Understanding distribution package types

Software distribution supports these package types:


A collection of software distribution packages and/or bundles that you can schedule and run as if it were just a single package. For more information, see Using software distribution bundles.


These are packages in the Windows Installer format. You must use a third-party tool to create MSI packages. These packages consist of a primary .msi file and can include supporting files and transforms. Transforms customize how MSI packages are installed. If your MSI package consists of multiple files, make sure you add all of them in the Distribution package dialog.


In order for an executable package to be used by software distribution, it must meet the following criteria:

  • The executable must not exit before the installation is complete.
  • The executable must return zero (0) for a successful installation.

As long as the executable meets these two criteria, any executable can be used for installing the package. You can include additional files for executable packages.


These are packages built with the legacy Ivanti Enhanced Package Builder (installed separately). Although the Enhanced Package Builder is no longer shipped with Endpoint Manager, Ivanti continues to support the distribution of files created with it. They are executable files that have properties that uniquely identify them as software distribution (SWD) packages.


Windows package actions can perform custom operations during package installation. Actions you create in the action interface then get combined into a package that runs a single PowerShell script on targeted devices. For more information, see Windows package actions.

Batch file

Batch file packages are based on a Windows/DOS batch file. You can include additional files for these distribution packages. The successful completion status of the batch file package is based on the value of the errorlevel system environment variable when the batch file has finished running.

Windows Script Host

Windows Script Host Packages (WSH) are Microsoft Software’s alternative to batch files that are often used to automate similar tasks such as mapping drives, copying files, or modifying registry keys. The WSH files are most commonly used with Jscript (.js) and VBScript (.vbs). One major advantage of the Windows Script Host package over the .bat package is that they allow the user to combine multiple languages into a single file by using the language independent file extension (.wsf). These packages can often be created in Notepad, an HTML editor, Microsoft Visual C++, or Visual InterDev.


Windows PowerShell scripts are based on Microsoft's .NET framework and allow you to perform administrative tasks on computers.


These are packages in Linux RPM format. These packages must be stored on a Web share for Linux RPM distribution to work.


Any Macintosh file can be downloaded, though Endpoint Manager won't download directories. Install packages (.pkg) can contain directories. They must be compressed. If the file downloaded has an extension of .sit, .zip, .tar, .gz, .sea, or .hqx, Endpoint Manager will decompress the file before returning. (Users should make sure that Stuffit Expander has its "check for new versions" option disabled; otherwise a dialog may interrupt script execution.)

Windows store and Line-of-business applications

Prior to version 2020.1 SU3, this option was called Windows store application and it supported .appx and .appxbundle file formats. In 2020.1 SU3 this option was renamed to Line-of-business application (MSIX) and it was enhanced to also support .msix and .msixbundle applications.

The .msix and .msixbundle applications are digitally signed, and so you must install the certificate you used to sign those applications on clients under Local Computer > Trusted Root Certification Authorities. Endpoint Manager doesn't manage or install these certificates for you. For additional configuration information, see MSIX install/uninstall options (2020.1 SU3 and newer).

Android mobile

Android packages are used to distribute software to MDM managed Android devices. Android packages can either link to a free app in the Google Play store, or provide the path to an app's .apk file on a web server.

iOS mobile

iOS packages are used to distribute software to MDM managed iOS devices. iOS packages can link to a free app in the Apple App store, provide the path to an app's .plist and .ipa files file on a web server, or connect to a VPP account to access associated purchased apps.

Universal link

Links are shortcuts to applications. You can link to a distribution package, an executable, or a URL. Links can appear in the client Fuse portal or LaunchPad, on the desktop, or in the Start menu. This package type is new in Endpoint Manager 9.6 and replaces the old LaunchPad link manager tool.

Universal provisioning

Provisioning packages deploy an OS provisioning template that you've previously created in the provisioning tool.

Universal streamed document

Streamed documents are viewable with the new Ivanti Portal Manager on managed devices. A streamed document must be hosted on a UNC or HTTP share that managed devices can access. The streamed document file extension must have an application associated with it that can display that document type. Streamed documents aren't cached locally.

Streamed documents are generally used with package bundles to provide users with additional instructions or information.