Adobe Enterprise Deployment Toolkit FAIL

So I know I’m late to the party here. I’ve just recently started playing with the Adobe Enterprise Deployment Toolkit for deploying CS4 applications. I’ve found all sorts of annoyances and oddities that I wanted to do a sanity check and see if I’m missing anything…

For the rest of this post, AEDT = Adobe Enterprise Deployment Toolkit.

1) “Silent” install?

One of the points of using the AEDT is to create a “silent” installer. Adobe has a funny idea of what “silent” is. If a user is logged in, you see the Setup icon appear in the Dock (sometimes bouncing _forever_ before finally settling down), and worse, a series of alphanumerically-named disk images appear and disappear from the Desktop and/or Finder sidebar. It’s obnoxious and distracting. Yes, it doesn’t make any _sounds_, so I guess it’s silent.

If you try to run this same installer when no-one is logged in, it may not complete at all, but instead hang forever in the middle of the install. I could reproduce this problem over and over, but but poking around with ‘top’ and ‘lsof’ and looking at the system log, I figured out it was hanging while trying to install Adobe AIR. Funny, I was pretty sure I deselected that when I created the AdobeUberInstaller/Uninstaller.xml files… Rebuilt the “package” again using AEDT and now that issue seems to have gone away. Still, another reason to avoid Adobe AIR.

2) Disk image?

AEDT “packages” are really just copies of the AdobeUberInstaller and AdobeUberUninstaller and two XML files that tell those tools what to do. Each XML file contains a path to the contents of Adobe installation media; typically copied from DVDs or disk images into a folder somewhere. You can put these installation media contents on a file server (AFP only, please, SMB and NFS not supported!), or copy the media to the local machine before installing. Although the XML files generated by the AEDT contain absolute paths to the installation files, you can edit them using a text editor and provide a relative path (relative to the directory containing AdobeUberInstaller and AdobeUberUninstaller). So you can set up a folder like so:


PhotoshopCS4/
	AdobeUberInstaller
	AdobeUberInstaller.xml
	AdobeUberUninstaller
	AdobeUberUninstaller.xml
	PhotoshopCS4InstallMedia/

And set the InstallerLocation in the XML files to look like this:

<InstallerLocation>./PhotoshopCS4InstallMedia</InstallerLocation>

This works if you copy the folder to the target machine – say to /Users/Shared/, and then run the UberInstaller:

/User/Shared/PhotoshopCS4/AdobeUberInstaller

Success. Adobe Photoshop CS4 is installed. Run the AdobeUberInstaller, and it is uninstalled. (Except for Adobe Media Player.app, which you specified you didn’t want installed in the first place, but it did it anyway, but that’s a rant for another time…) So far, so good. Now you want to encapsulate this a bit to make it easier to store and copy to a machine, so you build a read-only, compressed disk image of the PhotoshopCS4 folder.
Next, you mount the disk image and try to run the UberInstaller.

/Volumes/AdobePhotoshopCS4/AdobeUberInstaller

It churns for a while, then:

FAIL with Exit code 7, which means “Unable to complete the Silent workflow”. That’s helpful. The logs are not too helpful either. Go back to the folder you created the disk image from, and it installs fine. Uninstall from the folder. OK. Now try the disk image again.

FAIL.

Has anyone gotten this to work from a disk image? Am I missing something? Gah.

Adobe Enterprise Deployment Toolkit FAIL

4 thoughts on “Adobe Enterprise Deployment Toolkit FAIL

  1. Hey,

    I HAVE gotten it to work with CS3 – and I remember getting that error EXACTLY – but I can’t remember, exactly, how I fixed it. Not helpful, I know. What might help you is this –> http://www.huronhs.com/techwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Site.Packaging I remember that when I DID GET it to work, I documented the steps….so hopefully they help you. Yes I know it’s CS3, but I think they use the same method in CS4. Check out the steps and see if there’s something different or helpful?

  2. nvp says:

    LOL!! I share your pain!! CS4 Deployment sucks.
    If you have a proxy for internet access the silent installer fails because it cant connect to the internet!!

  3. Adobe Software sucks. It’s hard to imagine, that this software wants to be on the edge of graphic-tools and deploying is like a crap. Every version its getting more worse. Grrr….

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