Logon Scripts: Using KiXtart and.ini Files
Anybody who manages user accounts knows the advantage of automating the task. The last thing you want to do is visit every desktop to ensure that the user's Windows computer is set up to work properly with your network. One common way to get around this is to use batch files and scripts to smooth the process. In this article, I'll show you an easy way to gain control of user logons with KiXtart, a free-format scripting language.
Advantages of Using KiXtart
Those who use logon scripts that are more advanced than the standard batch file are probably familiar with KiXtart, the "Careware" logon script processor developed by Microsoft's Ruud Van Velson. The utility has been around for several years, and has been a lifesaver for those who want more control over their scripting environment.
With the introduction of WSH, VBScript, ADSI, and other scripting technologies, many heralded the end of KiXtart's popularity. However, KiXtart remains popular today for a number of reasons.
First, it feels like a batch language. Many network administrators have neither the time nor desire to use VBScript, which looks and feels more like a programming language. Two, it has built-in functions for most logon script needs. KiXtart was built primarily to provide logon script control.
It works very well as a server or desktop batch script processor as well, but its functions lean heavily toward logon script needs. Functions such as ingroup() to determine group membership, addprinterconnection() to add printers, and other features come in handy during the logon process.
Although KiXtart logon script features can be emulated in VBScript, they are often much more complex for the same function. KiXtart is highly utilitarian in this regard.
This article discusses KiXtart's capability to read .ini files and how they can be used to create powerful and modular scripts. We will focus on the idea of drive mapping, a common use of batch scripting for the network administrator.
This article assumes some knowledge of KiXtart and batch scripting. Visit http://www.kixtart.org to download the latest version of KiXtart and its documentation. Additionally, numerous scripts and a discussion forum can be found there as well.