Suppress Auto-Update Acrobat Mac OS X

Recently the question came up on the Munki User Group forum on how to disable the Adobe Acrobat update setting via command line. The difficulty comes because the necessary key in the plist file is nested multiple levels into dict and arrays. I’ve yet to find a way to modify nested values using the defaults command. Below I outline two methods for modifying this setting. First solution is best if you plan to deploy Acrobat in large numbers as it will allow you to build a custom installer that is fully updated. The second is ideal for quickly changing that value or scripting that modification.

Using Snapshots

What I’ve done for Acrobat, and may other problematic OS X installers (ie. VISE) is use something like Installease to do snapshots after the product is installed, updated and fully configured.

Inorder to capture the fully configured application you install Acrobat, then as the current logged in user, disable Updates, and then close Acrobat. Then take the final snapshot with InstallEase and when building the installer within InstallEase specify an alternative location for the com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro_x86…plist to, /System/Library/User Template/English.lproj/Library/Preferences. Then when you install the custom package it will install that preference to the default user template so new users automatically get that setting.

The command line solution

Now the scriptable solution …try this…

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "Set :AVGeneral:CheckForUpdatesAtStartup:1 false" /Users/*/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro_x86_9.0.plist

This will change the value for all existing users, and will only work if that file and value already exists. For deploying Acrobat with this modification the best option would be to create a payload free OS X pkg that will run a script to disable this update setting. This is ideal for deployment as it allows you to deploy the standard pkg/mpkg provided by the vendor and do your modifications in an easy-to-deploy pkg installer. See Greg Neagle’s (Creator of Munki)blog post on creating payload free packages.

– Trey

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