NW205 lesson09

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Performing Software Installation with Group Policy : 

Performing Software Installation with Group Policy Lesson 9

Skills Matrix : 

Skills Matrix

Managing Software through Group Policy : 

Managing Software through Group Policy Group Policy can be used to install, upgrade, patch, or remove software applications when a computer is started, when a user logs on to the network, or when a user accesses a file associated with a program that is not currently on the user’s computer. Group Policy can be used to fix problems associated with applications. For example, if a user inadvertently deletes a file from an application, Group Policy can be used to launch a repair process that will fix the application.

.MSI File : 

.MSI File Microsoft Windows Server 2008 uses the Windows Installer with Group Policy to install and manage software that is packaged into an .msi file. The Windows Installer Service, responsible for automating the installation and configuration of the designated software. The Windows Installer Service requires a package file (.msi file) that contains all of the pertinent information about the software.

MSI File : 

MSI File The .msi file: Is a relational database file that is copied to the target computer system with the program files it deploys. Assists in the self-healing process for damaged applications and clean application removal. Consists of external source files that may be required for the installation or removal of software. Includes summary information about the software and the package. Includes reference point to the path where the installation files are located.

.MST File : 

.MST File You may need to modify Windows Installer files to better suit the needs of your corporate network. Modifications to .msi files require transform files, which have an .mst extension.

Patch file (.msp) : 

Patch file (.msp) Windows Installer files with the .msp extension serve as patch files. Patch files are used to apply service packs and hot fixes to installed software. Instead, it contains, at minimum, a database transform procedure that adds patching information to the target installation package database. For this reason, .msp files should be located in the same folder as the original .msi file when you want the patch to be applied as part of the Group Policy software installation. This allows the patch file to be applied to the original package or .msi file.

ZAP File : 

ZAP File When repackaging an application is not an option and a Windows Installer file is not available, you can use a .zap file to publish an application. A .zap file is a non–Windows Installer package that can be created in a text editor. The disadvantages of creating .zap files are as follows: They can be published, but not assigned. Deployments require user intervention, instead of being fully unattended. Local administrator permissions might be required to perform the installation. They do not support custom installations or automatic repair. They do not support the removal of applications that are no longer needed or applications that failed to install properly.

Software Distribution Point : 

Software Distribution Point Before deploying software using Group Policy, you must create a distribution share/Software distribution point. Users who are affected by the Group Policy assignment should be assigned NTFS Read permission to the folder containing the application and package files.

Assigning and Publishing Software : 

Assigning and Publishing Software Assigning Software If you assign the program to a user, it is installed when the user logs on to the computer. If you assign the program to a computer, it is installed when the computer starts, and it is available to all users who log on to the computer. When a user first runs the program, the installation is finalized. Publishing Software You can publish a program distribution to users. When the user logs on to the computer, the published program is displayed in the Add or Remove Programs dialog box, and it can be installed from there.

Assigning and Publishing Software : 

Assigning and Publishing Software

Software Restrictions Policies : 

Software Restrictions Policies Provide organizations greater control in preventing potentially dangerous applications from running. Software restriction policies are designed to identify software and control its execution. Administrators can control who will be affected by the policies.

Software Restrictions Policies : 

Software Restrictions Policies

Software Restrictions Policies : 

Software Restrictions Policies When considering the use of software restriction policies, you must determine your approach to enforcing restrictions. The three basic strategies for enforcing restrictions are: Unrestricted. This allows all applications to run except those that are specifically excluded. Disallowed. This prevents all applications from running except those that are specifically allowed. Basic User. This prevents any application from running that requires administrative rights, but allows programs to run that only require resources that are accessible by normal users. By default, the Software Restriction Policies area has an Unrestricted value in the Default Security Level setting.

Software Restrictions Policies : 

Software Restrictions Policies Four types of software restriction rules can be used to govern which programs can or cannot run on your network: Hash rule Certificate rule Path rule Network zone rule

Software Restrictions Policies : 

Software Restrictions Policies Hash The file is hashed, resulting in a cryptographic fingerprint that remains the same regardless of the file name or location. You can use this method to prevent a particular version of a program from running, or to prevent a program from running no matter where it is located. Certificate You can build Certificate rules by providing a code-signing software publisher certificate. Certificate rules apply no matter where the program file is located or what it is named.

Software Restrictions Policies : 

Software Restrictions Policies Path Apply to all programs that run from the specified local or network path, or from subfolders that are in the path. Internet Zone Apply software restriction policy rules based on the Microsoft Internet Explorer security zone in which the program is run. Currently, these rules apply only to Microsoft Windows Installer packages that are run from the zone. Internet Zone rules do not apply to programs that are downloaded by Internet Explorer.

Summary : 

Summary Group Policy can be used to deploy new software on your network and remove or repair software originally deployed by a GPO from your network. This functionality is provided by the Windows Installer service within the Software Installation extension of either the User Configuration\Software Settings or Computer Configuration\Software Settings node.

Summary : 

Summary Three types of package files are used with the Windows Installer service: .msi files for standard software installation. .mst files for customized software installation. .msp files for patching .msi files at the time of deployment. All pertinent files must reside in the same file system directory.

Summary : 

Summary A .zap file can be written to allow non–Windows Installer–compliant applications to be deployed. A .zap file does not support automatic repair, customized installations, or automatic software removal. In addition, these files must be published.

Summary : 

Summary A shared folder named a software distribution point must be created to store application installation and package files that are to be deployed using Group Policy. Users must have the NTFS Read permission to this folder for software installation policies to function.

Summary : 

Summary Software to be deployed using Group Policy can either be Assigned or Published. Assigning software using the User Configuration node of a Group Policy allows the application to be installed when the user accesses the program using the Start menu or an associated file. Assigning software can also be performed using the Computer Configuration node of a Group Policy, which forces the application to be installed during computer startup.

Summary : 

Summary Publishing an application allows the application to be available through Add Or Remove Programs in Control Panel. In addition, published applications can be divided into domain-wide software categories for ease of use.

Summary : 

Summary Software restriction policies were introduced in Windows Server 2003 and allow the software's executable code to be identified and either allowed or disallowed on the network.

Summary : 

Summary The three Default Security Levels within Software Restriction Policies are: Unrestricted, which means all applications function based on user permissions. Disallowed, which means all applications are denied execution regardless of the user permissions. Basic User, which allows only executables to be run that can be run by normal users.

Summary : 

Summary Four rule types can be defined within a Software Restriction Policy. They include, in order of precedence, hash, certificate, network zone, and path rules. The security level set on a specific rule supersedes the Default Security Level of the policy.

Summary : 

Summary Enforcement properties within Software Restriction Policies allow the administrator to control users affected by the policy. Administrators can be excluded from the policy application so that it does not hamper their administrative capabilities.

Summary : 

Summary Certificate rules require enabling the System settings: Use Certificate Rules on Windows Executables for Software Restriction Policies located in Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\ Security Options.

Summary : 

Summary Path rules can point to either a file system directory location or a registry path location. The registry path location is the more secure option of the two choices because the registry key location changes automatically if the software is reinstalled. In contrast, if a file system directory is blocked for executables, the program can still run from an alternate location if it is moved or copied there, allowing the possibility of a security breach.

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