Creating PDQ Packages to Silently Install Applications
A PDQ Package contains the install files and instructions to silently install applications using PDQ Deploy.
Step 1 – Create the Package
Create your first package by clicking File > New Package.
Step 2 – Name the Package
Give your package a name and a description.
Remember that over time you will start building up a lot of packages. Use a name that shows the product and version. It’s also helpful to break down architecture like 32 or 64-bit.
Step 3 – Point to the installation files
On the left tree window click on Step 1. Click the ellipsis button and point to your setup file (setup.exe, or in this case, silverlight.exe).
IMPORTANT: If the application has more files than just a single setup file, be sure to check the “Include Entire Directory” check box. Otherwise your install will go down in flames.
Step 4 – Make your installation SILENT
PDQ Deploy requires that installations be run silently. MSI’s install silently by default, but EXE’s usually require a special switch or argument to install silently. This is sometimes as simple as using a /s or a /q or /quiet but it can vary by application. There is no standard way to run an EXE silently. So you may need to do some homework.
Here are some tips on finding the correct silent switch.
Tip 1 – Ask the application
Open a command window (cmd.exe) and cd to your setup directory. Try running the install file (setup.exe, etc.) with a /? option. This will sometimes (not always) open a window that shows different options for installing silently (as well as other options).
In this example (Silverlight) the following screen pops up showing the different install options. You’ll see /q for installing silently and a /qu for a silent uninstall.
Other applications might list ways to auto accept license agreements, or install to different directories, etc. These extra parameters are enabled by the software vendor, so it’s really up to them on what they’ll offer.
Tip 2 – Ask the application vendor
Most software companies have been asked by their users if their application will support silent (or unattended) installs. Simply Google the application name with “silent install” and you’ll probably find a trove of admins who have asked the same question. Hopefully the answer exists out there.
Google search tip - the following search will only show pages that are hosted by Adobe. "Adobe Reader silent install site:adobe.com"
NOTE: As painful as this is to tell you, some applications do not support silent or unattended installations. If this is the case, then these applications cannot be installed using PDQ Deploy.
Step 5 – Tell PDQ the silent switch
Once you determine the silent switch (remember, MSI’s will install silently by default) you need to enter that switch into the “Parameters” field. In this example the switch to install Silverlight silently would be /q
Close the window and your installer has been created. Simply click Deploy Now to choose your targets and you can start the deployment right away.