Distribute Action

Hello,

I'm trying to understand how the Distribute Action works for a windows bundle.   The docs say only:

"The Distribute Files Action distributes the content of the bundle from the ZENworks Server to the managed device or user. There are no configuration tasks that you need to perform for this action."

So in my test bundle I setup an install action to copy files to c: drive (if there is enough space).  

Then I assigned to a test device and set to distribute: NOW

but I look at the test device and the file is not in the location specified in the Install: Copy files action.  I have waited 5+ hours and nothing has changed.   Can someone explain how to distribute files?   My assumption is that the copy action is an INSTALL event and INSTALL isn't set to run, but hence the confusion about DISTRIBUTE and lack of documentation.  

Thanks

  • The "Distribute" action only pulls the content down the the local cache.  In your bundle the "Install Action" does the "Copy" which will pull the files from cache to the final destination.  So you would have wanted to check the boxes "Install Immediately After Distribution" and perhaps even "launch Immediately".

    However, it would have been easier just to set an "Install Schedule", which would have distributed if needed.

    Wanting to copy the files down to Cache but "NOT INSTALL or COPY" to their final destination a less common but possible scenario.

    Let's Imagine you plan on upgrading "AutoDesk" on all PCs on January 2nd.  This is a 15GB install and we want the upgrade to happen almost instantly on January 2nd for everyone but not a moment before.  So instead of having EVERYONE pull 15GB of content at the same time.....We can "DISTRIBUTE" the 15GB of content leisurely over the next couple of weeks.  Then on Jan 2nd, we call the install using the cached files without needing to saturate the WAN/LAN.

    However, in the vast majority of cases, the amount of content is not huge and the upgrade does not need to be immediate for everyone.....so just calling install is sufficient which will call the distribute action if it has not run.  (Note: If you call "Launch....It will also first call distribute if needed followed by install before it launches. 

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  • So I should be able to find my file in the local cache?   its a 2.5gb file so it should be obvious.   Your scenario is very close to what i'm trying to accomplish.  I want to distribute a large install file so that when it runs there is no delay/wait for copy.

  • Yes it should.....

    Note....For Content in the GBs of size.....I recommend "NOT Encryption or Compression".

    The Algorithm used by ZENworks gets VERY inefficient as the size of Files or Folders grow.

    I could imagine the 2.5GB downloading in 3 minutes and taking another 15 minutes to decrypt if encrypted.  The screen would show "Copying" the whole time so you would think it was crossing the wire the whole time...

    For content not that large...it is not nearly so inefficient.

    There is a similar checkbox for "Install Directory" that may be worded a little differently.

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  • I don't remember seeing compress/encrypt on Friday when i set it up so I checked again and my copy action has a source (Fileserver) and destination location set.   

    Is the cache under C:\Program Files (x86)\Novell\ZENworks\cache?     I can't access that directory.

  • You are correct....

    "Copy"  does not...which is a Windows Copy...

    "Install File" or "Install Directory" have this option since they pull the files from the content-repo

    However, "Copy" does not involve "Content" so the distribution action would not do anything.  "Content" are the items stored in the "Content Repository" and delivered over HTTP to the agent.

    So your bundle does not use either "Cache" or "Content" and the "Distribution Action" wouldn't do anything.

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  • Note: You can also INSTALL directly from a share.  It would likely be faster than a copy and install and no less bandwidth efficient.

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  • Craig,

    I switched to a INSTALL FILE action and watched my test device and the status changed to Downloaded so I assume the distribute worked.   but the file was not showing in the specified location for the Install Action.  Then I updated my bundle and set the schedule  "install after immediately after distribute" to see if it will put the file in the correct location.  i updated the bundle version and the device has been synced but the status is still "downloaded" and I have waited since yesterday afternoon.