Client installation methods in System Center Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

You can use different methods to install the Configuration Manager client software. Use one method, or a combination of methods. This article describes each method, so you can learn which one works best for your organization.

Client push installation

Supported client platform: Windows

Advantages

  • Can be used to install the client on a single computer, a collection of computers, or to the results from a query.

  • Can be used to automatically install the client on all discovered computers.

  • Automatically uses client installation properties defined on the Client tab in the Client Push Installation Properties dialog box.

Disadvantages

  • Can cause high network traffic when pushing to large collections.

  • Can only be used on computers that have been discovered by Configuration Manager.

  • Can't be used to install clients in a workgroup.

  • A client push installation account must be specified that has administrative rights to the intended client computer.

  • Windows Firewall must be configured with exceptions on client computers.

  • You can't cancel client push installation. Configuration Manager tries to install the client on all discovered resources. It retries any failures for up to seven days.

For more information, see How to install clients with client push.

Software update point-based installation

Supported client platform: Windows

Advantages

  • Can use your existing software updates infrastructure to manage the client software.

  • If Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and group policy settings in Active Directory Domain Services are configured correctly, it can automatically install the client software on new computers.

  • Doesn't require computers to be discovered before the client can be installed.

  • Computers can read client installation properties that have been published to Active Directory Domain Services.

  • If the client is removed, this method reinstalls it.

  • Doesn't require you to configure and maintain an installation account for the intended client computer.

Disadvantages

  • Requires a functioning software updates infrastructure as a prerequisite.

  • Must use the same server for client installation and software updates. This server must reside in a primary site.

  • To install new clients, you must configure a group policy object in Active Directory Domain Services with the client's active software update point and port.

  • If the Active Directory schema isn't extended for Configuration Manager, you must use group policy settings to provision computers with client installation properties.

For more information, see How to install clients with software update-based installation.

Group policy installation

Supported client platform: Windows

Advantages

  • Doesn't require computers to be discovered before the client can be installed.

  • Can be used for new client installations or for upgrades.

  • Computers can read client installation properties that have been published to Active Directory Domain Services.

  • Doesn't require you to configure and maintain an installation account for the intended client computer.

Disadvantages

  • If a large number of clients are being installed, it can cause high network traffic.

  • If the Active Directory schema isn't extended for Configuration Manager, you must use group policy settings to add client installation properties to computers in your site.

For more information, see How to install clients with group policy.

Logon script installation

Supported client platform: Windows

Advantages

  • Doesn't require computers to be discovered before the client can be installed.

  • Supports using command-line properties for CCMSetup.

Disadvantages

  • If a large number of clients are being installed over a short time period, it can cause high network traffic.

  • If users don't frequently log on to the network, it can take a long time to install on all client computers.

For more information, see How to install clients with logon scripts.

Manual installation

Supported client platform: Windows, UNIX/Linux, Mac OS X

Advantages

  • Doesn't require computers to be discovered before the client can be installed.

  • Can be useful for testing purposes.

  • Supports using command-line properties for CCMSetup.

Disadvantages

  • No automation, therefore time consuming.

For more information about how to manually install the client on each of platform, see the following articles:

Microsoft Intune MDM installation

Supported client platforms: Windows 10

Advantages

  • Doesn't require computers to be discovered before the client can be installed.

  • Doesn't require you to configure and maintain an installation account for the intended client computer.

  • Can use modern authentication with Azure Active Directory.

  • Can install and assign computers on the internet.

  • Can automate with Windows AutoPilot and Microsoft Intune for co-management.

Disadvantages

  • Requires additional technologies outside of Configuration Manager.

  • Requires the device have access to the internet, even if it is not internet-based.

For more information, see the following articles: