Citrix support for peripherals attached to a client device is a fundamental functionality leveraged by the Citrix Server Based Computing (SBC) model. Since the introduction of MetaFrame Presentation Server products many years ago, support for many client-side peripherals exist. Hence, when either using local or remotely published applications, end-users can seamlessly utilize their peripheral device resources.
Client-side peripherals are supported in one of two basic methods:
· Device Level Redirection – This method involves redirection (also called “mapping”) of the high-level device as recognized by the operating system. Such examples include keyboards, mice, printers, etc. Such devices are not seen by the operating system by the hardware ports to which they connect, but rather by the device itself. For example, whether a keyboard has a USB or Serial port connector, or a printer has a Parallel, Serial, or USB connector, they are simply seen by the operating system as “keyboards” and “printers”. In the latter case, say for a parallel printer, the “printer mapping” functionality in MetaFrame is used; LPT port redirection, which is described below, does not play a role.
· Port Level Redirection – This method involves redirection of the low-level port itself. This includes COM, LPT, and USB ports. These ports are generically identified as “ports” by the operating system and traffic to them is simply redirected between server and client. Today MetaFrame supports the generic redirection of only COM and LPT ports on the client device.
Now that MetaFrame peripheral support has been explained, it can been realized that although “generic USB port-level redirection” is not supported by MetaFrame today, many USB peripheral devices are supported by the Device Level Redirection method described above. The following is a general list of the types of USB devices that are supported today:
1. USB Keyboards
2. USB Mice
3. USB Printers
4. USB Bar Code Scanners (which emulate keystroke entries)
5. USB Smart Card Readers
6. USB Storage Solutions (such as external drives and memory sticks)
The following USB device types are not currently supported running over a MetaFrame connection. But note that these devices are usually configured to operate with a local application on the client device, and once the data has been captured, to then transfer the data file to the server via the normal client drive mapping functionality of MetaFrame.
1. USB Image Scanners (such as flatbed scanners)
2. USB Cameras
3. USB Card Readers (such as for credit cards)
4. USB Check Readers
5. USB PDA Cradles
USB Port Level Redirection
At this time Citrix does not support USB devices that require low-level port redirection. Due to the large number of USB-based devices that are available and the somewhat proprietary nature of each manufacturer’s implementation of USB, it has not been possible to date to make a generic USB port redirection solution available as a standard part of the MetaFrame product. Citrix is, however, investigating the possibilities for creating USB solutions for particular devices at the high-level device redirection as previously described. Please contact Citrix Systems for the possibility of creating customized solutions for such products, or for information on future support for them within the standard product.
USB Drivers and ICA Clients
Note that all of the USB peripheral support above assumes the existence of a proper USB device driver for the operating system on the client device, and of course for a corresponding Citrix ICA Client for that same operating system that supports the mapping functionality at hand. For example, not all Citrix ICA clients support the use of smart cards whether or not a device driver from the manufacturer exists.
USB Printers on Macintosh Computers
The Citrix ICA Client for Macintosh OS X v6.30 provides general support for printers attached via Macintosh USB ports. For the Citrix ICA Client for Macintosh v6.20 and earlier, support for USB printing is limited. Some manufacturers supply printer drivers that allow a print file to be sent directly to specific USB printers (e.g. Epson Stylus Color 740), and these function correctly with the 6.20 ICA Client. Printing to PC printers through a USB port (using a USB to parallel cable) is also supported using the PowerPrint product from Strydent Software (www.strydent.com). Another alternative is to print via a network print server, instead of using the Client Printer Mapping functionality in the ICA Client.
USB Printers on Windows Based Terminals
USB support for Windows Based Terminal (WBT) client devices is vendor dependent. Please contact your WBT vendor for the latest information about USB solutions for their devices.
For more information plrease refer to the following:
CTX112588 -Dynamic USB Utility
CTX112013 - Citrix USB Keydrive Toolkit
CTX816193 - USB Support in MetaFrame Products
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