Mac System Administrators regularly have to build and test installer packages. One of the best ways to test a package is to install it on a virtual machine. You can then quickly revert the VM to a snapshot after the installation and try again.

Since most package building happens on the command line, the fastest way to copy and install a package is with ssh. You can use scp to copy the pkg file and then run the installer command in an ssh session.

Doing two separate commands over and over seemed quite tedious. so I built myself a short script that combined both. ssh-installer takes two arguments, the first is the remote host in the form [user@]hostname (user is optional) and the second in the pkg file you want to send and install. All other arguments will be passed into the installer command on the remote host. You will probably want to add -target / in most cases. I did not add the -target as a default in case you want to test installer’s other parameters.

This script is just a shortcut for a task I have to do several times while building and testing packages. It is not in any way meant to serve as a means of managing Mac clients. You really should use a decent management system for that.

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