SWY's technical notes

Relevant mostly to OS X admins

Automated builds including Office updated to 14.4.1

With Office 2011 for Mac update 14.4.1, Microsoft has again caused trouble with licensing, where an automated update run at loginwindow (as tools like Munki will do) will result in a Volume License install requesting the user to enter a volume license key, sign in to Office 365, or to trial Office 365.  To address this, all the admin needs to do is gather the license file at /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist and replicate it on the managed machines.  To do so, I used The Luggage, and took the following steps.

  1. Make a new project folder
  2. Copy a valid com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist into it
  3. Create a makefile, in the following format:
USE_PKGBUILD=1
include /usr/local/share/luggage/luggage.make

TITLE=Office_2011_license
PACKAGE_NAME=Office_2011_license
REVERSE_DOMAIN=com.myawesomedomain
PAYLOAD=\
    pack-Library-Preferences-com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist

Then cd into the directory from Terminal, type make pkg, and the output is a simple pkg that will drop the licensing into the proper destination.  Feed this to your package management tool as an update for your Office installer, and you’re set.  I set my munki install to check for the presence of the file by MD5 checksum with an installs key, to ensure the license key always remains.

For an alternate approach to integrating the license fix into a new, signed 14.4.1 combined installer, see Rich Trouton’s post.

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