Force Older Versions of Symantec to Update Silently

2014-09-01 23:06

Older versions of Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) for Mac (i.e. versions <12.1.x) have a pesky habit of running LiveUpdate sessions in the foreground . If LiveUpdate fails to update, the SEP application itself will notify you, making the foreground session superfluous. Additionally, running a session in the foreground is unnecessarily distracting, and can steal the focus of your mouse and keyboard away from whatever you're working on when the LiveUpdate session decides to launch.

Basically, it's down right annoying.

Thankfully, there is a way to force SEP to handle LiveUpdate sessions "silently" (without notifying you) in the background, like a good daemon should. All we need is to leverage some simple switches on Symantec's built-in symsched (Symantec Scheduler) command-line utility. In order to do this, all you need is a commmand line interface to a shell (like Mac OS X's built-in Terminal app).

Note: All code prefixed by $   is intended to be typed into a Terminal window exactly as written. It is dangerous to play around in your system's shell if you don't know what you're doing. While the following commands are relatively innocuous, you could cause system instability if you're not careful. Carthage is not responsible for any data loss you may experience from misusing this article's instructions.

  1. Log into an administrative user.
  2. Open a Terminal window. The Terminal application is located in the /Applications/Utilities folder on Mac OS X.
  3. To see what tasks SEP has scheduled for your computer:
    $ sudo symsched -l
  4. To delete ALL tasks that SEP currently has scheduled for your computer:
    $ sudo symsched -d all
  5. To add a LiveUpdate session to update all SEP products every day at 7:1, and name that task Update All Daily:
    $ sudo symsched LiveUpdate "Update All Daily" 1 0 -daily 07:17 "All Products" -quiet


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