Munki 2: Introduction

Hi all. I’ve been meaning to do this for the last few months. On 23rd September 2014, Greg Neagle released the official version 2.0 of the Munki solution.
Version 2 has brought a number of (good) changes and additional features to make the whole solution much prettier to the end user.

Firstly, the new requirements

New version means new requirements:

  • Munki 2 no longer supports Leopard (unlike Munki 1). This puts the client OS’ supported by Munki 2 at 10.6.x to 10.10.x
  • Munki 1 does not officially support Yosemite. This puts the client OS’ supported by Munki 1 at 10.5.x to 10.9.x.

New features

The biggest change for Munki 2 has been the GUI application on the client devices.
Munki 1 made use of a locally installed client application called “Managed Software Update” and this was modeled on the current built-in Apple Software Update tool of the time.
munki 2 managed software updates
However, Munki 2’s client application has been redesigned to have a similar look and feel as the modern day software update system, the Mac App Store. With this new look, is a new name, ‘Managed Software Centre’ and a new location in the main Applications folder.
munki 2 managed software centre
This new look and feel will show the most benefit to the optional applications you may offer through your Munki solution, specifically, the ability to group applications by category and to provide more detailed information regarding each installation along with screenshots and icons!
munki wiki
munki firefox wiki
This new solution also allows the customisation of the application (‘re-skinning’) to allow a number of branding options for your organisation.

Compatibility

The important question, what versions of Munki client and server work together? The answer (ignoring Mac OS X versions) is all!
The changes to the Munki server are purely some additionally directories in the Munki Repo, and some additional keys in the ‘pkgsinfo’ files. The interactions are as follows:
Munki 1 Server, Munki 1 Client
No change in behaviour.
Munki 2 Server, Munki 1 Client
Client will still use the older Managed Software Update tool. Any new items (keys) in the pkgsinfo files (such as path to icon, Categories, or Developer) will simply be ignored and the solution will function as before.
Munki 1 Server, Munki 2 Client
The Client will use the new App Store style application and will see any pkgsinfo files that are missing the keys as a blank value and use the default icons and settings (e.g. standard Apple installer icon and blank values for the others).
Munki 2 Server, Munki 2 Client
The Client will use the new App and the new features from the updated server.
Please Note: There will be no further releases for the Munki 1 tools and so any bugs that are found will not be fixed.

Looking ahead

As with the original Munki series, I’ve got a few blogs planned (time permitting!) At the risk of promising too much, I hope to cover:

  • Munki 2 Server setup / Munki 1 to Munki 2 Server upgrade
  • Munki 2 Client setup / Munki 1 to Munki 2 Client upgrade
  • Using Munki Admin with Munki 2
  • Updating your existing Munki Repo content for Munki 2

Ideally, these will be in my same ‘I assume you haven’t used Munki before and want an easy to follow, basic setup to build off’ style, please let me know if I go too much one way or another.

One more thing…

Around the same time, Greg moved the main storage of the Munki tools and wiki from Google Code to GitHub. New address is https://github.com/munki/munki

Summary

There you go again, a small introduction into Munki 2 and what has changed over Munki 1.
Any hints, tips or opinions? Let us know in the comments below and I’ll try to respond to as many as I can.
Disclaimer:
While the author has taken care to provide our readers with accurate information, please use your discretion before acting upon information based on the blog post. Amsys will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this blog.