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In the business environment I work in, we tried to use Puppet to manage both our Linux and Windows machines. This includes tasks like installation of programs that are needed for our department and also managing what programs are easily accessible to all employees. We decided not to use Puppet due to the many dependencies it has and other complications, however we still want to employ the same idea of managing both Linux and Windows. Is there another program or way to do this?

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My two cents: Just use Puppet, it's both the industry 'standard' and has a vibrant community. But again, it's up to you. –  jrg May 24 '12 at 14:33
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5 Answers

Cfengine might be an alternative. You could also check this list of alternatives to puppet.

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Salt is a remote execution and configuration management tool. Salt also has support for Windows. Salt is created using Python. However, Python knowledge is not required to perform most of the tasks. The configuration files are normally written using YAML and Jina2.

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Puppet is much easier and better for handling linux configurations..However it can be used for windows machines also. The main advantage of using puppet is that you can define customized facts for your machine, and manage configuration for that fact.

the below links might provide some info..

http://slashroot.in/puppet-tutorial-how-does-puppet-work

http://slashroot.in/puppet-tutorial-installing-puppet-master-and-puppet-agent

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I think you'd have to be more explicit about the problems you had with puppet. Generally, puppet is a good way to go. An alternative that's been around for a long time is cfengine. It will come with it's own challenges. Chef is also popular (and newer), though I haven't used it myself.

Also see Why is there only one configuration management tool in the main repository? .

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Puppet integration with Windows is still young. Maybe some scripts in Perl are enough for what you need? The learning curve is however a bit steep.

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