À la carte Adobe CS6 Master Collection using Munki


This tutorial assumes you know some Munki basics already. If you don't, check out Absolute beginner’s guide to setting up Munki (not monkey) first.

I'm still in the early stages of figuring out different ways to package Adobe CS6 Master Collection (assuming a site license here) using Munki. It isn't seamless, but it generally works. Two little issues I've found so far are Adobe After Effects not working in Yosemite until you install the updates (so you'll have to create an update package for it), and Adobe Illustrator not uninstalling when you mark it for removal (it appears to go through the uninstall procedure, but then Adobe Illustrator is still there and fully usable). I haven't had luck creating individual update packages, but if you use Adobe Remote Update Manager, it will install all the updates for all Adobe CS6 applications (so actually less work than creating update packages).

The Illustrator situation is a bit weird. I'll explain more about it below.


If your organization has the Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection, it is a whole bunch of software, most of which your users won't need or even want. You can package the entire Master Collection as one package (which is more than 8 GB for your users to download—a lot, even on a fast connection). But what if you could allow your users à la carte installations of the programs they need (e.g., just Adobe Acrobat Pro or just Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign)?

Requirements before you begin

  1. A Munki server, of course, which you've already set up.
  2. A site license for Adobe CS6 Master Collection (this tutorial may work with CS5 with some tweaks; for example, you may have to use an older version of AAMEE).
  3. At least one Munki client, of course, too. Preferably three or more.
  4. The Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition 3.1, which you can get from the Adobe website.

The actual procedure

First, go get the AAMEE from Adobe's website.

3.1 is the one you'll want for Adobe Creative Suite 6.

While that's downloading, get your Master Collection install CD or .dmg ready to go. Once it's there, go ahead and close the window, but don't eject the disk or disk image.

Once Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition is downloaded and installed, go ahead and launch it up.

Random fact: if you try to keep AAMEE in the Dock and then launch the application again from the Dock instead of from the /Applications folder, the application may (i.e., probably will) crash.

For this first go-round, you want to create an Installation Package.

The Product Installation Folder is where the install.app is for your Adobe Creative Suite disk image that's mounted (see the next picture for more details).

The Package Name is whatever description you think makes sense.

For my own sanity, I created separate folders for each program for the Save To option. You're welcome to dump them all in one folder, as long as you can keep track.

Here you can see for Product Installation Folder where you should focus for the mounted disk image or disk.

When prompted, enter your organization's serial number, and then click Next.

Sign in with your Adobe ID.

Select the program you want to install.

These defaults are all right.

The installer will check for updates.

Uncheck all updates.

The official Munki documentation for CS6 says Do not repackage CS6 updates using AAMEE. Simply use munkiimport to import the diskimage as downloaded from Adobe. It doesn't give a reason, but I found my own reason. When I tried to package updates for one piece of the Adobe Creative Suite, it brought in a whole ton of other pieces that I didn't want.

Note: You can find the downloadable updates for later munkiimport on the Product updates page at Adobe.

Unfortunately, when I tried to package updates directly from Adobe, I got errors like this:

Installing Adobe Photoshop CS6 Update 13.0.1 (4 of 6)...
Mounting disk image Photoshop_CS6_13_0_1_upd-13.0.1.dmg...
Running Adobe Patch Installer...
ERROR: Error : Unable to complete Silent workflow.
ERROR: Adobe Setup error: 7: Unable to complete the silent workflow
It seems a terrible workaround, but apparently you're supposed to use a Adobe's Remote Update Manager instead. Update: The Adobe Remote Update Manager works great. It's just a simple binary file you can schedule (using Launch Daemons, not Munki) to run in the background.

Wait for the build.

If you're building only one package, click Close. If you're planning to do a whole bunch of packages, leave this open to click New Package on later.

Your mileage may vary, but I haven't had good luck using MunkiAdmin to import packages made with AAMEE (it seems to work fine for other software packages, though).

So I would recommend using munkiimport instead.

Most of the answers to the questions should be obvious, but the version number will automatically fill in a 6 for everything. Even though we're install software from Adobe Creative Suite 6, not all of the software we're installing is version 6.

I've done the legwork for you here a bit and put in the initial versions for CS6

  • Adobe Acrobat X Pro 10.1.1
  • Adobe After Effects CS6 11.0.0
  • Adobe Audition CS6 5.0x708
  • Adobe Dreamweaver CS6
  • Adobe Encore CS6 6.0.0
  • Adobe Fireworks CS6
  • Adobe Flash Builder 4.6
  • Adobe Flash CS6
  • Adobe Illustrator CS6 16.0.0
  • Adobe InDesign CS6
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6 13.0.0
  • Adobe Prelude CS6 1.0.0
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 6.0.0
  • Adobe SpeedGrade CS6 2012.7766.34

I also didn't have any luck getting Munki to recognize any icons from the AAMEE-generated files, so if you want an icon, you may have to figure that out later.

When the package info for the piece you're preparing comes up, scroll down to the installs key. According to HowMunkiDecidesWhatNeedsToBeInstalled, Munki tells whether a piece of software is installed by whether certain files or other things are present in this part of the package info file.

Note: Going by the visible path to the file will work for most of the packages. Illustrator was a bit weird, and I had to run

makepkginfo -f /Applications/Adobe\ Illustrator\ CS6/Adobe\ Illustrator.app
to find out that the real path (when running that command above, use tab completion—don't fully type out the path) is /Applications/Adobe Illustrator CS6/Adobe Illustrator.app.

Special thanks to Tim Sutton and Greg Neagle for sleuthing this for me on the Munki dev mailing list.

Also important to note: the commands in the terminal will use escapes (backslashes) before spaces in names, but the path in the Munki info file will not use escapes before spaces in names.

Just leaving the default in there, you'll run into a problem of Munki thinking every piece of the Adobe Creative Suite is installed if only one piece is installed.

So we're going to modify it to add in a new path to the exact location of the launcher file. Even though it is a .app file, the string for type should be file and not application. I tried application, and it didn't work.

When you're asked to rebuild the catalogs, go ahead and say yes (y).

You should then be able to see the software in your client's Managed Software Center after a fresh check for updates.

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