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How do you do....it? Thread, AppDeployment in Technical; ok, what and how are you guys using to deploy apps without imaging. (Mac & PC) Ive looked at specops ...
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    AppDeployment

    ok, what and how are you guys using to deploy apps without imaging. (Mac & PC)

    Ive looked at specops deploy, Lanrev, ARD,

    Im getting tired of redoing images everytime someone wants to add an app. group policy or group based deployment would be awesome.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    If your apps are in msi form you use group policy to deploy them if they're not you can purchase a repacking app.

    Ben

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    That's what Lanrev and Specops Deploy do, Ive just had difficulty. was curious to know what everyone else is using or doing for it.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Yes but you don't need 3rd party tools to deploy with ad and gpo's.

    Ben

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    Ghost for initial imaging, GPOs and MSI files for application deployment between full imagings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCSDmike View Post
    what and how are you guys using to deploy apps without imaging.
    For want of a better solution, my own Perl-based script, with some help from the excellent AutoIt (just checked the website - wow, new version available!).

    Each freshly-installed (or newly out of the box) Windows machine is updated with XP service pack 3, the Logistix post-SP3 package and has Windows Update run just to double-check everything is up to date (we also have a WSUS server). The Windows NTFS partition of the harddrive is then reduced in size to make room for a 2 GB or so EXT2 partition that I can install a copy of the SystemRescueCD Linux distribution on. I then make sure that Windows has Perl installed and a copy of EXT2FS, a utility that enables it to mount an EXT2 partition. I then have a script that mounts the EXT2 partition from Windows, re-writes the SystemRescueCD autorun script and grub.conf file and reboots the computer. The machine then boots into Linux and runs the autorun script, which simply goes and gets an image off the network and wipes over the current Windows install with it.

    Once a machine is imaged, we can simply log on as the "install" user which runs another script that runs a bunch of "silent" installers. It's theoretically possible to create an MSI for applications, but that solution proved too fiddly and/or expensive so I stuck with getting each application installed any how possible. Ideally an applications comes bundled as an MSI, but some come with "silent mode" switches on their installers, and some just need automating with AutoIt. I can't emphasise enough how great AutoIt is - if all else fails, you can simply use AutoIt to control the mouse cursor to convince even the crummiest install routine to work.

    --
    David Hicks

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    dhicks - im abit confused on your OS install. You install windows, updates, all the apps, and linux only to wipe windows with a new image. Or am i missing something?

    Why is this? Is it to do with drivers and updates etc? Have you looked at Autoimage RogueSpear's Forums • Index page ?



    I use Autoimage to make base RIS images with all drivers, SPs, etc. Using WDS in legacy mode (which seems infinatly more reliable than the original RIS) i can deploy these using PXE.
    I use MSIs when ever possible. I use WIWW (Windows Installer Wrapper Wizard) to create MSIs by "wrapping" exes up with silent switches.
    For the more tricky ones i use the free version of WininstallLE on the server CD.
    And for crazy hard things to deploy, such as sebelius, i just write simple batch scripts.

    Even though my methods are really simple and by no means is our security lacks, to date there is only 1 app which has stumped me. Well rather i was too busy to spend anymore time on it and the fact it was only for 1 small room ment it would be more efficient to just run round the room manually.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Yeah scheduled scripts will work, if you have the time and expertise to set them up of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    And for crazy hard things to deploy, such as sebelius, i just write simple batch scripts.
    How odd, i found sebelius 5 and 4 easy as anything to deploy via MSI. You did buy the network version?

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    dhicks - im abit confused on your OS install. You install windows, updates, all the apps, and linux only to wipe windows with a new image. Or am i missing something?
    Sorry, my garbled post - my script spots if it doesn't already have an image for a machine and creates one if that's the case. So the first time you run the "reimage" script the computer will reboot into Linux, take a copy of the current disk image and store it on a network share, then any subsequent runs of "reimage" will restore that first image. Computers are identified via MAC addresses of network cards.

    My system has to work with copies of Windows XP for which we don't have volume licenses - we have only standard licenses, so we can't use the same image on identical machines, we have to take a separate image for each machine. Silly, but I figure disk space is cheaper these days than a Windows volume license.

    I use MSIs when ever possible. I use WIWW (Windows Installer Wrapper Wizard) to create MSIs by "wrapping" exes up with silent switches.
    But I know I've got several applications that refuse to install any other way than with AutoIt, so I'm going to have to use that to install them so I figured I might as well have everything together in one place and do all installs from the Perl script. Clunky, but there you go.

    And for crazy hard things to deploy, such as sebelius, i just write simple batch scripts.
    Bugger - just bought 15 copies. Don't suppose you have any hints as to what the crazy hard bits are, do you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    My system has to work with copies of Windows XP for which we don't have volume licenses - we have only standard licenses, so we can't use the same image on identical machines, we have to take a separate image for each machine. Silly, but I figure disk space is cheaper these days than a Windows volume license.
    We only have the origenal OEM licesnes as well, but I used a windows key discovery program to discover the Dell Volume key that is used when dell pre-install XP onto a machine when it's new, and used this in my sysprep.inf file. I know this isn't completely the right thing to do, but seeing as Dell use it when they distribute the machines to us, I don't see any harm as the machines are all Dell.

    Mike.

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    I suppose AutoIT would make short work of Sibelius TBH. The hardest part was working out all the places it wants to access and setting all the config correctly as it doesnt set itself up out of box Have a look here for setting it to use its sample library instead of the MS beeps and noises Sibelius 5 - tuning latency


    Off the top of my head and in no particular order

    Write access to somewhere in the Native instruments folder or else the Kontact player fails.

    Write access somewhere in the sibelius folder

    Activation is done over teh internet, there is no way round this as it creates a unique key based on that PC and the serial given. Using 1 serial and trying to copy the key files does not work. These files are located in the all user appdata folder iirc and i seem to remember these linking into a key in the registry. This is where AutoIT will show my methods failings.

    The config files for your audio settings are located in the users registry hive. Therefore you need to create a script which copies predefined settings on logon/edit the users ntuser.man/or use Specops GPO registry thingy or similar.

    Only after activating does it create more files. A minor thing but abit of a PITA non the less, especially as its already copied several GB of files and now it wants more.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 9th October 2008 at 11:32 PM.

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    dhicks (10th October 2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    We only have the origenal OEM licesnes as well, but I used a windows key discovery program to discover the Dell Volume key that is used when dell pre-install XP onto a machine when it's new, and used this in my sysprep.inf file. I know this isn't completely the right thing to do, but seeing as Dell use it when they distribute the machines to us, I don't see any harm as the machines are all Dell.

    Mike.
    You should buy 1 Volume Licence and use it on all OEM PCs that is legal AFAIK

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    I use a combination of script and or msi through GPO, but we also have Prism Deploy at my school which I haven't got around to looking at yet.

    A couple of good free tools for making msi's is "Wininstall LE" from OnDemand, now owned (and still offered free) by Scalable. And I like "Advanced Installer" - this is free for basic msi's which will essentially take a whole folder and bung it in an msi. Very useful for deploying simple apps that install into a single folder and don't spray dlls and registry settings everywhere (god bless them).

    We have Sibelius in school (and are getting more licences) - no-one has mentioned any issues installing it, I'll ask the technician - who was here before me - how we deploy it (I would guess it was through Prism through).
    Last edited by SteveLaw; 10th October 2008 at 07:04 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    You should buy 1 Volume Licence and use it on all OEM PCs that is legal AFAIK
    This is what our school does and I was told it was legal, but haven't had a chance to look into it, does anyone know for sure? (and have a link?)

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