Using ArcGIS in a Windows Terminal Server/Citrix XenApp environment


Various issues can arise when running ArcGIS in a Windows Terminal Server/Citrix XenApp environment.


Although there are many potential causes, setup and configuration issues are the most common problems.

Solution or Workaround

Windows Terminal Server (WTS) and/or Citrix XenApp configurations and Esri software have been successfully implemented at several GIS sites. ArcGIS 10, 9.x, 8.x and ArcInfo Workstation 10, 9.x, 8.x, and 7.x are known to work in these environments.

However, there are some software limitations that should be considered prior to implementing such configurations.

To assist in troubleshooting ArcGIS Desktop software issues within a WTS (RDP) or Citrix XenApp (ICA) environment, the following tests can be performed.

These steps require access to the server's local console. Contact the system administrator, if necessary, to locate and gain access to the server.

ArcGIS WTS Troubleshooting Procedures

  1. Log in to the WTS server as the system's administrator or with administrative privileges.
  2. Start an ArcGIS session locally. Do not start ArcGIS through WTS, Citrix Metaframe, or through a Citrix/RDP thin-client.
  3. Reproduce the software issue.
  4. If the problem occurs after following the above steps, please contact Esri Technical Support for assistance.

    • If the problem cannot be reproduced at the local console, then it is most likely not an Esri software issue. For these cases, please contact Microsoft or Citrix Technical Support.

    • In cases that appear to be a Citrix XenApp/Esri integration issue, contact Esri Enterprise Systems Lab personnel (, as they may be able to assist in solving this issue. Past experience has shown that most problems encountered are not related to WTS or Citrix XenApp directly but are related to either a configuration issue, such as system permissions, or software issues that can also be reproduced in a non-WTS environment.
    Esri Technical Support now supports ArcGIS Desktop 10 on Citrix XenApp 6. In cases that appear to be an ArcGIS Desktop 10 usage issue or an ArcGIS Desktop 10 issue specific to a Citrix XenApp 6 environment, please contact Esri Technical Support for assistance.

Article ID:000008122

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