Revit 2015 R2

Revit 2015 R2 is out, and there are a couple of interesting things to be aware of.
The downloaded installer will install not only Revit 2015 R2, but Dynamo as well. Now, I likes me some Dynamo, but I want to manage my Dynamo install, and not have it buried in a completely separate installer.
But happily, hidden behind Autodesk’s VBS patch front-end is an R2 only MSP. Just run the downloaded installer and unpack it to the c Drive, and then look for RVT2015UR4.msp in C:\Autodesk\Autodesk_Revit_2015_R2\patches.

This MSP will still install Dynamo if the Dynamo MSIs are in the same folder, but if you move it somewhere else it will install just R2, and do it with standard silent install flags as well.
And, for what its worth, the two Dynamo files here are better found elsewhere. This Iron Python installer is already stale, and keeping track of Dynamo build numbers is really important, but the installer Autodesk included in R2 doesn’t help much there. You are really better off getting the installer from DynamoBIM anyway.
Also, while the Readme claims that R2 can be installed over either the first customer ship version of Revit (i.e. ‘unpatched’) or Web Update 3, I have actually had no luck with the former.
I get this error, which if you track down the error number and description is the same error you get when installing a Revit Architecture patch over Revit Structure, for example. However, install WU3 first and you shouldn’t have any trouble.

One of the new features in R2 is background color, which can be anything, rather than just a full inversion of colors as we had before. Many people find the stark white default background a little bright, and the new background color feature allows for a nice gray background.

If you are pushing out R2 to existing machines, you may want to also push a revised background color to currently installed users as well. There is a somewhat unknown feature of Revit.ini behavior that makes this relatively easy.
Start with a copy of the Revit.ini that lives in the UserDataCache folder on your machines, and copy it to your network.
rvt_2015_r2_ini_updateRevise the color on one machine, and grab the new Backgroundcolor= line from the user Revit.ini. This is required because the color number is not a meaningful number you can just plug in. Here I have set the background color to 245:245:245, and I get a very different number in the INI file. Simply copy that line from the user Revit.ini to the network stored copy of the UserDataCache Revit.ini.
Then, down in the Install section, add an Update line.

The format here is Update=Section|Value.. In this case the section is Colors, and the value is Backgroundcolor. Now you just need to get this copy of Revit.ini into the UserDataCache folder on every machine. When a user launches Revit, their AppData copy of Revit.ini is compared to the UserDataCache copy, and the new Background color is adopted, without changing any other user settings. And, once there, the background color is a user setting, so everyone can adjust to their own tastes. But pushing out that light grey does two things. It gives everyone a better starting point than stark white, and it demonstrates the new functionality nicely.

Lastly, while Autodesk is marketing this as Release 2, the install MSI is actually named Web Update 4. Which brings up two issues.
It’s a web update, so all the usual rules apply, which means everyone on the team needs to be in the same version.
However, what happens if you have a mix of subscription and non subscription machines? You’ll need the non R2 version of WU4 as well, which thankfully is now available as well.
Also note, both R2 and, um, not R2, report as WU4 in the About dialog, so the only indication of what you have installed is the build #. To whit…
R2 = 20140905_0730(x64) Update Release 4
WU4 = 20140903_1530(x64) Update Release 4