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Allow a non administrator account to install updates or update in another manner?

Posted on 2010-08-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We support 350 macbooks.  the users are all bound to an OD OS X server running OS X server 10.5.  The problem is we want the users to be able to update their computers, but don't want to give them administrator access.  IS there any way to allow a non admin user to install updates?

Or can we use the mac remote desktop app to automatically push updates to the machines?
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Question by:ccarmichael7
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14 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
woolnoir earned 1500 total points
ID: 33508679
You cant install software updates on the client side without admin rights. You can however use apple Remote Desktop to push out the updates centrally - and can even use the task server to do it... meaning you dont need all machines online at a specific time to do it.

At my current employer we have a OSX server setup as a Apple Software Update Server, ensuring we can approve individual updates and my team and told to run a update manually when they visit machines for support reasons.

In addition to that we will have a central update policy where we test updates and roll them out using ARD...

Unfortunately this is one area of weakness concerning apple and enterprise support.
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33508692
There have also been many 'hacks' to go around this, some people have suggested allowing all accounts to be admins, and then using an OSX server together with managed preferences to restrict the account down ... most are just that 'hacks'.

Always best to use the right tools, and ARD together with a small amount of desk side stuff (for smaller updates) works a charm.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 33509184
You can permit this. If you have an OS X server and you configure it as an update server, you can then also set a preference which then permits users to install updates that you authorize.
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33509233
nappy_d : where ? I have that setup and i havent managed to locate that setting anywhere, either in the MCX prefs for machines/users or the SUS configuration. I've tried getting this to work in the past and havent managed it, so if you know something i dont please fill me in. I cant seem to locate any information elsewhere confirming the ability either.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 33509595
This feature was available in as early as 10.4 for managed prefs. I haven't had to enable it in some time. As I've moved to Casper for managing app and OS updates. Will check on one of my servers.
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33509603
If you could i would appreciate it, I cant see it on a 10.6 server so it may have been changed/removed or ive developed selecting blindness (stupidity) :)
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Author Comment

by:ccarmichael7
ID: 33512834
Yes please do that is exactly what we are looking for.
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33513014
Ive been looking into this all afternoon (on and off) and i cant see any way in 10.6 server of accomplishing non admin installations of updates. My money (if im a betting man) is that its not possible in 10.6 but nappy_d may have a way :)
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Author Comment

by:ccarmichael7
ID: 33559694
Just curious Nappy_d, are you busy or are you over this question?
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33559705
Ive looked at it some more and i dont see a way to do it - even checked with another ACSA friend of mine.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 33559724
Haven't had a chance to check an old 10.4 server at a client which is where I last remember seeing it.
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Author Comment

by:ccarmichael7
ID: 33694170
I would like to award points, but I am still unsure how to do this?  Dop you plan on adding a final comment nappy_d?
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LVL 20

Assisted Solution

by:woolnoir
woolnoir earned 1500 total points
ID: 33694692
Not sure myself how to aware - i've never asked a question and had it answered.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ccarmichael7
ID: 35160988
NAppy_d dropped out of the conversation, so the one who had the most helpful comments was Woolnoir even though there was no complete answer
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