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Archive for the ‘Payload-Free Package Creator’ Category

Notarizing Automator applications

April 10, 2019 9 comments

Apple recently updated their notarization documentation to include this note:

Beginning in macOS 10.14.5, all new or updated kernel extensions and all software from developers new to distributing with Developer ID must be notarized in order to run. In a future version of macOS, notarization will be required by default for all software.

Screen Shot 2019 04 10 at 4 03 43 PM

The part about “notarization will be required by default for all software” made me think, because there are a few apps that I’ve written over the years that are still useful (at least to me). All of them were built using Automator, which meant that the usual Xcode-based ways of notarizing applications wasn’t going to work for me.

With assistance by folks in the MacAdmins Slack though, I was able to develop a process that allowed me to do the following:

  1. Codesign an Automator application
  2. Upload the application to Apple for notarization
  3. Attach the notarization to the application
  4. Verify that the notarization was attached and valid.

The documentation linked below was also very helpful in figuring out how to notarize using command line tools:

For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Automator’s Ask for Finder Items windows no longer showing text prompts in OS X El Capitan

November 30, 2015 2 comments

As part of working with Automator to build applications, I’ve been leveraging the ability of Automator’s Ask for Finder Items action to set text prompts in my Automator-based applications.

These text prompts are included in the appropriate Finder windows and have been an easy way for me to set a particular message in an Automator selection window.

Screen Shot 2015 11 30 at 9 43 34 AM

I recently noticed in OS X El Capitan that these messages no longer appear, which is a bit inconvenient as it leaves users of my applications with no clear direction as to what to do when this window appears.

Ask for Finder Items windows in OS X El Capitan and OS X Yosemite 001

 

It does not appear that AppleScript is affected by this issue, as the comparable AppleScript function properly displayed the desired text in both Yosemite and El Capitan.

Screen Shot 2015 11 30 at 10 16 47 AM

As a workaround to keep my applications’ users informed on what to do, I’ve set standalone AppleScript notifications to appear in my Automator applications before the Ask for Finder Items Automator action’s window.

Screen Shot 2015 11 30 at 10 03 56 AM

All three of my Automator-based applications have now been updated with the workaround:

 

I’ve filed a bug report with Apple on this issue. For those interested in duplicating this, it is bug ID 23688457. I’ve also cross-posted the bug report to Open Radar, so the bug report details are available from the link below:

https://openradar.appspot.com/23688457

Payload-Free Package Creator.app Revisited

May 21, 2015 6 comments

I do a lot of work with payload-free packages and while I have a process for creating them as I needed them with pkgbuild, this approach requires some setup work. To help make the package creation process more convenient, I developed Payload-Free Package Creator.app, an Automator application that will allow to select an existing script and create a payload-free package that runs the selected script.

However, this tool has used pkgbuild‘s –nopayload function, which creates a package which doesn’t leave an installer receipt behind. This is intended behavior according to Apple, but not leaving a receipt behind can make it hard to determine whether an installer package has been run on a particular machine. This is especially problematic for Munki, which uses receipts along with other methods to track installation status.

While I don’t use Munki, I’ve heard from a number of folks who do and who had run into the no-receipt problem when they tried to use payload-free packages generated by Payload-Free Package Creator.app with Munki.

So the problem was this:

  1. I wanted to create payload-free packages which only run scripts and do not install files.
  2. I wanted to have an installer receipt.
  3. Apple’s built-in method for generating payload-free packages with pkgbuild didn’t provide receipts.
  4. I thought I needed to provide a payload to pkgbuild in order to generate a package which would provide receipts.
  5. Providing a payload meant I was installing files, which is what I didn’t want to do.

The matter had rested there for a while and I didn’t see a good way to fix it.

Fortunately, I was wrong about point 4. Greg Neagle recently documented that you can make a package with pkgbuild that, while not technically payload-free, will act just like one. The key is to create an empty directory and set pkgbuild‘s –root option to look there for files. pkgbuild‘s –root option is used to tell pkgbuild which files to package, but since there will be no files in an empty directory, the package will install no files on the destination Mac.

That’s where I had gone wrong on point 4 – I thought I had to give pkgbuild something to install in order to build a package with a receipt, but it turns out that pkgbuild will successfully build a package while using an empty payload directory. This information allowed me to reconcile points 1 and 2, which resolved the problem.

With this new information, I was able to update Payload-Free Package Creator.app and I’m happy to announce it has two new features:

  • Version numbering
  • Packages generated by Payload-Free Package Creator.app will leave receipts behind after installation.

For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

Payload-Free Package Creator.app

March 8, 2014 8 comments

I do a lot of work with payload-free packages and I’ve looked for a while for a tool that would let me easily create them from existing scripts. While I have a process for creating them as needed with pkgbuild, this approach still requires some setup work.

Payload-Free Package Creator logo

After thinking about it and taking a look at various approaches, I’ve developed Payload-Free Package Creator.app, an Automator application that will allow the selection of an existing script and create a payload-free package that runs the selected script. For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

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