Third Party Applications December 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

New Package Deployment Software StarDeploy for Mac OS X

I have been designing and perfecting a new piece of free deployment software for Mac OS X. The program is called StarDeploy, it is easy to setup and use.  All one needs is a network share and the client installed on a Mac. It can install packages or items that are not packaged. Software can be deployed on or off site because it uses AFP, FTP, SMB, WebDav shares.  There are some fun features like Growl and MCX support. Feel free it to give a try at It is free to use. 


  • This certainly looks interesting! I’m reviewing the docs now.
    If it wouldn’t be too impolite to inquire, what other solutions did you review and what was too difficult to use about them? In particular, DeployStudio and Munki(while only mature as of the past few years) put a GUI on package distribution without too much difficulty, so I’m curious as to how this product stands out, in design philosophy or usability.


  • This seems to be a much easier to bootstrap alternative to radmind, with many modern features, but similar unfortunate choices about not backing up what gets overwritten without explicitly doing a separate test run. I am certainly impressed by the mcx and sync features, and see a lot of potential. Great work!

  • I’m actually interested in what software you reviewed before creating StarDeploy. Granted it’s still a young product, but it sounds like you’re re-creating the wheel without offering enough significant improvements to differentiate yourself from other projects.

  • I agree this is interesting. We have users in a university who are admin users and this may present a degree of by-in self-control.

    Two features that would add functionality would be:
    • Supporting some kind of “every user” from a folder rather than needing a folder for every single user. I can see if there is a folder for a particular user but maintaining a set of folders for each user could be a significant thing to maintain.

    • I also wonder about a reverse process where every user can “hand in” something to a drop list of “teachers” – that might take some figuring out though.

    I’ve not reviewed all the competing options of late but it seems to present a very high ease of use which should appeal to a wide audience where support is done by folks with less technical skills or where the techs have other things to do than tweak the innards of the system they intend to use all the time, and where access to certain technologies are limited and others are available. Thanks!

  • I’d like to know more about the steps of it’s actions. Does this take effect during the boot, when sitting at the login window, during the login,… during the logout process? I don’t see an answer in the docs – sorry if I missed it.

  • Very interesting…

    Though I am concerned with how it handles authentication for packages that may need to install somewhere the user doesn’t have permission for. I use casper at my job and in Composer I make sure all POSIX permissions for apps in /Applications are owned by root:admin and are 775 so users who are not admins cannot write to anything in the Applications folder. This is because we use MCX to restrict access and disallow any executable to run if it is not in the right folder path. So, a user cannot toss their own (unapproved apps) on say a thumb drive and run them from it.

    So, is there some sort of system daemon or framework running under-the-hood that would allow for installation of software silently over the network with out requiring authentication from the end user? I suppose I should read up on the documentation for this.

    Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand
    -Kurt Vonnegut

  • I have tested this on a 10.6.5 MBP – only with the Applications option. This works just fine. For me this looks like an easy to use tool for deploying some default software. I would like an option to pull the new software from the server only at boot time. Have to do some further testing. I like it a lot so far.

  • Looks very promising, I’m also reading the manual to see what it’s capable of 🙂

    Hopefully I can implement this in our network, would make a part of our update process allot easier.

  • Did some testing and overall this product does the job, it’s very easy (anyone can set this up) and it does what it promises.

    The only downside I see is that it does a rsync action every time it runs, regardless of what the user is running at that moment. (no notification) It can notify a user that it’s doing “something” using Growl but I never got it working (didn’t show up in the Growl application list).

    Overall, if you need a quick solution then this product will do the job.

    But, if you need a more proper solution then I’d say go for Munkl for the reasons below:

    • Munki notifies a user that it has an update for an application they have open (asking them if they want to install it now or later).
    • Munki can install Adobe Photo shop updates.
    • Munki can also do the Apple updates, with StarDeploy you’d have to create a different sequence for the Apple updates. (and Munki will also notify a user if an update requires a reboot)

    Basically an all in one solution for updating your clients.

    Downside to Munki is that it’s harder to configure, so if it’s too complicated then StarDeploy will be a good choice.

  • i hope he CAN resolve the problem 😉 sorry for the error

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