Using ZENworks System Update Agent Settings to Implement User Initiated Updates

One of the things I’ve heard several times from customers lately is that they wish there was a way that they could allow end users to control when the agent side system update is deployed. This is typically in environments like hospitals, where an untimely update or reboot could have life threatening consequences. Well, it turns out that there is a way that you can pretty much implement the desired behavior with the current 11.4 product. To do this you have to do the following:

  1. Configure System Update Agent settings. In the Configuration tab on the zone, a folder or a given device you can configure settings that control how agent updates are applied. The screenshot below shows an example of this configuration:SystemUpdateSettings

  • In this case you need to configure at least the following to control the nags. For the scenario where you want the user to have to acknowledge and approve the update you probably want settings as below:Show Permission Prompt = OnPermission Prompt Max Postpone = Unlimited

    Permission Prompt Timeout = No Timeout

    Permission Prompt Nag Time = <desired time> (This controls how frequently the message asking the user whether the update can be installed now is displayed)

    Permission Prompt Max Wait Time = <desired time> (In the screen shot this is set to 1 year which means that if the user postpones this for a full year, then a failure is reported)

  • You will like also want to configure some of the other settings such as:
    Reboot Prompt Nag Dialog = OnReboot Prompt Max Postpone = <desired times>Reboot Prompt Timeout = No TimeoutReboot Prompt Nag time = <desired time>

  • Finally, if you want to provide different messages or titles for the various dialogs then you can change those by setting up Agent Message Overrides. The names are fairly descriptive so you should be able to easily determine which message is used for various conditions.

  • Now you can deploy the update to selected devices, stages or all devices.

  • When the ZeUS agent on the device refreshes it will display the permission prompt, similar to the dialog shown below:UserPrompt

  • At the point the user can client Now and the update will be applied, or they can hit Postpone and the update will be snoozed.

  • With ZENworks 11SP4, if the user snoozes the update, they have the option to right click the system tray icon for ZENworks Updater and select to resume the update as shown below:ResumeUpdate

  • Once the user initiates the update they are again prompted to grant permission to start the update, just in case they selected this option by accident. They can again choose Now or Postpone.

  • After the update is complete, then reboot behavior you configured is implemented.

That’s all there is to it! So if you’ve got an environment where you really need to be able to have user’s initiate updates just make sure you are on 11.4 and then follow these simple steps. Oh, and if you don’t have 11.4 almost everything still works the same way, but the option for the user to Resume Update isn’t available in the system tray.


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