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How do you use System Configurations to join the domain

Created: 24 Apr 2013 | 6 comments

Can anyone here explain or recommend a way to use "system configuration" tasks for scripted OS installs with multiple domains. In the 6.9 you had an initial deployment type of menu to pick a system configuration. I don't see this behavior in 7.1.

Basically, I have a Win2008 SP1 R2 scripted OS install job. Once the OS has been laid down I would like to use a System configuration task to join it to a domain. I have three domains, therefore three system configurations to choose from. Is there a menu based way to allow me to choose a domain? Is there a way to write a condition (part of the domain name will be in %NAME%)? I would perfer to maintain one client install job instead of cloning that job and having three versions depending on the domain to join.

Does anyone have a way to do this or do you all use multiple client jobs for multiple domains?

Operating Systems:

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Thomas Baird's picture

You'd have to write your own intelligence into it.  This "feature" is not in the product.

How do you select the domain when the image is laid down?  You could do a conditional job that maybe asked you in one step what domain you're joining and then branching or something.  But there's no menu unless you write your own.

On what would you base the condition?  Location?  IP Address?  Name? (e.g. any name like XY = domain Y and any name like AB = domain A)  Or is it user based where someone sitting at the system has a selection pop-up on the screen?

Thomas Baird
Enthusiast for making things better!

mwysocki's picture

You can setup Initial Deployment jobs in 7.1 as long and the system has not check in with Altiris and you boot up to either PXE or use an Automation boot media like a flash drive. I use the automation boot as we can't use PXE. 

First you will need to build the jobs you want to use for the initial deployments as follows.

1) Run the scripted OS install. (You can use either a single task or an entire job but don't do more thant just install the OS)

2) Reboot to Production

3) This is where you would do the domain join. (See my note below on how I made joining a domain work.)

4) Another reboot

Note for domain joining - I tried to make this work by applying a system configuration in the console but it would fail pretty much all the time. I even tried with Syamtnec support with no luck. I ended up getting this to work using a VBscript that joins the system to the domian and places it in the correct OU. The drawback here is the system retains the default name assinged by altiris but that is not a huge issue.

I attached a copy of the script. You just make a run script job to use it.

Now that you have your job(s) In the console got to Settings --> Deployment --> Initial Deployment

Here you can setup all the jobs you want based on the domains you need to join.

Once that is setup if a system that is not recorded in the CMDB checks in the menu will launch and you can choose the job you want.

Generic_Join New System.txt 1.12 KB
BugTastic's picture

I still cant get my head around this deployment solution doesnt give the option to select the OU that you would like to put the machine in. Its like a lot of 'features' where you are told to write your own script for it. Is there a reason why this wasn't incuded?

Thomas Baird's picture

Is there a reason this, or that, feature was not included in the 7.1 version.  Yes, and the discussion is a long one from a while back.  The short version is that the 7.1 release is, in many ways, a new creation / re-write for a new platform, and it simply takes time to get features from a 10 yr old product into a 2nd or 3rd release.  There are many new things in 7.1 that are not in 6.9, and many more coming in 7.5.  That said, obviously, those that are missing will be... missed.  :P  We know that.  We're trying to get as many as we can.  Take a peek at the beta if you get a chance.  There's some rumor another is forth-coming, but I can't confirm that unfortunately (translation: I don't really know).

Thomas Baird
Enthusiast for making things better!

Brandon's picture

Maybe I just don't understand the point of even having a "system configuration" setting outside of using it as a stand-alone task.

What I would like is to define a token say: %DOMNAME% (select LEFT([Name],3) from [dbo].[vTaskTargetDevices] where [Guid] = '%COMPUTERID%' )

Then I would like to be able to use that token to do a conditional task within my single imaging job.

then use System Configuration A

then use System Configuration B

This would only work because I use the Domain in the %NAME%

The alternative woud be to make a menu and run that task in the job. Use its return value to deploy a System Configuration. It could be something generic like:

Dim strMsg,inp01,strTitle,returnValue
strTitle = "Select your Domain"
strMsg = "ABC" & vbCR
strMsg = strMsg & "XYZ" & vbCR
strMsg = strMsg & "EFG" & vbCR
inp01 = InputBox(strMsg,"Choose a domain")
Select Case inp01
    Case "ABC"
returnValue = 100
    Case "XYZ"
returnValue = 101
    Case "EFG"
returnValue = 102
    Case Else
        returnValue = 0
End Select
Now I could tie the return codes to different system configs.
I just wish a menu ran for System Configuration right after the Initial Deployment one. If the menu isn't going to ever be provided by Altiris, then we need task conditionals to be more flexible.
Thomas Baird's picture

The apply system configuration is used for renaming a computer, either because it has been re-assigned, or a naming convention changed or... whatever.  Plus, it has a significantly greater set of features than just joining the domain, like a numbering sequence.

As for your domain joining scheme, the best way to do that would be in a task PRIOR to rebooting.  A script task can use this kind of token.  Then, you modify the sysprep file (unattend.xml) with the domain join information you have and/or want, and finally reboot.

Thomas Baird
Enthusiast for making things better!