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Novell Client silent / non-interactive / system installation

This document (7008140) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

Novell Client for Windows NT/2000/XP
Novell Client for Windows Vista
Novell Client 2 for Windows Vista/2008
Novell Client 2 SP1 for Windows Vista
Novell Client 2 SP1 for Windows Server 2008
Novell Client 2 SP1 for Windows 7
Novell Client 2 SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2

Situation

In order to install the Novell Client silently, and without any user interaction, can the Novell Client installation program be run in "system space," or as a service?
What controls are available to install the Novell Client silently or quietly?
What privileges are required to install the Novell Client?

Resolution

Starting with Client for Open Enterprise Server 2 SP4 (IR4) and later, the client installation set is now signed by Microsoft for running on Windows 10.  As such, when running on Windows 10 and later platforms, there will not be a prompt for "Would you like to install this device software?", even without pre-installing any certificates as Trusted Publisher.  Note this change only affects Windows 10 and later platforms.  Pre-installing a Trusted Publisher certificate is still required for Windows 8.1 and earlier platforms

In all other cases, it is not possible for the Novell Client installation program to be run non-interactively with the Windows desktop.  (i.e. It cannot be run from a service.)  This is due to the Windows requiring that any driver being installed silently (non-interactively) must be a Microsoft WHQL-signed driver.
 
The Novell Client for Windows 8.1 and earlier platforms is signed by Novell, Inc., but is not Microsoft WHQL signed.  Attempting to install the Novell Client non-interactively will immediately fail once the installation program reaches the point of invoking the Windows .INF processor to install the Novell Client drivers.

This means that the Novell Client installation program must be run interactively from the user's desktop, and Administrator rights will be prompted for and required if the user doesn't already have them.  The extent to which the Novell Client installation can be made "silent" is only the extent to which the Novell Client installation program itself provides options to skip the language selection screen, skip the EULA screen, automatically reboot or not reboot afterwards, etc. To change the behavior of the install components (setup.exe, acu.exe, and cuagent.exe), open the install.ini file, located in the root directory of the Client build, make the desired changes, and save it. When the install components run, they read the file and change the appropriate behavior.

To prevent the "Would you like to install this device software?" prompt during the installation of the Client, install the Novell, Inc. certificate prior to installing the Novell Client. See Section 2.6.1 and Section 2.6.4 of  the Novell Client 2 for Windows Administration Guide. Rather than using the CERTMGR.MSC wizard interactively as described in section 2.6.4, CERTMGR.EXE can be used to import the certificate, as follows:

  1. On a machine where the Novell Client is already installed, use CERTMGR.MSC or CERTMGR.EXE to export the Novell Client certificate (located in Certificates - Current User > Trusted Publishers > Certificates) to a file such as nwclient.cer.
  2. Copy the certificate to the location of the Novell Client installation set.
  3. From an elevated Command Prompt on the machine where the Novell Client has not yet been installed, execute the command:
    certmgr.exe -add -c nwclient.cer -s -r localMachine trustedpublisher
    This will add the certificate to the list of Trusted Publishers.
    Note: CERTMGR.EXE is required, as CERTMGR.MSC does not offer an command line import option. CERTMGR.EXE is available from Microsoft.
  4. Configure the install.ini and NovellClientProperties.txt (using NCIMan.exe) as desired.
  5. Install the Novell Client either from the command line or using the graphical interface.

NOTE: If the certificate still is not recognized as being installed after following these steps, see TID 7017719 for a possible solution.

Additional Information

Microsoft began failing non-interactive driver install after XP was released.  ZENworks customers who had been installing the Novell Client 4.9x successfully "as system" prior to the change started failing at that time.

Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for NetIQ/Novell/SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7008140
  • Creation Date:15-MAR-11
  • Modified Date:01-FEB-18
    • NovellClient for Open Enterprise Server (Client)

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