Google open sources its Mac OS X deployment engine

Apple Online Store“Google has open sourced its internal software for deploying Mac OS X packages across a network,” Cade Metz reports for The Register.

“Known as Simian, the platform was built after Google’s Mac Operations and Security teams evaluated several Mac package deployment tools and failed to find one that suited their needs,” Metz reports. “After alleged Chinese hackers broke into Google’s internal systems in December of 2009, reports indicated that the company had decide to abandon Windows machines entirely and move its entire staff to Mac and Linux machines, and judging from our conversations with company employees, this is indeed the case.”

Metz reports, “According to Google, Simian is designed to deploy new or updated software to a single Mac or tens of thousands of Macs. It can push out security patches to Macs across internal networks or VPNs as well as machines on other networks. It can require the installation of some software packages while allowing others to be optional. And it can manage updates provided by Apple.”

More info and links in the full article here.

22 Comments

  1. I don’t like this at all. To deploy remotely their platform has to overcome the safeguard of having a real person OK new applications. This is how the whole virus universe got started on Windows.

  2. And furthermore, if they make it open source and expose code that wouldn’t otherwise be known that is a real threat.

    And even worse, what if they figure out a way to deploy Google code to my Mac at home? Google would never do that would they? They aren’t evil, after all, are they?

  3. This is the kind of news that deserves above-the-fold coverage!

    Google has finally woken up to the fact that Macintosh is the superior platform.

    That others are watching this story with great interest, I have no doubt. It speaks volumes about Micrsoft’s ability to protect state secrets.

    Macintosh. We can keep a secret. 

  4. @zeke

    Relax, this story does not mean what you think it means.

    Google is doing the grunt work to lay the foundation for any large enterprise or federal agency to deploy proprietary company software to their Macintosh platform.

    That they are working in concert with the NSA, I have no doubts. This is a matter of national security and it’s in our government’s best interest to help preserve Google’s company secrets.

    We’ll be reading about this for years to come as more companies follow suit.

    I predict there’ll come a day when Steve Job’s is presented with this nation’s highest honor for designing a computer platform that empowered its citizenry to thwart communist aggression, corporate espionage, and to keep America safe.

    Macintosh. We Can Keep A Secret. 

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