Software distribution help

Using the Distribution package dialog box

The Distribution package dialog box (Tools > Distribution > Distribution package) stores information in the database that describes the package that you want to distribute. The data contains the settings necessary to install a specific software package, such as the package name, any dependencies or prerequisites, installation options, and so on. Once created, this information is called a "distribution package."

Before using this dialog box, put the package on your distribution server. You'll need to browse for the package and provide information on any package prerequisites or additional files. Once you've created a distribution package for your package, you can associate it with a delivery method (Tools > Distribution > Delivery methods) to deploy it to devices.

About the Package information page

Use this page to enter the package name and your package's primary file. If your package consists of a single file, add it here. If your package has multiple files, add the main file in your package, for example, the file that starts the install. You can add supporting additional files on the Additional files page.

To use the file browser, type a Web share or file path in the box next to the Go button. Clicking Go displays the destination in the Primary file box. You can continue navigating there. When browsing for the file, double-click the file you want to be the primary file. This adds the filename to the package path next to the Go button.

  • Name: The name you enter here appears in the Distribution packages and Delivery methods trees and dialog boxes. Make the name descriptive but not too long, since you'll have to scroll to see longer descriptions.
  • Description to show end users on download: The description you enter here appears in the Distribution packages and Delivery methods windows and the Software Deployment Portal.
  • Primary file: The main file in this package.
  • Go: Starts browsing the path you entered next to the Go button.
  • Up: Goes up one folder level from the current location you're browsing.
Using environment variables

Support for putting the environment variable directly into the package path isn't supported in Management Suite, though expansion will still work with previously created custom scripts. To support environment variables for the new SWD architecture, the "PreferredPackageServer" registry value should be set to the environment variable to be used. This environment variable will then be expanded to define the server from which the package should be retrieved.

About the Install/Uninstall options page

Use this page to specify the package type. You have several options depending on the package you're deploying. Not all package types have these options.

  • Install: Specifies that you want to use an installation package to install software.
  • Uninstall: Specifies that you want to use an installation package to remove software. When this flag is set, the script removes everything that was installed with the installation script.
  • Command line: (Not available for SWD, Macintosh, or Linux packages) The command line you want passed to the primary file you specified. Software distribution automatically adds the basic parameters for the type of package you're distributing.
MSI install/uninstall options

MSI distribution packages have additional install/uninstall options when you select Use Windows Installer to install and control installation (MSIexec).

  • Display options:
    • Quiet mode, no user interaction: Runs the installation with no notification on the managed device (silent install).
    • Unattended mode, progress bar only: Displays only a progress bar during install with no cancellation or deferral options.

    • Sets user interface level:

    • No UI: Runs a completely silent installation.
    • Basic UI: Displays a full size window with a progress bar and a Cancel button. A message box is displayed at the end of the installation. If you cancel the installation, a message box is not displayed.
    • Reduced UI: Displays a message box at the end of the installation.
    • Full UI: Displays a full size window with a progress bar and a Cancel button. A message box is displayed at the end of the installation.
  • Restart options:
    • Do not restart after the installation is complete: Does not perform a reboot even if an installation has been hard coded to require it.
    • Prompts the user to restart if necessary: Prompts the user to reboot if the installation file requires it.
    • Always restart the computer after installation: Performs a reboot after install is complete.
  • Log File Name: Specifies the location and file name to store a Windows Installer log file based on the results of the installation after completion.
  • Logging Options: Enables the creation of the log file after the location has been specified.
  • Enter command line or select options above and edit command line for MSI package: (Not available for SWD packages) Displays the command line that will be passed to the primary file specified. Software distribution automatically adds the basic parameters here to change default behaviors. Command line fields can also call up values from the inventory using database macros. Specify the inventory item encapsulated in the % symbol. For example: 

    %Device_Name.Computer%

    This displays the device name with the underscore used instead of a space and the computer at the top of the inventory tree.

About the Batch options page

The options on this page apply to packages that use scripts or batch files. By default, packages run in 32-bit mode, which means the following:

  • If a 32-bit application accesses registry values in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE, it is actually accessing values in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node.
  • If a 32-bit application runs a program found in c:\windows\system32, it actually runs a 32-bit version of the application from C:\Windows\SysWOW64. This includes cmd.exe, cscript.exe, wscript.exe and others.

If you select Run as a 64-bit application on 64-bit Windows, scripts and batch files will:

  • Read and write to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE instead of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node
  • They will launch the 64-bit applications from System32 instead of the 32-bit apps (in c:\windows\SysWOW64)

For more information from Microsoft about running 32-bit applications in a 64-bit environment, see this MSDN page:

About the Client queue options page

Use the Client queue options page to configure how you want simultaneous distribution jobs handled.

The client queue allows for multiple simultaneous job to be processed by each client in the order they are received, with priority given to push-type jobs.

Jobs are still processed one at a time, but the queue allows multiple jobs to run, instead of failing any incoming jobs if a job is already active.

  • Disable client queuing for this package: Disables queuing for the current package. If other jobs are active on a device and that device gets this job, the job will fail.

About the Additional files page

If your package consists of multiple files, you can add them on this page. To use the file browser, type a Web share or file path in the box next to the Go button. Clicking the Go button displays the destination in the Available files box. You can continue navigating there. Select files in the Available files box and click >> to add them to the Additional files list. This adds them to the package.

  • Auto detect: This option is available for MSI packages. It parses the primary MSI file for external file references and adds those automatically.
  • Arrows: These arrows add and remove selected files from the Additional files list.
  • Go button: Starts browsing the path you entered next to the Go button.
  • Up button: Goes up one folder level from the current location you're browsing.

Using the Dependent packages page

Dependent packages are packages that must already be on the device in order for the package you're configuring to install. If they're not on the device, dependent packages are installed automatically. MSI and SWD packages are detected automatically through the appropriate registry keys on the device. For other package types, the package detection method depends on what you select on the detection page.

If you add an existing package with a dependency as a dependant package to the package you're creating, that existing dependency will also be added to the new package.

  • Available packages: Lists the public packages you have created using the Distribution package window. Only public packages can be dependent. Select the packages you want to be dependent and click >>.
  • Dependent packages: Lists the packages you've selected to be dependent.
  • Arrows: These arrows add and remove selected files from the Additional files list.
  • Up and Down buttons: Dependent packages are applied in the order they appear in the Dependent packages list. Use the Up and Down buttons to change the dependent package order.
Understanding Linux software dependencies

When you click Save in a Linux package's Distribution package-properties dialog box, software distribution parses the primary RPM and any dependent RPMs you selected for dependencies those RPMs require. These dependencies then appear in the Missing libraries dialog box. Checking a dependency in this dialog box tells software distribution to not prompt you about it again. You can check dependencies you know are installed on managed devices. This dialog box is for your information only. If a dependency is missing on a target device and you didn't specifically include that dependency as a dependent package, the RPM probably won't install successfully.

Using the Prerequisites page

The prerequisites page allows you to specify prerequisites for package installation. You can do this through a query or through an additional file/program that runs on devices and returns an errorlevel code. A non-zero code prevents the package from installing.

Prerequisites run on devices in the target list. If a device on the target list fails a prerequisite, the package won't be installed on it. The failure details are in the distribution task's log.

Prerequisites are especially useful in organizations where one person creates packages and another person distributes them. The distributor might not be aware of package system requirements that the creator does know about. In cases like these, the package creator can create a query that includes package requirements like operating system or amount of memory.

For the additional file option, you can select a file that's in the package's additional files list. You can then specify a command line you want the file to run with.

  • Choose a query: Select an existing query that you want to use to filter targeted devices. You can also click Create query to create a new query.
  • Run additional file: If you want to run a file on devices, check this option.
  • Choose an additional file: Enter the file you want devices to run. This file is run before any other package files.
  • Command line: If the file you specified needs a command line, enter it here.

Using the Detection page

Use the Detection page to configure how software distribution detects if a package is already deployed. The Detection page is only available for executable packages, batch file packages, and Virtualized Application packages. A match on one or more criteria prevents dependent packages from installing.

The following detection methods can be used:

  • Detect by: Determines whether a package is already installed by matching one of these criteria:
    • File exists
    • File version
    • File size and/or checksum
    • File date
    • Registry key exists
    • Registry value exists
    • Matching registry value
  • File path: Specifies the location and name of the item to detect.
  • Search for the file recursively: Cascades a search through subdirectories of the directory specified in the File path field.

Multiple criteria can be added by specifying the criteria and clicking the Add button.

The MSI and SWD packages deploy GUIDs with their installations. These are used to detect if a package is already installed. The detection option isn't available on these package types.

Using the Accounts page  

Use the Accounts page to select the type of user account to use to distribute the package.

  • LocalSystem account: The account of the device.
  • Current user's account: The account of the current user. A user must be logged into the device, or the distribution package task will fail.
  • Run as a specified user: The account of a user you specify. You must provide a Domain\user name and Password for the user you want to use.

Using the Timeout settings page

Use the Timeout settings page to set an installation timeout.

  • Enable package installation timeout: When selected, the number of hours you want to allow for package installation. If the package isn't installed by the time this limit is reached, the job will be considered failed.

Using the Uninstall association page

Use the Uninstall association page to associate an uninstall package to a software deployment policy package. This will automatically uninstall the software from the client when the machine or user is removed from the target list or query. NOTE: Uninstall packages are only used with policy-based deployment.

  • Type: Select the type of package you want to use to uninstall the package. The Available distribution packages list will display only the packages of the type you specify.
  • Current: The currently selected package.

Using the Assign return codes page

Use the Assign return codes page to configure distribution package status messages that appear in the console based on whether or not a distribution task was successful.

The Assign return codes page contains the following options:

  • Package information: Contains a summary of properties for the distribution package.
    • Package name: Displays the name of the distribution package.
    • Package type: Displays the type of package (MSI, EXE, BAT, etc.).
    • Assigned template: Displays the return code template that has been associated with the distribution package.
  • Return code template information: Displays the name, description, and date modified for all available templates. To associate a specific template with a distribution package, click on the template, then click the Assign button.
  • Modify: Modifies the template and launches the Package return code mappings window.
  • Assign: Associates the currently selected template with the distribution package.

Using the Return code template manager

Use the Return code template manager to add, modify, delete, import, and export return code templates. You can display this dialog box from the Distribution packages tool by clicking the Return code template manager toolbar button. The Return code template manager dialog box contains the following options:

  • Return code template information: Lists all existing templates by name, description, type and date modified.
  • Template filter type: Filters the list of templates to display All, MSI or Other.
  • Template name: Displays the name to be assigned to the new template.
  • Template description: Displays the description to be assigned to the new template.
  • Template filter type: Displays the group to assign the new template to for filtering options. Choose from MSI or Other.
  • Add: Opens the New Return Code Mapping Template window.
  • Modify: Opens the Package Return code Mappings window to enable a user to modify the selected template.
  • Delete: Removes the selected template.
  • Import: Allows for importing a template from a designated location (.xml format).
  • Export: Allows for exporting a template to a designated location (.xml format).

Using the Package return code mappings dialog box

The Package return code mapping window contains the following options:

  • Return code template information: Lists general properties of the template.
    • Template name: Displays the name of the template that was assigned in the Return code template manager.
    • Template description: Displays the description of the template that was assigned in the Return code template manager.
  • Default behavior:
    • State: Assigns a success or failure state.
    • Message: Enters a custom message that will display should a package send back the selected return code.
  • Return code mappings: Assigns new or removes existing return codes by using the Add or Delete buttons (right hand side). Return codes added in this manner will be created in numerical order.
  • Edit return code mapping: Enters the numbers for the return codes to be created. Click the Apply button after making additions and modifications in this section.
    • Single: Allows for the assignment of a single return code number that can then be assigned to a state and custom message.
    • Range: Allows for the assignment of a range of return code numbers that can then be assigned the same state and custom message.
  • Message: Displays the custom message when the package sends back the return code.
  • State: Sets the return code to indicate success or failure.

Using the SWD package options page

Use this page to set what happens when an SWD package is already installed on a device. If you have applications that aren't responding to a normal package heal, the full reinstall option might work better. Healing tends to take less time than a full reinstall.

When you create an SWD package, you can create it with or without a package installation interface that users see. If the package has an interface, you can choose whether the package installation status dialog box appears on top of the existing applications or whether there should be a solid blue installation background that masks the desktop while the package is installing.

  • Heal (repair) the package: This option only updates registry keys and replaces program files that the agent detects as different than those in the installation package.
  • Perform a full reinstall of the package: This option completely reinstalls the package, replacing all files and recreating all registry keys.
  • When feedback is enabled, override the above setting and let the user decide: Allows users to choose between heal or reinstall. You can enable feedback in the Delivery method properties dialog box's Feedback page.
  • When feedback is enabled, display the background screen: Displays the solid blue background screen. You can enable feedback in the Delivery method properties dialog box's Feedback page.

About the distribution package properties metadata pages

In the In the Portal Manager and Fuse client portals, users can see available distribution packages. Use these metadata pages to customize how a package looks in the portals.

Configure default package metadata properties for new packages by clicking Tools > Distribution > Distribution packages, and then clicking the Configure settings toolbar button.

Customize package metadata for individual packages by opening the package's properties and modifying the Metadata pages.

About the Metadata: Additional settings page

The client portals provide a way for clients to install distribution packages. The metadata pages affect how a package looks inside the portal.

  • Application vendor: The vendor that created the application.
  • Estimated download time and Estimated install time: These aren't computed automatically. If you want values here, you must enter them yourself. Adding this data lets users know how long it could take to install the package you're configuring.
  • Reboot expected: Lets users know if they'll need to reboot after installing this package.

About the Metadata: Categories page

The client portals can filter available applications packages by category. An administrator needs to create categories before any will be available for you to select on this page. Create categories by clicking Tools > Distribution > Distribution packages. On the Distribution packages toolbar, click the Configure settings button and click Categories.

Once categories have been created, select Enable categories and select a category for this package.

About the Metadata: Logo page

Use this page to add a package logo that clients will see in Fuse. For best results, use a 320x200 .png image format. Other sizes will be scaled to fit in the portals, affecting image quality. Clicking an image that you've added will show a preview of how it will look in the portal.

About the Metadata: Screenshots page

Use this page to provide package screenshots that clients will see in Fuse. For best results, use a 320x200 .png image format. Other sizes will be scaled to fit in the portals, affecting image quality. Clicking an image that you've added will show a preview of how it will look in the portal.

About the Metadata: Tags page

Fuse can filter available application packages by tags. Tags are keywords that you can assign to packages. Create tags by clicking Tools > Distribution > Distribution packages. On the Distribution packages toolbar, click the Configure settings button and click Tags.

Once tags have been created, select Enable tags and select the tags you want assigned to this package. You can assign multiple tags to a package.

About the Default package location page (default package settings)

Use this page to select a default package location. You can select from the list of existing package locations or you can add a new package location.

About the PowerShell security page (default package settings)

Use this page to select whether you want to require PowerShell scripts to be signed. The default is to allow unsigned scripts.

Using the Delivery methods dialog box

The Delivery methods dialog box (Tools > Distribution > Delivery methods) defines how a package will be sent to devices. These options aren't associated with a specific distribution package. Options include Targeted Multicast and push or policy-based distributions. Don't create a delivery method every time you want to distribute a package. Ideally, create a template delivery method to reuse for distributions that use the same delivery method.

Before using this dialog box, create the distribution package (Tools > Distribution > Distribution packages) that you want to deliver.

About the Description page

Use this page to describe the delivery method you're creating and to set the number of devices you want to distribute to simultaneously.

  • Name: The name for your delivery method.
  • Owner: The name of the person who originally created the package. You can't change this field.
  • Description of delivery method: The description you enter here appears in the Distribution packages and Delivery methods trees and dialog boxes. Make the name descriptive but not too long, since you'll have to scroll to see longer descriptions.
  • Number of computers for distribution: Controls the maximum number of devices that can simultaneously receive the software distribution.

About the Network usage page

Use this page to control how the package and package files are sent to managed devices. You have these options:

  • Use multicast to deploy files: Uses targeted multicast to send files to multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Use run from source to deploy files: Doesn't copy files locally before installing them. Instead, the primary package file is executed directly from the package download location. This option works with all package types on UNC package shares. For HTTP shares, this option only works with SWD and MSI package types. You can use this option with application installs that require a specific folder structure. This option will use preferred servers, but it won't try running the package from a peer.
  • Download files: Downloads files to devices and then performs package installation.
  • Pre-cache: Download package files to devices without performing package installation. This can be useful for offline package installations.

When you select the Download files or Pre-cache options, you have access to these preferred server/peer download options:

  • Attempt peer download: Allow agent to communicate to peers on the same subnet.
  • Attempt preferred server: Allow automatic redirection to the closest package shares.
  • Allow source: Download from the original package location if files aren't found in other locations.

About the Bandwidth page (under the Network usage page)

Use this page to control the network bandwidth that the package requires for deployment. You don't have to select any of these options if you want all selected devices to receive the package regardless of their bandwidth.

Bandwidth control is important for devices that have a slow WAN or a dialup connection. You usually won't want to deploy a multi-megabyte package to devices on slow links. Choose from the following options:

  • Require a non-RAS network connection: This option enables the bandwidth requirement. Select one of the following:
    • Allow any non-RAS network connection: This option enables WAN and LAN devices to receive the package.
    • Require a high-speed network connection: This option enables only LAN devices to receive the package.
  • Limit remote downloads (per subnet) to one device at a time: Use this to reduce the network bandwidth consumed on a subnet.
    • Maximum percentage of bandwidth to use: When you've chosen to limit remote downloads, you can further limit bandwidth by adjusting the maximum percentage of the target device's network bandwidth to use for the distribution.

If you're using PDS to detect network connection speed, high-speed and low-speed connections return the same information. For accurate detection of high-speed network connections, you need to use ICMP.

ICMP sends ICMP echo requests of varying sizes to the remote computer and uses the round trip time of these echo requests/responses to determine the approximate bandwidth. However, not all routers or computers support forwarding or responding to ICMP echo requests. ICMP also distinguishes between LAN (high speed) and WAN (slow, but not dialup) connections.

If your network isn't configured to allow ICMP echo requests, you can select PDS. If you're using PDS, the Require a high-speed network connection option won't give you accurate control.

About the Bandwidth usage page (under the Network usage page)

Use this page to configure bandwidth throttling and packet delays.

  • Peer download (only install from cache or peer): May not be visible in all Bandwidth usage dialog boxes. Only allow packages to download if they are in the local cache or on a peer in the same multicast domain. This option conserves network bandwidth, but for the package installation to be successful, the package must be in one of these two places.
  • Bandwidth used from core or preferred server (WAN): Adjusts the priority of this specific task over other network traffic. The higher the percentage slider is set, the greater the amount of bandwidth being used by this task over any other traffic. WAN connections are usually slower, so it is most often recommended to set this slider at a lower percentage. 
  • Bandwidth used peer-to-peer (Local): Adjusts the priority of this specific task over other network traffic. The higher the percentage slider is set, the greater the amount of bandwidth being used by this task over any other traffic. LAN connections are usually faster than WAN connections, so it is most often recommended to set this slider at a higher percentage than that of the WAN.

About the Multicast domains page (under the Network usage page)

This page appears only when you've selected Multicast as the distribution type. Use this page to configure multicast options.

  • Use multicast domain discovery: Use this option if you want Targeted Multicast to do a domain discovery for this job. This option won't save the domain discovery results for reuse.
  • Use multicast domain discovery and save results: Use this option if you want Targeted Multicast to do a domain discovery for this job and save the results for future use, saving time on subsequent multicasts.
  • Use results of last multicast domain discovery: Use this option once you've had Targeted Multicast do a domain discovery and save the results.
  • Domain representatives wake up managed devices: Use this option if you want computers that support Wake On LAN technology to power on so they can receive the multicast. You can use the Multicast Options dialog box to configure how long domain representatives wait to multicast after the Wake On LAN packet has been sent. The default waiting period is 120 seconds.
  • Number of seconds to wait for Wake On LAN: How long domain representatives wait to multicast after the Wake On LAN packet has been sent. The default waiting period is 120 seconds. If some computers on your network take longer than 120 seconds to boot, you should increase this value. The maximum value allowed is 3600 seconds (one hour).
About domain discovery

Domain discovery is only necessary on networks with subnets that can see each other's multicast traffic. If your subnets don't see each other's traffic, you can save time by first saving the results of a domain discovery and then selecting Use results of last multicast domain discovery so Targeted Multicast doesn't do a domain discovery before each job.

If your network subnets do see each other's multicast traffic, you can help Targeted Multicast work faster by pre-discovering your domains with the multicast_domain_discovery.ini script included in the ManagementSuite\Scripts folder. This script doesn't do anything on target devices. Run this script from the Scheduled tasks window against a target list that spans your network. This will save the domain discovery results for future use. You may want to run this script periodically before large sets of multicast distributions.

If you selected Use cached file in Configure > Services > Multicast, Targeted Multicast will go through a discovery process even if you selected Use results of last multicast domain discovery. Targeted Multicast needs to do this to find out which potential multicast domain representatives have the file in their cache.

About the Multicast limits page (under the Network usage page)

Use this page to configure job-specific Targeted Multicast parameters. The defaults in this dialog box should be fine for most multicasts.

  • Maximum number of multicast domain representatives working simultaneously: No more than this number of representatives will be actively doing a multicast at one time. The default is 5.
  • Maximum number of devices that failed multicast to process simultaneously: When a device fails to receive the file through multicast, it will download the file from the Web or file server. This parameter can be used to limit the number of devices that will obtain the file at one time. For example, if the maximum number of threads was 200 and the maximum number of multicast failure threads was 20, the scheduled task handler would process no more than 20 computers at a time that failed the multicast. The scheduled task handler will process up to 200 devices at a time if they successfully received the multicast, but no more than 20 of the 200 threads will be processing devices that failed the multicast task. If this value is set to 0, the scheduled task handler won't perform the distribution portion of the task for any computer that failed multicast. The default is 240.
  • Number of days the files stay in the device's cache: Amount of time that the file being multicast can stay in the cache on each target computer. After this period of time, the file will be automatically purged. The default is 2.
  • Number of days the files stay in cache on multicast domain representatives: Amount of time that the file being multicast can stay in the cache on the multicast domain representative. After this period of time, the file will be automatically purged. The default is 14.

About the Reboot page

Use this page to configure whether the computer is rebooted after the software has been installed or removed. You have three options:

  • Reboot only if needed: Devices will reboot it the package requires it.
  • Never reboot: Devices won't reboot after a package installation. If you select this setting and your package requires a reboot, devices may encounter errors running the application until they do reboot. If the package is an SWD package, this option overrules any settings in the package. If the package is a generic executable or an MSI package, the package setting may overrule this option.
  • Always reboot: Devices will reboot regardless of whether the package requires it or not.

About the Feedback and timing page

Use this page to help determine how much the user sees during the installation or removal of the software. You have these options:

  • Package progress UI:
    • Hide all feedback from user: Hides the installation from the user as much as the software distribution package allows. This option is dependent upon whether or not the software distribution package was created to be silent. 
    • Display progress to user: Enables the software installation notification message box and system tray icon animation during software installation. It also enables the following options:
  • Run the package immediately: Installs the package immediately without allowing any deferral options.
  • Allow the user to delay running the package: Enables deferral options so users can delay package installations. This can help users who are in the middle of a task that a package installation might interfere with.
    • Delay until next login automatically: When checked, package installation is delayed until the next login without prompting users. After the next login, users will see the deferral dialog box if you select User selects how long to delay.
    • Prompt user before downloading package: Notifies the user before a managed device initiates download of the package. This option is particularly useful for mobile users if used with deferral options to prevent a user from being forced to download a large application over a slow connection.
    • Prompt user before running package: Displays a message prior to starting installation after the package is downloaded to the local distribution cache.
  • Allow user to cancel: This option lets the user cancel the action (either an installation or removal). Generally, for application policies, this isn't recommended.

  • Display full package interface: This option controls whether the package installs silently (disabled) or prompts the user for feedback when necessary (enabled).
  • Show successful or failed status to end user: Displays a dialog box after the package installs that shows whether the install succeeded or failed.

About the More deferral options page (under the feedback and timing page)

Use this page to configure package deferral limits and timeout options. The options on this page are enabled by clicking User selects how long to delay on the Feedback and timing page.

  • Deferral limits
    • Amount of time user can defer the package: Select the number of hours, minutes or seconds that packages will be deferred if the user clicks Wait in the deferral dialog box.
    • User deferral is limited: Limits the number of times users can click Wait when the deferral dialog box appears.
    • Number of times user can delay: The delay limit.
  • Logged-off user behavior
    • Continue installation: This is the default. Continues installation when the user is logged off.

      Note that package installation account settings on the package properties Accounts page override the logged off user behavior options in a delivery method.

      If you select to install as the current user in the package properties and select Continue installation for logged off users in the delivery method, the conflict will cause package installation to fail on devices where the current user isn't logged on.
    • Fail installation: Fails the installation if the user is logged off, regardless of the account settings in the package's properties.
  • Logged on user behavior and timeout options
    • Wait for user response before continuing: The deferral dialog box appears and waits for user response, regardless of the deferral time you specified. If users wait too long to respond or nobody is at the computer, the task can time out and fail.

      When user feedback is expected you will be able to choose the default action to take from a list. Click the radio button beside the list and select Cancel, Run the package, or Delay. You can then enter the amount of time the deferral dialog box waits for a response before completing the action you selected.
    • Amount of time before the above action starts automatically: The amount of time before the dropdown list's action is completed.

About the custom message page (under the feedback and timing page)

Use this page if you want to configure a custom message for the deferral dialog box. This dialog box only appears if you allow deferrals. The HTML page source for the deferral pages is on the core server in the LDLogon\html\ folder.

  • Use customized HTML pages: Uses the HTML pages in the core server's LDLogon\html\ folder.
  • Include a custom message on the deferral dialog box: Adds text you enter (including HTML formatting) to the deferral dialog box, replacing the standard text that normally gets inserted. The dialog box can still show the Wait, Cancel, and Install now buttons with text describing what clicking each button does.

About the Type and frequency of policy page

This page appears for policy-based delivery types and affects how target devices act when they receive the policy.

  • Required: The policy-based delivery agent automatically applies required policies without user intervention. You can configure required policies to run silently. Any UI that appears on the device while a required task is installing should be non-blocking; in other words, the application being installed shouldn't require user input.
  • Recommended: Users have the choice of when to install recommended policies. Recommended policies are selected by default on the device UI.
  • Optional: Users have the choice of when to install optional policies. Optional policies aren't selected by default on the device UI.

You can also configure how frequently a policy can run:

  • Once: Once a policy successfully runs on a device, the device won't run that policy again.
  • As desired: The package can be installed by users at any time.
  • Periodic: When a recommended or optional policy is specified as being periodic, it will be removed from the UI when it's successfully processed and will be shown again in the UI after the specified interval has elapsed.

About the Offline page

Use this page to configure what happens when a device is ready to install a package but the device can't contact the core server. This can happen when a package's files are in a device's local distribution cache and a user who is traveling or who doesn't have a network connection then tries to install that package.

  • Wait until the device can contact the managed core server: Only allow installation if the device can verify the package's distribution cache file integrity with the core server. This is the most secure option.
  • Install package(s) offline: Allows the package to install from the existing files in the distribution cache without requiring a connection to the core server.

About the downgrade page

Use this page to configure the distribution behavior when either the target operating system or the target device agents don't support the delivery methods you've chosen. For example, if you have older Management Suite agents on devices, they may not support multicast or peer download.

OS downgrade options:

  • Downgrade functionality to level of operating system: Allows jobs to continue, though all of the delivery method options you selected may not be active.
  • Fail if operating system cannot handle default functionality: Job fails if the operating system doesn't support the delivery method options you selected.

Device downgrade options:

  • Downgrade functionality to level of agent: Allows job to continue even though all of the delivery method options you selected may not be active.
  • Fail if agent can't handle default functionality: Job fails if the agents don't support the delivery method options you selected.

About the discovery page

This page lets you choose options for device discovery. Before the scheduled task handler can process a job, it needs to discover each device's current IP address. This tab allows you to configure how the service contacts devices.

Discovery options:

  • UDP: Selecting UDP uses a Ping Discovery Service (PDS) ping via UDP. Most Management Suite device components depend on PDS, so your managed devices should have PDS on them. PDS is part of the standard LANDESK agent. This is the fastest discovery method and the default. With UDP, you can also select the UDP ping retries and timeout.
  • TCP: Selecting TCP uses an HTTP connection to the device on port 9595. This discovery method has the benefit of being able to work through a firewall if you open port 9595, but it's subject to HTTP connection timeouts if devices aren't there. These timeouts can take 20 seconds or more. If a lot of target devices don't respond to the TCP connection, your job will take a while before it can start.
  • Both: Selecting Both has the service attempt discovery with UDP first, then TCP, and lastly DNS/WINS if it's selected.
  • Number of retries: How many discovery attempts to do.
  • Discovery timeout: How long to wait for a response with each discovery attempt.
  • Timeout for subnet broadcasts: How long to wait for a response to subnet broadcasts.
  • Disable subnet broadcast: Disables discovery via a subnet broadcast. When selected, this will result in a subnet directed broadcast being sent via UDP using PDS.
  • Disable DNS/WINS lookup: Disables a name service lookup for each device if the selected TCP/UDP discovery method fails.

About the Multicast software distribution status window

This window appears on the core when there's an active Targeted Multicast distribution happening. This window shows the following information:

  • Package URL or UNC address: This is the location of the package you're currently attempting to distribute. This line will be updated with the current file that is being transferred.
  • Status: A real-time report on how the distribution is proceeding or, if the distribution is complete, how well the job completed.
  • Multicast domains: The field on top shows all of the subnets and the multicast domain representatives that are being used in the distribution. When you highlight each domain representative, the lower window displays all of the computers that are receiving their distribution from that domain representative.
    Each computer in the lower window contains information on how the distribution completed on that computer. There are several information fields on the far right of each computer listed, including Packets Missed, Resend Requests, and Slowdown Requests. These fields don't contain any information until after the distribution is complete.
  • Packets missed: Shows the number of packets that the device wasn't able to obtain from the subnet representative. If this number wasn't 0, then the distribution failed.
  • Resend requests: Shows the number of times the device had to request that packets be resent from the subnet representative. This is a good way to gauge, for example, how busy the device was when dealing with other processes during the distribution.
  • Slowdown requests: Shows the number of times the device had to ask the subnet representative to slow the packet stream. In this case, high numbers usually indicate that a computer is having some hardware problem that is slowing the distribution. If you have a large number of computers that have a high number of slowdown requests, you should check the Delay/Packet number on the subnet representative. There's often a correlation between the Delay/Packet number and the number of slowdown requests.

This window closes automatically after 10 seconds. If you'd like the window to remain open during the entire distribution, click Keep dialog open and the window will stay open until you close it manually. Keeping the dialog box open will stop script execution, so make sure you close the dialog box when you're done.

Creating custom scripts

If you want to create a custom script from a generic template, you can use the Create custom script option.

To create a custom script
  1. Click Tools > Distribution > Manage scripts.
  2. In the All other scripts shortcut menu, click Create custom script.
  3. Customize the script. If you want to open the script in Notepad or the editor associated with .ini file types, click Use editor. Make sure you save the file before closing your editor if you used that to edit the script.
  4. Enter a Custom script name. Click OK.

Creating file deployment scripts

If you just want to copy files to devices, you can use a file deployment script. You can transfer any type of file, including text files, to a directory you specify on the device. File deployment scripts support Targeted Multicast.

To distribute files
  1. Click Tools > Distribution > Manage scripts.
  2. Click the New file transfer script toolbar button.
  3. Enter a Script name and Destination directory. Click Next.
  4. On the next three pages, select the bandwidth, job, and multicast options you want.
  5. On the Select files to deploy page, select files by selecting a Web path or a File share path, entering the path, and adding the files you want to the list box. Click Next.
  6. Read the Finished page summary and click Finish.

The following sections describe the pages and options in the Create file deployment script wizard.

About the General information page

Use this page to configure general file transfer script information.

  • Script name: The filename for the script. The filename extension will be .ini by default. Scripts are stored in \Program Files\LANDesk\ManagementSuite\scripts.
  • Description: The script description that appears in the Manage scripts tool.
  • Destination directory: The directory on clients that will contain deployed files.
  • Use multicast to distribute files: Select this if you want to use multicast. Selecting this option enables the Multicast doamins and Multicast Limits configuration pages.

About the Download options page

Use this page to configure bandwidth throttling and packet delays.

  • Peer download (only install from cache or peer): Only allow packages to download if they are in the local cache or on a peer in the same multicast domain. This option conserves network bandwidth, but for the package installation to be successful, the package must be in one of these two places. One way to use this option is to first copy the package to a device on each subnet with the Only cache the file(s) on the computer using multicast option earlier in the wizard.
  • Dynamic bandwidth throttling: Specifies that the network traffic a device creates has priority over distribution traffic. If you select this option and leave the Minimum available bandwidth percentage at 0, once the device initiates network traffic, the distribution cuts back to about one packet per second until the traffic stops. This option forces a full download of the file into the device's cache, which also enables byte-level checkpoint restart, where downloads resume where they left off if interrupted. If you're reinstalling or repairing an ESWD package or an MSI package, you may not want to use the Dynamic bandwidth throttling option because these package types normally only download the files they need.
  • Minimum available bandwidth percentage to use on client: Specifies how much dynamic bandwidth throttling to apply. You can enter values of up to 50 percent of the total network bandwidth available to the device. For example, if there is one other application consuming network bandwidth on the device during a distribution and you set the bandwidth percentage to 50 percent, the distribution job would take 50 percent and the device application would take 50 percent. In practice, this percentage is variable because the operating system automatically allocates much of the network bandwidth depending on the number of applications needing bandwidth and their priority.
  • Delay between packets (peer): This option specifies the delay between packets for peers on the same subnet. You can use this delay to force distributions to be faster or slower. Increasing the delay between packets makes the distribution slower and uses less bandwidth. You can use this option with Dynamic bandwidth throttling, but if these options are used together the packet delay has more of an affect.
  • Delay between packets (source): Specifies the delay between the package source and device destination. Increasing the delay between packets makes the distribution slower and uses less bandwidth. You can use this option with Dynamic bandwidth throttling, but if these options are used together the packet delay has more of an affect.

About the Job options page

Use this page to configure how this distribution will be deployed. If you're distributing an MSI file or generic executable, you have the option to enter any command-line options that need to be passed to the file after the multicast.

  • Script uses default distribution limit: You can limit the number of computers Targeted Multicast distributes to simultaneously. This option uses the default value you set in the Configure > Services > Custom Jobs tab under Distribute to X computers simultaneously.
  • Script uses custom distribution limit: Use this option to override the default for the current job by specifying a different value.
  • Only install from cache or peer: This option prevents target computers from going beyond their subnet to install a package. Computers will first look in their multicast cache directory and if the package isn't there, they'll check with peers on their subnet for the package. If no peers have the package, the distribution fails. This option minimizes network traffic across subnets. You can use this option after you've copied a package to each subnet with the Create Scripts page's Only cache the file(s) on the computer using multicast option.
  • Verify file before client install: Generates a hash (CRC) for the package you're distributing once you finish the wizard. Devices can then use this hash value to make sure the package/file they receive isn't corrupt. Depending on the size of the package/file you're distributing, you may have to wait several minutes for the hash calculation.
  • Do not attempt task completion: Use this option to not use the task completion feature to retry failed jobs. Normally, when task completion is installed on devices, failed jobs will be retried the next time task completion runs. Failed jobs will still be logged if you use this option.

About the Multicast domain options page

This page appears only when you've selected multicast as the distribution type. Use this page to configure multicast options.

  • Use multicast domain discovery: Use this option if you want Targeted Multicast to do a domain discovery for this job. This option won't save the domain discovery results for reuse.
  • Use multicast domain discovery and save results: Use this option if you want Targeted Multicast to do a domain discovery for this job and save the results for future use, saving time on subsequent multicasts.
  • Use results of last multicast domain discovery: Use this option once you've had Targeted Multicast do a domain discovery and save the results.
  • Domain representatives wake up computers: Use this option if you want computers that support Wake On LAN technology to turn on so they can receive the multicast. You can use the Multicast options dialog box to configure how long domain representatives wait to multicast after the Wake On LAN packet has been sent. The default waiting period is 120 seconds.
  • Advanced multicast options: Use this option to set advanced options. The defaults are fine for most jobs.
About domain discovery

Domain discovery is only necessary on networks with subnets that can see each other's multicast traffic. If your subnets don't see each other's traffic, you can save time by first saving the results of a domain discovery and then selecting Use results of last multicast domain discovery so Targeted Multicast doesn't do a domain discovery before each job.

If your network subnets do see each other's multicast traffic, you can help Targeted Multicast work faster by pre-discovering your domains with the multicast_domain_discovery.ini script included in the ..\ManagementSuite\scripts folder. This script doesn't do anything on target computers. Run this script from the Scheduled tasks window against a target list that spans your network. This will save the domain discovery results for future use. You may want to run this script periodically before large sets of multicast distributions.

If you selected Use cached file in Configure > Management Suite Services > Multicast, Targeted Multicast will go through a discovery process even if you selected Use results of last multicast domain discovery. Targeted Multicast needs to do this to find out which potential multicast domain representatives have the file in their cache.

About the Multicast options dialog box

The file deployment script wizard has a Multicast options dialog box where you can configure job-specific Targeted Multicast parameters. The defaults in this dialog box should be fine for most multicasts.

  • Maximum number of multicast domain representatives working simultaneously: No more than this number of representatives will be actively doing a multicast at one time.
  • Limit processing of machines that failed multicast...: When a device fails to receive the file through multicast, it will download the file from the Web or file server. This parameter can be used to limit the number of devices that will obtain the file at one time. For example, if the maximum number of threads was 200 and the maximum number of multicast failure threads was 20, the Custom job dialog box would process no more than 20 computers at a time that failed the multicast. The Custom job dialog box will process up to 200 devices at a time if they successfully received the multicast, but no more than 20 of the 200 threads will be processing devices that failed the multicast task. If this value is set to 0, the Custom job dialog box won't perform the distribution portion of the task for any computer that failed multicast.
  • Number of days the files stay in the client cache: Amount of time that the file being multicast can stay in the cache on each target computer. After this period of time, the file will be automatically purged.
  • Number of days the files stay in multicast domain representative cache: Amount of time that the file being multicast can stay in the cache on the multicast domain representative. After this period of time, the file will be automatically purged.
  • Minimum number of milliseconds between packet transmissions (WAN or Local): Minimum amount of time to wait between sending out multicast packets. This value is only used when the representative isn't multicasting a file from its own cache. If this parameter isn't specified, then the default minimum sleep time stored on the subnet/domain representative computer will be used. You can use this parameter to limit bandwidth usage across the WAN.
  • Maximum number of milliseconds between packet transmissions (WAN or Local): Maximum amount of time to wait between sending out multicast packets. For more information, see Minimum number of milliseconds between packet transmissions above.
  • Number of seconds to wait after Wake On LAN: How long domain representatives wait to multicast after the Wake On LAN packet has been sent. The default waiting period is 120 seconds. If some computers on your network take longer than 120 seconds to boot, you should increase this value. The maximum value allowed is 3600 seconds (one hour).

About the Select files to deploy page

The Select files to deploy page appears in the file transfer script wizard.

  • Web path: Click for packages stored on a Web server. You must include http:// in the URL.
  • File share path: Click for packages stored on a null-session share on a file server. This path must follow the UNC path convention, \\servername\sharename\.
  • Browse: Click Browse to browse for the path. If you clicked Web path, a small browser window opens. If you clicked File share path, a standard browse dialog box opens. If you want to browse a Web server directory in the Select Package Location browser window, you must include a trailing slash on your URL (/), otherwise the browser window displays an error.
  • Add: Click Add to add a program directly from the path edit box once you've entered the full path and filename.
  • Remove: Select a file you've added and click Remove to remove a file from the list.

About the Finished page

This page summarizes the actions you've selected for deploying the package. Before continuing, make sure your managed devices meet all the requirements listed in the warning section.

If you click Set as Default, the configuration options you've selected will be set as the default values for this wizard.

Click Finish and you can schedule the script for distribution.

 


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