compliant. This is because Chrome is a multi platform browser.
You'll find out that many user settings aren't located inside user's profile. That explains the behaviors you've found.

Author Comment

ID: 39765297
Strivoli, thank you for your comment. Is there any suggestion to fixing the problem we are facing with providing a browser via XenApp to customers who are using ThinClients, through our experience IE is quite the pain to use due to all the securities.

LVL 23

Accepted Solution

Ayman Bakr earned 1500 total points
ID: 39765418
I think you jumped into conclusion that IE is not suitable because of the securities and that chrome should be better on Citrix.

But, what restrictions and securities are you talking about? I've been using IE on Citrix for long enough and never faced blocked sites!! Hmmmm; I sense that you have IE ESC (Enhanced Security Configuration) enabled...

Best, on a Citrix environment, is to disable IE ESC (you can do that through GPO) and ensure that there is no IE 'Hardening'. Please see this CTX article:
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 39766048
I mostly agree with Mutawadi.

I don't want to start any never ending discussion about which is the best browser under all aspects. I believe there is no perfect browser. I also believe that what's the best for me (under my typical use) might not be the best for you (under your typical use) and that includes browsers too.

That said, I've used IE as the default (and only) browser under Citrix for about 7 years with a farm serving about 50 users. I never changed the default browser because there was no reason.

If you want to use several methods (that's good! I did it too) for managing your system and users: GPO, Roaming Profiles, .... You need a totally Windows compliant browser. IE is the most compliant.

P.S.: my default browser is IE but I also use FF and Chrome. IE's nowadays security is much, much better than that of years ago.

Author Comment

ID: 39777609
Hello Mutawadi, thank you for your feedback I will be testing this out today. I have seen a few other articles indicating this can be setup via GPO as well. Any preference you have seen?


Author Comment

ID: 39777697
Hello Mutawadi,

I implemented the registry change mentioned in the article and applied it via GPO but I am getting the same results, certain add-ons will not run on sites. Please see attached image.

I also noticed that the actual key of IEHarden was not present so in the GPO I had to actually create it. Although in the article it explains it should be there.

Author Comment

ID: 39777713
Another update to this:
- If we login to the XenApp site using an administrator account the sites will load fine
- If we login to the XenApp site using a regular user account the sites don't work

Author Comment

ID: 39777992

I found a GPO setting that I changed and now IE works with all the plugs (see attached). I'm not quite sure I get why I would have to change this. Did you folks have to do this as well, those who are using IE via XenApp?
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 39782296

Sorry for the delay in responding - had a busy week. Anyway...

I have seen many complaining about this - exactly what you were experiencing. That is, if IE ESC was not disabled prior to XenApp deployment, even if you configure GPO to disable it, it will only work for administrators.

As for resolving the issue using the Internet Zone Template, I am not quite sure I can remember seeing people resolving it that way - perhaps I did, but can't remember.

Nonetheless, congrats - now you are able to use IE!!

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