Check and Install Mac OS X Software Updates from the Terminal
You can check for available updates, ignore packages, and install any or all Mac OS X Software Updates directly from the command line.
To get a list of available software updates, type the following command:
You will see a list of available updates. You can then install all available software updates with the following command:
sudo softwareupdate -iva
The use of sudo is required to get superuser privileges to actually install the updates. You can also install only the recommended updates with:
sudo softwareupdate -irv
Or you can just install specific software updates by specifying the shorthand package name from the previous list, like so:
sudo softwareupdate -i iPhoneConfigurationUtility-3.2
If there are any updates you want to ignore, you can do so with the –ignore flag, for example:
sudo softwareupdate --ignore iWeb3.0.2-3.0.2
If you want to see all the available command line shortcuts for Software Update, just type:
This is really useful for remotely updating Macs, setting up automated updates via a bash script, or if you just want to geek out.