In this article, I will show how to deploy the Chocolatey Agent Service which allows end users to use a GUI to choose what packages to install or uninstall.
Of all the cool technology I have come across the last few years in the Windows world, Chocolatey is still my favorite. Chocolatey is a tool that has helped me save so much time while maintaining Windows packages for many computers. When I first started using Chocolatey, one of the first features I hoped for was self-service for end users. This gives the ability for an end user to install their own software without the need for administrative privileges.
Recently, Chocolatey released the Agent Service feature to its Business customers. Organizations now have a capability that will allow end users to use a GUI to choose what packages they would like to install, update, or uninstall and even from your own internal package repository.
Please keep in mind this feature is exclusive to Chocolatey for Business (C4B) version.
Installing Chocolatey Agent Service
In order to allow non-administrator end users to install Chocolatey software, we first need to install and configure the Chocolatey agent service. By default, the Chocolatey service will create a local administrator user with a random 32 character password and run the service under that account. With this configuration, end users will experience less issues installing software via self-service.
To install the Chocolatey agent and configure the recommended settings, you can run:
choco install chocolatey-agent -y
choco feature disable --name=showNonElevatedWarnings
choco feature enable --name=useBackgroundService
choco feature enable --name=useBackgroundServiceWithNonAdministratorsOnly
If you have packages that will require user interaction, meaning they are not completely silent installations, you can enable that as well:
choco feature enable --name=useBackgroundServiceInteractively
Installing Chocolatey GUI
Obviously, most end users would rather use a GUI than a CLI (command-line interface). For this reason, we can install and use Chocolatey GUI on our workstations.