"Slipstreaming" an OS X install disc?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by NathanA, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. NathanA macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2008
    #1
    Don't know how many of you are familiar with the concept in the Windows world of "slipstreaming", where you can take a Windows installer ISO and add updates or apps that were released after the ISO image was created and retail discs pressed, so that whenever you use your modified ISO, you don't have to take the time to download and install a bunch of system updates afterward on each machine.

    Does something similar exist for OS X? I've got a Mac I'm going to be shipping to a family member, and I intend to wipe and clean-install a new copy of OS X on it before it goes out. I want to make sure it is completely up-to-date before I send it off while still having the initial setup assistant come up for them when they turn it on for the first time. So to that end, I want to "slipstream" the Safari 7.1 package onto the Mavericks 10.9.5 thumb drive installer (made with "createinstallmedia") that I will be using to do the install. I have a copy of the Safari7.1Mavericks.pkg file from Apple's update servers. Is there a way I can merge it into my Mavericks install disc, replacing Safari 7.0.6, so that Safari 7.1 is already present immediately after install without having to run Software Update/App Store?

    I am aware that one can go through the initial setup assistant, create an account, run Software Update, then set it back up so that setup assistant runs again, but then I have to also purge the account I had to make in order to install the updates and clean up anything else I might have done on there during that process...it just seems needlessly "messy" and I'd prefer it if I never have to boot the machine up at all after the install is done, leaving it completely "virgin" for the recipient of the computer.

    Any ideas or leads?

    Thanks!

    -- Nathan
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    It is not easily possible. Best to just run Software Update and update it that way.
     
  3. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

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    #3
    Duff-Man says...sending it out completely up to date is nice and it's my first pref too, but at some point the recipient has to learn how to run their own updates, and to do it with the proper precautions (for non-Apple updates).

    I'd send it out with the offer to walk them through the update process, and tell them generally when to trust and when not to - would benefit them in the long run....oh yeah!
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #4
    The problem is, not everyone has lots of bandwidth.

    For instance, in Queenstown, I can only get about 100KB/s, max.

    So it normally takes a pretty long time for updates to download.

    I normally keep combo updaters and apply them onto several Macs together.
     
  5. NathanA thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #5
    So it would seem that y'all are correct...there is no (easy) way to do this. On top of the fact that all of the PKG files for Mavericks are now encased in a DMG within a DMG, even on the bootable install media created by 'createinstallmedia', it would appear that Apple is signing their PKG files and checking the signature's validity, so even if I wanted to try to slip my updates in manually, tampering with the install files isn't going to work.

    I did, however, discover a way to accomplish what I ultimately wanted to do, which was to update Safari without ever booting the Mac in question. Download the Safari PKG, boot up the Mac you are trying to update in Target Disk Mode, hook it up to another Mac that has the Safari PKG on it, run the Installer, and then point it at the hard drive of the Mac running in Target Disk Mode.

    Voilà.

    Not sure if this is a workable solution for all updates. Certainly things like EFI and SMC updates would have to be done directly on the machine, and I also don't know about point releases of OS X or combo updaters. But at least for updates to core apps that don't come through the App Store, this method works perfectly.

    Correct; my internet connection is way faster than the recipient's. At some point they will have to learn how to install their own updates, but I want to take away as much of the initial pain as possible. (...I do not look forward to them having to download all 5GB-worth of Yosemite when it is released next month, though; ugh.)

    -- Nathan
     
  6. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #6
    This may not have worked properly. You may be able to specify the destination of the Safari application itself, but the other system files will be installed into the system folders of the machine you're running on, not the target mode disk.
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #7
    The Target Disc Mode installation method works for most Apple updates and packages, but sometimes a third party package will not be installed properly.
     
  8. NathanA thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2008
    #8
    I checked for this, and it appears that at least when it comes to Safari, your concerns were unfounded. I unpacked the pkg file and compared the files it includes outside of /Applications/Safari.app (private framework files it stuck in /System/Library, a file in /usr/libexec, etc.), and all of those files were updated on the target drive...they matched the new Safari pkg files.

    I also managed to update iTunes to 11.4 using this method, although the package refused at first to install on a drive other than the current boot drive. After examining the Distribution file in the iTunes pkg, I modified it and changed rootVolumeOnly to "false" in <installer-gui-script><options />. After that it worked perfectly, so I'm not sure why that restriction was set (I also checked various files outside of the main iTunes app, like frameworks, kexts, etc.; they all matched the versions included with iTunes 11.4 and the same files on my own personal Mac).

    /private/var/db/receipts was also correctly populated, and Software Update no longer showed either Safari or iTunes updates that were pending. (I should mention that I went ahead and went through the setup assistant after doing the TDM installs and logged in to test functionality of iTunes and Safari to make sure that everything installed correctly before wiping out everything and reinstalling again.)

    -- Nathan
     
  9. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #9
    Well that's good to know, it didnt always work. I still don't know that I'll trust it, though, given how Apple is about changing stuff like this.
     

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