We (@ DigitalBase) are using WindowsXp clients connected to a Samba Domain Controller (samba 3.X).
Due to the fast expansion & new workstations, i figured we could use something for “automatic software rollout”. At my previous assignment they were using a Windows SMS Server to rollout hotfixes, patches, software etc…This solution turned out really valueable & trustworthy. Software updates as well as new installs were faster/easier then i imagined, what eventually would free up some time on other “fronts”.
As we are using an open-source variant & no m$ domain controller this was not an option. The current set-up already forced windows clients to run a logon script. But untill now i never used that to maintain/administer systems. After looking around (tnx google :) ), i bumped onto an “open-source” solution that goes by the name of WPKG.
WPKG is an automated software deployment, upgrade and removal program for Windows.
It can be used to push/pull software packages, such as Service Packs, hotfixes, or program installations from a central server (for example, Samba or Active Directory) to a number of workstations.
It can run as a service to install software in the background, without user interaction.
It can install MSI, InstallShield, PackagefortheWeb etc. packages, and all other packages using repackaging or some batch scripting.
Source WPKG website.
Apparently this piece of (great) sofware, does not require a server side installation. The only requirements are a shared network resource & the installation of the WPKG client service (on the client machines). During installation you need to enter the location of 4 different scripts (3 configuration variables & engine .js script). As there was an existing netlogon samba share, i placed the all files in that share & pointed the installer to those files. After that you’ll need to set-up some user(s) & permission(s). I would advise to create a new samba user to access those scripts, this way you don’t need to update the cached password each X days (if samba password changes). I added that user as local administrator on the 4 Client’s & made sure the WPKG service was up & running.
Consider this post part1, i’ll post how i succeeded installing software on the clients the same hour (i am tired now).