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Alternate macOS Software Update Method (Legacy)


FileWave server automatically pulls OS Update Catalogs for computers and these are made available through the ‘New Desktop Fileset’.  To prevent unwanted updates being installed on incorrect machines, we would recommend using the Software Update Desktop Filesets.

As of December 13, 2017, we are aware of one particular issue (logged as engineering ticket FW-19993) that will prevent successful installation of certain macOS patch packages ("macOS 10.13.2 Update" and "iTunes" have been confirmed to be affected) using the recommended Software Update Assistant. As such, it may be necessary to create a manual fileset to deploy these updates. 


The steps to follow are:

  • Pull the relevant installer down from Apple’s support site:
  • Create an empty file set
  • Place the pkg within the fileset
  • Create an Activation Script to trigger the installation of the pkg
  • Create a test association
  • Once happy associate to only the clients that require the specific patch

Example: Upgrading a 10.13.1 computer to 10.13.2

Download the delta ‘macOSUpd10.13.2.pkg’ from:

(Alternatively, download the combo updater from:

Drop the pkg into an Empty Fileset.  In this example we are going to use /private/var/tmp, as this directory is naturally cleaned out on a reboot.  Change the verification to ‘Ignore at Verify’

Create the following script and add it as an Activation Script:


# Edit the path/file to match the installer that you have downloaded
installer -pkg /private/var/tmp/macOSUpd10.13.2.pkg -target /

Script should be set as:

  • Execute once when activated
  • Wait for execution > Infinite

The fileset can now be associated to test machines.  We would recommend testing on virtual machines, since once successfully updated you will no longer be able to test on that device if you wish to re-run the test.

Once satisfied it is working as expected, you may now associate to a broader range of machines.