FAQ
I was wondering what experiences (or how to get started) with configuring
features and roles (some of which may require reboot) on Windows 2008R2
(and other versions) that others might have had.

Manually, I have experimented with DISM and ServerManagerCmd.exe on
Win2k8r2. I found DISM to be quite dismal as it doesn't do any dependency
resolution, so it can install partial orphaned components, and it's
multi-line record format is hard to parse. I found out that
ServerManagerCmd supports the full dependencies, such that if you install a
component in the hierarchy, it will install all the prereqs. Also, if
there are any cross dependencies, it will resolve those as well, and
install everything that you would install from the GUI. And when you print
out what is installed, it presents it in a checklist tree format that
matches the GUI and behavior of Windows.

A good scenario is to install ASP.NET, which will require IIS7, and have
some requirements of features in other areas.

What I would like to have ideally is to have this behavior supported
somehow, which would be ala RPM-like on Windows. Any thoughts or
experiences?

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  • Justin Stoller at Apr 8, 2013 at 4:19 am

    On Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 4:16 PM, Joaquin Menchaca wrote:

    I was wondering what experiences (or how to get started) with configuring
    features and roles (some of which may require reboot) on Windows 2008R2
    (and other versions) that others might have had.

    Manually, I have experimented with DISM and ServerManagerCmd.exe on
    Win2k8r2. I found DISM to be quite dismal as it doesn't do any dependency
    resolution, so it can install partial orphaned components, and it's
    multi-line record format is hard to parse. I found out that
    ServerManagerCmd supports the full dependencies, such that if you install a
    component in the hierarchy, it will install all the prereqs. Also, if
    there are any cross dependencies, it will resolve those as well, and
    install everything that you would install from the GUI. And when you print
    out what is installed, it presents it in a checklist tree format that
    matches the GUI and behavior of Windows.

    A good scenario is to install ASP.NET, which will require IIS7, and have
    some requirements of features in other areas.

    What I would like to have ideally is to have this behavior supported
    somehow, which would be ala RPM-like on Windows. Any thoughts or
    experiences?
    I don't have a ton of experience in this realm but you may want to checkout
    the DISM type that Nan wrote[1], it looks like there's a few issues filed
    against it (like you said DISM can be a pain), but I know he was using it
    to set up vSphere[2] (which might be a good example if you want to look at
    puppetizing a full windows server stack).

    As far as an RPM-like service for windows I don't know of one. Though
    Chocolatey, more like homebrew on OSX, and it's provider[3] is what I use
    whenever I can. They seem to have a recipe for installing ASP.NET[4] (but I
    haven't tried it). Josh is also working on a reboot type which you may want
    to give a try[5].

    Sorry I don't have more best practices to offer, though hopefully those
    tools can help you out.


    - Justin

    1. http://forge.puppetlabs.com/puppetlabs/dism
    2. https://forge.puppetlabs.com/puppetlabs/vcenter
    3. https://github.com/rismoney/puppet-chocolatey
    4. http://chocolatey.org/packages?q=asp
    5. https://github.com/joshcooper/puppetlabs-reboot/
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