503 errors from Citrix Receiver for Web in StoreFront 2.x

Posted: January 3, 2014 in Citrix
Tags: , , , ,

This was a small but irritating thorn in my side I discovered recently.  I’m still new to StoreFront, and I’m working on our first SF implementation.  I built the first set of servers, and it seemed to work at first, but when I came back to it a few weeks later, I started getting 503 errors when I accessed the Receiver for Web page. This was definitely something unusual. 

I built 2 new servers following my documented steps, and referring to the eDocs from Citrix, and again, I as receiving 503 errors.  This was a very odd situation.  I went back to my first set of servers, and changed the AppPools in IIS to run the v4 .Net Framework.  This did work.. but it did not make sense.. why would Citrix create something that was broken out of the box? (PVS not withstanding).  

I began doing some web research on this problem.  I found several Citrix articles on the subject (CTX120153, CTX131137, CTX131583),  a number of blogs, etc.  but none of them applied to my situation.   I ended up making a support call to Citrix, and working with the Citrix technician, we checked out a number of items.  One item of note was the AppPool for the Receiver for Web was crashing, as was the DefaultAppPool. Looking in the EventLogs, there were numerous errors referring to the webengine.dll in the v2 framework directory crashing.  I looked these errors up online to no avail.

During this discussion with Citrix, I mentioned the abysmally slow startup times for the console for StoreFront.  As we were discussing how to correct this, it occurred to me that I had made a change originally to try and speed up the console launch.  Similar to Web Interface 5.4, most of the StoreFront console is built on .Net.  One of the ways to improve the WI console is to disable Certificate Revocation List checking.  I had done this by modifying the Aspnet.config file in the c:\windows\Microsoft.Net\Framework\v2.0.50727 directory. The modification to the Aspnet.config file are documented in this Citrix blog. In turn that leads to some Microsoft articles, including this one that describes it exactly. 

In short, you add a new line to the XML code to tell .Net to stop looking for Certificate Revocation Lists. Here is an example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<configuration>
<runtime>
<legacyUnhandledExceptionPolicy enabled="false" />
<legacyImpersonationPolicy enabled="true"/>
<alwaysFlowImpersonationPolicy enabled="false"/>
<SymbolReadingPolicy enabled="1" />
<generatePublisherEvidence enabled="false" /> <--- This is the line to add for WI, but remove for SF
</runtime>
</configuration>

I had added the generatePublisherEvidence line to all my Frameworks to try and prevent that from happening.  I removed that line from the aspnet.config, restarted the AppPools and the Receiver for Web began working perfectly.  My StoreFront console is still abysmally slow, but I’ll get it figured out.

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