Mac OS X Server v10.6: Software Update Service may not reach Apple through proxy server

In Mac OS X Server v10.6, the Software Update service may not be able to download the catalog or update files from Apple's public Software Update servers if your server is behind a HTTP proxy.

If your server is behind a HTTP proxy server and Server Admin does not list any available updates, check the /var/log/swupd/swupd_syncd.log for the following messages: swupd_syncd[31893] <Info>: ========== Sync Started ========== swupd_syncd[31893] <Error>: Unable to retrieve catalog(s) from the Apple server swupd_syncd[31893] <Info>: Sync Complete
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Note: If you are trying to use the Software Update service through a proxy defined by a Proxy Auto-Config (PAC) file, please see Mac OS X Server v10.6: Software Update Service does not use proxies defined by proxy auto-config (PAC) files.

First, update to Mac OS X Server v10.6.3 or later.

After installing the Mac OS X Server v10.6.3 Update, you will need to define your Web Proxy (HTTP) in the Network preferences. In order to change the Web Proxy (HTTP) settings, follow the steps below:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. From the View menu, choose Network.
  3. Select the primary network interface in the list of Network Interfaces.
  4. Click the Advanced... button in the Network Interface settings.
  5. Click the Proxies tab of the Advanced Interface settings.
  6. Select Web Proxy (HTTP) from the list of protocols.
  7. Enter the IP address and the port number of the Web Proxy service in the required fields.
  8. Enable the Web Proxy (HTTP) by checking the Web Proxy (HTTP) checkbox.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Click Apply.
  11. Ensure that the web is browsable through the Web Proxy (HTTP) settings by opening Safari and loading a website, such as

Important: A separate issue related to using Web Proxy (HTTP) servers that require authentication is described in Mac OS X Server v10.4 or later: Requirements for Software Update Service.

If you previously worked around this issue in Mac OS X Server v10.6, 10.6.1, or 10.6.2 by editing the in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/, and you followed the original instructions and made a back up of the original /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ file, then you can revert to the original file with the following commands:

cd /System/Library/LaunchDaemons
sudo cp

If a backup of the original file was not made, the following EnvironmentVariables section will need to be removed from the property list file:


The following command in Terminal will remove the EnvironmentVariables dictionary from the property list file:

cd /System/Library/LaunchDaemons
sudo /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "Delete :EnvironmentVariables"

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