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Citrix USB Redirection: Comprehensive User Guide

Olga Weis Olga Weis Last updated Jan 4, 2021

This guide is particularly helpful for anyone in search of the most convenient Citrix USB redirector.

Keep on reading for some really useful info on not just one but two straightforward and easy methods you can use to enable USB redirection in Citrix.

Citrix USB device redirection - all-around approach

FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
4.8 Rank based on 78+ users
One of the most convenient options for redirecting all sorts of USB peripherals to Citrix XenDesktop is a software called FlexiHub.
FlexiHub

FlexiHub boasts a top-level USB over IP feature set combined with a self-explanatory user interface, and this overall makes it perfect for Citrix client USB redirection.

With FlexiHub, you'll be able to effectively address the contentious issues with Citrix USB redirection with just a few mouse clicks, so during your VM sessions, you can freely access USB devices attached to your host PC.

And for the icing on the cake: there is a USB in Remote Desktop version for every popular OS out there, so you can install this app on each of your machines, be it Windows, Linux, Mac, or Android, and use it in all possible combinations.

How to redirect USB devices in Citrix

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1
As your first step, you’ll need to sign up for your account on the official FlexiHub website.
 create flexihub account
2
Then, in the online user cabinet, you can pick a subscription plan suiting best for your specific needs and start a 30-day demo period.
 select flexihub subscription
3
Download a FlexiHub version for your operating systems and install the app on both a host PC and a virtual machine.
 download flexihub for your os
4
Run the app on each of your machines and log into your FlexiHub account to view the list of all USB peripherals that can be redirected.
 redirect usb devices to citrix
5
And, as the final step, go to your guest system, find the same device on the list, and click Connect.
 connect usb devices to citrix virtual desktop
7
From this point on, you’ll be able to access and operate any USB device plugged into your host machine as easily as if it was attached to your guest OS.

Still, got questions? Check out this brief and useful video guide:

What is Citrix USB support


With Citrix USB support you can redirect USB devices plugged into a physical PC to a virtual desktop so you can access and operate them remotely during your VM sessions.

This feature works for various types of USB peripherals including, but not limited to data tablets, video monitoring cameras, smartphones, memory sticks, printing devices, PDAs, and scanners.

Also, in typical low latency/high-speed LAN environments, there is a Citrix isochronous USB redirection for webcams, acoustic systems, mikes, etc.

How Citrix USB support works

Once a USB peripheral is connected to a machine, it gets reviewed for compliance with the USB policy. In cases of non-compliance with said policy, the device will be only accessible from the host machine.

Elsewise, it can be forwarded to the virtual desktop. You can either configure USB support to automate the redirection process, or select devices from the list as often as they are plugged into your PC (after you’ve seen a notification about a new device).

Citrix generic USB redirection

Generic USB redirection feature makes possible the Citrix XenDesktop USB redirection of arbitrary devices from client computers to virtual desktops.

It handles request and response message communication between the XenDesktop VM and client PCs at a low level, so as long as you have all necessary device drivers on your virtual desktop, you can sidestep the hassle of installing those on client systems.

By using this feature, you’ll be able to make use of various USB devices throughout your entire XenDesktop session like if they were attached to your VM directly.

Redirect USB devices in Citrix XenDesktop
30-day demo period

How to configure generic USB redirection

On out-of-the-box Citrix settings, generic USB redirection is disabled. To change this, you’ll need to create and configure the USB redirection policy and rules.

  1. On your XenDesktop server, go to Start → All Programs → Citrix → Desktop Studio to start the Desktop Studio.
  2. Click on HDX Policy to expand, then select Users.
  3. Go to Edit → Settings
  4. Now, in the left-hand menu, select USB Devices and click Add on Client USB device redirection. generic citrix usb device redirection
  5. In the invoked pop-up window titled Edit Setting, tick the top-first option Allowed and press the OK button. allow citrix usb redirection

How to create Citrix USB redirection policy rules

Important note: There’s no point in creating several rules for one type of USB device for the very first one that matches becomes final. If it’s a Deny, then your device will be attached to a host machine. If it’s an Allow, then to the guest OS.

  1. On your XenDesktop server, go to Start → All Programs → Citrix → Desktop Studio to start the Desktop Studio.
  2. Click on HDX Policy to expand, then select Users.
  3. Go to Edit → Settings.
  4. Now, in the left-hand menu, select USB Devices and click Add on Client USB device redirection.
  5. In the invoked pop-up window titled Edit Setting, tick the Use default value option and press the OK button. usb redirection policy rules

Citrix USB redirection

How to easily redirect USB devices to Citrix XenDesktop

FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
4.8 Rank based on 78+ users

How to configure automatic Citrix XenApp USB redirection

For every new USB peripheral to be automatically redirected to your virtual machine, you need to make sure these few options are ticked:

   1. On your Local Group Policy Editor:

Open Administrative Templates, then go to Citrix Components → Citrix Receiver → Remoting client devices → Generic USB Remoting. Check if both New USB Devices and Existing USB Devices are enabled. If not, tick the Enabled option, and press the OK button.

   2. On your Citrix Receiver Preferences:

Open Connections and check if these two options are selected:

  • When a session starts, connect devices automatically
  • When a new device is connected while a session is running, connect the device automatically.

If not, tick both of said options and press the OK button.

Any change in policy and registry applies to Windows clients.

FlexiHub

Requirements: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and Raspberry Pi.
Size: 8.89MB
Version: 5.2.14094 (6 Sep, 2021)
User rating: (4.8 based on 78+ users)