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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server System 10.4
I've been using my computer on a network where there is a Software Update Server (SUS) available, but since my computer is not managed by Tech Support, I've been unable to use it. I recently found the secret location of the preference that Workgroup Manager saves the SUS location in; it's in /Library -> Managed Preferences -> short_username -> com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist.

Copy the following code into a plain text document and save it as com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist in the above mentioned location. Make sure to edit the string of CatalogURL to your specific SUS URL:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
  <key>CatalogURL</key>
  <string>http://PUT THE URL OF YOUR SUS HERE/</string>
  <key>WebKitDefaultFontSize</key>
  <integer>11</integer>
  <key>WebKitStandardFont</key>
  <string>Lucida Grande</string>
</dict>
</plist>

I suppose that if someone wanted to mirror the Official Apple SUS on a much faster connection, this hint would be beneficial to just about anyone.

Before anyone tells me what I didn't "know" ... I know that I don't personally need access to a server to have the Server Admin Tools installed on my machine, and that I can use them to manage the preferences of my local machine, specifically the SUS option.
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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server | 11 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server
Authored by: giskard22 on May 19, '06 08:05:24AM

This hint is way too complicated. There's no need to manually edit a plist file; the 'defaults' command does everything you need. There are three options, depending on exactly how you want the preference saved:

1. defaults write com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL "http://update.server.address:8088/"

This writes the pref only for the user that runs the command, and only affects the GUI Software Update tool.

2. defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL...

Writes the pref system-wide, so any user who runs the GUI tool will get the specified server.

3. sudo defaults write com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL...

Writes the pref for the root user, so the command line 'softwareupdate' tool will use the specified server.



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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server
Authored by: orlin on May 20, '06 04:51:34AM

giskard22,
Thanks a lot for the hint. That's exactly what I was looking for.

I have an XServe and I wanted to use SUS, but I didn't want to have the clients authenticate through Open Directory.



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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server
Authored by: daschu on May 21, '06 05:55:52PM

Thank you for your comments. I didn't know about the defaults command and couldn't figure out how to make the preference system wide. Thanks.



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10.4: Local SUS not reporting correctly
Authored by: bschmwsii on Jun 21, '06 10:11:50AM
Great hint! However, I am obviously doing something wrong. I use the defaults command via Terminal to change the SUS to my local server "http://10.0.1.2:8088/"; and the TestMac finds the SUS server as expected. However, the TestMac reports that no updates are required. When I point the TestMac back to the standard Apple SUS it reports the correct updates. Any ideas?

TIA!

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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server
Authored by: jeremycrandell on Nov 15, '06 12:51:53PM

I've moved a client machine out of an office where I had modified the SUS address to be our own server. Now that this client machine is in a different environment, I'd like to point it back to the official Apple Software Update Server but, cleverly, don't know that address. Anyone?



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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server
Authored by: pinguru on Jan 04, '07 03:51:36AM

You don't actually need the address. If you remove the key pointing to your internal server it will default back to Apple.

Try: -

defaults delete com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL

or if you added it for root: -

sudo defaults delete com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL

or System-wide: -

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

I would suggest doing a defaults read for the appropriate variation to check beore doing the delete.



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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server
Authored by: dkoff on Nov 12, '07 06:02:39PM

this process doesn't work for me. i am able to force any user to revert to using apple's own softwareupdate servers by DELETING those pref files from any user's home folder as well as the root directory.

# To kill the root account
rm /Library/Preferences/com.apple./SoftwareUpdate.plist

# To kill any other account
rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple./SoftwareUpdate.plist

running this will delete these files, not alter them. no restart is necessary. running software update via the GUI will now return you to apple's servers as originally all macs ship.



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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server
Authored by: LoonyPandora on May 19, '06 09:01:01AM

Is there a way to specify multiple servers in that preference file? This would be useful on a laptop - for example, specify a fast swupdate server on the LAN for when you are inside the network, but default to the regular Apple swupdate server when you are outside, and the first one isn't available.

For those who don't even want to try the simple defaults command, there is always Software Update Enabler - works a treat!



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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server
Authored by: allanmarcus on May 19, '06 11:38:21AM

Ifthe SUS server is not available, it automatically falls back on the Apple server. At least that's what my network does.



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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server
Authored by: jtunison on Mar 16, '07 01:01:22PM

I'm bummed!! My sample client (eMac running 10.4.9) does NOT fall back to Apple's server if the defined local SUS server is not available. I've tried setting it two different ways (one way at a time) but it fails in both cases. I set the system-wide default, tested, then undid that and tried setting it just for the current user and tested.

Software Update client says that there is a networking problem and offers you the choice of Quitting or running Network Diagnostics (which of course don't find any problems with your basic connectivity).

I was hoping for an improvement that laptop users would not notice at all. Now I don't think I can use this for that set of customers, because they'd have to know/remember to switch to a different user or undo the setting when not here.

If the corporate firewall happens to allow that port 8088 traffic through, and our (departmental) server was running, then it would work. But probably not if they were cross country or abroad. It wouldn't be faster (I hope) than Apple's servers.



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10.4: Manually add a Tiger Software Update Server
Authored by: markflo on May 19, '06 12:16:08PM

I was going to suggest setting up a LAN DNS server and firewall so that when you're on your internal network, your computer sees your SUS as a local machine, but when you're outside of your network it will find it via its public IP. This is how our network is set up and it works very nicely -- for everything from AFP servers to mail servers, and now the Software Update server.



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