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Deploy software packages to Macintosh devices

Software distribution lets you deploy software and file packages to Macintosh running OS X on your network.

You can distribute single-file executable packages to Mac OS X devices. Each distributed package consists of only one file, and the agent will try to install the file once the device receives it. Any file can be downloaded. Install packages (.pkg) can also contain directories, but they must be compressed. If the file downloaded has a suffix of .dmg, .pkg, .mpkg, .sit, .sitx, .zip, .tar, .gz, .sea, .app, .sh, .hqx, or for Automator/workflow packages, Endpoint Manager will decompress the file before returning.

NOTE: Make sure that Stuffit Expander has its "check for new versions" option disabled; otherwise a dialog box may interrupt the software distribution execution.

Software distribution also lets you distribute shell scripts as jobs. This lets you take even greater control over the Mac operating environment and perform nearly any configuration or information gathering task on a Mac OS X device.

You can schedule Mac OS X distributions in the Scheduled tasks window and drag Mac OS X devices into the Scheduled tasks window as distribution targets.

NOTE: You must install the Ivanti Mac OS X agent on the target devices before you can distribute files to them. 

A distribution package consists of the package files you want to send and distribution details, which describe the package components and behavior. You must create the package before it can be delivered and run. The following instructions explain how to perform software distribution. For successful distribution, the package must exist on either a network or Web server and the recipient devices must have the software distribution agent installed.

Distribute a software package to Macintosh devices

There are three main steps required to distribute a package to devices:

  1. Create a distribution package for the software you want to distribute
  2. Create a delivery method
  3. Schedule a software distribution task
To create a distribution package
  1. Create the package you want to distribute.
  2. Click Tools > Distribution > Distribution Packages.
  3. Under My packages, Public packages, or All packages, click New on the toolbar and select New Macintosh package.
  4. In the Macintosh properties dialog box, enter the package information and set the options. For more information on each page, click Help.
  5. Click Save when you're done. Your package appears under the tree item for the package type you selected.
To create a delivery method
  1. Click Tools > Distribution > Delivery Methods.
  2. Expand a delivery method group, right-click the type of delivery method you want to use, and then click New delivery method.
  3. In the Delivery method dialog box, enter the delivery information and change the options you want. For more information on each page, click Help.
  4. Click Save when you're done. Your method appears under the tree item for the delivery method you selected.

NOTE: If a package requires a reboot, it will reboot the target device regardless of the option you select on the Reboot page of the Delivery method dialog box. The Never reboot option is not supported for Macintosh package distribution, because the target device could become unstable or not bootable if a package doesn't initiate a reboot as expected.

To schedule a software distribution task
  1. Click Tools > Distribution > Scheduled Tasks.
  2. Click the Create software distribution task toolbar button.
  3. On the Overview page, enter the task name and the task schedule. Review other options and click Change to makes changes to any of them.
  4. On the Distribution package page, select the package you created.
  5. On the Delivery Method page, select the delivery method you want to use.
  6. The Target devices page has no devices listed. Devices are targeted for distribution after you drag them from the network view to the task in the Scheduled tasks tool.
  7. The Custom message page is not applicable to Macintosh package distribution.
  8. The Schedule task page is set to Leave unscheduled, unless you have targeted devices.
  9. Click Save when you're done. The task is listed in the Scheduled tasks tool.
  10. To distribute the package, drag Macintosh devices from the network view onto the task. You can drag individual devices, group, or queries onto the task.

The distribution begins immediately. View the task progress in the Scheduled tasks window.

Macintosh software distribution commands

Macintosh software distribution commands are download commands, as opposed to a shell command. Download commands begin with either "http://" or "ftp://". If it's not a download command, it's a shell command by definition. The following is an example of download command format:


A download command won't autorun any files. After downloading the file to devices, you can follow up with a shell command to execute the file. Files are downloaded to /Library/Application Support/LANDesk/sdcache/, which you need to be aware of in your shell commands.

NOTE: If you're hosting files on a Windows 2003 server, you need to create MIME types for the Macintosh file extensions, such as .sit, otherwise the 2003 server won't let you access the files. The MIME type doesn't have to be valid, it just needs to exist.

Configure policies for Macintosh devices

You can also create Macintosh device policies. Creating a Macintosh device policy is similar to creating a policy for a Windows-based device. Macintosh devices also have the same required, recommended, and optional policy types. Macintosh application packages must be a single-file format. Policy-based management will check for policy updates at an interval of four hours. For optional or recommended policies, the client user needs to launch the Ivanti preference pane and click Check now for policy-based distribution. When targeting policies, Macintosh devices don't support policy-based management by user name, only by device name.

Policy-based management does the following with Macintosh application policy packages:

  1. Downloads files to /Library/Applications/LANDesk/sdcache (just like software distribution downloads).
  2. If the download is compressed, policy-based management will decompress it in place.
  3. If the download is a disk image, policy-based management will mount it, look for the first Apple Package Installer file found on the mounted volume, run it silently, and then un-mount it.
  4. If the download is an Apple Package Installer file, policy-based management will run it silently.

Also, policy-based management does support .dmg files with EULAs.

NOTE: Some package types don't work well with software distribution. (Installer Vise and Installer Maker installers don't work well with policy-based management. They almost always require user interaction and can be canceled.)

To add a Macintosh client policy
  1. Click Tools > Distribution > Delivery methods.
  2. Configure a policy-supported push or policy delivery method for the package you want to distribute.
  3. Click Tools > Distribution > Scheduled tasks.
  4. Click the Create software distribution task button.
  5. Configure the task. Click Help on each page if you need more information.
To refresh the local client policies
  1. In the Ivanti agent application on the Macintosh device, click the Delivery icon.
  2. Click Check now for application policy management.
To view installed policies
  • In the Endpoint Manager Preference Pane on the Macintosh device, click the APM tab.

Expose the user interface to the client

You have the option of showing or hiding the UI to the client when distributing a software package. If the Ivanti administrator is pushing out a package that requires the user to select a license agreement, the package needs to be installed using a user-controlled type delivery method because the package will not install if the license agreement is not accepted by the end user. You can expose the UI for either a push- or policy-based delivery method.

To show the UI to the client during software distribution
  1. Create a new software distribution delivery method or select an existing method to edit.
  2. Select Feedback and timing from the tree.
  3. Select Display progress to user from the Package progress UI list.
  4. Select Display full package interface.
  5. Click Save.


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