This article goes over the Group Policy method which is used to install Silverlight on a corporate network. This is the first of the three installation options that you have.
Silverlight Installation via Group Policy
Installing Silverlight through group policy is a prudent method for small to moderate sized enterprises. It is also a useful option when the plug-in is not being deployed with a sizeable number of users at the same time.
For big enterprises, Silverlight is better deployed through the SMS method, or a third part software distribution program.
One limitation which exists for the Group policy installation method is that it can only be applied to MS operating systems, which basically means only Windows.
Therefore, the group policy method of installation cannot be used for Mac OS X users. The group policy infrastructure makes use of a script extension which is comprised of a number of components.
One such component is the MMC, or Microsoft Management Console. This is an extension for the Group Policy Object Editor that is server side, and is frequently utilized for configuring and processing scripts.
The administrator will use these script extensions in order to define the policy settings for the scripts through the GPO, or Group Policy Object.
Once this is done, it will then link the GPO with the domain, site, and the enterprise unit for which the administrator needs to assign scripts.
There are a number of extensions which can be found within the Group Policy Editor, and these are the Scripts (Startup/Shutdown), and the Scripts.
The administrators will use the Scripts (Startup/Shutdown) to define the scripts which will function when the computer either powers up or shuts down.
The Scripts (Log on/Logoff) will be used by the administrators when they wish to specify the scripts which are processed whenever the user logs on or off their computer. These types of scripts will be processed as the User as opposed to the Administrator.
The Scripts (Logon/Logoff) can be found under the ConfigurationWindows Settings under the Group Policy Object Editor. A client-side extension which is referred to as being the DDL, or dynamic link library will interact with the infrastructure for the Group Policy, and will implement the Group Policy scripts through the client computer.
Userinit.exe is a distinct process that will be responsible for running the script. It is always important to keep in mind that the Group Policy installation method offers the ability to process configurations through a large number of computers on the same network.
Because of this, it is crucial to carefully test the configurations for Group Policy prior to carrying out a full scale deployment.
The standard process that the system uses is to allow the combined group of scripts to operate for as long as 10 minutes.
Administrators have the option of using the policy setting to make modifications to this interval, which will ensure that the script which starts up can finish operating.
The total operating time for Group Policy scripts will define the amount of time that the system will allow for scripts sent by the Group Policy to be processed.
The setting will place a restriction on the complete time which is allowed for logon, shutdown, and startup scripts which are used by the Group Policy to stop running.
It is always important to test the scripts for start up prior to deploying them. Testing will assist you in figuring out the proper value to utilize when it comes to the total Wait time for the Group policy scripts, particularly when it comes to your individual network.
If you set the value too low, the installation may stop before it is supposed to. There are also additional factors which may play a role in this, like the speed of the network, the system hardware, and the scripts which are being processed on the client computer.
By taking the time to completely test the policy settings, you can figure out the proper value to utilize for your individual network.
Using the Computer Startup Scripts
The startup scripts will be processed as the Local System, and will have the complete rights which are needed to operate as the Local System.
To do this, it is important that you log in as a member of the Domain Administrators, but you can also log in as a Group Policy Creator of Enterprise Administrator security.
For the sample scripts, your target computer will need to be running either Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2003.
You will also need the read only network share which comprises the Silverlight.exe installer, as well as the read-write network share which can be used for the storage of the centralized log files.
To use the scripts on the domain controller, you will also need to make a copy of the script, as well as any files which are dependent on it, and copy them to the Netlogon folder, or any shared folder for the domain controller which you want to run the script for.
One thing that I should also note is that the target system (computer) will need to have a Read permission for the source file locations which are connected to Silverlight. It will also need the Read and the Write permissions for the log file location.
It is best to make sure the log file is put within the local computer. Once you are ready to assign the startup scripts for the computer, you will need to follow these instructions:
a. Press Start, then click Control Panel, and then press Administrative Tools. After this, you will want to press Group Policy Management.
b. Once you have done this, inside the console tree, you will want to double click on Group Policy Objects inside the domain and forest that comprises the Group Policy Object, which you wish to edit. This can be found in Forest name/Domains/Domain name/Group Policy Objects.
c. You will next want to right click on the GPO you are interested in using for the assigning of scripts, and then press Edit. This will open up the console for the Group Policy Editor.
d. Inside the Group Policy Object Editor, within the console tree, you will want to press Scripts (Startup/Shutdown). This can be found within the Computer ConfigurationWindows Settings area.
e. Once you are in the details pane, you will want to double click on Startup.
f. Inside the Startup Properties dialog box, you will want to press Add.
g. Once you are inside the Add a Script box, you will need to type in the path for the script under Script Name, or you can Browse to find it in the shared folder.
Inside the Script Parameters section, you will want to type in the parameters you are interesting in using. Type them in just as you would with the command line.
Once you are in the Startup Properties box, you will want to define the options you are interested in.
Some of the options which are available include Startup Scripts for Group Policy objects, Add, Remove, Edit, and Show files.
The next thing that you will need to do is define the total amount of time for which you want the startup scripts to operate.