Using Citrix Receiver on your BlackBerry PlayBook to replicate a desktop workspace

By Jared DiPane on 5 Apr 2012 04:47 pm EDT

Back in December we saw the Citrix Receiver ditch the "tech preview" status and become official in BlackBerry App World and now RIM is showing off just how powerful it really can be. For those unfamiliar, Citrix Receiver allows enterprise virtualization right from your BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM has taken some time to show off just how awesome of an experience one can have with using Citrix Receiver on their PlayBook. We all know that the PlayBook is a multi-tasking powerhouse and that is certainly showcased in this video. Check out how adding a larger monitor, keyboard and mouse can lead to an amazing PC experience right from your PlayBook.

Jared DiPane Jared DiPane "News Writer for Mobile Nations
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Reader comments

Using Citrix Receiver on your BlackBerry PlayBook to replicate a desktop workspace


Is there a how-to for ordinary end-users to take advantage of this? Is it "enterprise" only? A few weeks ago I downloaded the Citrix receiver demo for my PC and could not do or see _anything_ with it. Any additional info is greatly appreciated!


You took the words right out of my mouth. Is there a how-to to set up Citrix Receiver? I know it doesn't support CAG as of yet. But it should support just a basic setup right?

You have to connect your Citrix Receiver to a computer running the Citrix Server. I think the cost of the Citrix Server software would probably put you off, although I have no idea what that cost might be, it is generally not cheap. That said, some companies will supply developer copies for free in the hope of attracting developers (Oracle used to do this, I'm not sure if they still do), so you might want to check out the Citrix Website if your are really curious.

..."a computer running the Citrix Server"

A quick reveals the XenDesktop... Is that what you are referring to?

Well, I'm not a real expert on all things Citrix, or anything Citrix actually, but that and XenApp look to be the important ones as far as I can tell. On the other hand, I was looking further into the "Citrix Receiver" program itself and it looks as if they (Citrix) will set up a Demo Cloud account so you can experiment with Citrix Receiver. Go to the bottom of the page, left hand corner at this link:

We run Citrix (XenApp, not XenDesktop) at work and here is how we have it set up -

1) One server dedicated to running the Citrix system. This is where you can install your applications and publish them to users. This also need to be a terminal server, so you have to purchase however many user TS CALs for the amount of users that will be concurrently logged into the system.

2) One server running as the Citrix secure gateway (which is free software, not to be confused with the Citrix Access Gateway). This server sits in the DMZ and is the front end login for users.

3) The secure gateway communicates with the Citrix as a middle man so that outside traffic cannot directly talk to the Citrix server. Users communicate with the secure gateway, the secure gateway talks to the Citrix server and back.

4) I'm not sure about the upfront cost of Citrix user licenses, but when we renew ours yearly they are $30/user.

Enterprise only. u need a corporate infrastructure & server.

imagine a consumer-oriented version commercial of this, folks having remote access to their PC or Mac from anywhere.... Marketing 101 FOR CONSUMERS!!!

It would be great if RIM could do something similar for Microsofts Terminal Services Gateway as not all Enterprises have Citrix running.

You know, if you actually went to the Citrix site and tried to understand what they are offering, you probably wouldn't make such a rash and uninformed statement. Statement such as your's only reflect poorly on you.

I know what they offer. And I think they deserve to be paid. In fact, enterprise support costs money. There is no free ride. That's why "enterprise" = "expensive" because you have to pay for what you get. I was responding to those who think they could get enterprise grade software for free.

I use this functionality all the time, as of now I work almost 100% through citrix providing tech support for my local health authority. My playbook allows me to access anything I do at work, just the same as if I was at my workstation.

For those that are interested, generally if I am setup through a bigger monitor, I use an HDMI to dvi connector, or a HDMI to display port adapter. You can still get audio through external speaker this way too by turning off HDMI audio, which is generally auto detects.

I have heard that OnLive is launching a virtualized desktop service for consumers, which if we rally together maybe we could get a Playbook version :)

Ps: I use the native RDP client to remote all the time home to my pcs / servers.

RIM definitely has the infrastructure in place to take advantage of this technology and it also plays well into RIM desire to focus on their core strengths. Although I'm certain that RIM is well aware of all this, I'll still say "Go RIM Go." My own personal experience with Citrix isn't a very happy one, but to be fair I really can't say where the fault lies: with Citrix, or the network, or the program that I attempting to access, but the results were very slow and frustrating and other then that one particular program, things worked pretty well overall.

Many businesses use Citrix as a internal but more importantly a external means for user's to connect into their office network. It works great. On the Playbook, not so great. At least until the new Remote Control on Bridge came into play. Now Citrix Receiver on the PB is a lot better. Still waiting on CB to send me my RIM Keyboard......Once I have this the laptop will be staying at home most of the time.

I have my rim keyboard, and this citrix app is a seamless superhighway to my work desktop, as well as all my network drives and all the remote process facilities. Imagine this, I am 2000 miles away, my facility needs some troubleshooting. I log on, tie into the local control system, and help them from 2000 miles away, in real time.

For those who have never seen citrix in action, you will never understand until you do. But take it from me, the freedom you feel is unbelievable.


Man, I need to pat the business person on the back that will actually utilize this, plug in his Playbook into a TV for presentations whilst using his Bold as a remote and do all his doc editing on his Playbook. It's really impressive and I wish my job required me to use these tools. I just use mine for web browsing, watching movies and games :S

I'm currently using the demo version of citrix receiver but don't if you can save any documents you made and how do you get the non demo version for this?

in work we using citrix and I got account information for citrixweb for working at home etc.

Does it need a special license/setup from our IT or would it work with the information I got for logging on citrix on a computer (like home etc. where an application is downloaded from citrix and using browser)

Would be really great to use my PB instead of the Laptop when I am not in the office ;)

I did downloaded the receiver a while ago but haven't used it/haven't had the time to trying out the demo (and then forgot about it ^^ )

I didn't watch the video, but if damn RIM would just allow a consumer-grade VPN like PPTP VPN on the playbook, I would be able to do everything with my tablet. there are apps on the app world for microsofts remote desktop, I have a router at home and at work that accepts PPTP VPN protocol. I have a Windows machine with terminal services. All I require is PPTP VPN on my playbook.

Why RIM decided to leave out PPTP VPN is beyond me. It is not a security issue as every other tablet, including the defunct Web OS, has it by default. If it was a security issue, they would have disabled javascript and flash in the browser as those are the mostly widely used attack vectors for distributing malware.

the person at RIM that decided to eliminate PPTP VPN should be fired over this.

Once you past the ADD ACCOUNT page it works really well. There is a REALLY THIN scroll bar to the right of the data entry fields.