IGEL OS (RPI4) New features ‘Citrix Workspace HUB’ and ‘Automatic HDX Webcam configuration’ tool

By Fredrik Brattstig @virtualbrat

8th February -21
A few weeks before launch of the ‘NComputing RX420 powered by IGEL’, I have the pleasure to test the GA release of firmware, that those endpoints will have when leaving the NComputing factory. Shipping will begin late February. I wanted to inform you of two quite interesting features: ‘Citrix Workspace Hub’ and ‘Automatic HDX Webcam configuration’. Let me show you the what those things mean, and why I bring them up

Citrix Workspace Hub is now included in IGEL OS (RPI4) which allows you to cast Citrix sessions from your iOS and Android based phones and tablets. The use case is the following: You have a Citrix session, connected on your iOS/Android phone or tablet while roaming around in the halls of your office, may it be a hospital, or a factory maybe. When you approach any of the strategically placed ‘NComputing RX420 powered by IGEL’ you want to use the larger screen, mouse and keyboard to be more productive, honestly, a Citrix session on a phone screen size isn’t really ideal for productive work. When you approach the endpoint closest to you you simply press the cast button in Citrix Workspace app on your phone, which will ask you to scan a QR-code. You point the phones camera towards the screen of the ‘NComputing RX420 powered by IGEL’, instantly the session you have on your phone is now casted to the ‘NComputing RX420 powered by IGEL’ and the session is accessible on the monitor that is hooked up to it. This is how it looks:

Citrix session casting on IGEL OS RPI4

The second feature I’ll explain, is even cooler and very useful!! ‘Automatic HDX Webcam configuration’. There is no existing Microsoft Teams/zoom/etc Optimization on the Citrix Workspace App for Linux Arm. It is though possible to use HDX Webcam redirection to get your webcam to appear in the Citrix session. Though, until now, configuring HDX Webcam Redirection has been quite a hurdle to do, you would need to know the characteristics of your camera, or even your remote users cameras. Yea, I guess you can imagine that will be a problem when your employees might have gathered whatever equipment the could get their hands on when rushing to home office during lockdowns. And standardizing on a specific camera might be problematic due to the outages of stock due to high demand, right?
IGEL to the rescue with ‘Automatic HDX Webcam redirection’ this is a built in function on the IGEL OS for RPI4, that analyzes the camera and allows you to select between six levels in the range of Very Low -> Best. ‘Very Low’ will of course give you a limited resolution and quality, where ‘Best’ certainly will give you a high quality Webcam image. >The selection you choose will of course affect the amount of bandwidth and server CPU that is used by the webcam.
This will certainly make life easier for you admins out there, and it will give a more enjoyable experience for your users!
Lets have a look at the image quality in the different modes. I’ll compare ‘Low’ to ‘Normal’ and ‘Normal’ to ‘Best’. For this test I’m connecting to a Citrix Session Host 2019 server with 4vCPU’s and 10GB RAM. I use a Logitech c930e webcam connected to my ‘NComputing RX420 powered by IGEL’:

HDX Webcam redirection quality comparison

In this video, I’m using the native 32bit version of Microsoft Teams, and started up a hosted meeting. The HDX Webcam redirection works for 32bit apps only on server side. Stick to 32bit apps and you will have a high success rate on providing webcam support. Equals to that if you want to have webcam access within sessions using browser, install the 32bit version of the browser etc.
And, the configuration of the HDX webcam is way easier now:

Automatic HDX Webcam configuration

You simply just need to select the resolution grade, but of course we left the option to specifically set your webcam preferences too!

Enjoy providing collaboration tools to your remoting users using the upcoming RPI4 support of IGEL OS!