Home > Mac administration, Mac OS X, Scripting > Deploying and licensing Endnote X7

Deploying and licensing Endnote X7

In my shop, a number of folks use Thomson Reuter’s Endnote bibliography software. Thomson Reuter makes Endnote available with a drag-and-drop installer, but I need an installer package in order to deploy it in my shop. For various reasons, my existing process to build an installer package for it has been a fairly hands-on process and I’ve been wanting to introduce automation to this task for a while.

As a consequence, I was pretty happy when several folks posted AutoPkg recipes for Endnote, including a recipe that would automate uploading the latest Endnote installers to my Casper server. The main hitch there was that the Endnote installer from AutoPkg installs an unlicensed copy of Endnote and I needed to have installed copies of Endnote automatically use my shop’s Endnote site license.

Screen Shot 2015 12 03 at 2 28 32 PM

After some digging around and checking files, I discovered that Endnote X7’s license file is stored as an invisible file in /Applications/Endnote X7. It is named .license.dat and has a format that looks like this:

Company Name

Note: The Company Name part may show up twice in your .license.dat file.

With some additional testing, I found that I could remove an existing .license.dat file (if one was present) and replace it with a site license’s .license.dat file. That allowed me to use the Endnote installer produced by AutoPkg by having Casper install it, then apply our site license file as a post-installation action. For more details, see below the jump.

For my post-installation licensing, I’ve developed a script that does the following:

  1. Checks for the presence of an existing .license.dat file in /Applications/Endnote X7.
  2. If an existing .license.dat file is found, it is removed from /Applications/Endnote X7.
  3. A new .license.dat is created with the data from my shop’s .license.dat file and stored in /Applications/Endnote X7.
  4. The permissions on the new .license.dat file are changed so that it is read-write only by the license file’s owner. If this script is run with root privileges, the owner will be root.

The script is available below.

The script is also available on Github at the following address:


  1. Graham
    December 3, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Nice! I’ve been using a Munki postinstall script to write the `.license.dat` file for a while, but it’s good to know there’s now an AutoPkg recipe we can use in a RecipeOverride.

  2. Klaus Wik
    December 4, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    But do you repackage it so you don’t have to type the admin password for cite while you write? I’m writing a little on the subject, but if you are too, I can just quote you😉

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