Citrix Workspace-App comes w/o VC++ Runtime from V1904

[German]Citrix has updated its Workspace app to version 1904. This app is now distributed for the first time without the Visual C++ Redistributable (Runtime) in the installer. Here some information about this app.


What is the Citrix Workspace app for Windows?

The Citrix Workspace app for Windows is installable software that allows users to access applications and desktops from a client system using Citrix virtual apps and desktops. The Citrix Workspace app provides access from your desktop, start menu, Citrix Workspace user interface or web browser, as the company writes on this page.

Users can use the Citrix Workspace application on domain and non-domain PCs, tablets and thin clients. Using Citrix StoreFront in conjunction with the Citrix Workspace app enables organizations to provide self-service access to applications and desktops. The advantage: There is a common user interface, regardless of the terminal hardware, the operating system (32-bit and 64-bit versions), or form factor.

(Source: YouTube)

The above video shows how to use the Citrix Workspace app for Windows. On April 30, 2019, Citrix released the Workspace app 1904 for Windows. The app runs under

  • Windows 7,
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019

as well as Thin PC. The download is possible on this website. A detailed overview of the functions and 'advantages' can be found on the Citrix product page.


VC++ runtime won't ship from Version 1904 onwards

Let's get to the point of this blog post. On Twitter I became aware of an innovation of Citrix, the Workspace app 1904 for Windows. Marco Hoffmann (Citrix Technology Advocate) has sent the following message.

Starting with version 1904, the required binary files of the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable are no longer delivered with the Citrix Workspace App Installer. What at first glance looks like a step backwards was welcomed with applause by user Al Qamar (Karl). By chance I know the background of the whole thing and had discussed it here in the blog in a different context. Here is the short version:

  • In the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable packages there are always serious security gaps. These are patched by Microsoft.
  • But Microsoft often doesn't get the chance to deliver the installer packages with the latest tools and installers. This is how patched VC++ redistributable variants with known vulnerabilities in the installers are distributed. 
  • To top it all off, outdated Microsoft Visual C++ redistributable packages, which have been integrated into products by software vendors, will be installed.

This misery I had discussed several times in the following blog posts. With the latest development at least Citrix does not install the Visual C++ redistributables. The administrator of the systems is then responsible for providing this runtime environment and keeping it up to date. Karl fought long enough for this step.

But Karl implicitly points to another construction site. The Visual C++ Runtime included in the Citrix App-Installer was often good for installation problems. This older support article from 2017 or this article from the same year deal with several problems at once.

Similar articles
The problem with C++ Redists & 3rd Party security patches – I
The problem with C++ Redists & 3rd Party security patches – II
The problem with C++ Redists & 3rd Party security patches – III
Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime

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