n00b asking n00b stuff

May 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM
Hiya. As stated in the title, I'm an idiot asking this.

Essentially, we're a school that's in the middle of sorting a Windows 8.1 image out, and with this we've a tonne of our own software currently sitting on our network.

I'd like to create a package finds the respective paths to each piece and installs all of it (it's quite a lot, 30gb worth), how'd I go about it? I'm looking through the creating package article and everything, but again as an IT newcomer it's going over my head somewhere.

May 14, 2014 at 7:03 AM
Hello Rick,

I am going to take a stab at this one, and hopefully it will help!

Boxstarter is built on top of a system known as Chocolatey, which is an Application Package Manager for Windows. Chocolatey has some built in helper methods that allow for the easy download and installation of EXE's and MSI's from the Internet, or other locations. Chocolatey does a really good job of installing individual packages, and although it has the concept of Package Dependencies, when you try to install multiple packages at the same time, "bad things" can happen. That is where Boxstarter comes into the picture. Boxstarter builds on top of Chocolatey and provides installation resiliency. By that I mean, it will handle the problem scenarios like failed installations, system reboots, etc, that Chocolatey alone, doesn't handle.

Hopefully this makes sense so far.

And now onto your question...

I think what you need to do is to create a Chocolatey Package for each piece of software that you have on the network share that you mention. Get the individual packages installing using Chocolatey, and once you have that, you can then look to create a Boxstarter Package which combines all the Chocolatey Packages, which you can then install once on each machine that you want it to. The creation of a Chocolatey Package is very simple, and typically is a call to one helper method, i.e. Install-ChocolateyPackage (https://github.com/chocolatey/chocolatey/wiki/ChocolateyInstallPS1). It could even be the case that the packages that you want to install already exist on Chocolatey.org, the one "problem" being that you already have the downloaded installation files on your network share. You could easily take the existing package and change the "download" url in each package and from there you would be good to go.

Hope that helps!