Skip to main content
Blackboard Help

Auto Update for Mac

This topic provides instructions and information for configuring the Blackboard Drive for Mac's Auto Update utility. The Auto Update feature allows the Blackboard Drive for Mac to check for updated versions of the software, download, and install those updates.

How Auto Update Works

Each time Blackboard Drive starts, it checks the server for a new version and configuration file. Version and update information is stored on the server in the update-info.xml file. The location of the server's update-info.xml file is stored in xdconfig_customer.xml.

Setting Up Auto Update


Each time Blackboard Drive for Mac starts, it checks the server for software and configuration updates by looking to the xdconfig_customer.xml file which contains the <massUpdateUrl> tag. The value contained within the tag must point to the server's update-info.xml file. For example, http://myserver/mydirectory/update-info.xml. The xdconfig_customer.xml file is configured by the Blackboard Drive for Mac administrator, and then included in the product installation.

View and download update-info.xml to use as the template for your xdconfig_customer.xml file. Either create a copy of the update-info.xml file and name it xdconfig-customer.xml, or create a new file named xdconfig-customer.xml. Modify the value of <massUpdateUrl> to point to your update-info.xml file.

The shell script embeds xdconfig_customer.xml into the product installation package (.dmg file).

How to Use the Script

  1. Prepare a new, empty directory (/foo/) The scripts must be run from a path shorter than 80 characters due to hdiutil's -mountroot limitation.
  2. Copy the two scripts, and to /foo/.
  3. Copy the original installation package to /foo/. For example, /foo/Blackboard Drive 1.7..dmg. The real name does not matter.
  4. Copy the custom configuration file to /foo/. The real name does not matter. Root access is required to correctly set permissions on the package. The script will request the root password when necessary.
  5. Go to the prepared directory (/foo/).
  6. From command line, run the following command:

    ./ Blackboard\Drive\1.7.17089.dmg CustomerConfig.xml

    Note:  The filenames need to be escaped if they contain spaces, and the shell scripts require a chmod of 755.

The script will create a new image in the following syntax based on the original dmg name provided: Blackboard Drive 1.7.17089.dmg.customized.dmg


The xdconfig_customer.xml file points Blackboard Drive for Mac to to the location of the update-info.xml on the server. The update-info.xml file contains version and location information for the latest software and configuration file (admin-config.xml).

View and download update-info.xml to use as the template for your update-info.xml file.

Modify the <location> value to point to your server's .dmg file.

Blackboard Drive looks for the <xd-update>/<latest-version> tag, which contains all of the information required for detecting a new version of the Blackboard Drive application on the server.

The <version> tag supplies the version of the application on the update server. The URL for this new version is then expected to be the text value of the <location> tag. We compare the remote version and the currently installed version. If a newer version is located, the user is prompted to download and install the new version.

The <force-install> tag will not prompt a user to download and install the new version. It will begin downloading and prompt the user to install the new version.

If the <force-downgrade> tag is specified, the current version, whether it is lesser or greater than that of the server, is not considered. The download and installation is offered as long as the version differs from the server.

Mass configuration options are also located in the update-info.xml file.

Updating with Auto Update

The new version will be downloaded from the server to the /tmp directory with the naming syntax of After the download has been completed successfully, the file name is reverted to the syntax of BlackboardMacDriveNameFromServer.dmg. Blackboard Drive for Mac is installed just as any other standard .dmg file is installed. If the installation is canceled or fails, the upgrade procedure will start over at the next start-up of Blackboard Drive for Mac.

If the upgrade results in failure, verify that update-info.xml is not malformed and that the execution of the installer did not fail. These are the two most likely causes for failure. If a user receives an error message which directs them to inform the administrator, check these two factors first.