Force OS X Clients to Update & Restart

Discussion in 'macOS' started by 7302473, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. 7302473 Suspended

    Jun 11, 2007
    We have a Mac OS X Server (10.8) deployed in our organization and all of our OS X (10.8) workstations are setup to receive their updates through the SUS component running on this OS X Server.

    Everything is working and our client workstations are receiving their updates through our centralized SUS - however, some of our users never shutdown or restart their workstations, so their workstations may be weeks/months behind in updates.

    Is there any way to force our OS X workstations to update and restart on a schedule? All Windows workstations + servers in our organization are set to update and restart every Saturday @ 3AM, so I would be looking for something similar for our OS X workstations.

    Thoughts and/or recommendations?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
  3. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: crontab and AppleScript/Calendar...


    May I offer a couple alternatives?

    Yes, I concur with maflynn, ARD can be used to update and restart other computers on a particular schedule.

    And I know that the following suggestion is "old school" (but unlike ARD, it is free), but you could also do the same thing by adding a single line to the crontab file on each machine. Apple's launchd daemon will start the cron daemon if the "crontab" file exists, so you could add a line to crontab to restart the computer say once a week at midnight on Saturday night. See the manpage for details ("man crontab").

    A more "Apple" way of doing the same thing is to use AppleScript to write a simple shell script that AppleScript will execute whenever the Calendar app tells it to. Thus AppleScript in conjunction with Calendar (iCal) can also be used to restart any computer on a periodic schedule.

    Having said this, most software updates do not require restarts, so your machines may not be the "weeks/months behind in updates" that you think they may be. In fact, those updates that indeed do require restarts, such as new OS kernels, will often schedule a restart of the machine. Only if the user intervenes to cancel the restart will the update not occur.

    Good luck,

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