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Automated Installation or Upgrade of Tableau Server

If you are responsible for deploying or managing Tableau Server, installation and upgrades are essential tasks. You can do these using the Setup program and following the prompts, but beginning with version 10.1 you can also take advantage of installation switches and options to install or upgrade Tableau Server without any intervention from you (no waiting for Setup program responses or Configuration utility prompts). And if you are knowledgeable about scripting or programming you can automate the install or upgrade process so it is done in a controlled and reproducible way, whether your installation is a single node or a distributed, multi-node environment.

Prerequisites for an automated install or upgrade of Tableau Server

To install Tableau Server without any input from you, you need the following:

  • The Tableau Server install program (and the Tableau Server Worker install program if you have a multi-node environment), version 10.1.

  • A valid product key.

  • Registration information in JSON format.

    For details, see Registration Input File Options.

  • User name/password for the initial administrator user.

  • (Optional: If no configuration file is included, Tableau Server is installed with all defaults, including the default Windows NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE user for the Run As User) 
  • A script or program to do the installation (you can use the sample Python script on GitHub, or write your own)

Best practices for an automated install

To automate the installation of Tableau Server with non-default configuration, you can provide a YML file with configuration options. Details of the configuration options are listed in Automated Installation Configuration Options, and you can find sample configuration files on GitHub. When using a configuration file to specify non-default values, you should consider using one or more of these best practices:

  • Install Tableau Server interactively, with the same configuration as your new server will have, then use the resulting tabsvc.yml configuration file as a starting point for the file you use during an automated install. By default the configuration file is created in C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\config. Changes you need to make include IP addresses and host names for the nodes.

    Note: If you create a tabsvc.yml file you need to add the config.version value (15 for version 10.1) as the first line of the file:
    config.version: 15
    If you use an existing tabsvc.yml file that already has a config.version value, you do not need to manually update it.

  • Use one of the sample configuration files from GitHub as a starting point for your file: a single-node sample configuration file and a multi-node sample configuration file.

When performing an upgrade, the existing configuration file is used, so you do not need to specify non-default configuration values, except for the Run As User username and password (if you are not using the default). We recommend you do using a "secrets" file instead of in the configuration file. For more information, see Server Run As User.

Install Switches for Tableau Server

You can use these switches when installing or upgrading Tableau Server:

Switch Description Comments
/SILENT Install/Upgrade: Run Setup in unattended, feedback mode. Dialog boxes and UI are displayed but you cannot interact with them.

Server does not start automatically when installed in silent mode. To start Tableau Server, use tabadmin start.

Note: Use either /SILENT or /VERYSILENT, not both.

/VERYSILENT Install/Upgrade: Run Setup in unattended, fully silent mode. No dialog boxes or UI are displayed.

Server does not start automatically when installed in silent mode. To start Tableau Server, use tabadmin start.

Note: Use either /SILENT or /VERYSILENT, not both.

/SUPPRESSMSGBOXES Install/Upgrade: Run Setup with any operating system message boxes suppressed. The default action for the suppressed message box is taken. Any errors related the operating system would normally display are hidden. For example, if an install switch is mis-typed, the error would not display.
/CUSTOMCONFIG Install/Upgrade: Specify the location of a custom configuration file.

If the switch is not used, Tableau Server is installed with defaults. See Automated Installation Configuration Options for more information.

Example: <Setup file> /SILENT /ACCEPTEULA /CUSTOMCONFIG="path\filename"

Note: If used during an upgrade, non-default values are merged with existing configuration values. As a best practice, upgrade in a separate step, before changing the configuration. This helps if you need to isolate any issues.

/LOG Install/Upgrade: Specify the location of the install log file.

If no file location is specified, the log file is written to the user's TEMP folder. The log file is overwritten on each install. Check this log file for errors after installation.

Example: <Setup file> /SILENT /ACCEPTEULA /LOG="path\filename"

/FASTUNINSTALL Upgrade: Upgrade without making a full backup of Tableau Server data. Uninstalls the existing version without creating a full backup, then installs the new version. This is the equivalent of selecting Without full backup when upgrading interactively. See Tableau Server Upgrade Backup Options for details.
/UNINSTALLONLY Uninstall: Uninstall Tableau Server without then installing the new version. Uninstalls the existing version. Does not install the new version.
/DIR Install/Upgrade: Specify a non-default install location.

Specifies the location to install server. If not used, Tableau Server is installed to C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\<version>

Example: <Setup file> /VERYSILENT /ACCEPTEULA /DIR="D:\Tableau\Tableau Server"

/ACCEPTEULA Install/Upgrade: Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA). This switch is required for silent install on both primary and worker nodes. Required. If not included when using /SILENT or /VERYSILENT, Setup fails silently.
/PRIMARYIP Install (distributed): On the worker nodes, specify the IP address of the primary node. This switch is used only on worker nodes and is required when installing worker nodes.

Required on worker nodes. Provides the worker node with the IP address of the primary node during installation.



Workflow for a new, automated installation

When scripting a Tableau Server install to a new computer or computers, these are the steps you'll follow:

  1. (Distributed installations only) Run the Worker Software Setup program on each worker node using the /VERYSILENT, /ACCEPTEULA, and /PRIMARYIP switches to specify the IP address or host name of the primary node.

  2. Run the primary Tableau Server Setup program with the /SILENT or /VERYSILENT switch, and the /ACCEPTEULA switch, along with any other switches you want to use.

  3. Activate the license using tabadmin (tabadmin activate).

  4. Register server (tabadmin register).

  5. Start Tableau Server (tabadmin start).

  6. Create the initial administrative user (tabcmd initialuser).

Workflow for an automated upgrade

When scripting a Tableau Server upgrade, these are the steps you'll follow:

  1. Run the primary Tableau Server Setup program with the /SILENT or /VERYSILENT switch, and the /ACCEPTEULA switch, along with any other switches you want to use.

    Note: You can automate an upgrade to version 2018.1 if you are upgrading version 9.0.x or higher on a single-node installation, or version 9.3.x or higher if you are upgrading a multi-node installation. If you are upgrading other versions of Tableau Server, you need to uninstall Tableau Server from the primary machine and all worker nodes, then follow the steps for a multi-node installation.

  2. Start Tableau Server (tabadmin start).