GT 003: AutoPKG – Automating the mundane

Adam and Ryan talk about using autopkg to automate the mundane task of downloading updated versions of common software.  Firefox, Chrome, anything Adobe, Flash, Java… all these applications (and many many more) need updated regularly on the systems you manage.  But, you can’t just let end users do it because the newly released version may cause issues for some of your critical applications.  So you may have found yourself just catching wind that a new version is out, downloading, importing it into you software management system, test the package, then deploying it out to your fleet.  Well, autopkg automates the process of checking for the updates, downloading them, processing them (and importing them into your repository if you are using Munki).

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In This Episode

In this episode we cover how we have set up autopkg to automate the tasks of monitoring, downloading, post-processing, and importing software updates for many of our software packages, as well as what our software update workflow looks like post autopkg.


Our AutoPKG Setup

  1. Setup on a Mac Mini
  2. Scheduled to run daily using LaunchDaemons
  3. Munki repository is automatically mounted to this mini
  4. AutoPKG downloads new versions
  5. post-processes the update
    1. Names the file how we want
    2. adds post/pre-install scripts
  6. adds to our Munki repository in the test group.
    1. Munki prompts to install new updates on our test user systems.
  7. Test users test/approve the update then manually approve it to be rolled out to all users.



Recipes are pre-built workflows that you can have autopkg run.  Lots of pre-built ones are available online.  You can build your own if you feel up to it.

Recipes provided by autopkg maintainers is here.

Additional publicly shared recipes are here.


Other software referenced

autoDMG – Used to build deployable OS X images from the “Install”

Munki – Software management suite


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