Auto-Update management for Anchor administrators
  • 28 Sep 2023
  • 4 Minutes to read
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Auto-Update management for Anchor administrators

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Article summary

Starting with Anchor version 5.3.3, Anchor agent software on Windows have the capability to check for software updates and apply them automatically. This feature is called Auto-Update.

Concept of Default Installer and its properties:

Please note the following:

  1. Once a new installer is released by Anchor and made available on the Installers page, it is the responsibility of the Anchor administrator to mark that installer as default, at which time the installer will be made available for updates.
  2. The ability to specify a default installer allows Anchor administrators the opportunity to test a newly released version first, before rolling it out to their user population at large.
  3. Once an installer is marked as default, any automatic update checks by already installed agent software will result in the default installer being selected for downloading and updating.
  4. Support for a default installer version allows administrators full control over the automatic update process, while still providing necessary flexibility for manual downloads of non-default versions by administrators.
  5. It is critical to note again that once a new installer version is released by Anchor and is listed in the Installers page, end user agent installations will not be aware of the availability of the new installer version until it is marked as the default installer by the Anchor administrator.

Consider the following Installers page of the Anchor dashboard, with a total of five versions for download (shown for illustrative purposes only), listed from newest to oldest, with the most recent version listed at the top of the page:


Note that Anchor_v6.0.0 is marked as the default installer. Note also that an installer version more recent than the default installer has since been released and made available on the page (i.e. version Anchor_v6.0.1).

In the above example:

  1. When an agent running an older installation (e.g. version Anchor_v5.3.4) automatically checks for an available update, the system will provide installer version Anchor_v6.0.0 as the suitable installer for an update (because it is marked as default), although a more recent installer version (Anchor_v6.0.1) is available.
  2. This behavior is by design, and as mentioned earlier, allows administrators precise control over installer deployments.
  3. When the administrator is satisfied that the new installer Anchor_v6.0.1 can be rolled out to end users, the administrator can mark that installer as default.

Please note:

  1. Agent software does not have the capability to downgrade to earlier versions.
  2. Unintentional marking of an older installer version will be ignored by any installed agent software that is at a more recent version.
  3. As an example, if all of the end users are running a version that is more recent than installer version Anchor_v5.3.4, and Anchor_v5.3.4 is inadvertently marked as default, the default marking will be ignored by the agents, and will be interpreted as no update being available, because agents will already be at a more recent installer version than the default marked installer version.

Minor and major types of installers:

Anchor installer releases may be one of two types, minor or major, with the following properties:

  1. During an update, a minor type release does not require a Windows reboot during installation.
  2. If a minor type release is installed on a Windows system that currently does not have a previous Anchor installation (i.e. a fresh install from scratch), reboots will be required.
  3. A major type release includes updates to the driver components and will require reboots during installation, whether as part of an update or as a fresh install from scratch.

(Note: In rare instances, a minor type release will involve Windows reboot during an update operation. Anchor will advise Anchor administrators of such cases and point out the need for reboots.)

Downloading non-default installers:

Note that in the above example, despite the default installer version being specified as Anchor_v6.0.0, the more recent version Anchor_v6.0.1 (or any other installer on the page) may still be downloaded seperately by the Anchor administrator. An installer downloaded in this manner will require manual installation on an endpoint.

To access additional details about any installer, either:

  • Click the down arrowhead symbol at the far right, or
  • Click anywhere on the body of the installer description.

The entry for the corresponding installer version will expand down and reveal a button to initiate downloads as well as other information, as shown below:

expand installer entry.gif

Changing the default installer:

To mark another installer as default:

  1. Click the 'more information' icon (with three vertical dots , located in the upper right corner of the installer entry).
  2. Click the 'Set as default' option.
  3. Click the 'Yes' button in the confirmation dialog.

Observe the message 'Default installer set successfully' at the top of the page. The example below sets installer Anchor_v6.0.1 as the default installer, removing the default setting from installer Anchor_v6.0.0:

change default installer.gif

Please note the following:

  1. At any time, only one installer version can be marked as default.
  2. When an installer is marked as default, the default marking will be removed from the currently marked installer.
  3. The only way to remove a default marking from an installer is to mark another installer as default.

Checking file signatures:

The file signatures of the contents comprising an installer zip file are available for all installers. To access this information

  1. Click the 'more information' icon (with three vertical dots located in the upper right corner of any installer entry).
  2. Click the 'Show installer signatures' option displayed.

The SHA-256 hash values for all three component files of the installer zip file will be displayed.

To copy the signatures to the Windows clipboard, click the 'Copy to clipboard' button, as illustrated below:

show signatures.gif

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