Common Software Install Command Lines

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When distributing software, there are often challenges that can arise during installation. For example, you may have experience a time when Adobe Reader will fail to install the latest security update because the application is actively running. Or maybe you’ve found that the only way to configure QuickTime to not check for updates is by having an HKCU setting and a configuration file in the user’s profile.  In attempt to get around such challenges like these, I’ve recently spent some time evaluating and retesting various common software distributions. 

  • Adobe Reader updates – using /qn (instead of /qb) will force the installation of the .msp patch even if Reader is actively in use
  • Adobe Shockwave  – The upgrade on this one is a little bit more tricky.  SW will fail to upgrade if a browser is actively using the technology (no surprise) but if you try “force” the install of SW, it’ll not remove previous versions.  So, you’ll first need to script the uninstall previous versions of Shockwave (you’ll want to find the uninstall key in the registry to ensure all versions have the same uninstall process).  Then launch the MSI installer with /qn /norestart to force the upgrade; again this is necessary if SW is in use on a webpage.  I noticed that pages actively utilizing flash with “hang”; by simply restarting the browser or tab, then SW works just fine.
  • Adobe Flash – not much complicated about this.  Flash successfully upgrades older version, even when flash is actively utilized in the browser.  So just /qb is fine for this one.
  • Apple QuickTime – the biggest headache for QuickTime is that Apple will want to check for newer versions and “other software” such as iTunes and Safari.  Well, you probably don’t want you users to have either of those (or maybe their not even admins!) so you want to remove the check for updates.  Anyhow, by downloading and using the default .exe installer from Apple will result in the software being installed that will check for updates.  At that point, you’d have to use a custom script to do some things to disable automatic update checking.  Here is the even better process: Extract the MSI files from .exe installer and only installer the two necessary components – AppleApplicationSupport and QuickTime.  You can also add to your overall deployment script to uninstall versions of AppleSoftwareUpdate.  Done!!

 I hope these command lines are useful to you!

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