Upgrading to Yosemite using Managed Software Center (Munki)

If you’re running an older version of OS X (e.g., Mavericks or Mountain Lion) and the tech department is telling you to use Managed Software Center to upgrade to Yosemite, this is how you do it.


  1. Set aside time for this upgrade. Keep in mind the entire process can take between 45-90 minutes. You will not be able to use your Mac for other things while this upgrade is happening.
  2. Back up important files. In theory, the upgrade shouldn’t affect your data but make sure your CrashPlan has been running and completing backups before you start this upgrade process.
  3. Plug your computer in. If you have a laptop, even though your laptop battery will likely last longer than even two or three hours, you don’t want to risk your battery running out before the upgrade process is complete.
  4. Do the upgrade at school. The network bandwidth at school is better than what you have at home, so the download of the update won’t take as long as school, and the Managed Software Center will not work when you are at home. More importantly, Yosemite is no longer available in the Mac App Store.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The upgrade process, as outlined below, is fairly straightforward, but if you’re at all nervous about it, feel free to drop by the tech office, and we’ll be more than happy to walk you through it.

First, go to your /Applications folder. Then find and open Managed Software Center.

Click on the Software tab and then scroll down until you find Install OS X Yosemite.

Click the Install button underneath it.

Once you click the Install button, you’ll see it notify you that the update is Downloading.

Click the Updates tab to check on the progress of the download. The download is several gigabytes in size (i.e., quite large), so the download may take a while (even with the school’s Internet connection).

Once the download finishes, Managed Software Center will notify you that a restart is required. If you haven’t already quit out of your other programs and saved any unsaved files, do so now.

Then, click Log out and update.

At this point in the process, it’d be a great time to eat lunch, go for a walk, meet with a student, or engage in any activity that doesn’t involve needing your Mac.

In case your idea of a good time is eating some microwave popcorn while you watch a Mac upgrade to the latest operating system, you’ll likely see something like this appear on your screen.

As you’re munching down that popcorn, you may also see a screen that looks like this.

And then you may see something like this. Even if it says “23 minutes,” it may take up to 30 or 40 minutes. If you see “less than one minute remaining,” it will likely be another 5 minutes left.

Just let it all run. A few more screens may flash by quickly. You won’t need to do anything again until you get to a login screen. As always, if you get stuck or have questions, ask the folks in the tech office. We’re more than happy to help.

Read only if you’re a Munki admin

Even though El Capitan is now the official latest release, not Yosemite, the same principle should apply. If you’re using Munki, you can use createOSXinstallPkg to make a Munki-able package from an Install OS X Yosemite.app package.

Once you have the Install OS X Yosemite.app downloaded to your /Applications folder and you have the createOSXinstallPkg-master.zip downloaded and extracted to your ~/Downloads folder, just run these commands:

cd ~/Downloads/createOSXinstallPkg-master
sudo ./createOSXinstallPkg –source /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app
and you’ll end up with a nice Munki-able InstallOSX_10.10.5_14F27.pkg you can run munkiimport on and distribute to your users.

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