Apple: Business/Education Can Use Usual Update Methods for Lion

OS X Lion

Business and education customers can use the same tools they use now to manage updates to OS X Lion on large installations of Macs, including NetInstall and NetRestore images, according to documents released by Apple Friday. The company also released instructions for simply copying an install application from a host machine to different Macs on smaller networks to install Lion.

When Apple announced that Lion would be distributed through the Mac App Store, there was some concern expressed from system administrators worried about how this might make life harder for them when managing large numbers of Macs.

The document, obtained by The Mac Observer, is the first official answer on this issue from the company, and the real news is that there is no news, with the exception that said admins can now download Lion from the Mac App Store. No external disks will be needed to deploy the update on their networks.

In a nutshell, business and education customers can purchase a volume license through their usual sources: Business users can call, 1-800-854-3680 or use the Apple Store for Business, while education users can use the Apple Education Licensing Program or the Apple Store for Education. Once purchased, administrators will receive a download code they can redeem at the Mac App Store that allows them to download Lion directly, no muss, no fuss.

  1. Open the Mac App Store and sign in with an account.
  2. In the Quick Links section, click Redeem. Enter the redemption code when prompted.
  3. The Lion installer will download to the Applications folder and also appear on the Dock.
  4. Do not install Lion. Locate the Install Mac OS X Lion application in the Applications folder. This is the application used to install Lion on other Mac systems.

From there, admins can copy the Install Mac OS X Lion application to the target system and run the installer. Apple said that Lion will install in place, so there’s no need to boot the system from an external disk.

Admins running OS X Lion Server can use the System Image Utility included with the OS to create NetInstall or NetRestore images.

From there, system updates will be handled through Software Update, just as there were in prior versions of Mac OS X.