Application virtualization, IoT and Cloud Computing, Blog of Sacha Thomet


PowerManagement for dedicated Citrix desktops? Yes with Tags!

Are you using Tags in your XenApp & XenDesktop environment? Maybe you should. Tags to resources, in my case desktops can be very powerful especially in combination with PoSh scripts. You can do actions for machines depending on the tag. Of course you also can use tags to filter Citrix policies on it, also useful.

I had the Problem that I have a delivery group with dedicated Win10 desktops so for dedicated desktops there is no power management. Usually it’s also not needed because if a user launch a Citrix Session over Storefront the machine get’s powered on. The problem in my case, sometimes users connects on an other ways than Citrix to his desktop, so this built-it construct doesn’t work. So if they shutdown their virtual Desktop they can newer ever access it until an admin power it on over director or studio.

My solution to this was, I tagged this special user machines with a tag “AlwaysOnline” in Studio and I wrote this small script which runs every 15 minutes:

param([string]$tags=$(throw "Tag parameter is required"), [string]$poweroperation=$(throw "Power operaton parameter is required"))
# Created on: 09.2016 Version: 0.2
# Created by: Sacha Thomet
# File name: PowerOperation-DependingMachineTags.ps1
# Description:  This is a Powershell to change the PowerState of VDI's or XenApp Servers in
#               a PowerManaged XenDesktop 7.x environment accodring to Tags.
# Prerequisite: None, a XenDesktop Controller with according privileges necessary
# Call by : Manual  or Scheduled Task
# Load only the snap-ins, which are used
if ((Get-PSSnapin "Citrix.Broker.Admin.*" -EA silentlycontinue) -eq $null) {
try { Add-PSSnapin Citrix.Broker.Admin.* -ErrorAction Stop }
catch { write-error "Error Get-PSSnapin Citrix.Broker.Admin.* Powershell snapin"; Return }
# Change the below variables to suit your environment

$maxmachines = "1000" # as default only 250 records, this increase it to 1000
#$tags = "AlwaysOnline" # if you comment out the param line you can have the tag here
#$poweroperation = "TurnOn"  # if you comment out the param line you can have the poweroperation here

$machines = Get-BrokerMachine -MaxRecordCount $maxmachines | Where-Object {$_.tags -eq $tags }

foreach($machine in $machines)
$machinename = $machine | %{ $_.MachineName }
Write-Host "Action $poweroperation will be performed for $machinename  "
New-BrokerHostingPowerAction  -Action $poweroperation -MachineName $machinename

I know I know, this is not a common use case, but the script construct show what is possible with tags … there are almost unlimited possibility to cover special cases with tags.

My example Script on GitHub: PowerOperation-DependingMachineTags.ps1

Finally 1.0 – but never finalized!

In November 2014 I created the blog post about the adaption of the PVS Script for XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x :
XenDesktop & XenApp FMA (7.x) HealthCheck – Oops!… I Did It Again

sheepsNow after almost two years of continuous development on this Script, the XenApp & XenDesktop 7.x Health Check has now Version 1.0.

I started this script in a very basic version and in the meanwhile lot of tester and contributors helped to bring this script in this version. Just this year I started with GitHub and it’s surprising, the community who helped is awesome!

Now after a number of 0.x versions, just at the point we introduce the XML configuration file, I can say the version now has deserved the number 1.00.


The big benefit of the configuration in the XML file is in case you have multiple environments with the script you don’t need to edit the header section of the script which has earlier contained the config. On a new version of the script, you just replace the script in your environments and keep the XML file.

The XML file and the script need to be in the same directory and the Name of the XML file need to be same like the script, e.g:


The XML-Config is introduced to this script by Stefan Beckmann (Twitter: @alphasteff)


The newest version of the script you can find on GitHub: 

html script output

The HTML Output file gained some more input, even it was difficult to decide which feature request to consider and which not.

We check now CPU, Memory and disk space of controllers and workers (XenApp Server and XenDesktop VDIs). Because I learned last month’s that with 7.x and the FMA architecture it’s really possible that an environment contains number of different VDA versions, I also added this info. And for troubleshooting reason I assumed that it would be helpful to have also the hypervisor host information on this output.

The code is on GitHub:

For Bug Reports or feature Request please use GitHub, of course you can also contribute on this code!

sachathomet goes GitHub

Last 11 days I was in Las Vegas on the CTP meetings, Citrix Synergy and at the E2EVC. I get known a few new people and a bunch of ideas, some about Citrix but also how to continue with my Scripts and the community. (Other blog post will follow, maybe here or on the myCUGC site)

It’s not easy to manage all my Scripts, versions, bugs and feature request so I followed the hint of some people at Synergy and decided to push my larger Scripts to GitHub.
You can see now all my Scripts in GitHub repositories under – feel free to contribute!

Currently I have started with my two most popular Scripts:

Please be gentle to me if you are more experienced with GitHub than me, what is for sure if you work already more than 5 days with GitHub…. I’m really not the Software developer so I’m making baby steps with this repository thing. Hint’s are always appreciated.

Please use from now for feature-requests and bug reports the GitHub (issues) and no more the comment function in the blog.

victim of a good reputation – Low free pooled XenDesktops

The Citrix Director is not so bad, and with Version 7.7 it is still better because now it’s possible to send email alerts. But one problem I still have … our provided pooled XenDesktop which are used for remote access with private computers are victim of a good reputation … this means a good word-of-mouth advertising in our company more and more people are tempted to use it … and we need to know when the number of free pooled desktop is low. And no I won’t go the read the numbers every day in director or Citrix Studio.

So I created a small script which send me an email as soon a defined threshold of free desktops is reached:


The code is on GitHub:

Happy New Script – PVS 7.7 HealthCheck

We are close to the New Year 2016 and I want to wish you all the best for 2016!
I’m already happy now, because I can publish some hours after the PVS 7.7 release from Citrix this Script:

Today Citrix released XenApp/XenDesktop 7.7 and Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7. There are a bunch of new features, but for me the most important thing, beside of the Win10 support, is
….  drum roll ….
the new PVS PowerShell API. PoSh with PVS 7.6 and below was a pain …  To know what else is new in PVS look here: PVS 7.7 New in this release

Now PVS comes with a real PoSh interface which gave more back than a bundle of strings. I had the chance to play around with PVS 7.7 Tech Preview and so here you have already the PVS HealthCheck Script for Version 7.7 in a complete new developed version:


If you have a feature request or a bug report please post it direct on GitHub.

This version doesn’t work with PVS 7.6 and below, if you have an older version than 7.7 take this script: Citrix PVS HealthCheck 

Update 11.04.2016: Performance-Improvement, Change the order of the table, all the VDI status now at the end.
Update 09.05.2016: Bugfix & Input from Jay, get CPU/Memory/Disk usage of PVS.
Update 27.05.2016: Now my Script is on GitHub
I’m an absolute GitHub newbie … for this reason I leave it still also here as a download until I’m really comfortable with GitHub.

The code is on GitHub:

Control MyStrom smart plug by a trigger (ifttt or octoblu)

mystromSome weeks ago I bought my first smart plug from MyStrom. If you are living  in Switzerland you have only a limited choice of smart plugs because of the non EU standard plug (T13).

MyStrom is pretty cool because it mets almost all my requirement, there is a possibility to measure to power consumption within two rates (day and night), it’s controllable with the mobile phone app and there is a nice web interface.

But one thing I miss, I cannot react to triggers and power of the smart plug on a defined event. Like already in an earlier post mentioned there is a REST API which allows to control the plug from the internal network. (See Another LaMetric IoT script – power control)

Last day’s I just found the API documentation which allows to control the MyStrom out of the cloud: 

So I have now all to connect this Thing to the Internet and react on a trigger.

Possibility 1: The everything imaginable way,
MyStrom and Octoblu

mystromlogo      +      ocoblu

If you are using Octoblu beta, which is currently available for everyone for free you can create very intelligent workflows to control your smart plug. You can react to twitter and power of or on depending what is twittered, you can power off your heater as soon a temperature is reached, you can stop charge as soon your device have a defined state of charge.

The Things you connect use with Octoblu are nearly infinite.


Octoblu is for advanced use, and to be honest I’m also on the learning phase! I do not describe here more details for this case. There are a lot of sample blueprints on .  Octoblu was acquired by Citrix in 2015.

Possibility 2: The easy way,
MyStrom and IFTTT

 mystromlogo      +      iftttlogo

This way is suitable for “Home use” and for people who only want to create a simple workflow where a trigger initiate for example a Power On or Power Of of the smart plug.

All what you need is a Control-Script on a Webserver with PHP on the Internet, and a IFTTT account.

How it works: The script is very simple, it just handle the  authentication process on the API, read the AuthToken out of the JSON answer and Push out the payload with the AuthToken. IFTTT just take the trigger and call the script with the username, passwort and the payload which you can build from the API

Example: I want to control my smart plug by twitter, if I twitter #lightsoff

Step 1:

Take this script and put it on your webserver:


V0.1 by Sacha Thomet,, 12-2015

This script can be used to control the MyStrom power outlet with IFTTT.
In IFTTT you need to take the MAKER component to make a web request.

The script must be called with 3 parameters:
- Your MyStrom username (email)
- Your MyStrom password
- the decided payload
 e.g. ../device/switch?on=true%id=64002D012305 to turn on your device with Mac 64002D012305

 Documentation of all API calls:
 Attention! You need to replace in your payload all "&" with a "%" !!

 [email protected]&password=mysecreatword&payload=


//create variables from parameter
$email = ($_GET&#91;"email"&#93;);
$password = ($_GET&#91;"password"&#93;);
$payload = ($_GET&#91;"payload"&#93;);

//myStrom host with the parameters to gather the AuthToken
$host = "$email&password=$password";
$filestring = file_get_contents($host); 

//format the AuthToken that only the token remain from the JSON Answer
$startpos = 0;
while($pos = strpos($filestring, "authToken", $startpos))
 $string = substr($filestring, $pos, strpos($filestring, "name", $pos + 1) - $pos); 

 //echo $string. " ";
 $newstring = str_replace("authToken","","$string");
 $newstring2 = str_replace('"',"",$newstring);
 $newstring3 = str_replace(":","","$newstring2");
 $authCode = str_replace(",","","$newstring3");

 echo " AuthCode is $authCode 
" ;

 $startpos = $pos + 1;

// Because & cannot submitted in a $_GET we subsitute it with a %
$correctpayload = str_replace("%","&","$payload");

echo "Full payload is: $correctpayload&authToken=$authCode";

$fullpayload = "$correctpayload&authToken=$authCode";
$payloadString = file_get_contents($fullpayload); 


Step 2:

Create a recipe on IFTTT, use Twitter as Trigger and Maker as Action. In maker you create your request:


e.g. the payload to turn of the device with Mac 64002D012325 is:

The result should be that:


You create 2 of those recipies, one to Power On and one to Power Off

Now you can twitter you defined hashtags to control your smart plug.

Another LaMetric IoT script – power control

Because I have currently holiday here is another post which is not related to virtualization …

I combined my new “gadgets” the LaMetric time and my new wifi Smart-Plug from MyStrom. The goal was to report the current power consumption of power plug and the possibility to control the plug with the smart ticker.

MyStrom has a very straight forward API (, and the possibility to create apps for LaMetric is pretty easy what I’ve already mentioned in an past blog post.

All what is needed to implement this solution is:

  • a web server which can parse PHP
  • two small scripts
  • and a private app for LaMetric

This is the script to see the current power consumption:

    "frames": [
            "index": 0,
            "text": " <!--?php //$host = ""; //Call with parameter, e.g.: $host = "http://" . $_GET&#91;"host"&#93; . "/report"; $filestring = file_get_contents($host); $startpos = 0; while($pos = strpos($filestring, "\"power\"", $startpos)) { $string = substr($filestring, $pos, strpos($filestring, ",", $pos + 1) - $pos); //echo $string. " "; $newstring = str_replace("\"power\": ","","$string"); echo round($newstring, 2); $startpos = $pos + 1; } ?--> Watt",
            "icon": "i1692"

I just read the content from the API, which is already in JSON format, but I reformat it that it is in that way which I need to bring it to the LaMetric.
This is the script to control the power outlet:

<!--?php $host = "http://" . $_GET&#91;"host"&#93; . "/report"; $filestring = file_get_contents($host); $startpos = 0; while($pos = strpos($filestring, "relay", $startpos)) { $string = substr($filestring, $pos, strpos($filestring, "}", $pos + 1) - $pos); $newstring = str_replace("relay\": ","","$string"); //echo $newstring; $startpos = $pos + 1; } $newstring = str_replace(chr(13), "", $newstring); if ($newstring == "false ") { echo "Ist ausgeschaltet, wird nun eingeschaltet"; $URL = "http://" . $_GET&#91;"host"&#93; . "/relay?state=1"; $data = file_get_contents($URL); } else { echo "Ist eingeschaltet, wird nun ausgeschaltet"; $URL = "http://" . $_GET&#91;"host"&#93; . "/relay?state=0"; $data = file_get_contents($URL); } ?-->

And the LaMetric private app:

This simple poll app call the script on the webserver ( with the parameter of the MyStrom plug (

On button action the controller script is launched with change the status (off to on or visa verse)


( is the ip of my Power outlet. is the address of my web server, this can be a raspberry pi or a Synology.)

Monitor you Profile directories

Since I had worked as a Citrix administrator the size of the profile directories was always a contemporary issue. It’s a fact that with new technologies like Citrix User Profile Manager the possibilities are grown and the life is easier with exclusion lists and profile streaming features. But it’s still a topic to consider if you are a Citrix admin or system engineer. I worked in former company with tools like TreeSize ( or WinDir Stat ( But in some company they wont to spend money for tools which is only usable for one administrator or they don’t trust to OpenSource software (TreeSize).

I have the approach to solve every possible problem with on-board tools. So I created now a small script what give me the possibility to check my Profile directory with one recursive level so that I get each Size of a Profile within his subdirectories.:

# Created on: 10.2015 Version: 0.3
# Created by: Sacha Thomet
# Filename: GetSubdirSizes.ps1
# Description: This script checks some Citrix Provisioning Server, Farm, vDisk & Target device parameters.
# Prerequisite: None
# Call by : Manual
# Change Log:
# V0.1 first version
# V0.2 only 1 recursive subfolder
# V0.3 corrections of calculation

$path = "\\localhost\C$\temp\profiles\"
$top = "4000"
$outputpath = "C:\temp\SubdirSize-Report.txt"

Function Get-FolderSize
 $Sizes = 0
 ForEach ($Item in (Get-ChildItem $Path))
 If ($Item.PSIsContainer) {$Sizes = (Get-ChildItem $path"$Item" -recurse | Measure-Object -property length -sum).sum}
 Else {Write-Host "No Subfolder"}

 $SizeFormated = "{0:N2}" -f ($Sizes/1MB)
 New-Object PSObject -Property @{'Folder'=$Item;'Size'=$SizeFormated }
$outfile = Get-FolderSize $path | sort -property Size –Descending |select -first $top
$outfile | out-file $outputpath
echo $outfile

PoSh Script who alert me if I’m running out of pooled Desktops

Just a small one, last days I’ve created a small script who alert me if I’m running out of pooled Desktops.

If you run this script at regular intervals you will receive an email as soon you have less desktops free than you defined as threshold:


# Created on: 08.2015 Version: 0.2
# Created by: Sacha Thomet
# File name: Citrix-XenDesktop-Alert-low-free-desktops.ps1
# Description: Check for Free Desktops in DeliveryGroups
# Prerequisite: None
# Call by : Scheduled Task e.g every 10 minutes
# Changelog:
# V0.1 Initial Version, create report file from array FreeDesktopReport and attach this to the email.
# V0.2 Change from txt-file to formatted HTML-Mail
if ((Get-PSSnapin "Citrix.Common.Commands" -EA silentlycontinue) -eq $null) {
try { Add-PSSnapin Citrix.* -ErrorAction Stop }
catch { write-error "Error Citrix.* Powershell snapin"; Return }
# Change the below variables to suit your environment

# Variables what should be changed according your environment and wishes

$DeliveryGroups = @("Win7-Desktops","Win10-Desktops")
$minDesktops = 10
$EnvironmentName="Production XenDesktop"

# E-mail report details
$emailFrom = "[email protected]"
$emailTo = "[email protected]"
$smtpServer = ""

#=======DONT CHANGE BELOW HERE =======================================================================================

$mailbody = $mailbody + "<!DOCTYPE html>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "<html>"

$mailbody = $mailbody + "<head>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "<style>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "BODY{background-color:#fbfbfb; font-family: Arial;}"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "TABLE{border-width: 1px;border-style: solid;border-color: black;border-collapse: collapse; width:60%; }"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "TH{border-width: 1px;padding: 0px;border-style: solid;border-color: black; text-align:left;}"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "TD{border-width: 1px;padding: 0px;border-style: solid;border-color: black;}"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "</style>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "</head>"

$mailbody = $mailbody + "<body>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "This is the Low-Desktop-Alert for $EnvironmentName, if you receive this mail the value of free desktops is below the configured threshold of $minDesktops desktops! <br><br>"

$FreeDesktopReport = @()

foreach($dg in $DeliveryGroups)
$desktops = Get-BrokerDesktopGroup | where {$_.Name -eq $dg }
$CurrentDeliveryGroup = "" | Select-Object Name, Alert, DesktopsAvailable

# Write Array Values
$CurrentDeliveryGroup.Name = $dg

$CurrentDeliveryGroup.DesktopsAvailable = $desktops.DesktopsAvailable

if ($desktops.DesktopsAvailable -lt $minDesktops )
Write-Host "Number of free desktops to low for DeliveryGroup $dg, sending email"
# Add Line to Report
$CurrentDeliveryGroup.alert = "True"

$FreeDesktopReport += $CurrentDeliveryGroup

$mailbody += $FreeDesktopReport | ConvertTo-Html
$mailbody += "<br><br>Launch Citrix Studio or browse to <a href=$directoraddress>Citrix Director</a> see more information about the current Desktop usage<br>"

$mailbody = $mailbody + "<body>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "</html>"

# If any record raises an alert, send an email.
if (($FreeDesktopReport | where {$_.alert -eq "True"}) -ne $null) {Send-MailMessage -to $emailTo -from $emailFrom -subject "********* Low free Desktop Alert for $EnvironmentName *********" -Body $mailbody -BodyAsHtml -SmtpServer $smtpServer }

Or download the Script here

GeekOvation – PVS Script on Top3

geek-zone-150x150My Citrix PVS Health Check PowerShell Script was nominated into the final round (Top3) of the Citrix GeekOvation Award. This means I have to present my “geeky solution” on Citrix Synergy 2015 in Orlando on the SYN501 Geek Speak Tonight Session. To be honest to speak in front of so much people is a new thing for me … and it makes me “a bit” twitchy …

To be nominated for this Award was not just a big surprise for me, I see this also as a honor and glory for my work. I would say it’s not so a big thing this script and it isn’t rocket science.

Dear GeekSpeak Tonight audience, please check out my PVS Health Check Script and provide me feedback if you want. Also have a look to my XenApp / XenDesktop Script

At this place  I want to say thank you to Jason Poyner who gave me the idea for such kind of Script with his XenApp6 HealthCheck and where I took some code lines for the HTML output. To Martin Hartmann who helped me by learning PowerShell and of course to Aaron Parker ( who was  the assigned CTP helping me polish off my presentation materials.

Update 14.5.2015:

I won – thank YOU

geekovationI won the competition and seems that I’m the not-yet-known Geek #1 this Year! Thanks you all! When I saw the work from to other two guys, I had the feeling to have no chance, not just because I’m the only not-native english speaker. David Ott with a great PowerShell script to modify the user profile and Shane O’Neil with the C-Sharp code to have a self healing VDI, GREAT!

Read this blog post from Shane and Paul, if you are interested on more PVS PowerShell stuff: and watch the recording of “SYN514: Turn XenApp and XenDesktop into capacity on demand with Provisioning Services automation”

I’m sure I also had luck to win, and now I have the chance to go to Las Vegas Citrix Synergy 2016. I also want to thank ControlUp for the AppleWatch they sponsored for the GeekOvation Winner.

About the code

Like already mentioned the idea about the health check with the HTML output comes from Jason Poyner. The main script with all the logics it’s from me. The hardest thing when you Script with PoSh on PVS that it doesn’t return proper PS Object, that mean’s you doing a lot of format-cut stuff to get what you want. If you want to know more about that read Paul’s blog section “PVS comes with a PowerShell add-in that is not an easy beast to tame.

What’s next?

I’m currently working on a Script which shows PVS retries during a variable timeframe (day, week or month) and create a graphic output, in this way you can see at which time you maybe have a traffic jam on your network.

I also made a script to export/import target’s into PVS and another one for export and import in XenDesktop, if I have time I’ll polish and publish this here.