Trouble installing Apple Remote Desktop on Lion

If you are the administrator for any size network that uses Macs on the front and back end, the chances are pretty good that you have encountered Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) already.

I don’t need to highlight how amazing ARD is, but I will anyway.

ARD allows you to observer multiple Macs on your network in realtime. Possibly for troubleshooting, or just for some good entertainment?
With the ability to control any of these Macs on your local network, troubleshooting issues could not be any simpler for you and your users.
Thinking of deploying a new app to all of your users? Use ARD. With the simple Install feature, you can run the installer against any of the machines, and specify installation options too.
What about pushing a file, folder or entire disk image to multiple Macs? Yip, supported.

The problem that I found though recently was when trying install the latest version of ARD, version 3.5.1 onto my Macbook Pro running Lion. The idea is to install version 3.3 and then update to version 3.5.1.

The problem came in here when running the installer, as part of the installer pre-flight checks is which version of OS X you are running. 
On the particular version I was installing, it was specifically looking for Mac OS X Snow Leopard (v10.6).

If you want to see what I am talking about, go ahead and view the Package contents (control-click the installer, and choose Show Package Contents) of the installer package.
Within this new finder showing the contents, there will be a folder called Contents, with the Distribution  Package inside called RemoteDesktop.dist. Go ahead and open this .dist file with a text/code editor. I used Text Wrangler
Inside the window with the code for the distribution package, you will notice a few different methods checking for the version of the OS. And basically, if the version is bigger than 10.6, it will return a fatal error, and not allow the product to be installed.

If you are a competent developer, then go ahead and tweak the code to not return the error, and you will be okay. 

For the rest of us plebs that don’t know our methods from our functions, here is an easier way to get around it.

Step 1: Start from scratch, and open your DMG file to reveal the install package.
Step 2: Control click the package, RemoteDesktop.mpkg, and choose the Show  
           Package Contents option.
Step 3: Get to Contents/Installers/ in the newly opened Finder window.
Step 4: Control click the RemoteDesktopAdmin.pkg installer, and once again 
           show the contents
Step 5: Again, open Contents/
Step 6: Copy the file called Archive.pax.gz to your Desktop
Step 7: Open this new copy on your desktop, and it will create a folder with the 
           same name.
Step 8: Open this new folder, open /Applications and copy the 
    application directly into your /Applications folder in 
           your Finder window
Step 9: Close everything, and run a Software Update. It will detect the newest 
           update, probably 3.5.1. Go ahead and install this update.
Step 10: That’s it! ARD is now fully installed on your Lion Machine and ready to 
             use. Now just input your license key and you are golden.

If you pick up any weird errors with this, or would like to make a query, drop me a comment below.

Shot Yoann!


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