Dec 25

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Dec 25th) This is my first real build for my project and it only really includes documentation. I am still not sure if this the right approach for my project however even if it isn't I'm sure that this is useful information. In this build I was successful in pushing an install of Firefox over the network. The following includes documentation on how this process was completed.

Installing Firefox over the network with Microsoft Server 2003 and Active Directory. 

Assuming that Server 2003 is set up and that there is a domain running on it, there are a couple things one must do before attempting the remote install. Firstly there must be a mapped drive on the server, this must also be accessible from the user(s) you are planning to push the install to. Once that is completed, create a folder in the mapped drive where you want to put your installer. In my case I downloaded the latest build from [FrontMotion]. You can’t simply put a .exe file in this directory, it must be a .msi file or this won’t work. After that is done, a user account must be created (if not already) to push the install to. You may also create a group so that the install can be pushed to all the users in that group. Lastly a group policy object or GPO must be created. The following instructs on how to create a GPO: Create a Group Policy Object

To create a Group Policy object (GPO) to use to distribute the software package: 1. Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. To do this, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.

2. In the console tree, right-click your domain, and then click Properties.

3. Click the Group Policy tab, and then click New.

4. Type a name for this new policy (for example, Office XP distribution), and then press ENTER.

5. Click Properties, and then click the Security tab.

6. Click to clear the Apply Group Policy check box for the security groups that you want to prevent from having this policy applied.

7. Click to select the Apply Group Policy check box for the groups that you want this policy to apply to.

8. When you are finished, click OK.

  • The above was taken from Microsoft Documentation, see referenced (A).

Next, you must Assign a package to the GPO. In my case the Microsoft documentation differed greatly from how I did it, so I will document my process.

1. Select the GPO created in the steps above and click edit.

2. Under either ‘Computer Configuration’ or ‘User Configuration’ (depending on where you want to push the software) click new and then click package.

3. A dialog box will open, navigate to the .msi package you want to push (in this case firefox) and select it.

4. Click Assigned, then navigate the tabs to ensure the package will be pushed to the proper computers/users.

5. Exit AD. When the user/computer is logged on the install will commence.

That is all I did to remotely install the package. My next build will be using CCK to customize the package I decide to push over and documenting different types of remote installs.