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Munki at Reed

What is Munki?

A software package installed on college-owned computers – both academic and administrative – that allows for remote installation of security updates and other software by CIS.

Why is that good?

  • Enables rapid deployment of critical security patches for software on faculty, staff, and other college-owned computers.
  • Safer way for CIS (and users) to update software on college owned computers.
  • Ability to improve consistency of software versions within departments.

What software packages will CIS manage?

Core Software:

  • Munki Tools (Core, App, LaunchD, Reporting, Reed-specific config)
  • KeyClient (integrates with inventory system for support & reporting purposes)

Software frequently requiring critical security updates:

  • Mac OS updates
  • Antivirus
  • Microsoft Office
  • Thunderbird
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Chrome
  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Java

What is the user experience?

When possible, CIS will install security patches in the background, without requiring a logout, restart, or otherwise engaging the user (hence the process will be essentially invisible).

In some cases, updates will require the user to logout or restart their computer.  When this is necessary, a Managed Software Update message will appear (as illustrated below):

Managed Software Update Message

The user can choose to click Later to postpone the Software Update.  After a period of time, the software update window will pop up again with the same update.  Later can be clicked as many times as the user wants.  Once Update now is chosen, the user confirms the Logout or Restart.  Cancel can be clicked at this point to back out of the update.

 Cancel or Log out and update

Emergency Security Patches

In the rare case where there is immediate and severe need to apply a security patch (think aggressive campus-wide virus), the user will not be able to postpone the update past a certain date & time.  A window will show a warning indicating exactly when the security patch will no longer be optional.

 Immediate and severe security patch message

Does this mean you can see into my computer?

No.  Munki allows CIS to update software as outlined above, but does not allow staff to view your screen.

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