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Old 18 July 2020, 17:40   #1
tygre
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How to Install Programs on Many Amigas?

Hi all!

I have the chance to have several Amigas at home (A600/Vampire, A1200/060, A4000/030, and Replay 1)... I bet that I'm not the only one! (They are all connected to my network and access shares on a RPI.)

I use my Amigas differently but generally install the same programs on them, like AmigaAMP or IBrowse... (Today, someone would talk about "deployment" .) So, I have to go on each Amigas and repeat the same installation multiple times...

How do you do? Do you have some neat trick or programs to help you install programs on multiple Amigas "at once"?

Cheers!
Tygre

PS. I posting this in the "News" section because I didn't know where else to post. Moderators, please feel free to move to a better place!
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Old 18 July 2020, 18:44   #2
BippyM
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How is this news???

Please consider and post in the correct sections of the forum!!
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Old 19 July 2020, 01:26   #3
Matt_H
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There’s no “official” mass deployment methodology, but the easiest thing to do is to get your Amigas networked (and I'll always plug Envoy for that purpose), install on one machine, and then copy the install directory to the other machines. This gets complicated if the installer puts files in multiple places (e.g., Libs: and Work: ) or makes changes to User-Startup, however.

Or just install manually on each machine. As long as you’re not using real floppy disks (instead, use diskimage.device with ADFs) it’s pretty quick.
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Old 20 July 2020, 06:51   #4
tygre
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Hi Matt_H!

Good point: deploy once and then copy the drawer... It should work for must programs thanks to PROGDIR:... Although I don't know if programs must explicitly look for libs and other stuff in PROGDIR: or if the search is "automatic", would you know?

But as you wrote: some programs may be less friendly and, anyway, require assigns in User-Startup, etc.

We really have no better solutions that to install by hands?

Cheers!

Last edited by tygre; 20 July 2020 at 07:01.
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Old 20 July 2020, 23:13   #5
Matt_H
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Some programs are smart enough to look for .library files and similar in PROGDIR:, others aren't.

Since I try to keep my system assigns from getting cluttered, what I'll often do for programs that dump files all over the SYS: partition is create PROGDIR:Libs, PROGDIR:Fonts, etc., move the installed files to those directories, and then set up a little prep script in PROGDIR: with default tool IconX, e.g.:
Code:
;move the stuff from user-startup here
Assign programassign: Work:programdir

;use multiassigns to keep SYS:Libs and SYS:Fonts clean
Assign Libs: programassign:Libs ADD
Assign Fonts: programassign:Fonts ADD
I then have to remember to run the script prior to starting the program, but at least it keeps most of the program files self contained. Some older programs insist on dumping config files in S:, which is annoying because those files are read/write as opposed to read-only. It's much harder to keep them contained with multiassigns.

Once all that's been done I suppose it would be easy to copy/deploy the program directory across the network, but the process overall is a far cry from the one-click deployments that Windows/OSX/Linux admins can use.

Quote:
We really have no better solutions that to install by hands?
I don't think so. The idea that an Amiga could be remotely administered was just coming into existence when Commodore went under so the corresponding admin tools never developed for us in the way they did for the other platforms.
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Old 21 July 2020, 11:03   #6
meynaf
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I do these assign scripts too, for every program that has assigns.
You can assign to the dir containing the script without specifying its path and therefore you can move whole dir around without having to alter the script.
Code:
assign programassign: ""
assign libs: libs add
assign fonts: fonts add
Once the install by hand has been made on the first machine, installing same program elsewhere is just file copy (in my case, archive extraction).
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Old 26 July 2020, 05:24   #7
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Hi Matt_H and Meynaf!

Thanks for your great suggestion! I'm thinking that these scripts could actually be "systematic" , like:

Code:
Assign <>NIL: <ProgramName>: ""

Assign <>NIL: C: <ProgramName>:C ADD
Assign <>NIL: DEVS: <ProgramName>:Devs ADD
Assign <>NIL: FONTS: <ProgramName>:Fonts ADD
Assign <>NIL: L: <ProgramName>:L ADD
Assign <>NIL: LIBS: <ProgramName>:Libs ADD
Assign <>NIL: LOCALE: <ProgramName>:Locale ADD

Path <ProgramName>:C ADD
What do you think?

I guess that some programs don't play nice and will still look for specific stuff in "hardcoded" drawers, like SYS:Libs, do you have experience with such programs?

Cheers!
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Old 26 July 2020, 08:25   #8
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@ meynaf

Funny, I used to use "" in my scripts all the time and then I forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder!

@ tygre

Yeah, I think you've got the essence of it, although you may not want to add multiassigns for directories that the program doesn't use (i.e., no need add a Fonts: assign if the program doesn't install any fonts).

Basically, once you get it installed once it's easy to disseminate an installed program across the network. It's just that making that installation portable sometimes requires a bit of work first.
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Old 27 July 2020, 01:48   #9
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Hi Matt_H!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_H View Post
Yeah, I think you've got the essence of it, although you may not want to add multiassigns for directories that the program doesn't use (i.e., no need add a Fonts: assign if the program doesn't install any fonts).
Yes, maybe I should add the PATH option but the idea would be to have this script ready for any program...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_H View Post
Basically, once you get it installed once it's easy to disseminate an installed program across the network. It's just that making that installation portable sometimes requires a bit of work first.
That sounds like WHDLoad but for installed programs

Cheers!
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Old 27 July 2020, 17:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tygre View Post
Yes, maybe I should add the PATH option but the idea would be to have this script ready for any program...
You actually don’t need a separate Path command if you’re adding a multiassign to an existing path. I just learned this last week when I installed Roadshow to a drawer instead of SYS:. Once I did “assign C: dh1:Roadshow/C ADD” I could run the Roadshow commands from any other shell directory.

If you wanted to get really fancy you could write another script that generates these prep scripts based on the arguments you pass it, i.e., “genprep ProgramName c libs” to echo out the assignments for just those directories.


Quote:
That sounds like WHDLoad but for installed programs
Requires a little more work to set up, but yes, it’s similar.
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Old 27 July 2020, 22:18   #11
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What about this:
- you create an empty partition
- you create all folders that are present on a clean wb 3.1 install
- leave the folders empty, only create the folders
- install all programs onto this ‚empty‘ partition

When deploying your software, you might simply copy everything over from the partition that holds all the installed programs.

Only difference: Startup-sequence. You may have to amend stuff. Maybe also other config-files?
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Old 27 July 2020, 23:31   #12
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Hi Matt_H and McTrinsic!

Ah, good to know about the Path command, thanks! Never stop learning new things

Quote:
Originally Posted by McTrinsic View Post
What about this:
- you create an empty partition
- you create all folders that are present on a clean wb 3.1 install
- leave the folders empty, only create the folders
- install all programs onto this ‚empty‘ partition

When deploying your software, you might simply copy everything over from the partition that holds all the installed programs.

Only difference: Startup-sequence. You may have to amend stuff. Maybe also other config-files?
Yes, that's a good idea but I would prefer the solution with a script and assigns because everything, for one program, is in one drawer, much cleaner

(Although, no solution solves indeed the problem of having to modify the Startup-Sequence if needed.)

Take care!
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