Visual Studio Administrator Guide
Updated: August 25, 2016
You can deploy Visual Studio on a network as long as each target computer meets the minimum installation requirements. You can create a network share by running the installation file with the /layout switch (as described in the Creating an Offline Installation of Visual Studio topic) and then copying it from the local machine to the network share. If you are using an ISO, you can mount the ISO and share it or copy the ISO to a network share.
Note that installations from a network share “remember” the source location they came from. This means that a repair of a client machine might need to return to the network share that the client originally installed from. Choose your network location carefully so that it aligns to the lifetime you expect to have Visual Studio 2015 clients running in your organization.
You can use detection subkeys in the registry to determine whether a Visual Studio product is already installed on a computer. You would use these detection keys in an automated deployment to determine whether it was necessary to proceed with an installation. See Detecting System Requirements.
You can reduce reboots by making sure that you meet the appropriate Visual Studio prerequisites before you deploy Visual Studio. For the .NET Framework, you might need to reboot computers that are running Windows 8 if you deploy Visual Studio 2015 on them without first installing the .NET Framework 4.6.
For Windows and Android device emulation, you might need to reboot computers if you do not already have Windows feature Hyper-V turned on. For Web development, you may need to reboot computers if you do not already have the Windows feature Web Server turned on. For Office development, you may need to reboot computers if you do not already have Windows feature Windows Identify Foundation turned on. reboot computers if you do not already have the Windows feature Web Server turned on. For Office development, you may need to reboot computers if you do not already have Windows feature Windows Identify Foundation turned on. To learn more about how to automate the detection and installation of Windows features, see Installing a server role on a server running a Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008 R2.
The following table lists important error codes. You can use these error codes in your automation to decide if a reboot is required and if the install succeeded. If you receive an error code, consider the troubleshooting steps in the Installing Visual Studio topic.
Restart not required
If the only block to be reported is “Reboot Pending,” the returned value is the Incomplete-Reboot Required value (0x80048bc7).
When the Reboot value is returned, the Return Code is 1602.
Restart is required before installation can continue.
When the Reboot value is returned, the Return Code is 1603.
If you are creating an interactive installer on top of the Visual Studio install, you can view progress from the Visual Studio installer. The Visual Studio 2015 installer is built on the open source Windows Installer XML (WiX) chainer technology, also known as “burn.” The burn technology supports two communication protocols: burn and netfx4. For a brief reference, please see the description of the Protocol attribute in the documentation for the ExePackage element at wixtoolset.org. A review of the WiX open source implementation of this Protocol attribute may be required for integration.
If you want to control what your end user can install, there are two options: the administrator file install and the command-line options. Select the administrator file install if your goal is to restrict what your end user can choose from their Visual Studio installer experience. Select the command-line parameters if you want to create an initial configuration but allow your end user to choose their own Visual Studio installer experience.
For more information on the administrator file experience, see How to: Create and Run an Unattended Installation of Visual Studio and How to: Automatically apply product keys when deploying Visual Studio. For more information on the command-line controls, see the command-line section of the Installing Visual Studio topic.
By default, the Visual Studio installation enables customer feedback. You can configure Visual Studio to disable customer feedback on individual computers by changing the value of the following registry key to string "0":
(For example, change it to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\VisualStudio\SQM OptIn="0")
Describes how to install specific configurations of the current version of Visual Studio.
Describes how to install Visual Studio in unattended mode.
Describes how to apply product keys when deploying to multiple machines.
Provides information about how to manage local Help installations for network environments that either have or do not have internet access.
Provides instructions and links to topics that describe how to install Visual Studio.