Im pretty new to macs and i know no one who can figure this out, I have a folder which has an .app client in it and a .app installer in it and a bunch of other files. I use software called filewave to send that folder out to various macs i have here. I need to make something like a script i can run at startup or just once to run the installer .app in silent mode. Or would it be possible to package up the folder with all this in and make it into a .PKG installer? any thoughts anyone i'm new to all that is mac and sorry if things sounds like i'm talking about windows.

  • Welcome to the site. I'll take a stab at answering an overall - how would a new system admin start to learn about OS X packaging options. Feel free to edit the question or ask a second more detail-filled question once you have a more specific question in mind. – bmike Mar 13 '15 at 11:25

Apple's software installation is a bit of a deep subject.

  • You could use a unix packaging system and script it with shell/bash/python/perl - whatever code base and language you prefer. Optionally ssh and AppleScript would allow you to automate running the code.
  • You could use a developer account and Apple's tools to build a proper install image with receipts and code signing so that your app is allowed on Macs with GateKeeper
  • You could use Homebrew (again a unix based tool) which has easy casks
  • You could use AutoPkg - an excellent tool for exactly what you ask - networked framework for installing software.

Since there are so many products you could make and package for OS X, it's hard to pick just a best solution for you.


You could invest ($100US) in the app Composer from JAMF.

Creating packages that are tailored to end-user configurations enables IT administrators to save their organizations time and resources. Packages are standards-compatible and available for deployment with Apple Remote Desktop, the Casper Suite, or any other patch management system. Better yet, the software arrives pre-configured and ready for end users to get started immediately.

I used it a few years ago when managing ~ 120 Macs. Simply put, it watches your development Mac when you install software and creates a .PKG from all the new & modified files|folders which result. When the .PKG installer is run, the files|folders are installed in the correct places. I used Composer in conjunction with Apple Remote Desktop, which can push a .PKG onto a Mac and install it silently.

If you are dealing with more than a Handful of Macs, this may be a (not inexpensive) way to go.

Presently, the Mac admins where I work use opensource munki:

Munki is a set of tools that, used together with a webserver-based repository of packages and package metadata, can be used by OS X administrators to manage software installs (and in many cases removals) on OS X client machines.

Munki can install software packaged in the Apple package format, and also supports Adobe CS3/CS4/CS5/CS6 Enterprise Deployment "packages", and drag-and-drop disk images as installer sources.

Additionally, Munki can be configured to install Apple Software Updates, either from Apple's server, or yours.

Munki is currently in use at organizations all over the world, managing software for tens of thousands of Macs.

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