Archive for May, 2016

Using AutoPkg to build installer packages from installer applications

May 24, 2016 Leave a comment

One of the challenges Mac admins have to deal with are Mac application installers which don’t follow one of the following models:

In many cases, these alternate installers take the form of applications which may or may not have options for installing via command line. For those that do not have the option of command line installation, the only real option is to install the application in question, then re-package it as either a drag-and-drop install or an installer package.

However, for those installer applications that do support command line installation, this opens up the option of embedding the installer application inside an installer package and using a postinstall script to run the necessary commands for the installer application to install its files onto the Mac. I’ve used this workflow several times in the past, with some examples linked below:

These examples have been manually built by me on an as-needed basis as new versions are released, but wherever possible, I want to automate this process using AutoPkg. Thanks to being able to study a recently-built .pkg recipe for AccuBarcodePro created by @foigus, I was able to build recipes for AutoPkg which handle downloading and packaging the following installer applications:

For more details, see below the jump.

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Building a NetBoot utility disk

May 18, 2016 3 comments

As part of providing support for the Macs in my shop, I build and use utility disks which contain useful utilities like DiskWarrior and Carbon Copy Cloner. My shop’s network supports NetBoot across subnets, so I also build NetBoot sets from the utility disks. The reasons I do this are the following:

  1. Having a utility disk available via NetBoot means I always have access to a utility disk when needed.
  2. The other members of my team also have access to the same utility disk when they need it.
  3. Nobody needs to carry around external drives with the utility software.
  4. Updates to the utility disk can be made in a centralized fashion.

For details on how I’m building NetBoot sets from utility disks, please see below the jump.

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Reading AppleScript source code with osadecompile

May 10, 2016 Leave a comment

When working with AppleScripts that other folks have written, it’s often useful to be able to look at the source of the AppleScript. One quick way to do this via the command line is to use the osadecompile command. This command is designed to output the source of a compiled AppleScript or other OSA language scripts to standard output. For more details, see below the jump.

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Virtualization session at MacSysAdmin 2016

I’ll be speaking about virtualization, with a focus on VMware solutions, at MacSysAdmin 2016, which is being held from October 4th – 7th, 2016 in Göteborg, Sweden. For those interested, my talk will be on Thursday, October 6th.

For a description of what I’ll be talking about, please see the Thursday program page.

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