Multiple Windows

Mine is a small company, but I manage a few dozen Windows machines. Even as the version numbers have ticked up, there’s still quite a lot of repetitive work involved.

Choco-what?

The first step is to get a command-line package manager installed. Chocolatey has the best traction currently, so we run this script in Powershell to install it:

Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))

Powershell needs to be run as an administrator, so Click Start -> type Powershell -> right-click Powershell result -> Click Run as administrator.

As when running anything from the Internet, you should inspect the referenced script to make sure you’re happy with its activities. The pseudo-code below sums them up:

# Get latest version of the Chocolatey package for download
# Download the Chocolatey package
# Determine unzipping method (download 7zip if required)
# Unzip the package
# Call chocolatey install
# Ensure chocolatey commands are on the path
# Ensure chocolatey.nupkg is in the lib folder

Puppet agent

Next we need to install an agent to configure our local Windows desktop. Thankfully the install process is trivial now we’ve got choco:

choco install puppet

By default this installs an old version of Puppet (3.8.7). That’s convenient if you’re talking to an old Puppet master (< 4), but if you’ve migrated to a more modern Puppet master, you’re better off with an up-to-date agent too (6.7.2):

choco install puppet-agent

Conf

Finally we need to edit the puppet.conf file (C:\ProgramData\PuppetLabs\puppet\etc) to point to our Puppet master and restart the service.

Perpetually running agent

By default Puppet agent will run every 30 minutes. You can disable the Puppet agent service using the Windows Services component (Click Start -> type services.msc -> select Services).

Manual

Puppet agent can be run manually, with debugging output from an elevated Powershell command line:

puppet agent -dvt

Help available

If you’d like help setting up your Windows estate with infrastructure-as-code, please get in touch to find out how Lightenna consulting could accelerate your Cloud journey.

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