I have been tasked by my organization to install Adobe Creative Cloud apps on our twenty plus users computers who use it. We don’t utilize the teams or enterprise dashboard. Just the trusty ol’ serial number and Creative Cloud Packager.
This post is going to focus on getting Adobe Creative Cloud apps added to the Munki repo and successfully pushed out to users with no errors or Munki continuous install loops. The end goal is for the user to install the Adobe CC apps using Munki, and not require the user to sign in to Creative Cloud Desktop App in order to use the program. When the program is launched it should open and work.
Note: This post assumes you have some basic knowledge of Munki, MunkiAdmin (GUI for Munki) and a Munki Repo is setup and running.
Munki Tools, MunkiAdmin (GUI for Munki), Adobe Creative Cloud Packager, TextWrangler
Before you dig in and start building packages using Creative Cloud Packager you will want to make sure you start in a clean workspace. What I mean is that the computer you are using to build the packages should not have any Adobe applications installed. Including the Creative Cloud Desktop Application. Having Adobe apps installed will likely cause licensing errors or other quirky issues with the packages you build. Start fresh and you shouldn’t run into any issues building your packages.
I recommend having two computers or VM’s available, one to build the Adobe CC packages and one to install the applications on. You will need to install the Adobe apps that you want to push via Munki on a computer in order to get pertinent install information for the pkginfo file of each application. If you were to just build the application and import it into Munki and push out to users computer it will likely get stuck in a loop of wanting to install because the pkginfo file does not contain an installs array that can determine if the application needs to be installed or not. Munki Admin tools will need to be installed on both computers as well. And a text editor like TextWrangler to edit the pkginfo file.
At the end of this post, I will link to the various articles, presentations, and other information that helped me successfully build packages and get them into Munki and pushed out to the users.
Make sure you have the Enterprise License and link to download Creative Cloud Packager.
Download and install CCP. By default, the CCP will install to /Applications/Utilities folder.
Open CCP and sign in using your Adobe ID. If you don’t have an Adobe ID you can use the Get An Adobe ID link located on the CCP sign in screen.
Once you’re signed in click on Creative Cloud for Enterprise.
Next, you want to give the Package a name and select a place to save it to. For License Type, you want to select Serial Number License. If you don’t want users using the Creative Cloud Desktop Application you can uncheck the box next to Creative Cloud Desktop Application. Click next to proceed to next screen.
Enter your Enterprise License number. Click next to proceed.
Now you’re ready to build packages. Because we are building these packages to import into Munki, we want to build individual application packages. Don’t select all and build one package. It won’t work. Select an individual app. If you check the box next to the app it will install the base app, additional components if available, and updates. If you click on the little triangle you can select to just install the base version of the app or just the update. Some packages like Photoshop also include extra installers for things like Camera Raw or other plugins. Since this is the first time the package is going to be imported into Munki I recommend installing the App and its subcomponents. Click Build.
Once the build has completed you can either close the window or go back to the main menu and build more applications. If you go back to the Main Menu, since you’ve already entered the serial number, you will not have to enter serial number again.
You will see a Build folder which has the App.pkg and Uninstall.pkg located where you selected to save the file in the Package Details screen of CCP.
Importing into Munki
It takes a little bit of work to get the Adobe CC apps imported into Munki and pushed out to the user. When the app is initially imported into Munki the PKG info file that is created from that package will not have enough relevant information to install successfully on the users’ computer and will likely cause an install loop. Munki won’t think it’s installed and the app will continuously show up in the Updates section of Managed Software Center. With some work, we can pull the information needed from the app and add an Installs Array to the pkg info file of the application. In order to get the information for the installs array, we need to install the Adobe Creative Cloud app onto a computer that is not the same one used to build the app.
Make sure the Munki Admin tools and a text editor of your choice (like TextWrangler) is installed on the computer you are going to install the CC apps. You will either need to use a flash drive and bring the build folder from the computer you built the packages with and put it on the computer you are going to install the app on. Or you can do what I do and import the app into Munki and push it to the computer you are going to install the app on. That way you don’t need to waste time copying it to flash drive and off onto the other computer. And your one step closer because it’s already imported into Munki, it’s just not going to be quite ready to push out into production. The steps below I started on the computer that I built the Creative Cloud packages on.
Open Terminal. We are going to use the Munki command line tools to import CC package into Munki. Note that we are going to import both the app.pkg and the uninstall.pkg into Munki. You will find the .pkg files in the Build folder of the location you told CCP to save the package it built.
munkiimport /Location/of/your/ccpackage.pkg --uninstallpkg /Location/of/uninstall.pkg
Munki will work its magic and start creating a .dmg file and present you with some options to fill in. Below is an example of the options you must fill in.
Item name: Adobe Illustrator Display name: Illustrator CC (2017) Description: Adobe Creative Cloud Version: 188.8.131.527 Category: Adobe Developer: Adobe Unattended install: False Unattended uninstall: False Catalogs: testing Import this item? [y/n] y Upload item to subdirectory path : No existing product icon found. Attempt to create a product icon? [y/n] n
After you fill in the relevant information the .dmg file that Munki created will copy to the Munki Repo and once it is finished you will be prompted to rebuild catalogs.
Rebuild catalogs? [y/n] y
After the catalogs have been built go ahead and push the application to the computer you are using to install the app on. Once the app has installed run the following command in terminal to get the relevant information needed for the installs array. In this example, I am using the InDesign App.
makepkginfo -f /Applications/Adobe\ InDesign\ CC\ 2017/Adobe\ InDesign\ CC\ 2017.app
You will get the following output in terminal.
Copy the installs key and all of the information down to and including <string>184.108.40.206.0 (Please edit me!)</string> and paste it into the pkginfo file for the application you imported into Munki. In this case, I will put it in the InDesign pkg info file. Make sure you edit the 220.127.116.11.0 (Please edit me!) string with the correct version number of the application.
The above screenshots are just a snippet of the 2000+ lines in the pkginfo plist. The rest of the information in the plist does not need to be modified. Just the installs array you got from makepkginfo -f command in terminal needs to be added to the plist towards the beginning to replace the generic default installs array that was created when the package was first imported into Munki. Once you are finished editing the plist go ahead and save it.
When you first imported the Adobe App into Munki using the munkiimport command there was a step that asked Attempt to create a product icon which I selected N for no. The reason I didn’t attempt is that it fails to find the application icon. It’s just as easy to pull the application icon from the already installed app and add it to Munki using MunkiAdmin (the GUI for Munki).
Go to the Applications folder and right or control click on the Adobe App. Select Show Package Contents. The Contents folder will open with all of the files that make the program run. Go to Resources folder and select App icon and copy it. Save it to desktop or wherever you want to temporarily store the file. Once you have it copied to the desktop you can use MunkiAdmin to import the icon into Munki and use it for the application so you don’t have to use the generic yellow pkg icon.
Open up MunkiAdmin and control or right click on the Adobe App you want to add the icon too.
Choose Create New Icon for Name “Adobe App”. If you choose this option anytime you update the application as long as you name it the same name the icon will automatically be added to the new package. A window will appear and you can select option for Choose Image. Navigate to wherever you saved the icon and select the image. Your application will now have its respective image associated with it in Munki.
Now you’re ready to push to a couple of test machines to make sure everything is working as expected.
If you’re familiar with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite you know that there are over 20 apps available. Doing this for every application is time-consuming, to say the least. Luckily our users don’t utilize all 20 apps so doing this a handful of times for the applications that we use was not too bad.
If you need to import all of the Adobe Creative Cloud apps there is a python tool written by Tim Sutton called aamporter available on GitHub that will download updates and optionally import into Munki.
I also recommend checking out the links below for a more detailed understanding of Adobe Creative Cloud and how it works. Also, check out the Munki wiki if you need a solid understanding of Munki.