The "full" String:

The "full" directory is used to set up a machine with the full list of applications and service packs, etc. The first two stages of the full "string-of-pearls" is to install NT Service Pack and then Internet Explorer 5.0. During the third stage, ActiveState Perl is installed on the machine using an answer file, and then the main applications are installed using the installation script found on samson in /samba/progs1/Installs/scripts/. The fourth step is the installation of Service Pack 6 after all the applications (as per instructions from Microsoft). Then in the fifth step some cleanup is performed.

The real key in the third step is the script. This Perl script installs applications images that were previously created using the sysdiff utility. These images are stored on samson in the /samba/progs1/Installs/installzips/ directory. The images contained in that directory are zipped up versions of images contained in /samba/progs1/Installs/installs/.

The script has the ability to install individual applications or, if passed the all parameter, it will install every application from the installzips directory. For more information about creating NT applications images and the utility please consult the JACAL Application HOWTO.

Also during the third step, certain Microsoft applications are installed that don't easily become "sysdiff" images. These applications are installed using a tool from Microsoft called the "Windows Installer". This tools allows Microsoft applications to be "customized" using a "transform" file and installed automatically. However, it is wise to avoid this if possible because it essentially turns the application that is installed into a virtual service pack on the system. Service Packs and IE 5.0 are installed in a very similar manner in previous steps.