Packaging for Apple Administrators

This is a great resource for anyone who spends any amount of time dealing with macOS and software installations.
★★★★★ – Tim Sutton

This book should be in every MacAdmin iBook Library!
★★★★★ – Francois Levaux-Tiffreau

The essential introduction for system administrators to using, analysing and building installation package files (pkg) on macOS.

In this book you will learn:

  • How to work with packages, analyze them without installing and install them from the command line and remotely
  • How to inspect packages with the tools built into macOS and third party tools
  • How to build your own packages, from simple packages to complex
  • How to use the tools for package creation and customisation from macOS and some third-party tools

Working with installation packages is a fundamental skill for any system administrator. Package files are versatile and used in many ways, wether you use Jamf Pro (aka Casper), Munki, Filewave, LanRev, Apple Remote Desktop or a different management system.

This book will introduce you to the installation package file format (pkg). It will give you many examples on various techniques and strategies to build packages which will scale from small workgroups to large enterprise or school level deployments.

It also discusses larger concepts such as testing, scripting and configuration management.

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Table of Contents:

Installation

  • Installing Packages
  • Inspecting Packages
  • Inspector Applications
  • Testing Package Installation

Building Packages

  • Building
  • Installation Scripts
  • Signing Packages
  • Payload-Free Packages

Re-Packaging

  • Re-Packaging Applications
  • Custom Installers

Configuration Files

  • Challenges
  • Configuration Profiles
  • Other Settings Files

Distribution Packages

  • What are Distribution Packages
  • Installation Choices
  • Building Distribution Packages
  • Installer Interface

Packaging Strategies

  • Application Installation
  • Configuration Files

Other Package Builders

  • munkipkg
  • quickpkg
  • WhiteBox Packages
  • Jamf Composer

Appendix

  • Legacy Package Formats
  • Command Line Reference

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