In technological terms, this is an amazing time to be alive.
In many ways, the advances in computing over the last 20-odd years have changed the way we live.
The specific advance that concerns me in this post is the ability to securely and remotely connect from my computer at home, to the computer in the office.
These days, remote working of this nature often requires the Citrix Receiver to be installed on the client machine – i.e. the one I’m using at home.
In my case, this machine is almost certainly running a Linux OS.
This shouldn’t be a problem. After all, the Citrix Receiver is available for Linux. However, as with any application available on multiple platforms, any bugs may be specific to an individual platform.
I was reminded of this recently. Whilst my Windows and Mac using colleagues were able to use the Citrix Receiver with no problems, I found the lack of a working keyboard when connecting to my work machine something of a handicap.
What follows is a quick overview of the symptoms I experienced, together with the diagnosis of the issue. Then I go through the workaround – i.e. uninstalling the latest version of the Receiver and installing the previous version in it’s place.
Version and OS specifics
I’ve replicated what follows on both Ubuntu 16.04 ( the current LTS version) and Linux Mint 17.3 (Cinnamon desktop). Whilst these are both Debian based distros using the .deb package, I believe that the issue in question applies to the Receiver for any Linux distro.
Both of the machines I worked on were built on the x86_64 architecture (essentially any 64-bit Intel or AMD processor).
The Receiver version in which the problem was encountered is 13.5.
The problem I encountered was that, once I had polluted my lovely Linux desktop by connecting to to my Windows 7 workstation via the Receiver, the keyboard was unresponsive in the Receiver Window.
The mouse still works. If you switch out of the Receiver window, the keyboard still works.
Switching between Window and Full-Screen view in the Receiver – which sometimes solves intermittent responsiveness issues – does not resolve this particular problem.
Whilst initially, I suspected this could be some kind of hardware or driver issue specific to my machine, the fact that I was able to replicate this on multiple PCs using multiple Linux Distros lead me to do some digging.
This lead me to this bug report on the Citrix site.
Good news then. I don’t have to delve into the murky world of drivers. Bad news, it looks like I’m going to have to schlep into the office until Citrix get around to fixing the bug.Or maybe not…
Faced with the prospect of being nose-to-armpit with a bunch of strangers on The Northern Line, I decided that installing the previous version of the Receiver was worth a go.
***Spoiler Alert*** – it worked.
The steps I took to uninstall and re-install The Receiver are as follows…
First of all, verify the version of The Receiver that’s installed :
dpkg -l icaclient
If it’s installed you should see something like :
Desired=Unknown/Install/Remove/Purge/Hold | Status=Not/Inst/Conf-files/Unpacked/halF-conf/Half-inst/trig-aWait/Trig-pend |/ Err?=(none)/Reinst-required (Status,Err: uppercase=bad) ||/ Name Version Architecture Description +++-=============================================-===========================-===========================-=============================================================================================== ii icaclient 188.8.131.5285126 amd64 Citrix Receiver for Linux
Remember, the version with the problem is 13.5 so, if you have that version installed, you first need to uninstall it. This can be done by :
sudo apt-get remove icaclient
Once that’s done, we need to head over to the Citrix Download site and get hold of the previous version of the Receiver, in this case 13.4.
First, we need to go to the Citrix Receiver Downloads Page and find the section for “Earlier Versions of Receiver for Linux”
In our case we select the link to take us to the download page for version 13.4.
I selected the Full Package (64-bit version) :
Accept the licence agreement and a short while later, you should have a new file in your Downloads folder ( or wherever you chose to store it) :
ls -l icaclient* -rw-rw-r-- 1 mike mike 19000146 Jun 19 12:18 icaclient_184.108.40.20685126_amd64.deb
sudo gdebi icaclient_220.127.116.1109380_amd64.deb
To verify the installation we can now run dpkg again…
dpkg -l icaclient
…which this time should say …
Desired=Unknown/Install/Remove/Purge/Hold | Status=Not/Inst/Conf-files/Unpacked/halF-conf/Half-inst/trig-aWait/Trig-pend |/ Err?=(none)/Reinst-required (Status,Err: uppercase=bad) ||/ Name Version Architecture Description +++-=============================================-===========================-===========================-=============================================================================================== ii icaclient 18.104.22.16809380 amd64 Citrix Receiver for Linux
After all of that, I do now have the option of working from home rather than catching the bus.