I'm using Mavericks Server to serve Apple Software Updates to my various Macs. Apparently, I have to point the client at the server, specifying my URL "e.g. http://su.domain_name.com:8088/index.sucatalog".

How do I find out this info for my setup? I haven't defined a URL for my server on the local network; 8088 is I gather the default port for the Software Update Server; but I don't know where or what the file is called either.



The simple way to configure a client to point to your Software Update server is using the following Terminal command on your client:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL http://su.domain_name.com:8088/index.sucatalog

Replace su.domain_name.com with your server's fully qualified domain name as specified in Server.app. You can find your FQDM by going to Server.app[server name]Access: Host Name:

You can change your FQDM by clicking the Edit… button on the right.

More detail:

  1. Set a host name by going to Server.app[server name]Access: Host NameEdit…. If you wish to access your server over the internet without VPN, choose Domain Name. Otherwise, choose one of the Local Network options.

  2. Switch on the Software Update service.

  3. Once the service has started, you can find the FQDM in the Access section.

  4. Using this FQDM, you can find your CatalogURL by substituting this into the following URL:


    For example, if my FQDM is reported under the Access section as server.example.private, my Software Update catalog would be located at http://server.example.private:8088/index.sucatalog.

  5. On your clients, you can configure them by running the following Terminal command:

    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL [your-catalogURL]

    Replace [your-catalogURL] with the URL that you got from step 4.

You can revert your settings by running the following Terminal command:

sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL

Alternatively, you can use Profile Manger to provide OTA configuration using the Custom Settings section of your configuration profile.

  • So the domain for the URL is just my host name. And the rest of it is always "8088/index.sucatalog"...? – Ben Oct 31 '13 at 17:29
  • @Ben Yes, unless you specifically change it or have awkward settings in your Web service or Profile Manager that is accidentally breaking it… :) – grg Oct 31 '13 at 17:31
  • 1
    BOOM! That's an awesome and comprehensive answer. – bmike Oct 31 '13 at 21:37

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