Use Composer to create Adobe CC2019 to CC2020 update package

New Contributor


I am wondering if anybody tried using composer to create an upgrade package for CC2019 to CC2020?

I originally used composer to create the installation pkg for our SDL-installation of CC2019 and that worked well.

Now I was wondering if this would also work for creating the update pkg.

This is what I thought about:

  • on a blank macOS VM install CC2019 SDL
  • create a new snapshot with composer
  • uninstall CC2019 SDL via uninstaller and run adobe cleaner tool
  • install CC2020 SDL
  • create the modified snapshot
  • build pkg
  • deploy to Macs with CC2019 SDL installed

Anyone ideas or suggestions are highly appreciated!


Valued Contributor

I use Adobe Enterprise Dashboard for creating installation packages. Highly recommend to check with your Adobe rep.


I would not use Composer. Stick with Adobe's portal. Annoying, but hey, Annoying and Adobe go together, and it is the path of least resistance in a realm of great resistance.

Contributor III

I agree with the above to use the Adobe-generated packages for removal and installation.

That said, how is everyone using Jamf to go from CC2019 to CC2020, assuming you are pushing packages or letting your users install them via Self-Service (and not having them go through the CCDA)?

Are you doing full uninstall/clean/install? Just doing an install of the new version, and not worry about removing the old versions? Are you doing full suite upgrade all at the same time, or doing individual package upgrades as needed/requested?

New Contributor

Thank´s for your suggestions using the Adobe Enterprise Dashboard created packages for removal and installation.

I already used composer for the initial installation of CC2019 SDL and that worked very well compared to the pre-JAMF method using the packages from the Adobe Enterprise Dashboard and deploying then via ARD, which had it´s flaws.

I will check with Adobe Enterprise support what their preferred method would be for a mass deployment and post the outcome.

I am also looking forward to the answers to the questions by georgecm12 regarding this topic.

Valued Contributor

Using the packages from the enterprise console is the only supported method by Adobe for deploying Creative Cloud 2019 or later. Enterprise support's preferred method will be to use the packages. I'm personally very surprised that using a Composer snapshot even worked. That methodology "broke" several years ago, around when the original Creative Cloud was released.

My method for deploying CC 2020 is to build an uninstaller package using the Creative Cloud packager tool, and and pair it with the corresponding CC 2020 installer package, combined into a full package "bundle" that I build in Composer. Basically all the package built in Composer does is copy the uninstaller and installers to /tmp and launches a post install script to run both of them. I also add into the post-install script a line to run RemoteUpdateManager to bring the application to the most current version after the package is installed.

Hopefully this helps.

New Contributor

Thanks taugust04 for your response and the details. My experiences with the solutions supported by Adobe are mixed. We have 2 classrooms where we need german and englisch versions of the CC apps - the solution I used was also not supported by Adobe and works ... at least until the next upgrade.

The only way to create a CC SDL installer I am aware of is via Adobe´s Enterprise Dashboard, so I would need to check with Enterprise support if the uninstaller package created with Creative Cloud packager would work with an installed SDL license too. I thought about using the uninstaller that was originally created with the installer when I built the package for CC2019 in Enterprise Dashboard.

How do you make sure that the package built in Composer first uninstalls the old CC and then installs the new CC package? Any chance that you share the script? RUM we still have to setup.

Thanks again for all the input!

Valued Contributor III

So composer is a nice tool it has a very useful specific use in the overall Mac admin toolbox. Packaging Adobe software is not that use.

I say that with considerable personal experience trying years ago. The main reason is that you have zero idea of what daemons and scripts run as part of the original installer (which is essentially a near payload free pkg with their own installation mechanisms running as scripts).

I do know the Adobe has used network copy detection in the past... If you use their installer each machine will get properly licensed as they intended it to be. If you copy a dead set of data that comes as part of a composer package, sure that file set may be relevant for the single machine that you created it on, But is it relevant for the dozens, hundreds or thousands in your fleet?

If you can honestly answer yes to that question then composer should work fine. I’m guessing most of the admins in this community (myself included) would not answer yes to that question.

I agree that Adobe’s installers and activation schemes are absolute garbage, but if you want supported, functional installations, you have to be a garbage collector to some degree.

On a practical note, I do fully understand that their uninstallations of Creative Cloud are far from perfect and to get from 2019 to 2020, a full uninstall of 2019 may be necessary. Each time I deploy any Adobe package, I have to put as much thought (or more) into uninstallation as I do installation.

New Contributor

@blackholemac Thank´s for your insight! I used a freshly installed Mojave VM for each installation going back to the original snapshot every time I made some changes and so far it worked for 6 different classrooms with about as many different generation iMacs, but I do understand your point and will go back to Adobe´s installers.

Do you have any suggestions on how to best achieve a full uninstall of 2019 via JAMF? Or is it simply using the uninstaller package that was originally created with the installer package? Do you use the Adobe cleaner tool additionally?

Valued Contributor III

I do but it's the policy I have for that is essentially a Self Service one scoped on an as needed basis. It consists of the uninstaller that comes when you generate the installer PLUS a second package that I custom authored...basically it lays down the Creative Cloud panel Uninstaller, runs a post install script that activates that uninstaller from command line, removes Scout and the Gaming SDK, forgets any Adobe receipts remaining at that point and then cleans up its mess. Finally at that point the policy updates inventory in Jamf Pro so it's ready to have Adobe CC 2020 laid on as an installer package.

As for the cleaner tool...I hate that thing with a passion...I'll lead with that. HOWEVER, if for whatever reason my uninstallation policy does not work which I've yet to see in my own environment on the Mac (very heavily I see it on Windows though), I am not against running that thing...luckily the uninstaller that comes when you initially create the installer package is pretty gets rid of everything but Scout and the Gaming SDK and the Creative Cloud panel followup package hits those hard and gets rid of them...that's enough of a clean to get CC 2020 on there properly.

New Contributor

@blackholemac Thanks again for sharing your knowledge! I will get in touch with Adobe Enterprise support and see what their supported method ist.

New Contributor

So the way to go I found after writing back and forth with Adobe support is as follows:

  • Create a general uninstaller with CC Packager with all apps selected if this is what you want. The ones not installed will create an error, but that doesn´t bother the uninstaller, it just continues. Acrobat and CC app will remain, but they don´t interfer with the Installer of CC2020
  • Run the uninstaller from the command line locally or if you want to do it via JAMF create a package from the uninstaller folder and let JAMF run it with a policy.
  • Then run the package for the CC2020 installation created in Adobe Enterprise Dashboard via JAMF within a policy. I took the installer file from within the folder created by the downloader, uploaded it via JAMF Admin and used it within a policy.

What I learned in the process of this:

  • It´s a good idea to keep the original packages in Adobe Enterprise Dashboard, because one can use those to create upgrade packages containing only the updates that are available. Those packages can be distributed easily with JAMF. I tried this method to upgrade from CC2019 to CC2020, but this left me with both versions of each app - CC2019 and CC2020 - since the upgrader just installed the new versions but left the old ones untouched.
  • Although CCP is not available in 64bit and doesn´t work with Catalina it seems to be the only way to create a working uninstaller even all the way back to CC and partly even back to CS6 and uninstalls each app except for the above mentioned.

So thanks again to all who helped me on this.

Contributor III

One little tip that some might find ridiculous to hear is make sure to not install 2020 before uninstalling 2019. Even though I told one of my part timers early on to uninstall and then install, it wasn't done that way and the uninstall for 2019 removed some of the software from 2020. Since then I've revamped things so that only one operation needs selected so that the order is done correctly.

Contributor II

Hello all, I am kind of stuck at the moment how to manage Adobe updates due to not being able to defer or enforce the as far as im aware. I have clients on Adobe CC 2019 and 2020, they have the self managed installer version where non admins can do their own updates, But they DONT regularly do them, is there a way to enforce updates like I do with config profiles for Apple updates and Microsoft updates? I think im just not fully informed help is appreciate or suggestions

This is old, but under default deployments there is a command line utility remoteupdatemanager

Run that command with no arguments and it will update all installed adobe products to the latest version