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Packaging Software Notes (Endpoint Management Tools - Mac)

This article applies to: Endpoint Management Tools

This page is intended for IT support professionals. End users should contact local IT support.

This page provides extra detail for the steps outlined on our Packaging Software for Deployment guide.


  • While most of the time a "Normal" snapshot is fine for packaging software installs, if you wish to capture the modification of existing preferences, use "New and Modified" snapshot instead.
  • Review all the files captured and remove any that are not necessary, or that are unique to your personal installation.
  • Note that there is a list of files always excluded (in Composer Preferences).

DMG versus PKG

The differences between saving an installer package as DMG or PKG can be summarized by noting these key differences:

hierarchical filesystem, retains permissions not
not includes installer logic
required for user files not
can use block mode for fast copying cannot
cannot can contain a signature

A PKG is either a flat file container or a bundle including folders.

User Settings

  • If you need to capture user settings (files in /Users), you need to build as a DMG.
  • To deploy the settings from the package (via a Policy), you must check the boxes in the Casper Admin package definition for Fill Existing Users and/or Fill User Templates.
  • With a package using FEU (Fill Existing Users), Casper grabs the files in the build computer's respective Users path and deposits them in the same path on the computers that receive the packaged software. You must separately remove them if that user does not exist on the receiving computer. See this JAMF discussion on FEU and FUT.
  • FEU does not work with non-local accounts in a directory (for example, an AD account is used for login).

Package Indexing

  • Once created, a package can be indexed via Casper Admin.
  • If you wish to enable Uninstall, you must index first.
  • To use Self Healing, you must index.

Managing Packages with Casper

Your packages are created with Composer, but you manage them with Casper Admin or the JSS web interface. You add the package by drag and dropping it on the Casper Admin window which copies it to the distribution point and adds to JSS. Once added to JSS, it is recommended you make the following changes to the package. Except for noting the JSS ID number, these changes can all be made from either Casper Admin or the JSS web interface.

In the General Panel

  1. Set the Category.
  2. Enter text in the Info box to describe for the user in a few words what the software is and the version.
  3. Enter Notes to indicate some about how it was created, when, and by whom.

In the Options Panel

  1. Change the Priority. If package is OS use 1; if a required OS addition 5; if a patch to other software, make the number greater than corresponding software in JSS.
  2. If you built as DMG and need to Fill Existing Users (see above), check that box. Likewise for Fill User Templates.
  3. If you wish to use this package for image builds, check This package must be installed to the boot volume at imaging time.
  4. If you indexed and expect to create an uninstall policy, check Allow this package to be uninstalled by Casper or a Policy.

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