Is Citrix on Chromebook a Good Fit for Your Organization?

Chromebook sales grew 13.5% to a high of 37 million in 2021. Demand for Chromebooks is expected to remain strong in the future even if sales forecasts predict a slowdown in growth this 2022. While Chromebooks run only Android applications, this limitation can be circumvented with virtualization products such as Citrix Workspace. This article discusses how to use Citrix on Chromebook and presents a viable alternative to the Citrix Workspace application for Chrome OS.

What Is Citrix Workspace for Chromebook?

If your organization uses Chromebooks primarily, you can circumvent the Android application-only limitation in Chromebooks with the use of another virtualization product. The Citrix Workspace platform enables the secure delivery of applications and desktops on any device. With Citrix Workspace, you can let your Chrome OS devices use Windows applications and vice-versa.

You need the Citrix Workspace for Chrome OS application to access the applications and desktops in your Citrix Workspace environment. Once the Citrix Chrome OS application is installed on your Chromebook, you can launch virtual applications and desktops directly from the Google Chrome web browser.

Citrix Workspace for Chrome OS supports virtual desktops spanning multiple monitors, copy-paste operations between your Chromebook device and your virtual desktops and applications, and auto-launching Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) sessions that allow data to be passed between Citrix servers and clients. The ICA protocol is Citrix’s equivalent of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) from Microsoft.

While Citrix Workspace for Chrome OS is free to use, it requires subscriptions to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Aside from this, there are other prerequisites to using the Citrix Workspace application. You also need to configure its settings to make full use of the application’s features.

What Prerequisites and Configurations Are Needed in Citrix Workspace on Chromebook?

Before you can use the Citrix Workspace app for Chrome OS, Citrix recommends installing the latest Chrome OS version on your Chromebook devices. Since Chromebooks that have reached end of life cannot be updated anymore to the latest Chrome OS version, you may need to procure more recent Chromebooks, especially if you want to take advantage of the application’s most recent features. This means significant investment in new hardware.

In addition, before installing the Citrix Workspace application, you will need to have either Citrix Workspace or its older version, Citrix Storefront. Both of these applications serve the virtual applications and desktops in your Citrix environment to your users. The Citrix Workspace app also supports applications and desktops created using XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 and later.

For secure communications between clients and servers, you will need to have Citrix Gateway and HTTPS. To disable the printer and other forms of compression, you will also need to have CloudBridge 7.4 and later, and Citrix SD-WAN.

If you use Microsoft Teams, you will need to update to the latest version of the Citrix Workspace application. You will also need to have hardware with at least an Intel i3 processor and a 2.4 GHz quad-core CPU that can at least support 720p HD resolution.

After installing the Citrix Workspace application for Chrome, you will need to configure the features that you want using different Citrix services. For example:

Is Citrix Workspace on Chromebook Really the Best Option?

Given the prerequisites and complex configuration required, the Citrix Workspace application for Chrome OS may not be the best option to access virtual applications and desktops using your Chromebook. Even the latest version of the application, which is supposed to have addressed issues in previous versions, has been criticized for many reasons, including:

Due to the various issues raised against the Citrix Workspace application for Chrome OS, it might be best to try a better alternative.

Parallels RAS Chromebook RDP: Access Windows Desktops and Applications Easily

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) provides a secure delivery solution for your virtual desktops and applications, allowing your organization to scale its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) quickly and efficiently.

Parallels RAS has a Chromebook Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client that lets your users access your VDI from anywhere. With the client, your users can access full-fledged Windows applications and desktops using their Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices.

The Parallels Client for Chrome OS uses granular access control, two-factor authentication, and smart card authentication to keep your Windows users and applications secure. It provides a seamless and reliable user experience, allowing your users to run Windows, Android, and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications with ease from any device.

Within the Parallels RAS centralized console, you can administer the applications and desktops in your VDI from a single console, avoiding the complexity of administering your Chromebooks using various Citrix services.

See how you can use Parallels RAS and the Parallels Client for Chrome OS with your Chromebooks!

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