Installing the Launchpad

Created: Modified: Documentation

The Launchpad is our software for Mac or Windows PC. This software receives instructions from the GroundControl Server in the cloud. By installing the GroundControl Launchpad software onto your organization’s Windows PCs and Macs you may create many Launchpads for simultaneous, distributed iOS deployments.

Below are installation instructions for Windows and Mac.

Requirements

GroundControl Launchpad can be installed on any Mac running Mac OS X 10.9 or newer. Network access must be allowed via HTTPS and secure WebSockets (port 443) to the GroundControl server, and HTTPS to Apple’s activation and firmware download servers. The Mac Launchpad automatically detects some network proxies.

Installing the Mac Launchpad
  1. Log into the GroundControl and navigate to the Launchpads tab
  2. Click on “Download Launchpad” and select Mac version
  3. Double-click the GroundControl Launchpad disk image to open
  4. Once you click on the GroundControl app, you will be prompted to copy it to your Applications folder (we recommend this option).
  5. Eject the disk image
Prevent iTunes for activating devices

If you will use GroundControl on a Mac, you must tell iTunes to stop trying to activate devices. Please don’t skip this step!

On the Mac, open iTunes, then open Preferences > Devices.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 7.09.42 AM

Check the box “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 7.09.51 AM

Close Preferences, then exit iTunes.

Registering the Mac Launchpad

Once downloaded, launch the GroundControl Launchpad app. An unconfigured Launchpad will prompt for registration.  

The default server hostname “launchpad.groundctl.com” is correct for most organizations.

The Launchpad Name is used to identify this Mac to the server. The Mac’s computer name is automatically entered. Click Next.

On the next screen, enter your GroundControl user name and password and click Login.

The app will test connectivity and connect to the server.

Requirements

GroundControl Launchpad can be installed on any PC running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10. Network access must be allowed via HTTPS and secure WebSockets (port 443) to the GroundControl server, and HTTPS to Apple’s activation and firmware download servers. The Windows Launchpad attempts to detects network proxies, and allows for manual HTTPS proxy entry. Check System Requirements for additional information.

Installing iTunes

The Windows Launchpad requires several libraries that are distributed with Apple iTunes. Most users will simply download and install iTunes from Apple before installing the Launchpad. If you do this, you must prevent iTunes from activating devices. Please don’t skip this step!

On the Windows, open iTunes, then open Preferences > Devices. Check the box “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.”

iTunes-automatic-sync-option

 

Close Preferences, then exit iTunes.

Installing the Windows Launchpad
  1. Log into the GroundControl Server and navigate to the “Launchpads” tab
  2. Use the links to download the current version of the Launchpad software for Windows
  3. Double-click the GroundControl Launchpad EXE to install
  4. Choose whether you will install for all users on the machine (recommended) or just for the local user
REGISTERING THE Windows LAUNCHPAD

Once downloaded, launch the GroundControl Launchpad app. An unconfigured Launchpad will prompt for registration.

The Launchpad Name is used to identify this PC to the server. The PC’s computer name is automatically entered. Click Next.

The default server hostname “launchpad.groundctl.com” is correct for most organizations.

If your organization uses HTTPS proxies, enter that information here. If you do not use proxies, leave these fields blank.

On the next screen, enter the email address that is your GroundControl login, and corresponding password. Click Login.

The app will test connectivity and connect to the server.

Installing iTunes MSIs

If you do not wish to install the full iTunes (we don’t blame you) you can follow these instructions to install the 2-3 required MSIs.

  1. Download the Windows iTunes installer
  2. Extract the iTunes installer with a tool such as 7-zip
  3. (Win 32-bit) Locate and install the following MSIs in order:
    • AppleApplicationSupport.msi
    • AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi
  4. (Win 64-bit) Locate and install the following MSIs in order:
    • AppleApplicationSupport.msi
    • AppleApplicationSupport64.msi
    • AppleMobileDeviceSupport6464.msi
Installing the GroundControl MSI

You may extract the MSI from the Launchpad EXE with a tool such as 7-Zip.

To silently install the MSIs, please use the instructions above, and install with the following switches:

  • Apple support MSIs: /q /norestart
  • GroundControl Launchpad: /S

The GroundControl Launchpad MSI also allows for parameters to set Launchpad name, host name, and proxy. For example:

msiexec /s GroundControl.msi GCHOST=company.groundctl.com GCLPNAME="LaunchpadName" GCPROXY="192.168.1.1:8080"

A shared install is useful when multiple users share one PC, as it provides machine-wide shared preferences and one asset cache folder. This is helpful as it eliminates the need for each user to download the same assets separately.

You may extract the MSI from the Launchpad EXE with a tool such as 7-Zip, and install with the following switch:

msiexec /i GroundControl.msi GCSHAREDDATA=1

To silently install the MSI, please use the instructions above.