Hello, ConfigNinja here writing from Germany. Many customers have asked me about what is the best method to achieve a higher number of client installs. And this got me thinking on what are those techniques that I would use more to achieve this goal. First we have to understand all the installation methods available for ConfigMgr 2012, and those installations methods are as follow.
Table 1.1 Client Installation Methods
Client Installation Method
Automatically Upgrade (new)
Use this method to automatically upgrade client when it identifies that a client that is assigned to the site is below a version that you specify.
Client push installation
Use this method to automatically install the client to assigned resources and to manually install the client to resources that are not assigned
Software update point installation
Used to install the client using the Configuration Manager software updates feature
Group Policy installation
Used to install the client using Windows Group Policy
Logon script installation
Used to install the client by means of a logon script
Used to manually install the client software
Uses Configuration Manager application management to upgrade Configuration Manager clients to a newer version. You can also use Configuration Manager 2007 software distribution to upgrade clients to Configuration Manager and assign it to the new site
Used to pre-stage the client installation in an operating system image
1. Client push installation:
As you know this is the best method to get your clients install and should be configure on every site. Even if you don’t plan to enable the automatic client push, here is where you configure the client settings and client push installation account.
Steps to configure client push.
a. In the Configuration Manager console, click on the Administration workspace.
b. Expand Site Configuration, and then click Sites.
c. In the Sites list, select the site for which you want to configure automatic site-wide client push installation.
d. right click and select Client installation settings then click on Client Push Installation
e. In the Client Push Installation Properties click on accounts and define the account that you will use for the client push install, this account most have local administration rights on the clients to get the agent installed.
f. Once you have added the account click on Installation Properties.
The results of client push, will be different depending if you do a manual install via the console or if the client was automatically install. Monitor <ConfigMgr installation directory>\logs and open ccm.log
2. Use of Group Policy:
Group policy could be very beneficial on multiple instances. What the customers find is very difficult to configure and to implement in many cases. Here is how you can configure this group policy to deploy the configmgr client.
Steps to configure group policy.
a. copy ccmsetup.msi from <ConfigMgr installation directory>\bin\i386 and ensure is copied to a share that will be available for all users.
b. I also copy the client source folder to this new share folder, as I will use it as source in my command line.
c. here is how my ClientGPO share looks like.
d. now is time to configure the GPO, to do this we need to open group policy management on your Management tools or domain controller.
e. click ok once you enter the name
f. right click edit on ConfigMgr 2012 Client Policy once created.
g. when the group policy management editor open, expand,computer configuration > Policies > Software Settings > Software installation when open find the share and select ccmsetup.msi
h. at this point the policy is configured to execute the ccmsetup.msi install, I recommend also adding the templates on this GPO to install the client and for client assignment.
i. located the GPO Admin templates on the tools folder on the installation path, on the group policy right click Administrative Templates.
j. click on add\remove templates then click add, find the templates on <ConfigMgr installation directory>\tools\ConfigMgrADMTemplates. Select ConfigMgrassignment and configmgrinstallation.
k. once you add the 2 templates, they are going to be displayed under classic administrative templates.
l. let’s start by configuring the site assignment one.
Note* This will add the following value to the registry, just make sure you create and deploy this GPO to the right OU and clients.
m. Let’s modify the ConfigMgr Deployment setting, on here I will be entering the following command line /mp:cmsite.ninja.contoso.com /logon SMSSITECODE=MI6 /source:”\\CMDC\ClientGPO”
The end results:
3. Software update deployment:
This installation method requires a little trick. The first thing we need to do is to enable this method on the console.
Steps to configure software update deployment
In the Configuration Manager console, click Administration.
In the Administration workspace, expand Site Configuration , and then click Sites .
In the Sites list, select the site for which you want to configure software update-based client installation.
On the Home tab, in the Settings group, click Client Installation Settings , and then click Software Update-Based Client Installation .
In the Software Update Point Client Installation Properties dialog box, select Enable software update-based client installation to enable this client installation method.
If the client software on the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager site server is a later version than the client version stored on the software update point, the Later Version of Client Package Detected dialog box opens. Click Yes to publish the most recent version of the client software to the software update point.
Note* If the client software has not been previously published to the software update point, this box will be blank.
To finish configuring the software update point client installation, click OK .
Then it will contact the WSUS and push out the following package to it.
Once published you will need to configure a group policy to point out all your clients to the SUP Server, here are the steps to configure that group policy.
Use the Group Policy Management Console to open a new or existing Group Policy Object.
In the console, expand Computer Configuration , expand Administrative Templates , expand Windows Components , and then click Windows Update .
Open the properties, and Enable Specify intranet Microsoft update service location.
In the box Set the intranet update service for detecting updates , specify the name of the software update point server that you want to use and the port. These must match exactly the server name format and the port being used by the software update point:
If the Configuration Manager site system is configured to use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), specify the server name by using FQDN format.
If the Configuration Manager site system is not configured to use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), specify the server name by using a short name format.
In the box Set the intranet statistics server , specify the name of the intranet statistics server that you want to use. There are no specific requirements for specifying this server. It does not have to be the same computer as the software update point server, and the format does not have to match if it is the same server.
Assign the Group Policy Object to the computers on which you want to install the Configuration Manager client and receive software updates.
The end results:
On the next check for missing updates they will find the configmgr client as important update.
Depending on your ConfigMgr site, one installation method will be more than enough for others you may need more than one method to achieve a higher number of client installs.
What’s your favorite client install method?
Santos Martinez - Premier Field Engineer – ConfigMgr and Databases