Casper is the best all round management platform for all things Apple. It's incredibly powerful and the JSS has no competition, but the fact it started its life a few years ago when Mac admins were using image-based deployment workflows has meant there is a gap in functionality when it comes to post-deployment patching. You can deploy patches via different built-in triggers and policies, but there is no built-in GUI for user interaction, there is no cohesive way to deploy Apple and third-party updates, and the user experience is lacking.
Munki is the absolute best way to deploy and install software on many Macs at once. It does one thing, and it does it amazingly well. It can install software and ensure Macs are patched better than any other system. It provides a great end user GUI, unifies Apple and third-party software installations, and allows installations to be deferred. Patchoo is munki inspired, and hopefully brings some of munki's greatness to (the already great) Casper.
A lot of people have built different solutions on JAMF Nation, but I think Patchoo is the best and most complete way to deploy and patch your Macs in the wild. It provides a great workflow for admins and an excellent user experience.
That's certainly an option, and many people do use munki and Casper. The tools are designed differently and it's hard to draw parallels between their workflows. It would be great to leverage munki, but currently it is difficult to integrate what's exposed via the JSS API and munki.
...it's a patching and deployment methodology that:
- allows munki-style deployment groups (dev / beta / production / etc) based on JSS computer group membership.
- will write your Apple Software Update catalogURL dynamically so these deployment groups can be pointed at NetSUS / reposado branches.
- can chain incremental updaters intelligently (eg. MS Office 2011 14.1.0, then 14.4.5)
- leverages existing and familiar Casper frameworks and methods (triggers, policies, smart groups)
From a user experience perspective it:
- provides Casper with a much needed a GUI for software installation.
- unifies Casper and Apple Software Update installations.
- allows installations to be deferred, allows flexibiliy but maintaining compliance.
- ensures users are logged out during installations.
- integrates nicely with Self Service.
The documentation needs work, the code isn't pretty, and it shouldn't be written in bash, but it (mostly) works! I am not a programmer, I'm just a lowly systems engineer that's kludged a few scripts in his time. I do think I have nailed the workflow and user experience though. It's here on GitHub so you can help make it great!
- CocoaDialog 3.x
- JAMF Casper (developed & tested on 9.22 - might work on 8.x)
- http-enabled distribution points or JDS (policy within policy doesn't play nice with fileshare-based CDPs)
- OSX (10.6-10.9)
- A big bunch of Macs!
If you want to help in any way please reach out via email or submit some pull requests.