Adobe Acrobat Reader on Remote Desktop Services or Citrix XenApp

When it comes to installing applications on a terminal server, newly called Remote Desktop Services, you should try to install only the features your users will need. The smaller the applications’ footprint the better. In this post I will try to cover some simple changes to help you install a more user friendly installation.

Adobe freely provides a tool that allows admins to install their products easily and efficiently. This product is known as the Adobe Customization Wizard. To get started download the Acrobat Reader .msi file by filling out the form via the Adobe Reader Distribution License Agreement page. This is so that you can legally distribute the software to your corporation’s servers.

While waiting a few days to receive the okay from Adobe, go ahead and download the Customization Wizard.
Adobe: Adobe Customization Wizard 9

The program is very intuitive, you should consider the following changes for RDS/XenApp installs:

  • Make Reader the default viewer
  • Supress the EULA
  • Disable all updates
  • Disable help
  • Disable Product Improvement Program
  • Disable viewing of PDF with Ads for Adobe PDF
  • Display PDF in browser: Disable and Lock (Enable this if certain Print functions don’t seem to work..requires and uninstall/reinstall)
  • Disable all Acrobat.com access

After making all your changes click Transform in the menu and select Generate Transform…

Finally to install using your custom transform use the following syntax: msiexec /i acroread.msi TRANSFORMS=rds.mst (note: you do not need to put the server into install mode since you are using msiexec)

UPDATE: To see a much better representation on how to do all this I suggest heading over to DABCC

2 thoughts on “Adobe Acrobat Reader on Remote Desktop Services or Citrix XenApp

  1. hi ! Thanks for this article, it was very usefull.

    I wonder one thing : when you want to install Acrobat updates, do you have to put the RDS server in “Install mode” ?

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