Using OS X Server's Software Update service with multiple Mac OS X client versions

Learn how to use OS X Server's Software Update service with clients running a variety of Mac OS X versions.

Multiple versions of OS X clients can all use the same URL to connect to an OS X Server running the Software Update Service. Before following the steps in this article, your Software Update Server must be running Mac OS X Server v10.6.7 or later. Be sure to review the Software Update Service compatibility page here to learn which client versions can get updates from which server versions.

Using a configuration profile

You can use a configuration profile (such as those created by Profile Manager) to point clients to a Software Update Server. When adding a Software Update payload to the profile, specify a URL such as:

...substituting your Software Update Server's fully qualified host name for .

See the Profile Manager Help documentation for more information about creating configuration profiles.

Managed Client

To manage access to Software Update servers using Managed Client:

  1. In Workgroup Manager, click Preferences.
  2. Make sure the correct directory is selected and that you are authenticated. To switch directories, click the globe icon. If you are not authenticated, click the lock and enter the name and password of a directory administrator.
  3. Select a computer group.
  4. Click Software Update.
  5. Set the management setting to Always.
  6. Specify a URL such as this (substituting your Software Update Server's fully qualified host name for

  7. Click Apply Now.

Unmanaged clients

To point unmanaged clients (clients not being managed with a configuration profile or Managed Client) to a Software Update server:

  1. On the unmanaged client, open Terminal.
  2. Enter the following command (substituting your Software Update Server's fully qualified host name for
    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL

You can verify your change using the following command:

defaults read /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL

To point the unmanaged client computer back to the Apple Software Update server, use the following command:

sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL
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