Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Citrix Receiver on 64-bit Arch Linux

I recently made the switch from Ubuntu to Arch Linux (with E17) on my workstation at work, and I am now in the process of getting all my apps setup and working again. Pretty high up on that list was the Citrix receiver. Work is a largely Windows based setup, with Exchange for e-mail. I actually prefer a few things about the newer versions of Outlook, when compared with most of the Linux clients I have tried in the past.
This means my choices boil down to:
  1. Get Outlook running under Wine (yeah, that'll work out real well) 
  2. Run Outlook in a Windows VM (I have this setup, but prefer not to run the VM at all times, it is a real memory hog)
  3. Run a separate computer with Windows on it, just for Outlook (not going to happen)
  4. Get the Citrix receiver working, and use the Citrix version of Outlook that we make available
I chose #4. The problem here is not the linux part, install packages exist for the receiver on linux. The problem is the 64-bit part. Out Citrix server only hands out a 32-bit installer. I went looking, and while Citrix has started offering 64-bit installers now, they only come in .deb or .rpm. There isn't a .tar.gz package like there is for 32-bit. Arch linux, of course, does not use .deb or .rpm packages.

I had the receiver installed on Ubuntu, and it worked mostly. It worked fine, but I could not run the manager app to change the settings, which meant that I could never map my local hard drive to show up as a drive in the software run on Citrix. For e-mail, this meant I could not save or send attachments, unless I used a USB stick for them, because the default settings would auto-mount USB devices.

I found these instructions on the Arch wiki, and followed the manual install instructions. Probably because I had already downloaded the package from Citrix, and sunk some time into getting the installer to run, so I didn't want to take the easy route out and use a pre-built package now.

Just to get the installer to run, I had to do some research, and finally figure out that the "no such file or directory" errors being thrown by echo_cmd were because I only had the 64-bit glibc libraries, and I needed to install the lib32-glibc from the multilib repo as well.

I followed the instructions on the wiki, making modifications as I went because my install of the receiver was in a different directory, and got a working install, except that I had problems getting firefox to see the Citrix plugin for some reason. I also was not able to get the manager app (wfcmgr) to run, despite the wiki article explicitly saying it should. I was getting this error:

/opt/Citrix/ICAClient/wfcmgr: error while loading shared libraries: libXm.so.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

I did some more digging, and found the 32-bit library package from the AUR containing libXm.so.4, aur-lib32-openmotif, installed into /opt/lib32/usr/lib directory, instead of into the /usr/lib32 directory where the wfcmgr program was trying to find it.

One way to fix this is with a simple

sudo ln -s /opt/lib32/usr/lib/libXm.so.4 /usr/lib32/libXm.so.4

however, I chose to modify the PKGBUILD to put the libraries in /usr/lib32 with all the others, in case a program went looking for one of the other openmotif libraries in the future.

I also figured out that my problem getting firefox to see the plugin was that I checked whether the plugin was setup with

sudo nspluginwrapper -l

using sudo here, because the wiki article showed the install command, nspluginwrapper -i, being run as root. This showed the plugin to be in place already:

  Original plugin: /opt/Citrix/ICAClient/npica.so
  Plugin viewer: /usr/lib/nspluginwrapper/i386/linux/npviewer
  Wrapper version string: 1.4.4-1

It took me too long to realize that this plugin was not system-wide, but was root-specific, and that I needed to do this as my user instead. I checked and it was not setup for my user, so I used the -i command to install it, and restarted firefox. It is now detected, which means I don't have to skip past the install prompt from the server when the silent-detection routine fails to find the plugin on my system.

In the end, I have a newer version of Citrix Receiver installed and I was able to setup my home directory to be mapped as a drive to be seen inside the Citrixed apps. I do not have the USB device support, because the installer can't figure out Arch's system for managing services, but I don't think I'll miss that.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Sign Criticism

    Driving home after work today, I saw one of those little signs stuck in the ground at a corner that said "Get Customer Leads" and had a phone number. The two thoughts that went through my head were: 1)  If you are so great at generating customer leads, then why aren't you contacting me instead of expecting me to call you?  2) If I were to call you,  would I end up on your list of customer leads that you sell to others?