KMS Setup and Citrix XenDesktop

I might split this off since KMS doesn’t need Citrix and Citrix doesn’t need KMS. But for my environment I needed both.

I had installed a KMS server (Key Management Services server) for a recently-deployed Citrix XenDesktop environment. XenDesktop does NOT support MAK keys for the shared desktops (although it technically works), and instead lets me know to use KMS. KMS is really nice now that it’s working.

I actually ended up installing KMS on the WSUS server. Things I found out (my notes, take with a grain of salt since I haven’t gone back over it nor verified anything):


  • Server 2008R2 Installed and configured on an AD Domain (member server or domain controller OK)
  • Server 2008R2 KMS Key (VLSC site at Microsoft)
  • Client KMS Keys (see below)
  • Hypervisor (for XenDesktop VDI) – Hyper-V, VMWare ESXi, XenServer are all supported. I use XenServer 6.1 although 6.2 just came out.

Common Client KMS Setup Keys
Full List found here ( and

Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Enterprise
Windows 8 Professional
Windows 8.1 Professional
Windows 8 Enterprise
Windows 8.1 Enterprise
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
Windows Server 2012 Standard
Windows Server 2012R2 Standard
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Windows Server 2012R2 Datacenter
Office Professional Plus 2010
Office Professional Plus 2013

Install And Activate Your KMS Server
Add the product key (your KMS key from the VLSC) on your server and activate with Microsoft. If you utilize the GUI you will receive an alert saying “Are you sure you want this to become a KMS Server in your environment?” I used the command line instead:
slmgr /ato
If you receive any errors, you will not be able to proceed much further.

You can also use the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT).

KMS For Office Products
Download the Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack
And install/run the executable
The wizard will ask for your KMS key for Office – enter that.
To install a new Office Key, simply type:
ospp /inpkey:YOURKMSKEY
ospp /act

Verify KMS Is Working
You must have 5 or more SERVER clients or 25 or more CLIENT clients trying to activate. Every 6 months. The KMS activation is good for 180 days before it needs to re-register with your KMS server.
Command line find out the number of activations
slmgr /dlv
Your pop up will display the following key information: The KMS channel your server belongs to (B channel for me), License status, Current KMS count, and number of requests received.
There is a KMS Emulator that can artificially inflate your numbers on the KMS server:
KMSClient.exe 1688 Windows
KMSClient.exe 1688 Office2010
KMSClient.exe 1688 Office2012

Citrix – Initial Setup

  1. Create a new virtual guest – I ended up using Windows 7 SP1 x64 Enterprise (Pro for proof of concept, Ent for production use)
  2. Install all updates and software required on the base image. I ended up with the OS, Antivirus, Java, Flash, and Reader installed by default.
  3. Join this guest to the domain if applicable.
  4. Install the Virtual Desktop Agent – I ended up “sharing” the XenDesktop Installer CD from the primary DDC XenDesktop system (\\xendesktopserver\sharename)
  5. Shut down the VM by using the Desktop Agent – in my case I had a virtual private disk as well, so this is very necessary with all changes
  6. Take a snapshot of the VM – name it “PREARM”
  7. Start the VM back up and rearm the Activation Key
    slmgr /rearm

  8. Shut down the VM by using the Desktop Agent
  9. Take a second snapshot of the VM – name it “ARMED”
  10. Use this second image (“ARMED”) as the base for your XenDesktop rollout

Updating the Master Image

  1. Roll back to the snapshot “PREARM”
  2. Startup the VM
  3. Make any changes/updates
  4. Shut down the VM by using the Desktop Agent
  5. Delete the current “PREARM” snapshot
  6. Take a snapshot of the VM – name it “PREARM”
  7. Start the VM back up and rearm the Activation Key
    slmgr /rearm

  8. Shut down the VM by using the Desktop Agent
  9. Delete the current “ARMED” snapshot
  10. Take a second snapshot of the VM – name it “ARMED”
  11. Use this second image (“ARMED”) as the base for your XenDesktop rollout

I couldn’t get my office 2010 laptop to activate against the KMS host. I verified that the DNS entry was added:
nslookup -type=srv _vlmcs._tcp

Port 1688

The eventviewer showed “The client has sent an activation request to the key management service machine” along with “0xC0020017, 0X00000000,”
That’s why!! Localhost my arse.

You can change this by setting the host:
Open a command prompt with admin privs
cd\program files\microsoft office\office14 (or 15)
cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:YOURSERVER_FQDN.domain.tld
Then activate
cscript ospp.vbs /act

To set this back to default:
cscript ospp.vbs /remhst

To change the key:
cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:YOURKEYHERE

Remote key:
cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:KEY COMPUTERNAME
cscript ospp.vbs /act COMPUTERNAME

NON-Domain Systems KMS Activation
cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /skms FQDN_OF_KMS_SERVER:port
cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /skms IPADDRESS_OF_KMS:port

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