Howto: Installing the Zenworks for Desktops agent via a login script

It’s that time of year again, where we push out new applications as users return from their summer vacations. We deploy programs using Zenworks for Desktops 7.0.1, but a number of machines have the outdated agent or are brand new and don’t have the agent software installed.

My goal was to push out the updated ZfD agent via a Novell login script if it was not at the current version. I found this example at and adapted it for my environment. Here’s what my environment looks like:

The current version of the ZfD agent we are using is To find out what version you are using, view the following registry value on a machine with the current agent:


Next, throw the freeware chkzenag.exe utility into a publicly accessible directory on your network. I put mine in the same directory I have the zfdagent.msi file in, which is not the default of:


My path to the ZfDagent.msi and chkzenag.exe is:


Next, I created a very simple .bat file named chkver.bat which I saved in the F:\setup\novell\zfd701 directory. Here’s the contents of that file:

rem ******* begin chkver.bat ******

@f:\setup\novell\zfd701\chkzenag.exe f:\setup\novell\zfd701\instzfd7.bat

rem ******* end chkver.bat ******

The above .bat file is a single command, even though it wraps in the above example.

Chkver.bat will use the freeware chkzenag.exe program to see if the version of the ZfDAgent installed on the local machine equals the current version. If it does not, it calls my ZfdAgent setup program, a simple batch file named instzfd7.bat, which is also saved in f:\setup\novell\zfd701.

rem ******* begin instzfd7.bat ******


rem ******* end instzfd7.bat ******

The above .bat file is a single command, even though it wraps in the above example.

If you would like to know what all the settings after the msiexec /i f:\setup\novell\zfd701\ZfDAgent.msi /passive mean, see this.

Finally, I entered this command into the organization’s (O=) login script:


The login script will check the version of the zfdagent using chkver.bat, and if it is not equal to the current version of will run instzfd7.bat, which installs the ZfDagent using the windows installer (msiexec.exe). The machine will automatically reboot once the agent installer finishes.

Following the reboot, login to the network as you normally would, and you should see the newly installed ZfD agent software.

2 Responses to “Howto: Installing the Zenworks for Desktops agent via a login script”

  1. the back room tech Howto: upgrade the zenworks for desktops agent from version 6.5 to 7.0.1 « Says:

    […] just posted my method for installing/upgrading the ZfD agent via a Novell login […]

  2. the back room tech ZDM 7SP1 and the case of the missing nalagent.exe « Says:

    […] 7SP1 and the case of the missing nalagent.exe August 16th, 2007 — Julie We just pushed out updates to our Zenworks for Desktops agent, upgrading from version 7.1 hot patch 1 to version 7.1 hot patch 3, and all of a sudden some […]

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