Thursday, August 4, 2011

Windows 2008R2 and SCCM 2007 SP2 - Pt5 - Distribute software

One of the main reasons (amongst others) that you are going to use SCCM is probably to distribute software to clients and servers on your network.

To enable this functionality

  • Expand (in order) site database, site management, <your site>, site settings, site systems, <your server> and on the right pane, rightclick “ConfigMgr distribution point” and properties.
  • Select “Allow clients to transfer content from this distribution point using bits, http, and https ….)” and click OK

Add a package to the inventory

  • First, let’s download a nice utility called DoPDF. On that url, you’ll find a setup file. I’m saving it in the Downloads folder but in a subfolder called “DoPDF 7”.
  • On the SCCM console, expand (in order) site database, computer management, software distribution, packages
  • Rightclick packages and click “new -> package” and fill in the details (DoPDF, 7.x, DoPDF, English) and click Next.
  • Select “This package contains source files” and click on Set, “Local Drive …” and point to the folder where you’ve downloaded the msi file to. Click OK, Next, next, next, next, finish, close.

Add a program to the package
After creating the package, you can add one or more programs to the package.

  • Expand “DoPDF DoPDF 7.x English” and beneath that rightclick Program. Select New Program.
  • Name will be (again??) “DoPDF 7”, for commandline, browse to the directory and select the “dopdf-7.exe” but append the commandline with “/VERYSILENT /NORESTART”. These are however specific commands for this utility, so you’ll have to adapt for other installations. Click Next
  • Enter an estimation of the disk usage (so that the sccm client can abort the installation if a computer runs out of space) and the time the installation will approximately take. Optionally select specific platforms. Click Next.
  • At the environment level, you can specify whether the setup will run as the user currently logged on or with administrative rights. I suggest you set it to administrative rights and do not select “Allow user to interact with this program”. Click Next, Next, Next, Finish, Next, Close.

Distribute the package to a distribution point
There can be more than one distribution point in a bigger organization but in this case we only have to distribute it to one point.

  • Rightclick Distribution point and click “manage distribution points”. Click next, “copy the package to the new distribution points” + Next, select your SCCM server + Next, Next, Next, Close.
  • Expand “package status” untill you see your SCCM site, refresh, and in the right pane you’ll see the status of your package being copyed to your distribution point. “Installed” means it is transfered to the distribution point.

Assign the package to clients

  • Expand (in order) site database, computer management, software distribution, advertisement
  • Rightclick advertisement, New, Advertisement. I’m naming this taks “DoPDF 7.x for Windows 7 Clients”. Click on browse to select the DoPDF 7.x package. And click on browse to select a collection, in my case “All Windows 7 Systems” and click Next.
  • On schedule you can schedule this deployment to a specific date or time, you can even enable Wake-on-LAN if you want (but you’ll have to enable wake on lan on the site properties first!), but for now click on the yellow icon that looks like a sun and select “as soon as possible” and press OK. Click next.
  • On Distribution Point select “download from distribution point and run locally” on both occasions and click next, next, next, Finish, next, close.

The default polling interval of your clients is 60 minutes, so with a maximum of 60 minutes the installation will start.
You can set the interval higher at site settings -> client agents -> computer client agent properties. For this test environment it’s safe to set it to a really low value like 1-5 minutes, but in a bigger environment you don’t want to stress the SCCM server and your network.