Unattended software installation, also called unattendent installation, is standard in many environments. But how does it work? It is easy with an MSI, but not everything is available as an MSI package. Many applications come with their own methods. Since I also need this from time to time, here is a small collection for the programmes that are more important to me.
It doesn’t matter whether this is used for MDT, SCCM, Intune or script-based software installation. In my case, I chose the MDT for my test and set it up there.
When you assemble the software for the automatic installation, create a wrapper for yourself. This is a CMD file that contains the command to be executed. Then you can test the installation routine more easily, and if necessary “recycle” the whole thing at another point, for example for systems that are not installed with the MDT. Other useful wrappers could be an Update.cmd or a unistall.cmd.
Local Administrator Password Service (LAPS)
You can find instructions on how to set up LAPS here. Since LAPS is available as an MSI package, it is very easy:
msiexec /i LAPS.x64.msi /quiet
No other parameters are needed as Microsoft has made a good choice of default values.
Microsoft Office 2019 ProPlus / Microsoft Office 2016 (click-to-run) / Office 365 ProPlus (click-to-run) / Microsoft Project 2019 / Microsoft Visio 2019
With Microsoft Office with click-to-run, it gets a bit more elaborate. The question often comes up, does it have to be click-to-run? It depends, Office 2019 and Office365 are no longer available as MSI packages. The installation is only done via click-to-run and the Office deployment tool. Here we need several things to install:
- A file share to deploy the data
- A configuration file
- An installation wrapper
- An update wrapper to update the share
If you haven’t worked with the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) before, I recommend taking a look at the documentation at Docs.Microsoft.com. Here is a tip for creating the XML file, which you can easily click together on Config.Office.com. A wizard will guide you through there for all click-to-run compatible Office products.
I define the share with the installation files in the XML share as a UNC path.
The installation wrapper is quite short, to avoid problems with access and network links in different user contexts, I copy the required files to C:\Temp and start them there.
@echo off cd %~dp0 Robocopy . c:\Temp setup.exe *.xml /R:2 /w:10 c: cd \temp setup.exe /configure Office2019ProPlus.xml
The wrapper for maintaining the installation share is also simple:
setup.exe /download Office2019ProPlus.xml
Which Office product is installed in which edition is all in the XML file.
Microsoft Visual Studio
Even though there is a small extension for the MDT, these can also be installed simply unattended. Just add the parameter “/q”. My wrapper then looks like this:
Source\VS2010\vcredist_x64.exe /q Source\VS2010\vcredist_x86.exe /q Source\VS2012\vcredist_x64.exe /q Source\VS2012\vcredist_x86.exe /q Source\VS2013\vcredist_x64.exe /q Source\VS2013\vcredist_x86.exe/q Source\VS2017\vc_redist.x64.exe /q Source\VS2017\vc_redist.x86.exe /q
Microsoft Azure Log Analytics – Upgrade Readiness
I often work with log analytics from Azure. Since Upgrade Readiness needs additional information that a script collects, I built a wrapper for packaging here as well. In this example, the deployment script is distributed. The documentation and script can be found on Docs.Microsoft.com. It is important to adapt the “RunConfig.bat” beforehand. In my example, the script is started as a scheduled task on Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as immediately after installation. The Install.cmd wrapper is:
cd %~dp0 Robocopy . C:\Programme\ALA-UggradeReadiness *.* /R:2 /w:10 Schtasks /create /RU "SYSTEM" /SC WEEKLY /d MO,MI /TN "Log Analytics UR" /TR C:\Programme\ALA-UggradeReadiness\RunConfig.bat /ST 08:00 /ET 18:00Schtasks /run /TN "Log Analytics UR"
Microsoft Azure Log Analytics Agent
If you want to use other log analytics solutions, you may not be able to avoid the agent. Here, the file MMASetup-AMD64.exe must first be unpacked. The wrapper is relatively simple, only the WorkspaceID and WorkspaceKey have to be inserted.
msiexec /i MOMAgent.msi /t MOMAgent.DEU.mst ADD_OPINSIGHTS_WORKSPACE=1 OPINSIGHTS_WORKSPACE_ID=My Own Workspace ID OPINSIGHTS_WORKSPACE_KEY="My Secret Workspace Key " AcceptEndUserLicenseAgreement=1 /q
Adobe Acrobat Reader
To be allowed to distribute Acrobat Reader, you need an additional licence agreement with Adobe. I distribute the Adobe Acrobat Reader for companies. If you are looking for more information on this, I recommend you take a look at the administrator’s manual. There is also a description of how the“CustomWizzard” works to customise the installation. Unpack the files from the installer. Adapt the MST file with the CustomWizzard. The wrapper is then very simple:
msiexec /i AcroRead.msi /T AcroRead.mst /q
msiexec /u AcroRdrDCUpd1901020098.msp /T AcroRead.mst /q
Google has also been making its browser available to companies for some time. It is particularly worth mentioning that Chrome has long been controllable via group policies. The Chrome Enterprise Browser can be downloaded from the website. The zip file contains an MSI package, the GPO templates and the documentation.
Installing the package is then relatively easy:
msiexec /i GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise64.msi /q
Synology Active Backup for Business Agent
If you have a Synology NAS, you can also use it as a backup system. This must be configured accordingly on the NAS beforehand. After installation, the software must also be configured accordingly. The software is available from Synology as an MSI package. So it will be simple again:
msiexec /i "Synology Active Backup for Business Agent-2.0.3-0472-x64.msi" /q
A very good OpenSource packer. It is already available as MSI for download. The wrapper is simple:
msiexec /i 7z1900-x64.msi /q
Mozilla also has a section for companies. The full installer can be easily controlled by parameters. The instructions can be found here. Here is my example wrapper:
Firefox_Setup_65.0.2.exe /s /TaskbarShortcut=false /DesktopShortcut=false /MaintenanceService=true
An OpenSource PGP implementation that also works with Microsoft Office. The software is available as an exe installer, the company that maintains it asks for donations. It can be controlled via parameters and an INI file. Details can be found in the documentation. My wrapper is accordingly simple:
gpg4win-3.1.5.exe /S /C=gpg4win.ini
A good OpenSource editor that I like to use. The installer has a simple silent option built in. I would like to warn you that some websites offer older versions as MSI packages. No one knows exactly what was adapted before the MSI was created. Also, some of these versions are very old.
Here is my “complicated” wrapper:
The good FileZilla FTP client can also be easily installed unattended. My example for the installation that is available to all users:
FileZilla_3.41.1_win64-setup.exe /S /user=all
Is there anything missing?
What are your favourites, or what else should I include? Just leave a comment. In the meantime, there is also a sequel to this article:“Unattended installation of software lookup“
Note to this article
This article was automatically translated from German from our German partner blog InfrastrukturHelden.de.