Why deploy Munki using an MDM solution and Apple DEP

Why deploy Munki using an MDM solution and Apple DEP

Mosyle Team
written by Mosyle Team


When deploying a large number of Mac devices, there are some strategies that Mac admins use, trying to streamline even more of the workflows and necessary procedures. Currently, one of the most popular Mac deployment strategies is to combine Munki and an MDM solution when deploying DEP (Device Enrollment Program) devices. In this article, we will go through what Munki is and why you should integrate it properly with your mobile device management solution to get a smooth Mac management.

What is Munki?

Munki is one of the most popular third-party tools used by Mac admins to deploy Macs in different environments, including schools and districts. This tool is an open source app, and has a very strong community who work on the maintenance and improvement of the application. You can learn more about Munki on its website.

The most loved capability of Munki is that it has its own App Store, known as the Managed Software Center. When mobile device management solutions didn’t support deploying enterprise-apps, this specific feature was essential to Mac Admins. Currently, the great majority of MDM solutions have their own tools to allow IT administrators to deploy packages onto Mac devices, and they work pretty well.

However, Mac Admins still love the capabilities and the community that surrounds Munki. So is it possible to deploy Munki and use an MDM solution? Of course! By integrating both solutions, you can enjoy the best of both tools.

Why integrate Munki with an MDM solution for Education?

In the past, IT administrators who were deploying Mac devices used different methods to remotely configure those devices such as the imaging procedure and packaging deployment without a more robust Apple device management third-party solution.

With the release and enhancement of others technology capabilities, IT teams were able to optimize certain deployment workflows, like the zero-touch deployment made possible through the combination of MDM solutions and the DEP (Device Enrollment Program). Therefore, some deployment procedures are becoming obsolete and not saving as much time as you might think.

But you do enjoy how Munki software works and really want to keep using it during your Mac deployment, so what should you do to save as much effort and time as you can? Yes, integrating with the MDM solution is the answer.

That's the best option, especially when we measure the return of the investment in the long-term of the deployment, since you will be able to not only deploy the packages onto the Mac devices, but also having access to many other capabilities and features to easily manage the entire Mac fleet using one single dashboard. And sure, choosing an MDM designed exclusively for Education, will help you get features that meet the needs of an educational environment.

How to integrate Munki with the MDM software?

There are different strategies the Mac admin can carry out when integrating the Munki with the MDM solution. A great majority of the MDM software solutions offer similar workflows as the providers follows the Apple’s MDM protocol, but we will explain in this article the specific possibilities provided by Mosyle Manager MDM. If you don’t have an account, you can open yours for free.

1. During the enrollment

The first option to integrate Munki on your Mac deployment is configuring the “InstallApplication” PKG right when creating the DEP profile in the MDM solution. Make sure you check the option and upload the correct file. The main benefit of integrating using this method is Munki will be deployed during the enrollment, streamlining your workflow and making sure your devices are ready to go for students and teachers.

Keep in mind that if the Mac devices are still boxed, they will receive this DEP configuration during the Setup Assistant steps on the device. If the devices have already been used, they must be formatted to receive this DEP configuration. Need more instructions to enroll your Mac devices? Check out our Getting Started with Mosyle!

2. Using the install enterprise-app feature

In the past, few MDM Solutions provided the capabilities to support installation of packages and enterprise apps across the Mac devices for Mac Admins, while using the remote device management.

With the development of new features and extending the MDM protocol, MDM softwares now offer the right support to deploying those enterprise applications, helping IT administrators during the software deployment to optimize this workflow.

We recommend that you check out the workflows of your mobile device management solution provider to meet the proper way to install Munki PKG using their install enterprise-app feature. Mosyle Manager, an MDM solution made for Education, provides an exclusive area where the IT administrator is able to generate PKGs and also create the management profile that will be sent to Mac devices in order to install the Munki PKG.

3. Running scripts

Another method to deploy Munki is remotely running scripts to the Mac devices using the MDM solution, this being one of the most popular ways used by Mac Admins, and MDM solutions provide specific features that can support Mac Admins on this task.

Mosyle Manager MDM also provides a feature in which you are able to send those commands in bulk through a very intuitive interface, making the process faster and easier.

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