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Enterprise Software Thread, WPKG .. anyone use it? in Technical; So, I'm looking at the best way to deploy the many different pieces of software that various classrooms need without ...
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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    WPKG .. anyone use it?

    So, I'm looking at the best way to deploy the many different pieces of software that various classrooms need without having to do much repacking to make use of the Microsoft GPO Software Deployment, and came across WPKG and wondered...
    1. Does anyone use it? (http://www.wpkg.org)
    2. Does it work well with 2008R2/W7 Pro?
    3. Any pitfalls I should be aware of with it?

    Thanks all
    Andy T

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    Alis_Klar's Avatar
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    soveryapt (12th October 2011)

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    I use it here, since nothing executes on the server it should be fine on 2008r2, just as long as you can make the files available to the client.

    Windows 7 is a different kettle of fish, I've not yet done any testing. It however works fairly well with XP, you do just have to put a bit of care into your package files and think about all the what ifs? We have had an issue where it stalls if there's no network connection (even if you enable the laptop mode), this has been fixed in the Beta version of the client.

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    soveryapt (12th October 2011)

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alis_Klar View Post
    Oooo .. that does look good! I'll investigate that one more!

    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    I use it here, since nothing executes on the server it should be fine on 2008r2, just as long as you can make the files available to the client.

    Windows 7 is a different kettle of fish, I've not yet done any testing. It however works fairly well with XP, you do just have to put a bit of care into your package files and think about all the what ifs? We have had an issue where it stalls if there's no network connection (even if you enable the laptop mode), this has been fixed in the Beta version of the client.
    Ok, I'll take a note of that and look through the WPKG-GP version and see if that might resolve things as it ties in to the GPE settings.

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    I use it in all my schools
    But of course, I use it simply as in all users startup batch file.

    This means I don't have to worry about the software install being silent which makes life a lot easier.

    Simon

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    soveryapt (12th October 2011)

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    We use it here on our Windows 7 Enterprise stations and it's fine.
    We used the GP plugin so that it shows what is being installed prior to the logon screen appearing.

    In fact it's so good we're rolling it out to our local primary school we support.

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    soveryapt (12th October 2011)

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    Looks like this'll be my new development in the school then in that I'll use WDS to roll out a basic image with office software and what not, and then use WPKG to roll out everything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boredguy View Post
    We use it here on our Windows 7 Enterprise stations and it's fine.
    We used the GP plugin so that it shows what is being installed prior to the logon screen appearing.
    I've done the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soveryapt View Post
    Looks like this'll be my new development in the school then in that I'll use WDS to roll out a basic image with office software and what not, and then use WPKG to roll out everything else.
    Installing Office with WPKG is pretty quick if you are on a gigabit network. I just deployed using the original image from a Windows 7 DVD using MDT2010, installed the antivirus and WPKG-GP as part of the task sequence, then all other software was installed with WPKG.

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    soveryapt (13th October 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    Installing Office with WPKG is pretty quick if you are on a gigabit network. I just deployed using the original image from a Windows 7 DVD using MDT2010, installed the antivirus and WPKG-GP as part of the task sequence, then all other software was installed with WPKG.
    Think I'll be taking a ganders at that kind of set up then as it sounds ideal!

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    Ok, so I'm looking to actually get this setup now using WPKG-GP so that it shows nicely on the screen what is installing when for the end-user (otherwise they'll likely just force reboot the machine) .. but I'm just wondering if there are any good how-to instructions about anywhere for this?

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    I would just configure WPKG separately, test profile assignment with the dry run option on the command line (you can just run the javascript directly using cscript). Then when you are happy everything is right install WPKG-GP using documentation from here and it should do exactly the same thing. If anything goes wrong I would normally go back to running the WPKG javascript directly to get the debug output. Writing the package files is the biggest problem just because it takes a while to test them out. Use a VM that you can snapshot to speed up the process. Also, if you use robocopy, either redirect logging to a file or disable it otherwise the copies fail for a large number of files. Using Robocopy in WPKG - WPKG | Open Source Software Deployment and Distribution. Also, it's worth spending sometime understanding regex expressions for use in matching hostnames.

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    soveryapt (25th June 2012)

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    Whoop .. it looks like I might have actually got it working .. and just in time for the holidays .. just added a couple of other packages to make sure it's not just a fluke! lol ..

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    We used to have this running very well until we started using the GP aspect. Although the users get to see what's being installed, etc. it can sometimes take forever to complete (and that's when it is just checking everything is up to date). Meanwhile frustrated teacher reboots computer but it just carries on from before until it completes. It could do with a 'skip' for now button I think.

    I have had to disable it for some users just so that they can get on with teaching!

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    Quote Originally Posted by winng View Post
    I have had to disable it for some users just so that they can get on with teaching!
    Run it on System startup, not log on. And setup wake on lan for classroom PCs so they come on about 10 minutes before the start of the school day.

    But if it's takes more then a few seconds I would suspect there's an issue with on of your packages. Have a look through the event viewer for WSH errors.

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