Installation workflows for Computers

Depending on your operating system and preferred installation method, Prey allows you different options to deploy the client to your devices. In this article you can find the workflows available per operating system, directions on how to deploy via imaging, and general recommendations for deployment via MDM.

While we do have a number of unattended installation options for most operating systems, its important to note that these workflows are not silent, and will be visible to any user currently logged into the device. As with any unattended installation workflow, no prompts will be required from the user.

All unattended installation methods use your Setup Key (not to be confused with the Developer API). You can find it in the Setups section of the Settings menu of your Control Panel.

Normal installation (login required)

You can always install Prey manually on each device, by executing the corresponding installation file on your device and entering your login credentials on the required fields. This method requires you to manually enter your login credentials, and as such, we recommend this only for limited-sized fleets.

Unattended installation

For deployment on larger fleets that will not prompt the user to enter your login credentials, you can use one of our unattended installation workflows.

  • For Windows devices, you can follow one of the following deployment options.

    Unattended installer link

    You can find the unattended installation link by clicking in the button in your Device List view, or in the Unattended installation section of your Settings menu. This method will create a link where you can download a pre-configured .exe file that will install Prey and add it to your account without the need for login credentials or additional steps.

    To create the link, just click on next to the name of the user under whom you want to add the device. You can either distribute the link to your end users so they can download the file and execute it, or download the file yourself and distribute it through an MDM or RMM, always keeping in mind that, while this won’t prompt the end user to do anything, an installation window will pop-up.

    MSI file deployment

    This method requires a string to be executed in a command prompt with administrator privileges.

    You can find the MSI file in our downloads page and in your panel, by clicking on the button in your Device List view. The string to be executed in a command prompt depends on the version of the Prey for Computers client that you’re installing, and your personal Setup Key - we recommend you take the string directly from your panel, as it will already have all the required variables.

  • To run an unattended installation for MacOS, you first need to download the latest MacOS installer from our downloads page, and have access to your Setup Key (see note above). With that in hand, generate the following string:

    API_KEY=your_setup_key sudo -E installer -pkg prey-mac-1.X.X-xxx.pkg -target /

    Replace the your_setup_api_key and prey-mac-1.X.X-xxx.pkg placeholders with your setup API key and the name of the package you just downloaded, correspondingly.

    After you create the string, open a Terminal window, navigate to the folder in which you downloaded the package, and paste the created string in the prompt. Wait for a few minutes, and the device will automatically be added to your Prey account.

  • Before you start any of the workflows outlined below, make sure the relevant dependencies are installed in your machine. You can install them using Ubuntu’s advance package tool (apt) by running the following string:
    sudo apt install libgtk-3-dev scrot streamer mpg123

    If you’re running Ubuntu 20 or earlier, run
    sudo apt install python-gtk2 scrot streamer mpg123 instead.

    Afterwards, create the following string and save it:

    API_KEY=your_setup_key sudo -E dpkg -i Downloads/prey_1.X.X_amd64.deb

    Replace the your_setup_key and prey_1.X.X_amd64.deb placeholders with your setup key and the name of the package you just downloaded, correspondingly.

    Afterwards, run sudo apt-get update in a terminal window, followed by the string you created.

    After a few minutes, the device will be added automatically to your account.

Image deployment

If you provision your devices using image deployment, make sure to install Prey on the master machine with the normal installation method depending on your operating system but skip the login step once the installation process is finished. Afterwards, make sure your device is disconnected from the internet, and open the prey.conf file:

For Windows devices, you can find it in the C:\Windows\Prey folder.
For MacOS and Ubuntu devices, you can find it in /etc/prey/prey.conf.

Edit the file by adding your Setup Key to line 36 (please check the note above if you need help getting to your Setup Key.)

It’s extremely important that you do not connect your device to the internet past this point; doing so will automatically add the device to your account, and you could have to deal with several duplicate devices once the image is deployed. For this reason, we recommend having Prey be the last app you install in your master machine.

After you deploy the image, just connect the devices to the internet and they’ll be added to your account automatically.

Considerations for Deployment via MDM

While all MDMs work differently, there are a few considerations that you should take into account when creating the policy:

  • Make sure the installation file is cached in the target directory instead of immediately removed.
  • All strings should be executed with admin privileges or using sudo passwords when required.
  • If you need assistance in creating the policy for your MDM, please contact our Support Team - they’ll be happy to help.

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