Hi, this is Jeremy Moskowitz from GPanswers.com and today I am going to show you how to deploy MSI's using Group Policy. This is a fun technique if you want to get a file out there jammed on the desktop for the user. I am going to go ahead and create a new GPO here and I am going to link it over to East Sales Users, and I am going to Deploy TSClient. I have a very old Terminal Services client. I can't type client today, but that is okay. I will go ahead and click Edit here.
Now actually, what is interesting about deploying files, MSI files using Group Policy, is that it exists on both the users and the computer side of the fence here. Now I am deploying to my users, which is totally fine. I will go to my user's side here now and go to New | Package. I am going to be deploying from the network so I am \\dc\Share, I have a Share called Share. I happen to have what I am looking for right there under Terminal Services Client, right there. So, there is an MSI file and that is the first key point. Is that in order to deploy anything using Group Policy it really must be packaged in the MSI format. There are some rudimentary ways to deploy things that are not MSI file that do not use MSI files but honestly in my humble opinion it is not really worth it. You have to get to the promised land of MSI before you start using Group Policy deployment.
You have got Published, Assigned, or Advanced. Let's go to Advanced because I always want to make sure that a couple of buttons are selected. For instance, Assign is what I am really after because that puts the icons on the user's Desktop, and Basic prevents them from seeing too much stuff. Let's go ahead and click OK here.
I have gone ahead and deployed that software right there. Let's go over here to my Windows 7 machine and I will run gpupdate, while you might expect that as soon as I run gpupdate that somehow magically I will get that software to show up and that would be a pretty good bet, but unfortunately that is not what happens. The thing is about software deployment is that it won't run while the users are already logged one. Which is kind of a downside but that is just the breaks.
If I were to log off here. And actually log on as the user, which I am not logged on as, so I will log on again as that guy, eastsalesuser1. Only at logon time that is when the magic happen, that is when you see new software install for the user. You won't see it if the user is already logged on as I just described. So after the screen is done is done painting, you will see the Start menu. On the Start menu you should see your application icons there ready to be used for the very first time. Let's go ahead and wait for that to happen here. Okay cool, that is all done. Let's go to the Start menu, Programs, and there it is the Terminal Services Client. It is just that simple it just happens to be the application I happen to have here for my use. Long story short, it is installing from the network, takes only a couple of seconds and we are good to go.
With that in mind, that is the end of my little demo here. Deploying MSI's does not have to be hard or complex, but you do have to get to the MSI promised land first if you do not already have packages in MSI format. OK. So again this Jeremy Moskowitz with GPanswers.com and I will talk to you soon.