Differences Between Manual & Automated Packages Installation

Updated Feb 3, 2021

Reported In


  • Package Manager
  • NI Package Builder

Issue Details

Deploying software from ni.com can be realized in the manual and automated way. Depending on the approach, different steps are executed during software deployment. 


Manual Package Installation using NI Package Manager:

The following steps are executed during a manual installation process:
  • Startup of the NI Package Manager with the local user account (User action)
  • Selection of packages to be installed (User action)
  • Packages are downloaded individually downloaded from ni.com and cached on the pc
  • After each download, the corresponding package is installed on the client.
All of the above processes are run in the context of the local user account. In case of an existing proxy, only the local user account needs to be configured.


Automated Software deployment using SystemLink:

Using SystemLink to deploy software invokes several steps on the server and the client:
  1. When checking for available packages for a connected client, SystemLink Server is checking for updates for every registered feed on the target. This process is run using the "network service" user in the background. 
  2. After configuration, the installation job is sent to the client PC and the nipkg.exe is called (running under the "system" user) using the parameters in the job descriptions.
  3. In a first step, this process is also checking for updates on all registered feeds and then downloads all the packages required for the installation. 
  4. After the download of each package, the nipkg.exe is invoked (again running as "system" user) to perform the installation.
  5. After all packages have been installed, the client responds to the server.

In addition to the above process, ni.com feeds can be registered and used in the repository service. This process is running under the "system" user on the server. 

In contrast to the manual installation, the automated software deployment requires the proxy configuration for several users on server and client:

  • Server:
    • system
    • network service
  • Client:
    • system
    • local user account (for manual installation)