AAMEE is a b*tch

AAMEE iconAdobe has posted the “final” 1.0 release of Adobe Application Manager, Enterprise Edition (or “AAMEE”) here:


This release claims to fix the issue preventing installation if there was no user logged in via the GUI.

In my brief testing, if no-one is logged in, installation will hang forever while it tries to install Adobe Help, or more specifically, on the Adobe AIR Installer inside the Adobe Help payload.

It does not fix the issue where installing from a AAMEE-generated package on a mounted disk image fails.

Here’s an Adobe response to still not being able to install when no user is logged in:

This is a known issue listed in AAMEE Readme. For logout user scenario, although the deployment of packages installed via “Install Packages” through ARD is successful, installation could not be completed if done using (Copy items + Send unix command task of ARD)
Workaround for this is as below:

Restart the system and follow these steps:
1. Create a new folder and copy the deployment package into it.
2. Change the folder permissions to 700 using the chmod command.
3. Copy the folder to the client machine using the ARD “Copy items” task, setting
item ownership to “Inherit from destination folder”.
4. When you use “Send UNIX command”, the installation should be successful.

Note: “Send Unix command” in this case would the installer command for pkg installation with sudo privileges

AAMEE does not currently support “Installation from monted disk”. However, we do have it as a open issue. For now, the workaround would be to copy package locally, from mounted disk, before installing

What the ????
Even if I can figure out how to translate these “steps” into a working procedure, how does this help with remote deployments? The whole process is just so incredibly fragile, and in practice, much worse than the CS3 and CS4 deployments. This is crazy.

AAMEE is a b*tch

27 thoughts on “AAMEE is a b*tch

  1. fake_adobe_news says:

    Alternate title: AAMEE Rides the Short Bus

    Adobe developers insist they didn’t drop the baby, they just shook it a little bit. Adobe appeals to Mac OS X users for “special” consideration, “we didn’t know you could log out a Mac OS X machine, we simply didn’t know. We thought an unattended install was something that happened when you weren’t looking at the computer, it’s not our fault.”

  2. Why Adobe can’t make this easy is beyond me and I empathize with your pain, Greg.

    I don’t know how they did this, but Absolute Manage (formerly LANrev) made deploying the Adobe software an absolute breeze.

    1. If you mean that Absolute Manage has figured out how to succesfully deploy CS5 products, that’s great news, as that means there is a solution. Too bad Adobe doesn’t seem to know what it is.

      1. Poking around on the LANrev site, I can’t find any evidence that they have any special support for CS5 deployment. The most recent post on their forums about CS5 is from a LANrev employing pointing people to AAMEE.

        JAMF/Casper seems to be in the same position — pointing people at AAMEE.

  3. I haven’t needed to install without anyone logged in, however, that is an option in LANrev. Quite frankly it’s minimal disruption already because the LANrev agent suppresses everything. I will try the install with no console user logged in and let you know how it goes.

  4. Also wanted to add that I’d highly recommend Absolute Manage to anyone. It’s a fabulous product, especially if you have cross-platform software distribution needs. It integrates well with OD or AD, WebHelpDesk, etc. It’s definitely better than Filewave or Casper. We also picked AM over Dell’s Kace product too.

    1. By this I assume you mean not only did LANrev import the CS5 installer, but was able to successfully deploy it when there was no logged in user?


      1. That’s correct. That tab you see at the top of the window is actually a bit of extra engineering that LANrev did to ease the pain of Adobe’s deplorably bad installer. The other options you see are standard options.

        I believe you can download a free 30 day trial and try LANrev for yourself.

  5. Ryan:

    Pardon my skepticism, but your screenshot (even in the most recent reply) shows Adobe CS4 apps. I’ve yet to see evidence that LANrev can successfully install CS5 apps while no user is logged in.

    If, in fact, you have successfully done this, would you mind discussing the nitty-gritty directly via email? I have several questions that I hope will lead me toward a solution for myself.

    1. I’m waiting on the serial number from SHI so I’ll try it and let you know. The latest build from LANrev seems to recognize CS5 just as it did with CS4, but we’ll see.

    2. Ryan Nix says:

      News to report on deploying CS 5: Absolute Manage/LANrev didn’t quite work as CS 4 did, which is to say I did in fact need Adobe’s Enterprise tool to repackage the software. Once that was done, I was able to successfully deploy CS 5 without a user logged in. AM support said they will re-examine whether or not to support installing CS 5 like they did with CS 4 directly through AM.

  6. TGB says:

    Worked for me. Built Dreamweaver CS5 pkg using AAMEE 1.0, threw it into Casper, set up a policy and deployed it with nobody logged in:

    /usr/sbin/jamf is version 7.1
    Executing Policy Adobe Dreamweaver CS5…
    Downloading BOM for Adobe Dreamweaver CS5_Install.pkg…
    Downloading Components of http://x.x.x.x:80/CasperShare/Packages//Adobe Dreamweaver CS5_Install.pkg…
    Installing Adobe Dreamweaver CS5…
    Succesfully installed Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.
    Downloading BOM for Adobe Dreamweaver 11.0.2 Update.pkg…
    Downloading Components of http://x.x.x.x:80/CasperShare/Packages//Adobe Dreamweaver 11.0.2 Update.pkg…
    Installing Adobe Dreamweaver 11.0.2 Update…
    Succesfully installed Adobe Dreamweaver 11.0.2 Update.
    Running Recon…
    Searching Additional Path: /Users/
    Gathering Application Usage Information…

    /me shrugs.

    1. This is good news and means that there are ways to get this to work; even if Adobe can’t clearly communicate them.
      It sounds like Casper doesn’t require that you wrap bundle packages into a idks image file, and can recursively download a bundle-style package from the Casper webserver. This avoids the disk image issue. I wonder how they are avoiding the Adobe Help/Adobe AIR issue – where the Adobe Help installer hangs if no-one is logged in via the GUI…

  7. paulo says:

    unable to find a better solution, managed to get Design Standard suite deployment using logGen and packagemaker – now holding breath for next adobe update …

  8. Flanger says:

    have anyone managed to silently install Adobe Acrobat 9 (on top of CS5) without being asked for admin-credentials after first startup of the app?

  9. You wouldn’t happen to be using SSH would you? There is a problem with AIR installation with SSH when no user is logged in. We (Adobe) are working on a fix right now.

    I’m going to point the Adobe product manager responsible for AAMEE to this site so you can get more direct information.


  10. Don Montalvo says:

    I wonder if Adobe fixed this with AAMEE 1.1? Or will the AIR installer itself need an update to fix this problem? Jody R has been very receptive to everyone’s concerns. He’s an experienced Mac administrator who understands central management. Yay!

    I still loathe Adobe…one day when they shake down their developer group and hire folks who bring real enterprise deployment experience to the table.

    Don Montalvo
    Coppell, TX

    1. Tim Kimpton says:

      I loathe Adobe as well but they have always been enterprise admin unfriendly and I don’t think they will ever change.

      Seeing as Adobe are reading this..


      Apologies but I just needed to get years and years of frustration out.

      1. Tim Kimpton says:

        And 1 last thing Adobe. Stop this self healing for Acrobat. In an enterprise environment users are not admins!!!

        Repeat after me

        In enterprise environment users are not admins

        And repeat that 100 times and go and tell your boss! And get him to tell his boss etc!

  11. Tim Kimpton says:

    If all fails back using JAMF Composer snapshoting, installing,updating, ripping out the junk build a pkg and test like crazy.

    1. JAMF Composer easily creates a deployable package that suppresses registration, auto updates and EULA. You can also capture user specific settings and populate current and future settings (of course by populating User Template). Deploying Acrobat is easy compared to deploying CS5.

      Don Montalvo

  12. Just tried the updated Adobe Application Manager v1.1.103.0 to create pre-serialized packages of the following CS5 applications: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, Dreamweaver and Flash Pro. On a whim I tried installing them to a newly refreshed (“vanilla”) MacPro via ARD3 Task Server and … It worked! No user logged in at the console during the process. I know! I’m shocked, too. Even Adobe Help. In the installer pkg’s I’d included a reference to my lab’s Adobe Update Server I’d set up a couple of weeks ago to try out. And that seems to have worked as well (meaning it saw and used the setting).

    I see on the page URL below that they now have v1.2. Will give that try soon.


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