Who is using composer

New Contributor III

Just had a conversation with a Jamf guy he says stop using composer what’s your thoughts


Valued Contributor

I still use Composer and think it has its uses.

I do find myself using Simple Package Creator more and more these days however.

Contributor III

I've never really used Composer in anger, since we moved to Jamf long after our packaging workflows were established. Either I use Packages or for app only packages I just have a droplet which runs a script to build the package, add our standard preinstall script and sign it.

I'd also recommend tools like Suspicious Package or/and Pacifist, so you can look at vendor packages and work out if they can be deployed as is.

Contributor III

Composer is a great tool, but as with any tool - you need to know to use it. It's easy for people to get a snapshot of an install and assume they are done. But a good packager knows there is a lot that needs to be fine-tuned.

Personally, I will always use composer since it lets me script anything I need to do in there..

Valued Contributor

We use Composer as it was a tool we have been using for years. I need to explore other tools that have been mentioned. But there are a number of packages I can simply drop into the JSS and we are good. The HP drivers, flash installs (yes we still need it), Office and more are simply dropped from the download into the JSS using Jamf admin.

New Contributor II

I use munkipkg and love it.


I use Composer pretty frequently. There are lots of other tools out there that can make packages, but Composer is dependable and easy to use. You can do snapshot functionality, which is pretty unique, and you can also just drag and drop files/applications/scripts into Composer to make easy, deployable packages for that content to a user's Mac for whatever you need it for.

Valued Contributor

I use Composer when I need to make a fairly-straightforward package but need to stick a pre/postinstall script in there, or similar.

I also use it to see what applications are doing, especially when their own installers are terrible or they have undocumented behavior. I don't think I've packaged up a Composer snapshot in quite a while, but I've used them to see what files on disk have been added/modified during a specific task (and if I do want to package some of them, I'm already right there).

Contributor III

Use it all the time if there is no recipe available in AutoPkg.
Only once was there something I found I couldn't do with Composer and had to use Packages to tweak a package.
It just just doesn't get the love it deserves.

Contributor II

I use it regularly.

Valued Contributor

I use it probably a couple of times per month.

As said earlier... use the right tool for the job. When I need it, I use it, and it works well.

AutoPKG handles most of our needs, but when I need postflight scripts, etc., Composer is quick and easy.

New Contributor III

I think Composer has it place. other packaging software can make the job easier and quicker .... Im liking Simple Package maker and suspicious package

Valued Contributor II

I use it as well. Then again, I know it's strengths. Also, and not to pick on any of the other applications, but the support for Composer is great! It's a good tool that handles what other folks would use three or four utilities for.

Valued Contributor

I still use Composer often. I still have a few applications I need to deploy that do not have IT friendly installers that require a package. Still use it for packaging up drag-and-drops as well. Did the "JAMF guy" state why it should no longer be used?

Legendary Contributor III

I use Composer a fair bit, but it's not the only packaging tool I rely on. Like any good "mechanic" you need a full set of tools in your tollbox. You can only get so much done if your toolbox consists of one wrench and nothing else :-)
Like others have said about Composer, you really have to understand it's strengths and weaknesses to make the best use of it. Try to avoid straight up snapshots unless there really isn't any other way you can create a package, and if you must use a Snapshot, examine them carefully, because there's a fair chance its picked up stuff you don't want to be deploying to your fleet.
Better yet, try to not create pkgs yourself when not needed - for example if you get a vendor pkg already, experiment with using that as is in test policies. You'll find more often than not that they work as is without needing to repackage them or deconstruct them. There are, of course, exceptions to that.

I'm curious if the person you spoke to about this was a "Jamf guy" as in a Jamf employee, or just someone who's been using the product for a while. Because I have a hard time believing someone working at Jamf would have said not to use Composer (it's their own product!) unless there's more to the story here we're not seeing, such as "Stop using Composer to repackage existing vendor packages" That would make sense. If it was just "Stop using Composer" then that's a little strange.

New Contributor III


I also thought it was a little strange, the chap was doing a jump start he didn't go into it too much he just said not to use he was from jamf and not an associated company i stayed with the customer and taught the how to use it they were initially reluctant due to the comments of the other chap
i also showed them the other packaging tools that are available i realise sometimes the DMGs dont auto unmount but its normally a one time thing
I am assuming the security that apple is looking at may make composer difficult but i would think if composer cant do it then most other tools will struggle also which will mean some things won't be deployable but this is speculation as apple tells know one their road map i will still be using composer as i am happy to see most of you guys are

Valued Contributor III

I'm pretty much the same as @mm2270, I use Composer pretty frequently, but I never use the snapshot to create things (I migh very occassionally use it just to track what an installer has done). I also use it only to create PKG files, DMG has become pretty unusable since the APFS / HFS issue started.
One thing it is quite good for is quickly whipping up a PKG that requires a script run after installation or has an installer that needs to be run with switches, like the Autodesk stuff with the broken licensing that requires both!