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I have a small AD in which I am deploying software to domain computers through GPO (using msi installers).

What is the best method to deploy software that

  • has no .msi installer,
  • but has switches for silent installs

All I can think is to use startup scripts (that will do detect->install/uninstall/upgrade), but I was wondering if there are existing wheel designs in this area...

NOTE: I'd like to avoid repackaging to .msi format (unless someone convinces me otherwise).

Some examples of software that I would like to deploy

  • picasa 3
  • VLC
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can use the freeware version of witem to create .msi files with "custom actions" which run your non-msi installers.

I've used it and It works well.

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+1, It's a good idea to fill in the uninstall actions as well. – Chris S Aug 27 '10 at 12:38

If the installation can be scripted and run silently, a startup script is probably your best choice here; all other available options need some system management software (such as Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager).

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When you are dealing with a non-MSI (most likely an .exe) you can use other installers. PDQ Deploy is a free installer that allows you to push MSI, EXE, .BAT, .MSU, .MSP, .CMD, .you_get_the_point. (PDQ Deploy is made by my company).

You can also use SCCM, Tivoli, or many other products for deploying software, but these are a tad pricey (and by a tad I mean a ton).

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