Install Apple Updates From Terminal 1

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Install Apple Updates From Terminal

Hello Again,

Sorry its been a long time since the last post, so I am going to start with an interesting one. I quite enjoying digging out and finding new command line updates to run and use. Today’s command line post will allow you to download and install software updates from Terminal or the command line. Its great for those scripts you may be building and want to add that extra functionality to them.

To run this command line, first open up Terminal from Applications > Utilities. Within Terminal type the following:

sudo softwareupdate -i -v -a

This script will run and do the following: First it will invoke the software update tool, it will then install any available updates using the -i modifier, it will also install all of them using the -a modifier. Finally the -v modifier will tell you what is happening. In short, look, download, install.

If you want to use this tool but you don’t want to install anything. You can let the tool list any downloads available to you. To do this type the following:

sudo softwareupdate -l

The, -l, modifier will list any updates. It may take a while for anything to appear, its best to let it run. You will get something similar to the image below if any updates are available.

A simple and useful command, that is quite interesting. If you want more information on this tool, type the following into Terminal.

man softwareupdate

If you want more information on Terminal or the Mac OS in general I recommend you check out Mac OS X: The Missing Manual or Mac OS X Unix Toolbox.


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