Access Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops using Raspberry Pi
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 many people started to work from home, and whilst most families have a PC and/or laptop for personal use, many do not have the required number of devices to support the entire family working from home. Let alone the home-schooling requirements. Understandably, most do not want to panic buy a random laptop, have the space for another PC or have the budget to do so and as such will look for cheaper, alternative options.
A Raspberry Pi4 device is a good choice for this, and we were keen to find out if we could run Citrix Workspace from one, as then we could connect to my Citrix Virtual Desktop or Apps, where more than 95% of a Citrix users' day-to-day tasks can be performed.
Following a build, and some basic testing, we quickly deemed this a success. There are many articles on the web, on how to set up a Raspberry Pi device as “Citrix ready”, so we just wanted to share the steps in a quick and simple way, so almost anyone can create their own build.
- Raspberry Pi device (recommended at least Pi 3 version)
- Micro SD card (minimum 8 Gb size, recommended 16 Gb or greater)
- Spare monitor, keyboard/mouse, USB headset/Webcam, if needed
- HDMI cable to connect the monitor + Micro HDMI adapter or Micro HDMI -> HDMI cable, if you have Pi4 device (Two micro-HDMI outputs).
- Download Raspberry Pi Imager from https://www.raspberrypi.org/software/
- Add micro-SD card into card reader. Install Pi imager, choose recommended option “Raspberry Pi OS (32 bit)”, choose correct SD card and click “WRITE”.
- Add imaged micro-SD card into Raspberry Pi card slot and turn device on.
- Wait until Raspberry Pi OS will boot up, install required updates if needed.
- Go to https://www.citrix.com/downloads/workspace-app/linux/workspace-app-for-linux-latest.html , find Available Downloads -> Full Packages -> Citrix Workspace app for Linux (ARM HF) and download that file.
- Launch terminal, change working directory to the downloaded .deb file location and run dpkg -i icaclient_18.104.22.168_armhf.deb command, where “icaclient_22.214.171.124_armhf.deb” file name can be different, depending on your downloaded workspace client version.
- Use browser or Citrix workspace to login and access your Citrix resources.
Using steps above, we were able to connect to Citrix without any issues. Performance was good, sound and microphone working as well (you may need to enable mic access via Workspace settings).
Later, just for curiosity, we tried few different Linux based operating systems to compare Citrix behaviour and user experience from Linux OS overall, but Raspberry Pi OS maintained the best experience. Mainly because it is similar to the Windows OS we are used to. It is also very responsive and some tools, like browser, LibreOffice, etc. are already installed and many others can be easily installed from big software repository.
Ubuntu looked nice but was much slower. ThinLinx, NoTouchOS, LEAF OS, which are popular among thin client device operating systems, were not that versatile and their look and feel was not that good as Raspberry Pi OS.
We also just want to mention below link/article. It may helpful when solving sound or monitor issues: