How to Install Clients in Configuration Manager 2012

Updated: May 1, 2011

Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2012

You can use a variety of different client deployment methods to install the Configuration Manager 2012 client software. To help you decide which deployment method to use, see Determine the Client Installation Method to Use in Configuration Manager 2012.

Before you install Configuration Manager 2012 clients, ensure that all the prerequisites are in place and that you have completed any deployment configuration required. For more information, see Prerequisites for Client Deployment in Configuration Manager 2012 and Configuring Client Deployment in Configuration Manager 2012.

Use the following procedures to install clients in Configuration Manager 2012:

How to Install Configuration Manager Clients by using Client Push

Use client push installation to install the Configuration Manager 2012 client software on computers that have been discovered by Configuration Manager. You can configure client push installation for a site, and client installation will automatically run on the computers that are discovered within the site's configured boundaries. Or, you can initiate a client push installation by running the Client Push Installation Wizard for a specific collection or resource within a collection .

You can also use the Client Push Installation Wizard to install the Configuration Manager 2012 client to the results obtained from running a query. For installation to succeed in this scenario, one of the items returned by the selected query must be the attribute ResourceID from the attribute class System Resource. For more information about queries, see Queries in Configuration Manager 2012.

noteNote
You can use the wizard to install clients even if the site is not configured for client push.
ImportantImportant
For client push to succeed, ensure that all the prerequisites are in place. These are listed in the section “Installation Method Dependencies” in Prerequisites for Client Deployment in Configuration Manager 2012.

If the site server cannot contact the client computer or start the setup process, it automatically repeats the installation attempt every hour for up to 7 days until it succeeds.

To help track the client installation process, install a fallback status point site system before you install the clients. When a fallback status point is installed, it is automatically assigned to clients when they are installed by using the client push installation method. View the client deployment and assignment reports to track client installation progress. Additionally, the client log files provide more detailed information for troubleshooting and do not require the installation of a fallback status point. For example, CCM.log records any problems that the site server has connecting to the computer and CCMSetup.log records the installation process.

To Configure the Site to Automatically Use Client Push for Discovered Computers

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Administration.

  2. In the Administration workspace, expand Site Operations, and then click Sites.

  3. In the Sites list, select the site for which you want to configure automatic site-wide client push installation.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Settings group, click Client Installation Settings and then click Client Push Installation.

  5. On the General tab of the Client Push Installation Properties dialog box, select Enable automatic site-wide client push installation. Select the system types that Configuration Manager 2012 should push the client software to by selecting Servers, Workstations, or Configuration Manager site system servers. The default selection is Servers and Workstations.

  6. Choose whether you want automatic site-wide client push installation to install the Configuration Manager 2012 client software on domain controllers.

  7. On the Accounts tab specify one or more accounts for Configuration Manager 2012 to use when connecting to the computer to install the client software. Click the New icon, enter the User name and Password, confirm the password, and then click OK. If you do not specify at least one client push installation account, Configuration Manager 2012 will try to use the site system computer account. The account must have local administrator rights on every computer to which the client will be installed.

    ImportantImportant
    The password for the client push installation account is limited to 38 characters or less.
    noteNote
    If you intend to use the client push installation method to install the client secondary sites, the account must be specified at the secondary site that initiates the client push.For more information about the client push installation account, see the procedure below.
  8. On the Installation Properties tab, specify any installation properties to use when installing the Configuration Manager 2012 client. You can only specify installation properties for client.msi in this tab; you cannot specify properties for CCMSetup.exe. Client installation properties specified in this tab are published to Active Directory if the schema is extended for Configuration Manager 2012 and read by client installations where CCMSetup is run with no installation properties. For more information about client installation properties, see About Client Installation Properties in Configuration Manager 2012.

    noteNote
    If you enable client push installation on a secondary site, make sure that the SMSSITECODE property is set to the Configuration Manager 2012 site name of its parent primary site. If the Active Directory schema is extended for Configuration Manager 2012, you can also set this to AUTO to automatically find the correct site assignment.

To Use the Client Push Installation Wizard

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Administration.

  2. In the Administration workspace, expand Site Operations, and then click Sites.

  3. In the Sites list, select the site for which you want to configure automatic site-wide client push installation.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Settings group, click Client Installation Settings and then click Client Push Installation.

  5. On the Installation Properties tab, specify any installation properties to use when installing the Configuration Manager 2012 client. You can only specify installation properties for client.msi in this tab; you cannot specify properties for CCMSetup.exe. Client installation properties specified in this tab are published to Active Directory if the schema is extended for Configuration Manager 2012 and read by client installations where CCMSetup is run with no installation properties. For more information about client installation properties, see About Client Installation Properties in Configuration Manager 2012.

  6. In the Configuration Manager console, click Assets and Compliance.

  7. In the Assets and Compliance workspace, select a computer or a collection of computers.

  8. On the Home tab, choose one of the following:

    • If you want to install the client to a single computer – In the Device group, click Install Client.

    • If you want to install the client to a collection of computers - In the Collection group, click Install Client.

    noteNote
    If you select multiple computers in a Configuration Manager console Devices window, the Install Client option will be unavailable.
  9. On the Before You Begin page of the Install Client Wizard, review the information and then click Next.

  10. On the Installation options page, configure whether the client can be installed on domain controllers, whether the client will be reinstalled, upgraded or repaired on computers with an existing client and the name of the site that will install the client software. Click Next.

  11. Review the installation settings, and then complete the Wizard.

How to Install Configuration Manager Clients by using Software Update-Based Installation

Software update-based client installation publishes the Configuration Manager 2012 client to a software update point, as an additional software update. This method of client installation can be used to install the Configuration Manager 2012 client on computers that do not already have the client installed, or to upgrade existing Configuration Manager 2012 clients.

If a computer is an existing Configuration Manager 2012 client, the Configuration Manager client policy provides the client with the software update point server name and port from which to obtain software updates.

ImportantImportant
To use software update-based installation, you must use the same WSUS server for both client installation and software updates. This server must be the active software update point in a primary site. For more information, see Configuring Software Updates in Configuration Manager 2012.

If a computer does not have the Configuration Manager 2012 client installed, you must configure and assign an Active Directory Group Policy object to specify the software update point server name from which the computer will obtain software updates.

It is not possible to add command line properties to a software update-based client installation. If you have extended the Active Directory schema for Configuration Manager 2012, client computers will automatically query Active Directory Domain Services for installation properties when they install.

If you have not extended the Active Directory schema, you can use Windows Group Policy to provision client installation settings to computers in your site. These settings will automatically be applied to any software update-based client installations. For more information, see How to Provision Client Installation Properties using Group Policy and How to Assign Clients to a Site in Configuration Manager 2012.

Use the following procedures to configure computers without a Configuration Manager 2012 client to use the software update point for client installation and software updates, and to publish the Configuration Manager 2012 client software to the software update point.

To Configure an Active Directory Group Policy Object to Specify the Software Update Point for Client Installation and Software Updates

  1. Using an editor such as Windows Group Policy editor, open a new or existing Group Policy object.

  2. In the Group Policy editor, navigate to Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update, and then open the properties of the setting Specify intranet Microsoft update service location.

  3. Click Enabled.

  4. In the Set the intranet update service for detecting updates: field, specify the name of the software update point server you want to use, and the port. These must match exactly with the server name format and the port being used by the software update point:

    • If the Configuration Manager site system is configured to use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), specify the server name using FQDN format.

    • If the Configuration Manager site system is not configured to use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), specify the server name using a short name format.

    noteNote
    To determine the port number being used by the software update point, see How to Determine the Port Settings Used by WSUS.

    Example: http://server1.contoso.com:8530

  5. In the Set the intranet statistics server: field, specify the name of the intranet statistics server you want to use. There are no specific requirements for specifying this server. It does not have to be the same computer as the software update point server, and the format does not have to match if it is the same server.

  6. Assign the Group Policy object to the computers on which you want to install the Configuration Manager client and receive software updates.

To Publish the Configuration Manager Client to the Software Update Point

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Administration.

  2. In the Administration workspace, expand Site Operations, and then click Sites.

  3. In the Sites list, select the site for which you want to configure automatic site-wide client push installation.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Settings group, click Client Installation Settings and then click Software Update-Based Client Installation.

  5. In the Software Update Point Client Installation Properties dialog box, select Enable software update-based client installation to enable this client installation method.

  6. If the client software on the Configuration Manager 2012 site server is a later version than the client version stored on the software update point, the Later Version of Client Package Detected dialog box will open. Click Yes to publish the most recent version of the client software to the software update point.

    noteNote
    If the client software has not been previously published to the software update point, this field will be blank.
  7. To finish configuring the software update point client installation, click OK.

How to Install Configuration Manager Clients by Using Group Policy

You can use Active Directory Group Policy to publish or assign the Configuration Manager 2012 client to computers in your enterprise. When you assign the Configuration Manager 2012 client to computers using Group Policy, it will be installed when the computer first starts. When you publish the Configuration Manager 2012 client to computers using Group Policy, it will be displayed in the control panel Add or Remove Programs dialog box of the computer, from where it can be installed.

The Windows Installer executable Ccmsetup.msi is used for Group Policy based installations. This file can be found in the folder <ConfigMgr installation directory>\bin\i386 on the Configuration Manager 2012 site server. It is not possible to add properties to this file to modify installation behavior.

If the Active Directory Schema is extended for Configuration Manager 2012 and Publish this site in Active Directory Domain Services is selected in the Advanced tab of the Site Properties dialog box then client computers will automatically search Active Directory for installation properties.

If the Active Directory schema has not been extended, then you can use the procedure, How to Provision Client Installation Properties using Group Policy to store installation properties in the registry of computers which will be used when the Configuration Manager 2012 client is installed.

For information about using Active Directory Group Policy to install software, refer to your Microsoft Windows server documentation.

How to Install Configuration Manager Clients Manually

You can manually install the Configuration Manager 2012 client software on computers in your enterprise by using the CCMSetup.exe executable. This executable and its supporting files can be found in the Client folder of the Configuration Manager 2012 installation folder on the site server and on management points in your site. This folder is shared to the network as <Site Server Name>\SMS_<Site Code>\Client.

CCMSetup.exe copies all necessary installation prerequisites to the client computer and calls client.msi to perform the client installation.

noteNote
In Configuration Manager 2012, you cannot run client.msi directly.
ImportantImportant
If you are installing the client to Workgroup computers you should publish the management point information in Domain Name System (DNS) to support clients in an IPv6 environment.

You can specify command line properties for both CCMSetup.exe and client.msi to modify the behavior of the client installation. For example, if you specify the command line CCMSetup.exe /mp:SMSMP01 /logon SMSSITECODE=AUTO FSP=SMSFP01, then the client installation would use the following properties:

 

Property Description

/mp:SMSMP01

Specifies the management point SMSMP01 to download the necessary client installation files.

/logon

Specifies that the installation should stop if an existing Configuration Manager 2012 or SMS 2003 client is found on the computer.

SMSSITECODE=AUTO

Specifies that the client should determine its Configuration Manager 2012 site code by using Active Directory or the server locator point.

FSP=SMSFP01

Specifies that the fallback status point named SMSFP01 will be used to receive state messages sent from the client computer.

How to Install Configuration Manager Clients by Using Logon Scripts

Configuration Manager 2012 supports the use of logon scripts to install the Configuration Manager 2012 client software. You can use the file CCMSetup.exe in a logon script to trigger the client installation.

Logon script installation uses the same methods as manual client installation. You can specify the /logon installation property for ccmsetup.exe which prevents the client from installing if any version of the client already exists on the machine. This prevents reinstallation of the client from taking place each time the logon script runs.

If no installation source is specified using the /Source switch and no management point from which to obtain installation is specified using the /MP switch, CCMSetup.exe can locate the management point by searching Active Directory if the schema has been extended for Configuration Manager 2012. If the schema has not been extended then CCMSetup will search WINS for a server locator point to query for a management point from which to install the client.

How to Upgrade Clients by Using Application Management in Configuration Manager

You cannot upgrade Configuration Manager 2007 clients to Configuration Manager 2012. Instead, uninstall the Configuration Manager 2007 client and install the Configuration Manager 2012 client by using one of the other client deployment methods. For more information about migrating from Configuration Manager 2007 to Configuration Manager 2012, see Planning for Client Migration to Configuration Manager 2012.

How to Install Configuration Manager Clients by Using Computer Imaging

You can pre-install the Configuration Manager 2012 client software on a master image computer that will be used to build computers in your enterprise. To install the client on a master computer, you must not specify a site code to assign the client to. When computers are imaged from this master image, they will contain the Configuration Manager 2012 client, but this will not be assigned to any site code.

ImportantImportant
The imaged computers will not be functional Configuration Manager 2012 clients until the Configuration Manager 2012 clients are assigned to a Configuration Manager 2012 site.

You must remove any computer-specific certificates that are installed on the master image computer. For example, if you use PKI certificates, you must remove the certificates in the Computer and UserPersonal store before you image the computer.

If clients cannot query Active Directory Domain Services to locate a management point, they use the trusted root key to determine trusted management points. If all imaged clients will be deployed in the same hierarchy as the master computer, leave the trusted root key in place. If the clients will be deployed in different hierarchies, you should remove the trusted root key; however, you should consider a process to pre-provision the newly imaged computers with the trusted root key for their site hierarchies.

To Prepare the Client Computer for Imaging

  1. Manually install the Configuration Manager 2012 client software on the master image computer. For more information, see How to Install Configuration Manager Clients Manually.

    ImportantImportant
    Do not specify a Configuration Manager 2012 site code for the client in the CCMSetup.exe command-line properties.
  2. Type net stop ccmexec from a command prompt to ensure that the SMS Agent Host service (Ccmexec.exe) is not running on the master image computer.

  3. Remove any certificates stored in the local computer store on the master image computer. Additionally, remove any native-mode client certificates if applicable. For more information, refer to your public key infrastructure (PKI) documentation.

  4. If the clients will be installed in different Configuration Manager 2012 hierarchies than the master image computer, remove the Trusted Root Key from the master image computer. For more information, see How to Remove the Trusted Root Key.

  5. Use your imaging software to capture the image of the master computer.

  6. Deploy the image to destination computers.

How to Install Configuration Manager Clients on Workgroup Computers

Configuration Manager 2012 supports client installation for computers in workgroups. You can install workgroup computers using the method specified in How to Install Clients Manually.

The following prerequisites must be met in order to install the Configuration Manager 2012 client on workgroup computers:

  • The client must be installed manually on each workgroup computer. During installation, the logged-on user must possess local administrator rights on the workgroup computer.

  • The workgroup computer must be able to locate a server locator point to complete site assignment because they cannot query Active Directory Domain Services. The server locator point can be manually published in WINS, or it can be specified in the CCMSetup.exe command line properties.

  • In order to access resources in the Configuration Manager 2012 site server domain, the Network Access account must be configured for the site. For more information, see How to Configure the Network Access Account.

There are a number of limitations to supporting workgroup computers in WINS:

  • Workgroup clients cannot locate management points from Active Directory Domain Services, and instead must use DNS, WINS, or a server locator point.

ImportantImportant
Workgroup clients cannot locate management points in WINS that are configured for HTTPS client connections. The preferred alternative method for workgroup clients to find their management points is to use DNS publishing. For more information, see Determine If You Need to Publish to DNS.
  • Global roaming is not supported, because clients cannot query Active Directory Domain Services for site information.

  • Site information related to PKI certificates (such as clients must use a PKI certificate) cannot be automatically configured and must be specified by using CCMSetup.exe command line properties.

  • Active Directory discovery methods will not discover computers in workgroups.

  • Deployments that are targeted to users are not possible.

  • The client push installation method cannot be used to install the client on workgroup computers.

  • A workgroup client cannot be configured as a distribution point. Configuration Manager 2012 requires that distribution point computers be members of a domain.

To Install the Client on Workgroup Computers

  1. Ensure that the computers on which you want to install the client meet the above prerequisites.

  2. Follow the directions in the section How to Install Configuration Manager Clients Manually.

How to Install Configuration Manager Clients on the Internet

When the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 site supports Internet-based client management for clients that are sometimes on the intranet, and sometimes on the Internet, you can install the clients on the intranet with any of the available client installation methods and include the configuration for Internet-based client management.

However, you might need to install clients that are on the Internet (either because they are Internet-only clients or because you need to install them before they come back into the intranet). In this scenario, you must decide how to install these clients.

noteNote
Configuration Manager does not support installing a client directly from the Internet-based management point or from the Internet-based software update point.

To install clients that are on the Internet, choose one of the following supported methods:

  • Provide a mechanism for these clients to temporarily connect to the intranet using a virtual private network (VPN), and then install them using any appropriate client installation method.

  • Use an installation method that is independent from Configuration Manager, such as packaging the client installation source files onto removable media that you can send to users to install with instructions. The client installation source files are located in the <InstallationPath>\Client folder on the Configuration Manager 2012 site server and management points. Include on the media a script to manually install the client by using CCMSetup.exe and all the appropriate CCMSetup command-line properties.

Because clients that are managed over the Internet must communicate with Internet-based site systems, ensure that these clients also have public key infrastructure (PKI) certificates installed. For more information about the certificate requirements, see PKI Certificate Requirements for Configuration Manager 2012. You must install these certificates independently from Configuration Manager 2012.

To Install Clients on the Internet by Specifying CCMSetup Command-Line Properties

  1. Follow the directions in the section How to Install Configuration Manager Clients Manually and always include the following:

    • CCMSetup command-line property /source:<local path on removable media>

    • CCMSetup command-line property /UsePKICert

    • Client.msi property CCMHOSTNAME=<FQDN of Internet-based management point>

    • Client.msi property SMSSIGNCERT=<local path to exported site server signing certificate>

    • Client.msi property SMSSITECODE=<site code of Internet-based management point>

    noteNote
    If the site has more than one Internet-based management point, it does not matter which Internet-based management point you specify for the CCMHOSTNAME property. When a Configuration Manager client connects to the specified Internet-based management point, the management point sends the client a list of available Internet-based management points in the site and the client selects one from the list. The selection is nondeterministic, which provides scalability and some redundancy. Network load balancing Internet-based management points are also supported.
  2. If you do not want the client to check the certificate revocation list (CRL), specify the CCMSetup command-line property /NoCRLCheck.

  3. If you are using an Internet-based fallback status point, specify the Client.msi property FSP=<Internet FQDN of the Internet-based fallback status point>.

  4. If you are installing the client for Internet-only client management, specify the Client.msi property CCMALWAYSINF=1.

  5. Check whether you need to specify any additional CCMSetup command-line properties. For example, you will need to specify a certificate selection criteria (such as CCMALWAYS=1) if the client has more than one valid PKI certificate. For a list of available properties, see About Client Installation Properties in Configuration Manager 2012.

    Example: CCMSetup.exe /source: D:\Clients /UsePKICert CCMHOSTNAME=server1.contoso.com SMSSIGNCERT=siteserver.cer SMSSITECODE=ABC FSP=server2.contoso.com CCMALWAYSINF=1 CCMFIRSTCERT=1

How to Provision Client Installation Properties (Group Policy and Software Update-Based Client Installation)

You can use Windows Group Policy to provision computers in your enterprise with Configuration Manager 2012 client installation properties. These properties are stored in the registry of the computer and read when the client software is installed. This procedure would not normally be required for Configuration Manager 2012. However, this might be required for some client installation scenarios, such as the following:

  • You are using the Group Policy or software update-based client installation methods and you have not extended the Active Directory schema for Configuration Manager 2012.

  • You want to override client installation properties on specific computers.

noteNote
If any installation properties are supplied on the CCMSetup.exe command line, then installation properties provisioned on computers will not be used.

A Group Policy administrative template named ConfigMgrInstallation.adm is supplied on the Configuration Manager 2012 installation media which can be used to provision client computers with installation properties. Use the following procedure to configure and assign this template to computers in your organization.

To Configure and Assign Client Installation Properties by Using Group Policy

  1. Import the administrative template ConfigMgrInstallation.adm into a new or existing Group Policy object, using an editor such as Windows Group Policy object editor.

    noteNote
    This file can be found in the folder TOOLS\ConfigMgrADMTemplates on the Configuration Manager 2012 installation media.
  2. Open the properties of the imported setting Configure Client Deployment Settings.

  3. Click Enabled.

  4. In the CCMSetup field, enter the required CCMSetup command line properties. For a list of all CCMSetup command line properties and examples of their use, see About Client Installation Properties in Configuration Manager 2012.

  5. Assign the Group Policy object to the computers that you want to provision with Configuration Manager 2012 client installation properties.

For information about Windows Group Policy, refer to your Windows Server documentation.

See Also

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