opsi in heterogeneous environments
The client management system that is based on a Linux server, simplifies software installation, patch management, and the inventory of hardware and software in large networks and environments. More and more companies and organizations are using not only Windows on their desktops but also Linux and macOS. As this monoculture disappears, the need for a single solution to deploy software distribution for all client machines grows at the same time.
From now on, opsi can manage not only Windows and Linux computers but also Apple computers. This support is made possible by the new functions and features of opsi 4.2, which was released in May of 2021. In the course of reworking and porting to Python 3, the developers have paved the way for platform-independent clients. The new macOS client is now available as a paid extension. Unlike the Windows and Linux versions, it does not take care of the automated installation of the operating system but only the distribution of software, patch management and inventory.
How the macOS-Client works
The new client can take care of unattended installations of .app directories, .dmg, .pkg and .zip files under macOS. The patch management initiates a connection of the Macs to the Apple servers and regulates the download and installation of existing updates. There is also the option to write scripts for updating third-party applications. Also, the configuration of the software runs automated. The opsi script interpreter can process and deliver quite different formats of setup files, including XML, JSON, .ini, or key-value files.
The developers have also ported the two tools hwaudit and swaudit for inventorying hardware and software. Both tools now work cross-platform, detect the operating system, collect information and transmit it to the opsi server.
Before using the macOS client, administrators activate the SSH service of the Mac computers. Those who want to use the opsi client on one of the new ARM-based Mac (Apple M1) should upgrade to Rosetta 2 as a compatibility layer.
Further information at the opsi macOS client manual (pdf)