Software Update Brings Command Line Goodness
by James Duncan Davidson
In another move that shows that Apple is continuing to figure out that they now have a whole lotta Unix weenies using their OS, the latest version of Software Update adds a bonus feature in addition to its stated purpose of securing the update process. This new feature is a command line interface to the software update utility. Yes, you too can now remotely log into your Mac OS X client machine and update it.
Try it out (you may have to launch a new Terminal window after upgrading--or use rehash):
[titanium:~] duncan% softwareupdate
Software Update Tool
Copyright 2002 Apple Computer, Inc.
Your software is up to date.
Even better, there's a man page to go along with it:
[titanium:~] duncan% man softwareupdate
man: Formatting manual page...
SOFTWAREUPDATE(8) System Manager's Manual SOFTWAREUPDATE(8)
softwareupdate - system software update tool
Spiffy I say. Very spiffy. I know it's a small thing, but it shows that the clue centered in Cupertino is strengthening.
What do you think?
Must be run as root?
Great, but the manpage says softwareupdate must be run as root. That said, it runs just fine when you're not root.
Mac OS X just keeps getting better
I have to say I'm impressed with Apple's seriousness about maintaining a usable UNIX command-line. This is very encouraging. The UNIX developers currently flocking to Mac OS X will appreciate these small touches and tell their friends about them.
Actuall you can run the program from any account, but to install any piece of software you have to be installed as root.