X1 Skin for NetScaler Gateaway

An article by Richard Hayton from Citrix Blogs

One comment I’ve heard repeatedly is that whilst the new X1 UI is great, the users accessing it need to access this via NetScaler Gateway. So, the question becomes, can we please re-brand that as well?

The short answer is yes – that is very much on the list of active work. However, it isn’t part of the tech preview. So, in this blog I’m going to explain a quick and dirty way of moving NetScaler into the X1 era.

What we are going to do in this blog is rebrand the NetScaler login screen with something more X1-ish. This isn’t a full reskin – but is just enough to make the UX seamless. Here is what we are going to achieve:

 

Approach

We are going to use a feature in NetScaler to support ‘themes.’ NetScaler currently has two built in themes called ‘Default’ and ‘Green Bubbles.’ Plus, there is support for a third ‘custom’ theme. Initially, I looked at providing a custom theme. But. it turns out this is both version specific to the ‘dot’ release of NetScaler, and is also a little too powerful. Getting a custom theme wrong can break the admin UI.

For simplicity and breadth of support, I’m going to simply replace the existing ‘Green Bubble’ theme with a new X1 styled one. That change is easier to make, and as has the advantage that one file will work with all 10.x NetScalers.

I’ve pre-created a theme for NetScaler 10 here (located here: https://citrix.sharefile.com/d/s66ba11233c74a9ba) and all you need to do is install it.

Uploading the Theme

The first step is to upload the theme onto the NetScaler box. To do this I’m using WinSCP (http://winscp.net/ ). For references I’m using NetScaler 10.5, but this should work with any 10.x variant.

Use win SCP to log in to NetScaler. Use the IP address you normally use for the admin console, and the admin credentials. (Default values are &##8216;nsroot’ and ‘nsroot’ – obviously on a production system you will have changed them!)

Navigate the local machine (left) and NetScaler (right) until you can see your local copy of the new theme on the left, and the NetScaler copy on the right. (Note these will have the same name)

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