How to use the Software Update service in OS X Server to update your Mac clients

The Software Update service included with OS X Server lets you host Apple Software Updates on your own server.

Compatibility

Your server can provide updates for clients using the same version of OS X, and some earlier versions of OS X:

Server version Earliest client supported Latest client supported
OS X Server (Yosemite) OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard OS X 10.10 Yosemite
OS X Server (Mavericks) OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard OS X 10.9 Mavericks
OS X Server (Mountain Lion) OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
OS X Server (Lion) OS X 10.5 Leopard OS X 10.7 Lion

Mac clients with different versions of OS X can use the same URL to connect to your server to download updates. You don't have to create a separate server for each client version you want to support.

Use 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:

http://su.example.com:8088/index.sucatalog

Substitute your Software Update Server's fully qualified host name for su.example.com.

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

Use 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, substituting your Software Update Server's fully qualified host name for su.example.com.

    http://su.example.com:8088/index.sucatalog

  7. Click Apply Now.

Unmanaged clients

Use these steps to point client Macs that aren't managed with a configuration profile or Managed Client to your Software Update server:

  1. On the unmanaged client, open Terminal.
  2. Use the following command. Substitute your Software Update Server's fully qualified host name for su.example.com.
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL http://su.example.com:8088/index.sucatalog

You can verify your change using this command:

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

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

sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL
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