Revit 2021 deployment content

The Mess

If you have started building your Revit 2021 deployment you may have noticed a BUNCH of new content being installed, and no way to choose NOT to install it. You’ll have a ton of template files in many different languages, and you’ll have language specific folders in your Libraries, with nothing but some Structural Precast families. It’s not even close to a full content library. But it is a mess when most of it isn’t content you actually need, as you can see in the links below.

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The Situation

In previous versions of Revit we got a single checkbox for Content Libraries.

And deselecting that made for a nice clean install. This is what the vast majority of offices want, since we usually have our content libraries on the network, and a custom Revit.ini that points at them. Even if you do have your libraries local, you likely have a network copy that machines update from automatically, and if you are like me you have a better folder structure for those libraries than what Autodesk provides. And likely a better location too.

In 2021, Autodesk does give us a check box for US Base Families, and options for UK & German Base Families.

But even with all three of those deselected all that extra cruft gets installed. Ugly! And it gets worse.

If you look in Apps & Features, only US English Base Families is mentioned, and that won’t uninstall all those other languages.

But, if you use Autodesk’s Uninstall Tool, all that language specific stuff IS there.

And you can use the Uninstall Tool to uninstall this stuff. But it’s… complicated. Though this stuff is actually uninstalled, at least some of the registry data is orphaned, which is never good. And nearly all those selections will require responding to an “Are you sure” nag. One for each selection, not one for the whole set of selections (oddly, it’s the ENU and DEU stuff that you can select without a nag). But anyway, this is a pretty lousy “answer”, manually uninstalling in any form.

Thankfully there is a way to not install this cruft at all. It just requires modifying your deployment INI file. The one that lives in the IMG folder, with the same name as your deployment.

The Fix

For a number of years, Autodesk has been including things in the Deployment that had previously been separate, and with no de-select option at deployment creation. This started with C4R (Collaboration for Revit) in 2017. In 2018 four previous Subscription only addins where added to the deployment, namely Batch Print Utility, eTransmit, Model Review and Worksharing Monitor. Model Review is no longer being updated, so for 2021 that list is down to three. But for 2021 Autodesk has added all this content cruft using the same mechanism. So, let’s jump in the deployment INI.

You might think to start by unchecking US Base Families in one one deployment, while keeping it in another, and looking for the changes in the deployment INIs (the compare plugin for NotePad ++ is great for this).

You’ll find that US Base Families corresponds to the [RCLOENU] section of the INI, and when deselected during deployment creation the ACTION property is changed from INSTALL to no value. All well and good.

Some further exploring will lead you sections like [RCLC], [RCLCRVT] and finally, the language specific stuff like [RCLEENU].

Now, you might think that changing ACTION will work here too; but no, it will still install. And while we are here, you might have also noticed that ALLOW_ADD_REMOVE=NO property, and wonder if changing it to YES would then make these items available for manual uninstall with Add & Remove Programs. Nope, it seems this property is ignored too.

The thing to realize is [RCLOENU] is something that Autodesk allowed us to remove in the deployment creation, while [RCLEENU] is something Autodesk doesn’t give us the option to remove. Thus, those installers don’t need (in Autodesk’s mind) to respond to properties that would keep them from installing.
Obviously we need another answer. And to be honest, we can do better than needing to make changes in each of the sections, spread throughout the INI file.

Starting with RCLOENU again, if we do a search we find that it is referenced in three properties at the top of the INI file; EXE_SEQUENCE, INSTALL_SEQUENCE & UI_SEQUENCE (highlighted WAY to the right, so not seen in this image).

Here we also see Formit, the two MEP Fabrications, and Desktop App. All things we can remove during deployment creation. So there is some consistency beginning to develop. Some method to the madness.

As it turns out the only property you need to edit is INSTALL_SEQUENCE, and my approach here is to copy the property and prefix the original with a hash, to make it a comment, then revise the copy. I always like modifications that can be easily reversed, and I like to have the reminder of what I changed. I am pulling out the Base Families, both MEP Fabrication Configuation and Desktop App. I often also remove Addons since I never install addons via the Deployment.

If you are fastidious you may want to remove whatever you are removing from all three lines, for consistency sake. And if that includes FormIt or either of the MEP Fabrications, be aware of the SUBCOMPONENT property a few lines lower.

Now that we have the Base Families addressed, let’s take care of the stuff Autodesk tries NOT to let un fail to install.

The first item being installed according to EXE_SEQUENCE is RVT, and less than a hundred lines down the file we find the [RVT] section, with a POSTREQUISITE property. The first 16 items here are the new hotness 🙄. I tend to remove them all, using the same copy/comment/revise approach we used above.

Here I should mention that those first two, RCLC & RCLCRVT are odd. Not only do they include unique content files, they also BOTH install the Autodesk Uninstall Tool. The one Autodesk basically requires to manually uninstall this stuff. So, if you DO choose to go down this path, you will lose your manual uninstall option, but there are better ways to manage uninstalls. Also, RCLCRVT includes the Revit Sample Files as well as Dynamo definitions. So again, you need to make sure you are handling this separately if you are removing this from the deployment.
Below you’ll find a complete list of the various sections in case you are curious about exactly what each section installs.

This is also where you can remove Revit Batch Print Utility and Revit Worksharing Monitor, two Autodesk addins that I think are so bad they are better off not being installed at all. I suspect their level of suckage is why people didn’t install them before, not the lack of convenience as Autodesk seems to think. But I digress.

So, there you have it. A bunch of new stuff Autodesk Marketing has decided we MUST install, and the mechanism to take control of your own environment and install what you need, not what Autodesk wants. Given the history, I am sure this knowledge will come in helpful next year when something new gets forced on us.

In the meantime, have a great day, and stay healthy!

Deployment INI section reference

The detail on the individual installs is quiet interesting, especially the language specific installs. ENU is of the course the big ones, with DEU pretty large too. ENG adds only a little to ENU, and the rest of the languages are fairly similar.

Referenced in INSTALL_SEQUENCE
[RCLODEU] German Base Families for Revit® 2021
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\German (5,069 Files, 427 Folders)
[RCLOENG] UK Base Families for Revit® 2021
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\UK (3,455 Files, 401 Folders)
[RCLOENU] US Base Families for Revit® 2021
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\English (2,795 Files, 391 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\English-Imperial (2,922 Files, 433 Folders)
[FORMIT] Autodesk® FormIt Add-in for Revit® 2021
[MEP_FAB_IMP] Autodesk® Revit® 2021 MEP Fabrication Configuration- Imperial
[MEP_FAB_MET] Autodesk® Revit® 2021 MEP Fabrication Configuration – Metric
[CMILM2021] Autodesk® Material Library 2021 – Medium Image Library
[CMPLM2021] Autodesk® Advanced Material Library 2021 – Medium Image Library
[ADSKAPP] Autodesk® Desktop App
[AGS] Autodesk® Genuine Service
[ADSSO] Autodesk® Single Sign-On
Referenced in POSTREQUISITE
[RCLC] Core Content for Revit® 2021
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\IES
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Default_ various (16)
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\Uninstall Tool\R1\UninstallTool
[RCLCLT] Core LT Content for Revit® LT 2021 (Only used by Revit LT one would assume)
[RCLCRVT] Core Content for Revit® 2021
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Lookup Tables\Conduit
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Lookup Tables\Pipe
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Conduit
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Dynamo\2.5\definitions
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Pipe
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit 2021\Samples
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\Uninstall Tool
[RCLECHS] Essential CHS Content for Revit® 2021 (Simplified Chinese)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\Chinese (14 Files, 1 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\Chinese (28 Files, 8 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Chinese (8 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLECHT] Essential CHT Content for Revit® 2021 (Traditional Chinese)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\Traditional Chinese (14 Files, 1 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\Traditional Chinese (28 Files, 8 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Traditional Chinese (8 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLECSY] Essential CSY Content for Revit® 2021 (Czech)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\Czech (9 Files, 1 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\Czech (28 Files, 8 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Czech (8 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLEDEU] Essential DEU Content for Revit® 2021 (German)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\German (82 Files, 3 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\German (28 Files, 8 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\German (8 Files, 1 Folders)
[RCLEENG] Essential ENG Content for Revit® 2021 (UK)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\English (3 Files, 0 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\English (11 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLEENU] Essential ENU Content for Revit® 2021 (English)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\English (108 Files, 3 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\English-Imperial (108 Files, 3 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\English (28 Files, 8 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\English-Imperial (27 Files, 8 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\English (13 Files, 0 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\English-Imperial (13 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLEESP] Essential ESP Content for Revit® 2021 (Spanish)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\Spanish (14 Files, 1 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\Spanish (28 Files, 7 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Spanish (8 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLEFRA] Essential FRA Content for Revit® 2021 (French)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\French (30 files, 2 sub folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\French (28 Files, 7 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\French (10 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLEITA] Essential ITA Content for Revit® 2021 (Italian)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\Italian (14 Files, 1 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\Italian (28 Files, 7 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Italian (10 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLEJPN] Essential JPN Content for Revit® 2021 (Japanese)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\Japanese (14 Files, 1 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\Japanese (28 Files, 7 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Japanese (13 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLEKOR] Essential KOR Content for Revit® 2021 (Korean)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\Korean (14 Files, 1 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\Korean (28 Files, 8 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Korean (9 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLEPLK] Essential PLK Content for Revit® 2021 (Polish)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\Polish (14 Files, 1 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\Polish (28 Files, 8 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Polish (8 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLEPTB] Essential PTB Content for Revit® 2021 (Brazilian Portuguese)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\Portuguese (14 Files, 1 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\Portuguese (28 Files, 8 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Portuguese (8 Files, 0 Folders)
[RCLERUS] Essential RUS Content for Revit® 2021 (Russian)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Family Templates\Russian (18 Files, 1 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Libraries\Russian (28 Files, 8 Folders)
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2021\Templates\Russian (10 Files, 0 Folders)
[UNIT_SCHEMAS] Autodesk® Unit Schemas for Revit® 2021
[RCAO] Autodesk® Cloud Models for Revit® 2021
[PACR] Autodesk® Personal Accelerator for Revit® 2021
[RBPU] Autodesk® Batch Print for Revit® 2021
[RET] Autodesk® eTransmit for Revit® 2021
[RWSM] Autodesk® Worksharing Monitor for Revit® 2021
[GEN_DESIGN] Autodesk® Generative Design For Revit
[OPENSTUDIO] OpenStudio CLI For Revit
[CM2021] Autodesk® Material Library 2021
[CMILB2021] Autodesk® Material Library 2021 – Base Image Library
[CMILL2021] Autodesk® Material Library 2021 – Low Image Library
[CMPLB2021] Autodesk® Advanced Material Library 2021 – Base Image Library
[CMPLL2021] Autodesk® Advanced Material Library 2021 – Low Image Library

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