Zero Install Citrix Client

The title might seem a bit strange.  How can you not install a Citrix client?  The answer is that the client has already been installed.  This isn’t the whole story but the idea is basically that.

A couple of years ago, Thinstall and Citrix partnered on using Thinstall technology to produce a client that could reside on a USB memory stick and would not need to be installed.  All the user would need to do is insert the USB flash memory stick into the computer and the user would then be able to use the Citrix ICA client to get connected to their applications from work.

It’s impressive what Thinstall did with it and it is still available on the Internet today.   The Thinstall summary page is worth reading if you are interested in this problem and solution.  Thinstall also produced a demo on the net that show exactly how it works.

There are a few things that this solution solves.  First of all, there is no need to having administrator privileges to run the client install (since you didn’t install).  Second, all configuration is kept with the programs instead of set on the local machine.  Finally, there is no residual data left behind on the workstation.  One reason why this might matter is the disk caching used for ICA could contain sensitive screen data.  The summary page and demo do a much better job of describing why this is good than what I have time for here.

The conclusion from the VMware acquisition of Thinstall pretty much means that the Citrix/Thinstall project is not going to go any further.  I’m assuming that the version of the package on the web is an older Citrix client so it might not be suitable for the latest deployments.

The good news is that other vendors are exploring doing the Zero Install Citrix Client.

Live near Brisbane, Australia. Software developer currently focused on iOS and Android. Avid Google Local Guide

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