Mac OS X Software Update Notifications for Non-Admin-Users

As you might heard before, you should not do your normal work with an account that has administrative rights, no matter under which operating system. Although the vendors don’t make it very easy sometimes. Compared to MS Windows you are quite well off with Mac OS X, but also here you will find some caveats. For example, the automatic notification about available software updates only works, if you are logged in as an administrator. (In a multi-user environment this makes sense, since you don’t want to confuse ordinary users with such notifications. However, you cannot switch it on for a non-admin account that is used by the owner/admin of the machine, even if you want it.)


Since I could not find any tool or script that fills in that gap, I wrote my own. It’s an applescript embedded into a plist-file for the launchd. It will check for available software updates once per day, and if there are any, it will display them in a Growl notification or – if Growl is not installed – in an ordinary dialog window. But using Growl is highly recommended!

Download: UpdateCheck

To install it, just move the file to Library/LaunchAgents in your Home folder. If the LaunchAgents folder does not exist, create it. Then re-login or enter the following command in the Terminal:
launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/de.anderson.sven.updateCheck.plist

PS.: As a Mac OS X user you might also be interested in another tool by me: Hibernate (Hibernation Tool for Mac OS)

Hibernation Tool for Mac OS

Hibernate Since quite some time Mac OS also has a hibernation mode, also known as suspend-to-disk. But as usual for Mac, you cannot select it by hand. In fact, a suspend-to-ram always does a suspend-to-disk as well, so that in a case of power loss (like empty battery) you can start the computer from the image on the hard disk without losing anything. Apple calls this suspend combination “Safe-Sleep“.

So far so nice. But sometimes you might want to go directly into hibernation mode. Therefore I wrote a little applescript, which in respect to similar scripts doesn’t need any administrator rights to work. In fact the icon was the most difficult part.

Download it right here.

For an easy access to the hibernation mode, you either move it to /Applications/ or somewhere else and drag it into your dock, or you put it in ~/Library/Scripts and activate the script menu with the Applescript Utility.

PS.: If your Mac does not support the hibernation mode, there is a chance that you can enable it. Look here.

PPS.: As a Mac OS X user you might also be interested in another tool by me: UpdateCheck (Software Update Notifications for Non-Admin-Users)

Troubleshooting: if you experience that your computer still goes into normal sleep mode, open Hibernate.app/Contents/Resources/Scripts/main.scpt and increase the delay to 30 at the end of the script.