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I need to deploy the Microsoft Office 2019 suite to a bunch of MacBooks. I only use Profile Manager (part of MacOS Server) and am struggling to figure out how to do this successfully. I've experimented with mdmctl to create a .plist file and have applied it by uploading it under Custom Settings but nothing happens on the Mac. I've not been able to find any guides on how to use Custom Settings to deploy these plist files.

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mdmctl is part of the open source MDM, MicroMDM. As far as my research has gone, Profile Manager does not support the InstallApplication MDM command that enables an admin to deploy packages to clients. If you have mdmctl, then you may have MicroMDM setup already, and you should reference their documentation for deploying apps. See https://github.com/micromdm/micromdm/wiki/Quickstart.

If you are just looking to deploy Microsoft Office 2019, you could "purchase" the apps for free using VPP and Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager as a DEP solution. Once you've purchased the apps through the DEP portal, and assuming you've tied Profile Manager to your DEP account, you can then push the apps out. Apple documents what MDMs need to deploy apps, but their own Profile Manager does not support this functionality. I found this page in hopes of getting Profile Manager to deploy a munki package, but I still haven't found anything indicating that it is possible.

  • I think you're right there @splemp. Unfortunately. I tried to deploy Office via the App Store but was never able to make the app actually show up in Profile Manager for deployment. In the end, someone at the school had to manually install office across the 22 laptops. The central management of macOs could definitely use some improvement :) – Brendon Muir Apr 17 at 20:32

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