How to use Group Policy to remotely install software in Windows Server 2008 and in Windows Server 2003

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Article ID: 816102 - View products that this article applies to.
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see the following Knowledge Base article:
314934 HOW TO: Use Group Policy to Remotely Install Software in Windows 2000
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Summary

This step-by-step article describes how to use Group Policy to automatically distribute programs to client computers or users. You can use Group Policy to distribute computer programs by using the following methods:
  • Assigning Software
    You can assign a program distribution to users or computers. If you assign the program to a user, it is installed when the user logs on to the computer. When the user first runs the program, the installation is completed. If you assign the program to a computer, it is installed when the computer starts, and it is available to all users who log on to the computer. When a user first runs the program, the installation is completed.
  • Publishing Software
    You can publish a program distribution to users. When the user logs on to the computer, the published program is displayed in the Add or Remove Programs dialog box, and it can be installed from there.
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Note Windows Server 2003 Group Policy automated-program installation requires client computers that are running Microsoft Windows 2000 or a later version.

Create a distribution point

To publish or assign a computer program, you must create a distribution point on the publishing server. To do this, follow these steps:Click here to show/hide solution

Create a Group Policy Object

To create a Group Policy Object (GPO) to use to distribute the software package, follow these steps:Click here to show/hide solution

Assign a package

To assign a program to computers that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, or Windows XP Professional, or to users who are logging on to one of these workstations, follow these steps: Click here to show/hide solution

Publish a package

To publish a package to computer users and make it available for installation from the Add or Remove Programs list in Control Panel, follow these steps: Click here to show/hide solution

Redeploy a package

In some cases, you may want to redeploy a software package (for example, if you upgrade or change the package). To redeploy a package, follow these steps: Click here to show/hide solution

Remove a package

To remove a published or assigned package, follow these steps: Click here to show/hide solution

Troubleshoot

Published Packages Are Displayed on a Client Computer After You Use a Group Policy to Remove Them

This situation can occur when a user has installed the program but has not used it. When the user first starts the published program, the installation is finished. Group Policy then removes the program.

References

For more information about how to use a Group Policy to deploy software, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
304953 How to deploy Office XP over a network
302430 How to assign software to a specific group by using Group Policy

Properties

Article ID: 816102 - Last Review: July 12, 2013 - Revision: 10.1
Applies to
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
Keywords: 
kbmgmtservices kbhowtomaster KB816102

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