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Group Policy Preferences: Tips & Tricks #1: Variables List - Windows Server blog by Kurt Roggen [BE]
maandag 11 mei 2009 11:15 Kurt Roggen

Group Policy Preferences: Tips & Tricks #1: Variables List

In many cases, when you are in the Group Policy Preferences editor, you can use the F3 function key and use Variables List to select a variable from.
Preference extensions provide a list of variables from which you can choose to insert into text boxes. You can open the dialog box from any text box that is:

  • Not disabled.
  • Not read only.
  • Not restricted to a numeric value.
image 
F3 function key to use Variables List


Preference extensions support Windows environment variables and generate a number of additional process environment variables. Any variable may be used in a configuration parameter value.
This variables list contains 2 types of variables:

  1. Windows environment variables: Variables defined externally to GPP
    Default system and/or user variables or custom-defined by user or administrator and visible using SET command.
    Some examples: %USERNAME%, %USERDOMAIN%, %COMPUTERNAME%, %HOMEPATH%, %HOMEDRIVE%, %USERNAME%, %LOGONSERVER%, %OS%, etc…

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  2. Preference Process Variables: Variables defined internally to GPP
    Variables known only to Group Policy Preferences extensions.
    Some examples: %GROUPPOLICYVERSION%, %DATETIME%, %MACADDRESS%, %OSVERSION%, %LOGONSERVERSID%
    For a more complete list, see below.

Variables List
%AppDataDir% -
The current user's Application Data directory.
%BinaryComputerSid% - The SID of the computer in hexadecimal format.
%BinaryUserSid% - The SID of the current user in hexadecimal format. 
%CommonAppdataDir% - The "all users" Application Data directory.
%CommonDesktopDir% - The "all users" Desktop directory.
%CommonFavoritesDir% - The "all users" Explorer Favorites directory.
%CommonProgramsDir% - The "all users" Programs directory.
%CommonStartMenuDir% - The "all users" Start Menu directory.
%CommonStartUpDir% - The "all users" Startup directory.
%ComputerName% - The NetBIOS name of the computer.
%CurrentProcessId% - The numeric identity of the main client process.
%CurrentThreadId% - The numeric identity of the main client thread.
%DateTime% - The current time (UTC).
%DateTimeEx% - The current time (UTC) with milliseconds.
%DesktopDir% - The current user's desktop directory.
%DomainName% - The domain name or workgroup of the computer.
%FavoritesDir% - The current user's Explorer Favorites directory.
%LastError% - The last error code encountered during configuration.
%LastErrorText% - The last error code text description.
%LdapComputerSid% - The SID of the computer in LDAP escaped binary format.
%LdapUserSid% - The SID of the current user in LDAP escaped binary format.
%LocalTime% - The current local time.
%LocalTimeEx% - The current local time with milliseconds.
%LogonDomain% - The domain of the current user.
%LogonServer% - The domain controller that authenticated the current user.
%LogonUser% - The user name of the current user.
%LogonUserSid% - The SID of the current user.
%MacAddress% - The first detected MAC address on the computer.
%NetPlacesDir% - The current user's My Network Places directory.
%OsVersion% - The operating system: Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Unknown.
%ProgramFilesDir% - The Windows Program Files directory.
%ProgramsDir% - The current user's Programs directory.
%RecentDocumentsDir% - The current user's Recent Documents directory.
%ResultCode% - The client's exit code.
%ResultText% - The client's exit code text description.
%ReversedComputerSid% - The SID of the computer in reversed byte order hexadecimal format.
%ReversedUserSid% - The SID of the current user in reversed byte order hexadecimal format.
%SendToDir% - The current user's Send to directory.
%StartMenuDir% - The current user's Start Menu directory.
%StartUpDir% - The current user's Startup directory.
%SystemDir% - The Windows system directory.
%SystemDrive% - The name of the drive from which the operation system is running.
%TempDir% - The current user's Temp directory as determined by Windows API.
%TimeStamp% - The time stamp of the configurations being executed.
%TraceFile% - The path/name of the trace file.
%WindowsDir% - The Windows directory.

You can prevent the resolution of a variable before it is applied to client computers, so that the variable rather than the resolved value appears in the preference setting on client computers. To do so for a preference process variable, clear the Resolve Variable check box. This inserts <> between the % % delimiters and the variable name (for example, %<ProgramFiles>%). Preference extensions remove < > characters from the text and leave the unresolved variable. You can also use this syntax with a Windows environment variable.

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Group Policy Preferences: Tips & Tricks #1: Variables List - Windows Server blog by Kurt Roggen [BE]