Installing Packages on OS X via Meraki

Installing Packages

on OS X via Meraki

If you are not comfortable with shell scripting or don’t need any scripts in this project, skip ahead to step 8. If you do want to include scripts in this installer, create one now and save it as a simple text file. Then click the Scripts tab and choose whether to run it pre-installation or post- installation.

Tip: Shell scripts must start with #!/bin/bash and the commands to run should each appear on a new line. Once you are finished adding files and scripts, save your project and click Build under the Build menu.

Your newly created installer can be found in the build folder, in the same folder as your other project files. Please test it on a few individual Macs before deploying it via Meraki.

These instructions will use a free program called Packages to create “flat” installer packages for distribution via Meraki:
A flat package is a single file that contains all the installer’s data. A “bundle” is actually a folder containing the various components of the installer. You can tell what kind you have by control-clicking or right-clicking it. If there is an option called Show Package Contents, it is a “bundle”. If not, it is “flat”.

Creating New Flat Packages

  1. Open Packages. If the New Project screen doesn’t appear,

    go to the File menu, then New Project....

  2. Choose the Raw Package option, then click Next.

  3. Type a Project Name (name of the installer), pick a Project

    Directory (where the project files will live), and click Finish.

  4. Click the Payload tab. Here, you can drag-and-drop the

    files you want to install. To install a single, self-contained program (like Oaks or Firefox), drag its icon to the Applications folder that appears in Packages.


  1. You will be prompted to use an Absolute Path or Relative Path. If you’re not sure what this means, just leave the default setting and click Add.

  2. To install files into a folder that does not already appear in Packages, click the Hierarchy menu and choose New Folder. Give it a name that matches that of the desired destination and drag it to the same location in the hierarchy. Example: To install new preference files into a user named “student”, create students inside of the existing Users folder. Then create Library, then Preferences.

Converting Existing Bundle Packages into Flat Packages

  1. Create a new raw package with no payload.

  2. Click the Scripts tab and drag one or more existing bundle

    packages to the Additional Resources area.

  3. Create a new script similar to the one below. If your existing

    package has spaces in its name, be sure to escape them

    with backslashes or enclose it in quotes as shown here:

       installer -pkg "./Any Old Bundle Package.pkg" -target /
  4. Save it as plain text and add it as a pre-installation script.

  5. Click Build under the Build menu.

Deploying Packages via Meraki
1. Upload your package(s) to a URL that is accessible to 4J

computers and to Meraki’s servers. You could use your

public_html space on files1, for example.
2. Log into Meraki and select your network (ie. school name.) 3. Go to Configure, then Software Installer in the sidebar.
4. Select only the computers you want to send this package to.

Warning: All computers are selected by default!
5. Type any description you want.
6. In the Mac OS PKG URL field, paste the package’s URL. 7. Click Save Changes, then OK.
8. Click the software install history link to monitor progress.

They should install fairly quickly next time the computers

check into Meraki – usually the next time they reboot.

David Nelson <>

Updated Thursday, April 24, 2014 Installing Packages on OS X via Meraki

8. 9.

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