9 Install or deploy Origin to the user's computers or a file server

This page provides Origin deployment documentation for both the Concurrent Network and the Multi-seat Node Locked packages.

Things to consider before getting started

Methods for distributing Origin

OriginLab offers two types of installers:

  • InstallShield Setup - Available on the DVD, trial download, and by a download link in an email after purchase. (Note: For multi-user deployment purpose, please choose to download the zip format, not the exe format.)
  • MSI Installer - Download here

Advantages of InstallShield Setup

The advantage of the InstallShield Setup is that it checks if required Microsoft (MS) DLLs are present on the computer, and if not, the InstallShield Setup automatically runs the required MS installers to install the DLLs.
This differs from the MSI - the Origin MSI installers are not able to automatically run the MS installers. So if you deploy Origin from an MSI, you may want to include the MS installers and a batch file to install them.

Advantages of MSI Installer

To deploy Origin with Group Policy(GPO) you can only choose MSI Installer and not InstallShield Setup.
The MSI installer allows you to prepare a script so users can install Origin silently. A .ini file is used to pre-set the serial number, install folder, User Files Folder (users are asked to select this at first start-up), etc. For concurrent packages, you can also preset the FLEXnet server.
Although InstallShield setup can use a .ini file, MSI installer is a preferred type for multiple-user deployment. It allows administrators to use another "Transform" (MST file) to pre-set more configuration or replace data in the MSI installation database. More information about Transforms can be found here.

The following instructions apply to both InstallShield Setup and MSI Installer.

Prepare your customized settings with the installer

Customize Installation Settings with Config.ini

What is Config.ini and what can it do

Config.ini file is a configuration file to preset/customize installation settings. It is available from Origin 2019. For InstallShield Setup, it's shipped with Origin setup file (the zip format installer). For MSI Installer, it can be downloaded separately.

What's in Config.ini?

It is optional to configure the following settings in Config.ini file. You can open it in a notepad editor to view and modify it. Detailed comments are included to help you understand each setting.

Installation Settings

Preset all installation data in [Setup] section:

- preset Serial Number, User Name and Company information, installation path, whether to install embedded Python and SPSS import module.
- determine whether to install Origin silently (Note: This only applies to InstallShield Setup. To install MSI silently, you can run the command line with the /quiet switch.)

Note: If you set QuietMode = 1 to install Origin in silent mode, you must preset the following items.

AcceptOriginLabLicenceAgreement=1
SN=
UserName=
Company=

Other items will use the following default values if not specified

InstallPath=C:\Program Files\OriginLab\Origin####
EmbeddedPython=1
SPSSImport=0
AllUsers=1
ProgramFolder=C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\OriginLab Origin ####
Origin Folder Path
  • User Files Folder
- preset User Files Folder in [Locations] section
- determine whether to show the User Files folder dialog with preset path when launching Origin the first time
  • AutoSave, Backup and Unsaved Project Folders
- preset the root folder for AutoSave, Backup and Unsaved project folders in [Locations] section
  • Apps
- preset Apps folder in [Apps] section

Note: If Config.ini has preset folder paths (for example User Files or AutoSave folder), they will be used instead of inheriting the old settings from previous version.

License Management
For Concurrent Network package, enter the concurrent license server and port number (if any) into the [License] section of config.ini.
If Origin has been installed before, you can also decide whether to update the current server information or not by setting the Replace option. (Note: The Replace option is only available with the InstallShield Setup config.ini file, but not the MSI installer.)

Optional Steps

Preset product key

If you have a Multiple-User Node-Locked license and you want to preset product keys for the end users so their Origin can get activated automatically, you can request a Group Product Key, and save it to a pk.txt file in the folder where the installer files locate.

Preset customized files like interface settings, templates, fitting functions, etc.

If you want to pre-customize end users' Origin like menus and buttons, graph templates, fitting functions, etc., you can create a UpdateUserFiles folder in the folder where the installer files locate, and put the customized files (OMC, XML, ogwu, fdf, etc.) to the UpdateUserFiles folder. They will be copied to each user's User Files folder when they start Origin for the first time.

Preset system variables and opx/opk files

Two mechanisms are available:
  • Create a folder named UpdateUserFile in the Origin setup folder (with setup.exe or misi) and it will be copied to the Origin Program Folder. When Origin runs, it is copied to the UFF.
  • Create a folder named Auto Install in the Origin setup folder (with setup.exe or msi) and it will be copied to the Origin Program Folder. When Origin runs, contained opx/opk are auto-installed.

Distribute your Origin installation package

  1. Copy the Origin Setup files into a folder on computer "A". Note: Computer "A" must be on a network to which all potential Origin users can connect.
  2. Make sure the modified Config.ini, pk.txt file and UpdateUserFiles folder (if have) are in the Origin Setup folder where setup.exe is located.
  3. Share this folder with FULL READ/WRITE privileges and note its UNC share name. (e.g. \\A\Origin\)
  4. Email to all users to ask them to run the setup.exe/msi file. Users must be logged into their computers with a log in account that has administrative privileges and they must be on the network and they have access to \\A\<Origin Setup folder>.

Note:

  • This installation method only installs Origin onto the target computers.
  • For Concurrent Network packages, registration is optional. If user wants to register Origin, he/she can select menu Help: Register on-line to open the Registration dialog to register himself/herself.

MSI Installation

For detailed information about how to setup an installation package with MSI installer, please refer to this page.

Post Installation Updates by Group Folder

The group folder is an optional feature Origin provides to distribute files. It can be used by any site/organization that has multiple Origin users managed by any license type. Even though the group leader and group members have different license types, sharing files between them by using Group Folder is available.

The Group Folder feature involves setting up one or more group leaders. For example, group leaders could be established at the department level of an organization. All or any number of Origin and OriginPro users in the organization can share the same group leader or leaders. Leader(s) can serve as a source for distributing files to members of the group.

You can set up a group leader which can serve as a source for distributing custom Origin files and patches to members of the group. Then once you have done this, you can set up the Origin in your organization so that it is predefined to receive updates from the group leader.

Set up Group Leader(s) and Group Members

The first step is to set the Group Folder for the group leader machine.

Next, you can set the Group Folder for the member machines.

Use the Group Folder Manager to Publish Files

Group leader uses the Group Folder Manager to add, remove files to group folder and then publish them to members of the group. Please refer to the Group Folder Manager document for detailed steps of how to use this tool.

After the group member specifies the group folder, and upon subsequent Origin start-ups, if newer files exist in the group folder, the group member will see a message telling them that files are updated (only for support files, not patches), or an update is now available and a re-start of Origin is required to receive the updates (for patches).

The support files from the shared group folder are copied to the group member's \GroupShared\ folder located in their User Files Folder.

The files then become available in various Origin dialogs such as Theme Organizer, Fitting Function Organizer etc. The files will have a prepend tag of (Group) to identify them as originating from the group folder.

Types of Files that can be Published

  • Supported Origin files, such as project, templates and fitting functions.
    Note: if you have some pre-defined system variables and want to share them via opx file, you will need to move the opx out of \GroupShared\ folder under the User Files folder. Otherwise the opx file will not be auto installed.
  • Publish Origin Service Releases.
    Within a version, OriginLab typically releases one or more service releases to fix problems found in the release version. Typically, the service release is provided as a patch.
    1. You must first patch the group leader machine. Once done, re-start the group leader.
    2. Use Group Folder Manager to publish the patch file that you applied to the group leader.
    3. Now when the Origin group member starts their Origin, they will see a message that a patch is available from the group leader. They can choose to apply the patch, close their Origin, and the patch program will start running.
  • Move the FLEXnet Server and updating members of the new location (Concurrent Network packages)
    If a FLEXnet service is moved to a different machine, the Group Folder feature can be used to update the members of the Concurrent Network package with this new location.
    1. After you set up the replacement FLEXnet server and have the service running successfully, you can edit the USE_SERVER.lic file located in the group leader's hidden License folder. Located:
      C:\ProgramData\OriginLab\License
      This file will typically have the following text, assuming the FLEXnet server is <FLEXnet server>
      SERVER <FLEXnet server> ANY
      USE_SERVER

      A 3-Server Redundant FLEXnet server is also supported, for example if we have three servers <one>, <two>, <three>, and ports 12345, 23456, 34567, the USE_SERVER.lic file looks like:

      SERVER <one> ANY 12345
      SERVER <two> ANY 23456
      SERVER <three> ANY 34567
      USE_SERVER
    2. Once this change is made and the Origin group leader is restarted, this file will be automatically published to the Group Folder, and the Origin group members will be notified of the change of FLEXnet server with a message "Concurrent license server settings are updated. Click OK to restart".