BGInfo Template for XenDesktop 5

During the past weeks I have spend a bit of time with Citrix XenDesktop 5 and while I was busy creating Desktop Groups, updating Master images, I thought i t could be helpful to see some information directly on the desktop. Show things on the desktop?, okay that’s a no-brainer, BGInfo from Sysinternals is what we need.

So I created a template for BGInfo that just shows the information I need when using XenDesktop.

  • The user that’s logged on
  • The domain the user is logged on
  • The IP Address
  • The Boot Time of the system
  • The XenDesktop group the VM belongs to
  • The Citrix Farm name
  • The version of the master image

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To avoid any (none) IP Address entries, I used the trick as explained by John Baker here To obtain information about the XenDesktop Group and Citrix Farm I let BGInfo query the following registry keys:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\VirtualDesktopAgent\State\DesktopGroupName
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\VirtualDesktopAgent\State\FarmName

and for the Image version, I query a custom registry key I have stored in the master image to define the image version.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\FooCorp\ImageVersion

The BGInfo template can be downloaded from here

Deployment of the BGInfo utility and the automatic startup can be configured through  Group Policy. For my environment where I already have a GPO called VDI_Desktop_Pooled and VDI_Desktop_Personal I added the following configuration.

Under Computer Configuration, Preferences I have configured a GP Preference to copy bginfo.exe and the bginfo template to the c:\program files\bginfo folder.

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Then under Computer Configuration, Policies, Administrative Templates, System, Group Policy I have enabled Group Policy loopback processing mode, this to ensure that the next Preferences setting that I have configured under User Configuration applies correctly.

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Under User Configuration, Preferences, Windows Settings, Registry I added the following configuration:

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Hive HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key Path Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
Value Name BGINFOVDI
Value Type REG_SZ
Value Data "C:\Program Files\BGINFO\BGINFO.EXE" "C:\Program Files\BGINFO\VDI_BGINFO.bgi" /timer:0 /silent /nolicprompt

That’s it, Enjoy

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