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24 May 2009, 08:10

Offline Update 6.0: Windows updated by Linux

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The Offline Update script collection, published by The H's sister publication in Germany, c't, and Torsten Wittrock, has been updated to version 6.0. Offline Update helps manage delivering the latest security updates to Windows PCs without lengthy downloads. The latest version, 6.0, contains updates for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, and their 64 bit versions where available. The scripts can also be used to freshen up Microsoft Office 2000, 2003, XP and 2007.

The version 6.0 zip archive also contains the download scripts in for a Linux version contributed by the developer Stefan Jöhnke. Under Linux there's less risk of a bug causing trouble with freshly downloaded updates. If you run a Linux file server, you can use cron job to keep the update collection current, and samba to supply freshly installed Windows clients for installation, but Offline Update is not a substitute for the Windows update function.

Christian Riedel has added an option to the Windows user interface that lets you copy updates for the desired platform(s) directly from the download repository to a USB stick as an ISO image. Further improvements worth mentioning, apart from the elimination of minor bugs, are the integration of Service Pack 2 for Office 2007 and the optional installation of Windows PowerShell 1.0. Despite the misleading folder name in the archive, version 6.0 can be unpacked into any previous installation directory of Offline Update, as long as the pre-existing files are able to be overwritten.

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