OS X Server Software Updates

After a few miserable attempts at getting OS X Server to handle Software Updates for local machines, I finally figured out what the problem is: Apple’s documentation.

In the System Imaging and SW Update Admin guide it says:

Pointing Unmanaged Clients to a Software Update Server
Use the defaults command in Terminal to point unmanaged client computers to a specific Software Update server. To point unmanaged clients to a specific software update server:

  1. Open Terminal on the unmanaged client.
  2. Enter the following command:

defaults write com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL http://host.domain.com:8088/

(Replace the sample URL with the URL of your Software Update server.)

This is wrong!

You can’t simply point at your user’s SoftwareUpdate plist, you have to point at the system’s plist! The correct example then, is:

defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL http://host.domain.com:8088/

That works for OS X 10.4. For 10.5 and 10.6 there is more to do. See a later entry for the rest of the story.

You can check your work with this line:

defaults read /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate

Jul 29, 2008 6:22 PM

Retrospect Lives!

So, it appears the EMC hasn’t pulled the plug on Retrospect after all! A public beta test of “Retrospect X” is currently under way. They expect to release the upgrade sometime in 2008.
I was interested in knowing two things: is the issue with Leopard’s firewall resolved and is the issue with OS X Server and SQL files resolved.
I’m happy to report that the Leopard firewall issue seems to be fixed. I put the beta (2nd round) of Retrospect Client on my home Mac mini, which simply would not backup before unless the Firewall was off, (despite trying of the tricks I’ve seen). Now it works fine. Whee.
As for the OS X Server / SQL issue, I don’t know. The new Client requires OS X 10.4 and the Server I am having trouble with runs 10.3. Rats.
Jul 20, 2008 6:54 PM