Creating a Preconfigured Remote Access Service for Silent Installation

Please Note Version 5 and above of SimpleHelp now supports Mass Deployment which will in many cases be a more appropriate route for mass installation of Remote Access Services and preconfigured installers. Read more about Mass Deployment.

The Remote Access must always be downloaded from your SimpleHelp server. The server embeds configuration details into the service when it is downloaded so that it can connect back when registering. Once downloaded the remote access application can then be run with a /S switch to have it install silently, for example:

Remote Access-win32-online.exe /S "/NAME=My Computer" /HOST=

By default, a silent installation will not configure the remote access service. You can pass in configuration parameters along with the silent installation tag to have the service configured as you like. In order to install silently the /NAME and /HOST parameters must be present along with the /S parameter.

There are currently two ways to batch deploy a remote access service. The first option is to download the remote access service executable and pass in command line options to configure the service during a silent installation. The second option is to download a preconfigured executable that can just be run without any command line parameters.

Silent or batch deploying via command line parameters

The following parameters can be passed into the Remote Access Service installer:

  • NAME - the name that this remote access service should use. This name will be shown to technicians in the Access tab when the machine registers. If the value AUTODETECT is used then the service will create a suitable name based on the hostname and architecture of the remote machine. The name is set the first time the service is run, and will not subsequently be updated should the hostname or architecture change. You can place a machine in a group by specifying the group in the machine name, for example:
Group One/Group Two/Machine
  • HOST - the SimpleHelp Server hostname that the Remote Access service should use to connect. Remember to prefix the hostname with either udp:// or http://. SimpleHelp recommends using only a single address per SimpleHelp server.
  • PASSWORD - the password for this Remote Access Service
  • PROXYHOST - the proxy hostname to be used for HTTP connections
  • PROXYPORT - the proxy port to be used for HTTP connections
  • PROXYUSERNAME - a proxy username if the proxy requires authentication
  • PROXYPASSWORD - the corresponding proxy user’s password
  • CONFIRM - set the value to yes to require new sessions to be accepted by the end user
  • CONFIRM_TIMEOUT - set the timeout duration in milliseconds. A value of 0 is no timeout.
  • NOSHORTCUTS - prevent the remote access client from setting up menu shortcuts

Parameters should be passed to the installer when running the application to install it as follows:

Remote Access-win32-online.exe /S "/NAME=Example Name" /HOST=udp://host  ...further parameters...

Downloading a preconfigured Remote Access Service app

v4.2 and later only

You can pass in a variety of configuration options as parameters in the download URL in order to preconfigure a remote access service. Parameters passed in on the download URL should be of the form:

http://your server/access?name=value&name=value&name=value ...

where the parameter names and values are:

  • name - the machine name to use. If omitted the service with autodetect the remote machine name.
  • group - the group to place the machine in. A hierarchy of groups is delimited with a forward slash character (/), such as "USA/Texas/Dallas".
  • password - the machine password to set.
  • servers - a comma-separated list of server URLs to use. If omitted the service will automatically register with the server from where it was downloaded.
  • monitor - choose whether to allow monitoring. Values of 'yes' will enable monitoring, and 'no' will disable it.
  • script - choose whether to allow scripting. Values of 'yes' will enable scripting, and 'no' will disable it.
  • confirm - choose whether incoming sessions must request approval. Values of 'yes' will force approval, and 'no' will not require approval.
  • proxy - the proxy settings to use, in the form username:password@server:port. If no credentials are required then server:port can be used.
  • silent - choose whether the remote access service should install silently. Set to 'yes' to enable silent installation.
  • shortcuts - choose whether the remote access service should install shortcuts. Set to 'no' to prevent shortcuts being created.

Microsoft Windows GPO installation

Although our installer does not currently include an MSI for mass deployment via group policy on Microsoft Windows systems however using the above information it is possible to share the Remote Access Service installer on a shared volume (network drive or similar) and then schedule a batch file to run via GPO or any other mechanism which will silently launch the Remote Access Service installer and then configure it. This allows you to orchestrate Remote Access Service installations on large Microsoft Windows deployments. Similar steps can be used to orchestrate installation on other platforms.

Macros in the Remote Access Service name

You can use the following macros as part of the machine name. These macros will be picked up and the machine info will be substituted in when the service starts:

  • ${OSName} - the operating system name
  • ${OSArchitecture} - the operating system architecture
  • ${ProcessorCount} - the number of processors / cores available
  • ${Hostname} - the hostname of the machine
  • ${IP} - the IP address of the machine