Because Dell KACE appliances use a PHP web interface they are unfortunately limited to 2 GB (or 1.5 GB depending on the browser) file uploads. See http://www.kace.com/en-gb/support/resources/kb/article/how-to-get-around-the-1-5gb-upload-image-deployment-kbox2000
Although this limitation is not directly Dell’s fault, in my opinion they should have a supported method of upload to the appliance. I am sure I am not the only customer that has this requirement.
The supported work around is to create a separate file server to house the payload. In my opinion, this is unacceptable because it creates another fail point.
Fortunately there is a work around but I have found the documentation scarce. Probably because it can be a long process. I hope this guide can save you enough time so that it will be worthwhile. In my case, I spend too many hours troubleshooting and talking to Dell that the benefit of housing the payload on the appliance did not out way the administrative cost.
This guide will walk you through creating a large ‘Post Installation Task’ on a K2000 series KACE appliance. It is very similar to doing the same on a K1000 series. On the K1000 you would create a ‘Managed Install’ instead.
Here is the basic run down of what will be performed:
- Create a dummy/fake payload smaller than 2GB and ZIP it
- Create a dummy/fake post installation task with the fake payload
- Export the new task and copy it to your computer
- Modify the package, inserting the real payload
- Copy it back to the appliance and import it
To complete this tutorial you will need a Windows computer and 7-zip. 7-zip can be downloaded from here: http://www.7-zip.org. This tutorial assumes it is already installed.
1. Create a fake payload
In this step you need to create a fake payload. In the example I created a folder called ‘Fake’.
Inside there I created a text file called ‘installdummy.txt’. You can call it whatever you want. Just make sure it’s small than 1.5GB.
ZIP it then rename it. It is important that you rename the ZIP file to whatever you will call the real payload later in the tutorial.
2. Create a fake Post Installation Task
Log into the KACE appliance and create a new Post Installation Task. Upload the dummy payload ZIP file you created in the previous step. Note that the file size in the example is as small as 130 bytes.
IMPORTANT: The dummy payload ZIP that you upload in this step must have the same file name as you want the real payload to be.
3. Export task
Go to ‘Settings & Maintenance’, then ‘Package Management’ then ‘Export K2000 Packages’. Locate your newly created task, using the search function if needed. Tick the selection box on the ‘Post Installation Task’ and choose ‘Export Selected’ from the ‘Choose Action’ drop down list.
This will create a package in the SMB share on the K2000. Large tasks can take a while to generate but because I payload is small it should almost be instant.
Open Windows Explorer and navigate to \\<IP address or DNS name of K2000>\restore
For example: \\ikbox\restore
Copy the PKG file to your local hard drive.
4. Modify the package file
ZIP the real payload. Using Windows to create the archive will work fine.
Rename the ZIP file to the same as the fake payload ZIP created earlier. For example: ‘adobecs6.zip’
Right-click the PKG that your copied from the K2000 and select ‘7-ZIP’ à ‘Open archive’.
Open randomly generated folder (for example: PS101_1367819330_1348) then ‘.’ (dot) then ‘PAYLOAD’. You will then see the dummy ZIP file.
Delete it. Then copy the new LARGE payload ZIP to the ‘PAYLOAD’ directory in the PKG file in 7-Zip. I find the best way is to ‘drag-and-drop’.
You will be prompted to confirm the copy. Accept ‘Yes’.
Once it has copied it appears as though the job is complete but you have to close 7-Zip and say ‘OK’ to save the changes.
Saving the changes takes a long time depending on the size of the payload.
5. Import the PKG into the appliance
Copy the PKG file back into the SMB share on the K2000, overwriting the original. For example \\ikbox\restore
Before importing the new PKG file you will need to delete the original dummy Post Installation Task from within the web interface. If you do not, you will end up with two tasks: the dummy one and real one.
On the K2000 web interface navigate to ‘Settings & Maintenance’ à ‘Package Management’ à ‘Import K2000 Packages’.
Notice the payload is very large in the import screen. Tick the selection box on the left and ‘Import Selected’ from the ‘Choose Action’ drop down box.
The KACE applicance will take a while to import the package. In the top-right hand of the screen it will say what is it up to. When it is finished it while say ‘Currently: Idle’.
All done. You can now deploy your application to your clients. You should also delete the PKG file from the SMB share to free up space.
Note: If you look at the task from the web interface, you may notice KACE reports the original small file size. KACE is lying to you. It really is large.