Making a fake upgrade installer for Mac OS X

Recently, Apple switched to making the Sierra upgrade installer autodownload for users who have general autodownloads enabled.

If you want to discourage (but not prevent, especially if the users have admin privileges on their own machines) people from accidentally upgrading before you've had a chance to fully test Sierra (or any subsequent macOS releases), you can push (via Munki, for example) a fake installer.

For this, I just use Automator.

fakeupgrade01 When you launch up Automator, it will ask what you want to create. Instead of a Workflow, create an Application.

fakeupgrade02 Then find Display Notification and drag it over to the right side of the window and put in your notification message.

Save your "application" as Install macOS Sierra.app (or in subsequent years, whatever the new name of the macOS installer is).

fakeupgrade03 Cmd-I (Get Info) on the real installer and then copy the installer's icon to the Cmd-I (Get Info) on your fake installer.

Go ahead and deploy your fake installer by your usual means for managing your Mac fleet.

fakeupgrade04 Then when users double-click the "installer," it will launch up your warning message instead.

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