Autodesk Application Manager Annoyance

If you’re like me, you get annoyed with extra software getting installed on your user’s PCs without your control. I like streamlining deployments as much as possible, I do all I can to keep users from installing software on their own, etc.

With the 2015 branded software, Autodesk introduced the Autodesk Application Manager. In theory, a cute little piece of software that can let you know when your Autodesk programs are out of date. In my environment it’s another memory suck, another pop-up, and another phone call from a user. My users simply cannot install the updates on their own even if they knew about them. They don’t have admin rights.

Luckily, according to the FAQ, if I don’t want it for a network deployment I can just uncheck the box! Perfection!

(Cue ominous music)

My AutoCrap deployment and my Revit deployment did this wonderfully. Uncheck the box, no Application Manager. And then I got to 3D Max Design…

If Autodesk had pants, they would be on fire right now
If Autodesk had pants, they would be on fire right now

Of course we had a problem. The deployment wizard said I couldn’t have Max if I didn’t install the App Manager.

Well, I wanted Max. There are some notes in the FAQ about editing the setup.ini file for a non-deployment installation, but I worried since I wasn’t doing a stand-alone install, this wouldn’t work.

The workaround I opted for was to tweak the Application Manager settings before the deployment. Like a lot of the software, you can first install it, set it up the way you like, and then save the settings to apply to your deployment. So that’s what I did.

I got Application Manager installed on my machine and tweaked the settings to tell it to not start on Windows start-up, to only check for updates once a week, and to not show any pop-up when it finds updates. Not ideal, but it should at least stay hidden mostly from my users. Mostly.

Once that is done, you export your settings as a tiny .ini file. I put mine in the same location of the deployment, just in case.

app-mgr-xport

When you created you deployment, under the options for Application Manager, you can then import this .ini file to suck up those settings.

VERY IMPORTANT!!!! When you export your settings to an .ini file, there is a setting for “Files Location”. The default is the current users Windows Documents folder. The installer will NOT re-interpret this as a variable username and will deploy with the precise path that’s in there, so BEFORE you export your settings, change this to some universal non-user specific file location.

Change this path before exporting your settings
Change this path before exporting your settings

 

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