Group policies are widely used in business, because they allow you to do a lot of things and mainly to configure and secure client PCs on Windows, but also servers on Windows Server.
With these policies, you can configure and secure many Windows components, as well as many services available on Windows Server.
However, as you will understand, by default, this only targets Microsoft operating systems.
Given the convenience of these group policies (GPOs), other vendors like Citrix, VMware, Adobe and others have taken advantage of this feature to allow system administrators to more easily configure and/or deploy their professional virtualization solutions, their software used in business, ...
Administrative templates allow you to add group policy settings to manage and configure :
To download administrative templates for softwares created by Microsoft, see these pages on the Microsoft site :
Formerly, administrative templates were available in the ".adm" format.
However, the main disadvantage of this format was that the ".adm" files that you could download from the Internet contained the settings, as well as the name, description, ... for each of these policy settings.
So, you could end up with part of the settings in English and the other part in another language.
The ".admx" format is the successor for group policies administrative templates.
Its main advantage over its predecessor is that the parameters and their names are separated in different files :
Depending on the language of your Windows or Windows Server installation, the Group Policy Management Console will use a particular ".adml" file to display the list of policy settings available in your language.
By default, administrative templates are stored locally on your domain controller.
This is because if you edit a GPO (whatever it is), you will see that administrative templates are currently being retrieved from the local computer.
Also, you can see that these are administrative templates in ADMX format.
Close this window to avoid creating problems on your Active Directory infrastructure during the creation of the central administrative template store.
This means that the administrative templates are currently located in the "C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions" folder.
If you add administrative templates in this folder, they will not be replicated to the other domain controllers.
As explained previously, administrative templates in ADMX format are separated into several files.
At the root of the "PolicyDefinitions" folder, you will find the ADMX files with the group policy settings.
And in the folder of your language (for example : en-US), you will find the associated translations in "ADML" format.
In the "en-US" folder, there may already be an ADML file for Windows Mail.
To create a central store for Group Policy Administrative Templates, go to the "SYSVOL" network share of one of your domain controllers.
You will arrive in a "SYSVOL" folder containing a shortcut to the folder corresponding to your Active Directory domain.
Go into this folder.
Then, go to the "Policies" folder.
Within this folder, you will find folders with unique IDs that match the IDs of Group Policy Objects (GPOs) created on your Active Directory domain.
To create the central store, simply copy the "C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions" folder into this "Policies" folder.
The "PolicyDefinitions" folder appears.
Since the replication of the SYSVOL folder between the different domain controllers is natively managed by Active Directory, the administrative templates that you will add in this new "PolicyDefinitions" folder will be automatically replicated to your other domain controllers (for the same domain AD).
Now, edit a GPO again and you will see that the administrative templates are now retreived from the central store.
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