Mac Admin

Catalina and Adobe Deployment: 6 Months On

Update: Now fixed! See Catalina and Adobe Deployment Fixes!

Aka “The one where I moan!”

Hey folks. If my Google-Fu serves correctly, April 7th 2020 should mark 6 months since Apple dropped macOS Catalina 10.15 for the public. Based on previous years, this also marks the halfway point of this OS cycle.

I felt this was a good time to provide an update on the Adobe deployment issues I shared on a previous post, The Great British Adobe Test.


The short answer is, nothing has changed. Deploying Adobe CC2019 and Adobe 2020 packages created from the Adobe Admin Console to macOS Catalina at the login window fails to work in my own testing (as well as a fair few others in the #adobe channel on Slack), six months after Catalina’s release.

A Quick Refresher

A quick refresher on the key points from my previous blog post:

  • Installations of Adobe CC2019 and 2020 packages, created from the Adobe Admin Console, fail at the Login Window on macOS Catalina (10.15)
  • The same installation packages, installed via the same method on macOS Mojave (10.14) work as expected
  • The same installation packages, installed when a user is logged in, work as expected on macOS Catalina (10.15)*
  • The failures happen if the installations are:
    • Ran via the installer command line tool, through an SSH connection
    • Ran via a Munki Optional Install with the “RequireLogout” key enabled.
  • Even if the installer command reports a failure, the CCDA (Creative Cloud Desktop App) is still installed, but no other Adobe Apps are installed.

* As long as there is no conflicting Adobe process running!

Possible Workarounds

As part of the troubleshooting with Adobe Support, we’ve been trying a few workarounds with mixed success. Even though most / all of these are not usable for us, I thought I’d share them to see if they prove helpful to others.


Simply re-run the exact same Adobe installation package after the first failure is reported to work for some Admins.

We could not get this to work for our testing.

Reinstallation, plus an install command

After the first Installation failure, run the below two commands:

cd "/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Creative Cloud Libraries/"
sudo ./node ../js/customhook.js install

And then re-run the same installation package a second time.

This worked for us in manual testing, but we could not find a way to make this work with any automated deployments via Munki (lots of combinations of preinstall scripts, postinstall scripts, and chaining Adobe installs together with no success).

Force the package language

When creating the Adobe Package/s, force the language to be the same as the macOS language on the devices you’ll be deploying to.

This is done in the package creation wizard. Disable the “Use OS locale” option and set your language as required.

Untick/Turn off this option

We haven’t tested this option, purely as we work with plenty of multi-national companies and having to package, update, and manage a large number of packages for every single Adobe title is not practical (or indeed sane!)

What now?

So what now?

It’s been 6 months since Apple released macOS Catalina (potentially halfway through the OS release cycle) and we’re still not at a resolution.

We’re still working closely with Adobe Support and Engineering to try and get this resolved, but so far no luck.

And, full disclosure, there are some Mac Admins who have not seen the issue, but there’s also a bunch of us in #adobe who are fighting it.


Well, there’s an update post I’d rather was more positive…

As always, if you have any questions, queries or comments, let me know below (or @daz_wallace on Mac Admins Slack) and I’ll try to respond to and delve into as many as I can.


One thought on “Catalina and Adobe Deployment: 6 Months On

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