A guide to an almost silent deployment of Adobe Acrobat 9

First and foremost, someone at Adobe must really hate Macs, as it’s impossible to silently install Acrobat 9.x or send updates in a scalable method. Tools you’ll need:

  • A basic text/code editor, Terminal works just fine.
  • Apple Packagemaker or Iceberg.
  • Adobe Acrobat 9.0 dmg
  • A machine with Acrobat 9.0 installed

The .dmg/application has to be 9.0 as the application.xml.override does not work for updated versions.

Start by copying the “Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro” folder to another location. In Adobe Acrobat Pro.app/Contents/Resources/AMT/, edit application.xml to contain:
<Data key="Serial" protected="0">YOUR PRODUCT CODE HERE</Data>
<Data key="Registration">Suppress</Data>
<Data key="EULA">Suppress</Data>
<Data key="Updates">Suppress</Data>
Edit/create application.xml.override to contain:


If there is an <Data key=”EULADelay”>0</Data> in application.xml, then remove that key as it overrides the suppress if it is present.

Now it’s time to edit Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.app/Contents/AcroENUPro90SelfHeal.xml

  1. In the first array, all of the installs besides AUM can be set to “NO” and AUM’s install key must be “REQUIRED” otherwise Acrobat thinks it has a broken version (even if you install the files it wants to their respective locations). AUM’s key should like

    And the other keys in THIS ARRAY should have

That was the tricky part, now we want to write a shell script that moves the Adobe Acrobat Printer files into their correct locations. This will install the printers without bothering the user. The script should look something like:
PDEplugin=$printerfolder/PPD\ Plugins/AdobePDFPDE900.plugin

/bin/cp $PDEplugin /Library/Printers/PPD\ Plugins/
/bin/cp $ADPDF9 /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/en.lproj/
/bin/cp $pdf900 /usr/libexec/backend/

/bin/cp $ADPDF9ja /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/ja.lproj/
/bin/cp $ADPDF9ko /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/ko.lproj/
/bin/cp $ADPDF9cn /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/zh_CN.lproj/
/bin/cp $ADPDF9ct /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/zh_TW.lproj/

/usr/sbin/lpadmin -p AdobePDF9 -E -P /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/en.lproj/ADPDF9.PPD -v pdf900://distiller/ -D “Adobe PDF 9.0”

exit 0
Next we make the package. In your favorite packaging tool, drag/drop the edited version of acrobat. Also copy:
/Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro/Adobe Acrobat Pro.app/Contents/MacOS/SelfHealFiles/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/AdobePDFViewer.plugin to /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/
include /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Acrobat/SHExpectedMissingFileTypes.plist and /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Acrobat/AcroENUPro90SelfHeal.xml in the package.

The way I deploy the newly created Acrobat pkg is that I scp it over to clients with either ARD, or synctool. And then I run the following command: sudo installer -verbose -dumplog -pkg ${PACKAGE} -target / > install_acrobat.log. Otherwise I deploy the pkg in the initial image.
This is all great, however, it’s not completely silent. On it’s intial launch (by each user) Acrobat will for authentication. This is really really dumb, it’s writing to ~/Library and doesn’t need to authenticate, and the user can just hit cancel. Nonetheless, that’s why this post’s title reads “An almost silent install of Adobe Acrobat 9.0”. The second issue is that now that we’ve installed 9.0, we still have to update it. I’ll leave that for another time.

There are quite a few sites I referenced to create this documentation and they are:
[1] http://www.brunerd.com/blog/2010/02/05/make-acrobat-pro-9-for-mac-shut-the-hell-up/
[2] http://www.mombu.com/computer_design/acrobat/t-silent-install-of-acrobat-9-pro-2880140.html
[3] http://www.afp548.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=27211
[4] PackageMaker: How To

And this is all dandy as Acrobat X is just around the corner, and it’s suppose to be deploy-able via ARD.