Citrix Workspace Hub

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The Citrix Ready Workspace Hub is a new class of endpoint device as it is an ultra-lowcost yet high-performance Citrix VDI endpoint and a next-generation workplace IoT device. Based on the popular Raspberry Pi platform, Stratodesk has created the operating system, based on the NoTouch platform, for the Workspace Hub devices such as the NComputing RX-HDX and ViewSonic SC-T25.

The workspace hub can be used in various scenarios:

  • true workspace hub mode, displaying the hub launcher screen, waiting for a user to walk up and use either
    • session roaming with proximity authentication based on the user's mobile phone
    • casting by scanning the QR code or by connecting from a Windows laptop or Macbook
  • traditional Thin Client mode, with StoreFront-, PNA- or Citrix-cloud-based user sessions
  • both of the above, at the same time

Additionally, the Workspace Hub comes with Firefox, Chromium, RDP, and even an ssh client.

Hub Launcher Basics

NoTouchOS-WorkspaceHub.png

The hub launcher shows

  • the left/right caret-type buttons,
  • the QR code,
  • the device's friendly name,
  • the workspace hub menu (hamburger menu icon in the lower left corner),

on top of a "home page" or just a background image. In absence of any other setting, the system's wallpaper/desktop background image will be used.

With the left/right icons it is possible to switch to different pages. A page can contain any web site (it is using embedded browser technology). You may simply configure to have your normal Citrix URL be shown on one of the pages, and/or your company website or intranet. That way, a user can walk up to the device and use it either to roam with the mobile phone or casting, or click the left/right buttons to log in traditionally with username and password, or simply browse said intranet pages or webpages or use web applications.

Roaming

Roaming is as simple as placing your phone extremely close to the device. Citrix Workspace App on the phone will discover the workspace hub via its builtin Bluetooth beacon, contact it and transfer your session over. Your mobile phone's battery will not drain as the phone merely does the authentication/transfer portion. The actual session is is run on the workspace hub device.

Casting

Casting refers to sharing your device's screen and have it displayed by the workspace hub. Using Citrix Workspace App on mobile phones you can simply use Citrix Workspace App to scan the QR code. On laptops you can use the Workspace Hub section of Citrix Workspace App to connect to a nearby workspace hub and share the screen. This is especially helpful in meeting rooms as it eliminates the need to look for adapters and plug them in.

Central Management

Workspace Hub devices can be managed by Citrix Endpoint Management (formerly XenMobile) as well as Stratodesk's VDI/IoT management platform NoTouch Center.

In case you do not arrange for any NoTouch Center (NTC) setup, the OS will try to check in with Citrix Endpoint Management (CEM). Only if you have set up your CEM environment properly, will the device actually be accepted.

NoTouch Configuration for Workspace Hub

The hub launcher is, in NoTouch terminology, a connection that is usually automatically started at system boot time. As such, you can fine-tune its parameters under the Connection settings, in the "Workspace Hub" tab. (Please note that the "Workspace App" tab refers to Workspace App, formerly Citrix Receiver, which may be used by the Workspace Hub).

A factory new Workspace Hub device will guide you through its first time wizard and set up the Workspace Hub launcher mode automatically. For a more manual setup and in NTC,

  1. create a connection,
  2. set the connection mode parameter to "Citrix Workspace Hub"
  3. set "Automatic start at boot" to "on"
  4. set "Action after exit" to "reconnect" if you want that (otherwise, if you are using the menu exit button, user's will see the NoTouch desktop)

Workspace Hub parameters

Look and feel

  • URLs (comma-separated). A comma-separated list of URLs that should be put up on the individual pages. Leaving it empty is ok too, as your users will always be able to roam and cast.
  • Device name (default: host name). By default the device's self-assigned friendly name will be used, in absence of that setting, the device's host name. Supports Macro expansion.
  • Show QR code on start page. Defines if the QR code is shown on the launcher's start page. By default this is on.
  • Show QR code on other pages. Defines if the QR code is shown on all other pages. The intention behind that setting is that if you point your workspace hub e.g. to a Citrix log in or an Intranet web app, and your user knowingly switches the devices to that page, there is no need for the QR code, in fact it may obstruct something important.
  • Menu icon color. Can be auto, black or white. In case you install a very dark background image, you may want to switch it to "white" to make it stand out and be visible.

IoT triggers

The following parameters accept trigger URLs that will be visited on connect or disconnect. That way you can detect user activity and set up lights, blinds, HVAC accordingly. Both settings support Macro expansion.

  • Workflow Connect Trigger.
  • Workflow Disconnect Trigger.

SSL parameters

Since the workspace hub runs a service for the other Citrix Workspace App instances to connect to and present their roaming and casting information, running this on SSL is highly recommended. Please see here for certificate distribution: Certificates

  • Require SSL.
  • SSL Port (default: 55556).
  • SSL Certificate File (.crt). Supports Macro expansion.
  • SSL Certificate Private Key File (.key). Supports Macro expansion.

Other parameters

  • Use CEIP. An on/off switch, indicating if the Citrix Customer Experience Improvement program will be used. Anonymous usage statistics will be shared with Citrix.
  • Logging. Controls the intensity of logging.