At our major university institution, IBM IEM Tivoli BigFix has traditionally been the inventory and compliance management software that has been used. BigFix works on Macs, however is quite cumbersome to perform administration with.

Our institution decided to begin using Casper for Mac inventory and compliance management. So we wanted to find a way to push out Casper through BigFix to all our Macs which already had BigFix installed.

This guide is for pushing out JAMF Casper via BigFix, but could be easily modified to install any Mac software through BigFix.

The main issue with pushing out Mac software through BigFix, is that Windows does not understand the Mac .pkg format. The .pkg format looks like a folder to Windows. So we first have to put the .pkg Mac installer file into a .dmg Mac disk image file so that it can be downloaded by BigFix properly. Sort of like “zipping” it up.

Preparing the Mac software for BigFix deployment:

You will need access to a Mac for these steps

  1. For Casper, use Casper Remote / Admin software to create custom remote Casper .pkg installer for your Casper Site. For any other Mac software, obtain the standard .pkg installer file.
  2. Place the .pkg file into an aptly-named folder on your desktop.
  3. Then open Disk Utility on your Mac and choose File –> New Image –>Image From Folder, and select the created folder on your desktop containing the .pkg file. Set the image format to read-only with no compression, and save it.
  4. Now use the following Terminal commands on your Mac to get information on your newly created .dmg file. These commands will give you the sha1, sha256, and exact file size of the .dmg file which are needed for the BigFix script. You can drag & drop the .dmg file onto the Terminal window to fill in the path for the command.
    1. shasum /path/to/file
    2. openssl sha -sha256 /path/to/file
    3. ls -lh /path/to/file
  5. Double-click your new .dmg file to open & mount it. Take note of the volume name of the mounted .dmg file so you may edit the BigFix Action Script with “/Volumes/nameofmountedvolume“. When noted, unmount the disk image.
  6. Now, upload your .dmg file to a public open-internet space, and retrieve the public http:// link for the .dmg file after uploading it to your webspace.

Creating the BigFix action script to install Mac software:

  1. In BigFix, create a new Action Script set to Type: BigFix Action Script. Do not choose AppleScript for the script type.
  2. The following below is the action script necessary to install Mac software through BigFix. I have seen a couple other examples online, but they were much more complicated. This script is very clean and simple. It successfully pushed out Casper to all our institution Macs.

Casper BigFix Mac Software Install Action Script:

Please edit file locations and the file information to your custom software.

// download the disk image file
prefetch Casper-Install.dmg sha1:0600b5241aa175386c2e9f73ade3861bc17a8b26 size:3744239 sha256:d2a4ee225ed690d763b8023e7fb3d0e299a5b44f3734b2f3b6019ae79a8fd998

// move the DMG file to a temp directory
move “{posix path of file “Casper-Install.dmg” of folder “__Download” of client folder of current site}” “/private/tmp/Casper-Install.dmg”

// mount the disk image
wait hdiutil attach /private/tmp/Casper-Install.dmg

// run the installer
wait installer -pkg /Volumes/Casper-Install/Casper-Install.pkg -target /

// unmount the volume
wait hdiutil detach -force “/Volumes/Casper-Install/”

// remove the installer
wait rm /private/tmp/Casper-Install.dmg