Jul 2014

0.9941 - Autopkg + JSS + Patchoo! & No more Mr. Nice Admin

AutoPKG + JSS-autopkg-addon + Patchoo

The holy grail of Casper software deployment?

If you don't know how cool AutoPKG is, you best get acquainted. In a nutshell, it will follow a recipe - check, download and repackage software for you, and with the very recent addition of a GUI it will do it at the touch of a button!

I am yet to get my hands dirty with the way it all works myself, but Allister Banks has built a processor for AutoPKG that every JAMF admin should be very excited about.

JSS-autopkg-addon effectively takes freshly built pkgs from autopkg, loads them onto your CDP and then creates the necessary smart groups and policies required for distribution. Cool beans! There has been a bit of talk on JAMF Nation and various channels about some of the shortcomings of Casper software deployment, that it's far too admin heavy. Automating a lot of the tedium around policy and smart group creation will go along way to solving this until JAMF revamps it's software deployment tools.

Calum Hunter has modified the policy and smart group template that JSS-autopkg-addon uses, and it can now dump these freshly created flat pkgs into your patchoo-dev track 100% ready for testing and deployment!

  1. AutoPKG recipe runs.
  2. Go to your dev/testing Mac client and start a Patchoo run click "Check for Updates" in Self Service.
  3. Test deployment and app function.
  4. Move update to beta.
  5. Move update to production.

A huge thanks to all the AutoPKG gang, all the Patchoo users and the entire Mac Admin community. We are all doing and ever more importantly, sharing some awesome work! We are the pirates taking over enterprise IT!

Nasty Mode

No more Mr. Nice Admin!

Until now, Patchoo has pseudo forced installations once the defer counter expired. There was only one button, but by design I didn't want a timeout to logout and install if a Mac was unattended.

Unfortunately, in this day and age of modern client management, those tricky users will find a loophole and do their darndest to not install software patches. We have a few users that are deliberately ignoring the all installations prompts. Catching them in the PatchooDeferCount10+ group and sending reminder emails from the JSS worked, sometimes, but at some sites I had to engage support technicians to physically walk to desks and talk with users. That's not a great use of anyone's time.

But in the end, it's too much admin work and there will always be people that don't have the 5 minutes a month it takes to patch their systems. Well, no more....


When enabled (default), if the final forced update prompt is ignored, users are forcibly logged out and patches are installed. Users ARE allowed to save work and will be prompted. Stuck apps will pause the logout process, but it's persistent and will keep quitting apps until users are logged out.

If you are in the same situation, addressing the issue as a security and compliance matter is the best way to allay complaints. We are a public US company and must comply with SOX, even if it sometimes can be slightly inconvenient for our staff.

Get the latest commit


You'll also notice a long overdue license file in the repo as well. Patchoo is released under Apache 2.0.

I'm no fancy big city lawyer, but this pretty much means you can use it how you want. I've had some great interest and been surprised at some of the really cool companies that are using it (most I can't mention unfortunately). Hopefully this means a few more with more stringent legal requirements can use it too!


If you'd like to contribute please feel free to reach out, or get on Github and submit pull requests!


0.994 - fixes & major OSX Upgrades

Patchoo 0.944 has been pushed and fixes handling of zipped pkg bundles on Casper 9. I've only recently migrated to the new 9 format (don't ask) and there was a bug when looking up zipped pkg friendly names in the JSS.

Changes in this release:

  • correctly handle and lookup zipped pkg bundle info from the JSS.
  • improvements in OSX upgrades using createOSXInstallPKG
  • fixed a small UI discrepancy in the OSX upgrade prompts
  • quoted api credentials handle special chars in passwords.

Did you know you can perform major OSX upgrades via Patchoo? By using createOSXInstallPKG and patchoo you can provide as convenient admin hands-off major OSX upgrade deployment to 10.9 (or 10.10) via Casper.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 11.35.44 am

Here's a great tip!

Use a smart group to scope your deployment, and utilise nested groups to release it to clients as you require. Some organisations may have legacy enterprise software which may not be supported by the latest release of OSX. Instead of doing a blanket upgrade to all clients you can do the following:

Scope the patchoo requirements like so:

Cached Pkg does not have: OSXInstall10.9.3.pkg.zip
OS is not like, 10.6,10.9, 10.10

And then you can setup a static computer group (update10.9-manual) to add Macs you wish to upgrade to.

Group them in ( ) with OR, and you can add an entire department or office smart group to deploy Mavericks (or Yosemite) to a all computers without further admin interaction.

Once they are scoped correctly (make sure you check!), you might like to send an email direct from the JSS advising users of the impending upgrade and what to expect. Don't have your JSS populated with your user's directory information and email addresses? Don't worry, I can help there too.

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 10.19.15 am

Users receive updates in the same way they usually do, but are prompted additionally that the update requires AC power and will take up to 90 minutes.


For more information please read the documentation here. Deploying Major OSX Upgrades