Have you used Chocolatey?
If you've not come across Chocolatey then it's certainly worth a look. Those of you who have used Linux will be familiar with yum and/or apt-get, well, this is the Windows version of that software.
As a Windows admin for some years, I've used tools such as Nlite and to create custom builds and automated installs. I've also used Windows GPO's to install software or to make software available in the Add/Remove programs list but nothing quite compares to the ease of which chocolatey allows software to be installed.
The way it all works will be very familiar to Linux admins. Chocolatey uses a repository where all the install files live and then a very simple command will allow for the necessary software to be installed as long as you have an internet connection to the repository.
It's also possible to setup an internal repository so that you can install both your own software and third party software from a trusted internal resource as there is always a risk that someone has uploaded a malicious installer to Chocolatey.
Details about the process for using Chocolatey are and I do encourage you to give it a go. If you use automated/unattended installations then using Chocolatey to install applications not only makes sure that you've got the latest versions but that you also have a relatively simple upgrade method.
Some have asked why I'm so interested in this sort of technology and it's simply because I've had a bit of a revelation of late. That revelation is around automation and devops.
I suspect that most IT folk have unattended scripts for installing Windows and I also suspect that many have a few scripts floating around that they reinvent when the can't find the original.
Devops is changing all of that, there are hundreds of tools that are there to simplify all of this and it's my firm believe that tools like Chocolatey are part of a huge cultural change coming to IT. Check it out, it's going to be the future.
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