Flash vs. Safari

Upon arriving at school today, teachers started telling me that they couldn’t view their Flash content because Safari was saying that the plugin was out of date and therefore blocked. Some had the initiative and had download and install the update because they knew the admin credentials, but it wasn’t looking good for everyone else.

Thankfully, Munki was there to the rescue! I managed to quickly download the Flash installer (using the volume distribution link on Adobe’s website – long story) and then uploaded it to our Munki repository. Our Macs are set to update every morning using Munki, but that was no good in this situation as everyone was already logged in. Instead I had to post some instructions for staff on how to use the ‘Managed Software Update’ app which comes with Munki to manually activate the installation.

Simples. Kinda.

The reason this is all happening is because of Apple’s XProtect software, which downloads a list of software to watch out for and then proceeds to block it as it comes across it. Which includes any out-of-date versions of Flash.

I guess the annoying part of this is that there is no automatic way of downloading and installing Flash updates, particularly on a network and particularly because Adobe specialise in inventing their own balmy and non-standard installer files.

Maybe Safari should join Chrome and offer automatic updates of plugins (particularly Flash). Or maybe Flash should just hurry up and be replaced by HTML5.

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