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About Distribution packages [Web console]

The Distribution packages view shows the available distribution types and any packages you've created for each distribution type. When you select a distribution package you've created, you can view the properties for it, delete it, clone it, place it in a group with other packages, or reset the package hash.

To create a new distribution package, select a distribution package type in the left pane and click New.

Understanding the distribution package types

Software distribution supports these package types:

MSI

These are packages in the Windows Installer format. You must use a third-party tool to create MSI packages. These packages consist of a primary MSI file and can include supporting files and transforms. Transforms customize how MSI packages are installed. If your MSI package consists of multiple files, make sure you add all of them in the Distribution package dialog box.

Executable

In order for an executable package to be used by software distribution, it must meet the following criteria:

  • The executable must not exit before the installation is complete.
  • The executable must return zero (0) for a successful installation.

As long as the executable meets these two criteria, any executable can be used for installing the package. You can include additional files for executable packages.

Batch file

Batch file packages are based on a Windows/DOS batch file. You can include additional files for these distribution packages. The successful completion status of the batch file package is based on the value of the errorlevel system environment variable when the batch file has finished running.

Macintosh

Any Macintosh file can be downloaded, though Management Suite won't download directories. Install packages (.pkg) can contain directories. They must be compressed. If the file downloaded has an extension of .sit, .zip, .tar, .gz, .sea, or .hqx, Management Suite will decompress the file before returning.

NOTE: Users should make sure that Stuffit Expander has its "check for new versions" option disabled; otherwise a dialog may interrupt script execution.

Linux RPM

These are packages in Linux RPM format. These packages must be stored on a Web share for Linux RPM distribution to work.

LANDESK Application Virtualization

LANDESK Application Virtualization uses Thinstall technology to virtualize an application, storing it in a single self-contained executable file with the application and the DLL/device driver dependencies. When run, virtualized applications run in an isolated environment without making changes to the Windows installation they are run on.

Virtualized applications run on locked-down devices without requiring additional privileges.

Virtualized applications generally consist of one or more executable files. Software distribution can be used to deploy virtualized application executable files to managed devices. Any of the software distribution delivery methods are used with virtualized application packages, including the Run command from the source. When deploying a run from source virtualized application package, managed devices use an application shortcut icon to run the virtualized application executable file over the network.

Windows Script Host Package (WSH)

Windows Script Host Packages (WSH) are a Microsoft alternative to batch files but are often used to automate similar tasks such as mapping drives, copying files, or modifying registry keys. WSH files are most commonly used with Jscript (.js) and VBScript (.vbs) files. One advantage of the Windows Script Host package over the .bat package is that they allow the user to combine multiple languages into a single file by using the language independent file extension (WSF). These packages often can be created in Notepad, HTML editor, Microsoft Visual C++, or Visual InterDev.

SWD package

These are packages built with the legacy LANDESK Enhanced Package Builder (installed separately). Although the Enhanced Package Builder is no longer shipped with Management Suite, LANDESK Software continues to support the distribution of files having been created with it. They are executable files that have properties that uniquely identify them as software distribution (SWD) packages.

Linux

Software distribution supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform 5 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10/11. RPM deployment is supported. Scripting is not supported. Additional files need to be in a location where Linux can reach them. A Web share or an anonymous HTTP site can be used to store RPMs. Linux does not support mapped drives.

Package Groups

  • My packages: Distribution packages that the current user has created. Users with Administrator rights can also see these packages.
  • Public packages: Distribution packages that users have marked public. Anyone who schedules a package from this group will become the owner of the associated task. The task remains in the Public tasks group and will also be visible in the User tasks group for that user.
  • All distribution packages: Both the current user's distribution packages and distribution packages marked public.
  • User distribution packages: (Administrator users only) List of all distribution packages sorted by owner/creator (not including public packages).

Custom groups

You can create custom groups in the My packages, Public packages, and User distribution packages groups. Only an administrator can make changes to User distribution packages. With custom groups, you can group related packages such as Microsoft Office 2007 MSI package with a Microsoft Office 2007 executable package. To create custom groups for public distribution packages, you must have the Public distribution configuration right.

To create a custom group
  1. In the Web console toolbox, click Distribution > Distribution.
  2. Click one of the distribution package groups.
  3. Click the New group button on the toolbar.
  4. Type a name in the Group name box and click OK.
  5. To move a package or another group into the new group, select the package or group from a list and click the Move/copy button on the toolbar.

You can move/copy packages or other groups from all package groups except User distribution packages.

Resetting package hashes

The software distribution agent uses the MD5 hash algorithm to verify that the package and additional files are downloaded correctly. When a distribution package is first scheduled, the product downloads the files and calculates the hash values associated with the primary file and any additional files used by the distribution package.

If the hash stored with the package doesn't match the hash value the agent computed on the target device, the download isn't considered valid. If you make any changes to the package outside of this product, such as updating the package contents, you need to reset the hash, or any scheduled tasks using the updated package will fail.

To reset a package hash
  1. In the Web console toolbox, click Distribution > Distribution.
  2. Find the package in the distribution package groups.
  3. Select the package and click the Reset package hash button on the toolbar.

Moving/copying packages

You can move or copy distribution package definitions, such as a package that delivers an executable to a set of targeted devices.

To move or copy a distribution package
  1. In the Web console toolbox, click Distribution > Distribution.
  2. Find the package in the distribution package groups.
  3. Select the package and click the Move/copy button on the toolbar.
  4. Select the group in which you want the new package to be saved, and click Move or Copy.

Moving or copying a distribution package only moves or copies the distribution package settings, not the actual files you are distributing.

 


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