Removing duplicate VDA entries in Citrix Director

We run a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 stack at work and have had an interesting one where Citrix Director has shown one of our multi-session OS machines has been duplicated. Studio shows just one entry of the machine but Director shows two; one legitimate one and another with the IP showing as n/a

Some research later1 and it seems the only way to resolve this is to do some database digging to remove the duplicate entry. Citrix do have an article2 saying removing the offending machine from the catalog and re-adding it works but it didn’t for me.

Ensure you have backed up/snapped an image of wherever your database is hosted before continuing!

Run the following SQL query to find the duplicate (replace MonitorDB with your monitoring database name and machinename with the machine name of the duplicate)

> Select * From [MonitorDB].[MonitorData].[Machine] WHERE Name Like ‘%machinename%’

This should return both the genuine machine and the duplicate – it should be obvious which is which, in our case the duplicate had an IP address of NULL. Copy the machine ID and use the following query to delete (again, replace MonitorDB and machine ID with yours)

> DELETE FROM [MonitorDB].[MonitorData].[Machine] WHERE ID = ‘Old Machine Id’

I then restarted the Citrix Monitoring service, not sure if this step is absolutely necessary as I didn’t check Director before and after the service restart.



AlmaLinux 8.6 + Plesk: Updating MariaDB 10.3 to 10.5

Quick guide on how to update MariaDB 10.3 to 10.5 when using AlmaLinux 8.6 with Plesk Obsidian. This is using a clean install of Plesk Obsidian 18.0.46 and is correct at time of publishing.

Stop MariaDB service

service mariadb stop

Remove incompatible gssapi package

dnf remove mariadb-gssapi-server

Edit/create mariadb.repo in /etc/yum.repos.d/ with the following (I use nano but any editor will do)

nano /etc/yum.repos.d/mariadb.repo

name = MariaDB
baseurl =

Ctrl + X to save and quit, Y then enter.

Clean cache and install MariaDB

dnf clean all

dnf install MariaDB-server galera-4 MariaDB-client MariaDB-shared MariaDB-backup MariaDB-common

Restart MariaDB

systemctl restart mariadb

Upgrade databases

MYSQL_PWD=cat /etc/psa/.psa.shadow mysql_upgrade -uadmin

Restart MariaDB again

systemctl restart mariadb

Update Plesk MariaDB version

plesk sbin packagemng -sdf

Restore SELinux on /var/lib/mysql/*

restorecon -v /var/lib/mysql/*

You should now have MariaDB 10.5 installed and working replacing 10.3.

Using File Screening with Teams Installer

At the school I am currently working at we use File Screening in the user data areas to prevent download and storage of executables and crypto files. Over the last week as staff and students have returned this has caused some issues when it comes to Teams and how it updates itself.

Our usual method of software deployment is via Group Policy software installation. As Teams installs in each user’s AppData we deploy the Teams machine wide MSI. Most of the time Teams then silently updates without issue however occasionally it prompts the user to download the full Teams installer .exe in order to update.

This creates issues as we block all .exe files in the screen template. However there is a simple solution, you are able to create an exception within the template.

Open up File Server Resource Manager -> File Screen Templates -> Edit Template Properties. Select Executable Files and then Edit. Under Files to exclude add


The asterisk means if the user ends up with multiple installers (Teams_windows_x64 (1).exe for example) due to switching machines etc. it won’t get blocked.

Related to this one of our team has written a great article for our help desk on how the end users can update Teams.

20H2 Network Rebuild

As you’ll know if you follow my work Twitter I spent last week over at Trinity Catholic School who have recently joined the MAC rebuilding their network from a legacy RM CC4 image to a new Lourdes IT 20H2 one.

This included some great work by Dan our project lead on creating new virtual machines and some interesting technical challenges running the two networks side by side when it came to DNS and DHCP. We needed to do this due to the fact that until we got to a point where all IT rooms were imaged the children that were in school still needed access to computers to be able to complete their online learning.

The image was deployed via MDT containing 20H2 and Office 365 and then other software is picked up using the software installation Group Policy. All machines are installed with senso remote monitoring software and this makes it really easy to test an entire IT suites functionality using the log on/log off tools that are in the senso console.

Once we got going it was pretty smooth sailing and there has been a good speed improvement on their machines. Unfortunately they are a little bit dated and ideally it would have been great to upgrade some with SSDs but perhaps that’s another job for another day.

Few pics of the rebuilt machines are below.

MagicPods: AirPods App for Windows

I’m half in, half out of the Apple ecosystem owning an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods but using a Windows PC. For a while I’ve had my AirPods connected via Bluetooth to the PC but with no real way to manage them other than the Bluetooth settings pane.

Battery info and settings screen

All that changed the other day when I discovered a great little app on the Microsoft Store for the small sum of £1.69.

MagicPods brings the functionality you expect from connecting your AirPods to a Mac to Windows including battery indicator, automatic connection, volume reducing when removing them from your ears and much more besides.

Pop up as you get on an iOS device when you open the case

It introduces a great little pop up when you open the AirPods case showing you battery life and includes a battery status indicator in the taskbar.

There is a free 24 hour trial available so you can try it out and see if it works for you before purchasing.

If you are like me and enjoy using the AirPods with your Windows machine then this app is definitely worth investing in.

Available from the Microsoft Store

Uninstalling IONOS Cloud Backup Agent for Linux

I’ve used the IONOS Cloud Backup option for a while to back up my Plesk VM but having recently purchased a Synology NAS I’ve moved the backup solution to that instead.

Having tried (and failed) to find an article on the IONOS website on how to remove the agent (there’s an article on how to install here), here’s some quick steps after a bit of Googling.

IONOS Cloud Backup is essentially a rebadged Acronis service and the backup agent seems to be the same. After finding this article on the Acronis website I opened a SSH session and checked that the directory path listed was present on my VM which it was.

So uninstalling is just a case of running

sudo /usr/lib/Acronis/BackupAndRecovery/uninstall/uninstall

Obviously after that you may wish to go into the Cloud Backup panel and clean up the old backups etc. so you aren’t charged for the storage.

Making a Change

Thinking about switching a hobby or interest into a career? Read on.

I thought for my first proper post here I would take a bit of time to consider how I ended up where I am today.

I’d been mainly in security jobs after leaving University for various different companies, some worse than others, but I fell into the work even though I didn’t really enjoy any of it. Then in late 2017, motivated mainly by the enhanced salary, I decided to apply to train as a bus driver. It was while spending 40 hours a week on your own essentially that I decided I needed to make a change.

Continue reading Making a Change

Welcome Back

Vintage WordPress install on circa. 2012 courtesy of The Wayback Machine

8 years, numerous job changes and one pandemic later I’ve decided to throw back to the mid 2000s and kick this site back in to a blog.

It’s going to be more a holding spot of any interesting technical information for me really so if you have come here as the result of a Google in the future welcome and hopefully my ramblings will be of use to someone.

No doubt various IT technician related topics will be covered as I come across interesting problems in the day job.

There might also be some campervan related bits although most of that is covered over at T4 Travels.

Usual disclaimer from the outset that any posts on here are my own opinion and not those of my employer.