Home > AutoPkg, Mac administration, Mac OS X, macOS, Scripting > Deploying and licensing EndNote X8

Deploying and licensing EndNote X8

As previously discussed, a number of folks in my shop use Clarivate Analytics’s EndNote bibliography software. Clarivate Analytics provides EndNote X8 with an installer application, but I need an installer package in order to easily deploy it to my customers. EndNote X8 was initially problematic in that regard, but I was able to write AutoPkg recipes for EndNote X8 to handle converting Clarivate Analytics’s installer application into a deployable installer package, including a recipe that would automate uploading the latest EndNote installers to my Casper server.

Screen Shot 2016 11 22 at 9 56 17 PM


Once AutoPkg was able to provide an EndNote X8 installer package for deployment, the remaining hurdle was that the EndNote X8 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 2016 11 22 at 9 41 57 PM


Fortunately, EndNote X8’s volume license can be deployed just like EndNote X7’s volume license. The volume license is stored in as an invisible file named .license.dat in /Applications/EndNote X8  and it 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 my shop’s site license’s .license.dat file. That allowed me to use the EndNote X8 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 X8.
  2. If an existing .license.dat file is found, it is removed from /Applications/EndNote X8.
  3. A new .license.dat file is created with the data from my shop’s .license.dat file and stored in /Applications/EndNote X8.
  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. Erik
    November 24, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Hi Rich,

    Any thoughts about the “Cite While You Write” plugin? I installed Endnote X8, use Word 2106, installed the Plug-in by hand, but no luck. Run your script for Endnote X7.5 (https://derflounder.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/installing-endnote-x7-5s-cite-while-you-write-plug-ins-for-office-2008-2011-and-2016/) but still don’t have any Endnote toolbar in Word 2016.

  2. Erik
    November 28, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I did update your script manual a few days ago, but probably made a typo. Now by copying your script it works, thanks!

  3. Kat
    March 27, 2017 at 12:08 am

    What if you can’t find an existing site license file?

  4. August 10, 2017 at 10:26 am

    This was great. Thanks Rich!

    It didn’t work for me straight away though. I had to add \n before the company name and after the license for it to work in my case.

    E.g. endnote_license=”\nCompany Name\n1234567890\nV2ZM….556P8W\n”

    Versions used:
    – EndNote X8.0.1
    – macOS 10.12.6

    See you at the next MacADUK! 🙂

    • Bertrand Chatain
      June 19, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Hello, i can confirm that the \n a the beginning is the solution.
      Endnote 8.2
      Deployed with munki

  5. Peter-Erik
    September 22, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Versions used:

    – EndNote X8.1 (bld 12930)
    – macOS 10.13 Beta (17A363A)

    Working with suggestion from Adam Hawkins you need to add \n behind the long number




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