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How to Use Application Compatibility Scripts to install Applications in Metaframe and Terminal Server

A lot of this is gleened from Citrix Documentation and from the Book Windows NT Terminal Server and Citrix Metaframe by Ted Harwood which I am going to highly reccomend especially for Integrators.

Do you know why your apps aren't working in Terminal Server? If you haven't installed the proper application compatibility script that is probably the reason. What are they? Application Compatibility Scripts (ACS)are programs you must run after installing an application that take care of compatibility problems with Terminal Servers Multiuser Environment. They adapt the application to run properly under this environment. The application compatibility scripts can be found in C:\WTSRV\Application Compatibility Scripts Directory. The main directory contains several utilities written by M$ that are used in the scripts as well as some general purpose scripts. There are also three subdirectories. Logon, Install and Uninstall. The logon directory contains scripts for application that should be run in the WTS logon script and hey usually make changes to the users registry. The uninstall directory contains uninstall scripts for the ACS. (Yes if you uninstall an application you also have to uninstall its corresponding ACS) The install directory has the install scripts for certain apps. These are intended to be run AFTER the application is installed.

There is a suggested particular order of installing the ACS.
  1. Set up the users home directories using the chkroot.cmd file
  2. Install the application in the change user /install mode
  3. Run the proper application compatibility script from the wtsrv/Application Compatibility Scripts/install directory
  1. Home Directories

    To set up the users home directory go to user manager and click on the users name and then click profile. Fill in the home directory path on this screen. You can use either the home directory path or if you want the users home directory to be on another server or share on the network use the connect to path. Run the chkroot.cmd file from the c:\wtsrc\application compatibility scripts directory. This will create a file called ROOTDRV2.CMD that you have to edit with notepad and add your drive letter you want as the root drive letter after the = sign on the line that says Set RootDrive=. Make certain this drive letter is not used by anything else on your system. The Rootdrv2.cmd file is a very important piece in the compatibility scripts and they all use it to map the users home directory.

    Install the Application

    Always install the applications using User Global Install Mode(change user /install) Install the application from the control panel add/remove programs applet or from the run in the start menu(only after you have issued the change user /install command). If you install through add/remove programs it puts you in the install mode.

    Install Scripts

    In the install directory there are many scripts for common applications. Corel Office 7,8 (coffice7.cmd & coffice8.cmd), Diskeeper 2.0 (diskpr20.cmd),Dr. Watson(drwatson.cmd) M$ Excel and Word 97 (excel97.cmd & word97.cmd), MS Internet Explorer 3.x and 4(msie30.cmd and msie40.cmd), MS Project 95 & 98(msproj95.cmd and msproj98.cmd), MS SNA Server(mssna30.cmd), Netscape Communicatory 4.0 and Navigator 3.0(netcom40.cmd and netnav30.cmd) ODBC drivers(odbc.cmd) MS SNA Server 4.0 and Client(sna40srv.cmd and sna40cli.cmd) Lotus Smart Suite 97(ssuite97.cmd)and Windows Messaging (winmsg.cmd) Also most vendors are starting to include ACS with their distribution disks. You may have to write your own acs to get your app working correctly. These scripts should be run right after you install your application for he first time. If you changed the directory from the default install directory when you installed your application you will have to open up the ACS with an editor and change it. It is a good idea to take a look at it before you run it anyways to see what it is doing. To run the ACS all you

    need to do is click on it to execute it. If the application needs a special logon script it will be created in the c:\wtsrv\application compatibility scripts\logon directory. There are two files here usrlogn1.cmd and usrlogn2.cmd. These files are run from the usrlogon.cmd file that every user gets when they log on. The install script will usually write to one of these two files.

    There is nothing I can stress more than to read the readme files and documentation for Terminal Server and for your applications BEFORE you start doing anything. Terminal Server looks like NT, but it is a different beast when it comes to installing apps and getting them to work properly. I suggest you also check the Citrix and MS sites and your programs vendor first to see it there are ACS for your programs or updates before new installations.

    In response to this document Brian Cambier, Certified Citrix Instructor of Asynch Technical Institute adds the following suggestions.

    To all using Application Compatibility Scripts:

    Do not just blindly run these application compatibility scripts (A.C.S.), print them out and see what they do to your system. Many (if not all) set security permissions or loosen security permissions on many files in \system32. I have had a couple of instances where the Office97 A.C.S. actually cripples other software. Yes, it does take time to review what each ACS does, but - do your due diligence before taking anyone's (Microsoft or Citrix's) word as gospel.

    Also, if you need to uninstall an app, use the Add/Remove Programs applet in Control Panel and then check to see if an UNINSTALL ACS is available in \wtsrv\application compatibility scripts\uninstall. Not all apps that have an Install ACS have a Logon ACS or an Uninstall ACS. Either way, you may have to manually cleanup "call" statements in USRLOGN2.CMD after removing the software.

    • Just want to add this to the excellent post by Jim
    • Brian Cambier MCT/CCI
    • ASYNC Technical Institute, Inc.

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