Updated: November 16, 2020

Install a Mac agent

Before you can use N-able N-central to monitor and manage computers at a customer's site, you need to install the agent. The Mac agent monitors local services and reports any issues.

There are customer-specific and generic system installers.

The customer-specific installers are pre-configured with activation keys, registration token, customer names, and IP address of your N-able N-central server. As the customer-specific installers are very easy to use, we recommend that you make them your first choice when downloading the agent or probe software.

Generic system installers require you to specify either the activation key, or the IP address of your N-able N-central server and a customer name or customer ID. These installers are useful when you want to keep a copy of a certain version of the agent or probe offline.

You need a universal administrative account on every macOS device to facilitate agent installation. It is recommended that you create at minimum one account for your workstations and a separate account for servers.

To install the agent silently on a macOS device, see Perform a Mac agent silent install.

For troubleshooting installation issues, see the N-able Success Center Knowledge Base.

The macOS agent supports the following operating systems:

macOS Agents

  • 12.0 (Monterey)
  • 11.0 (Big Sur)
  • 10.15 (Catalina)
  • 10.14 (Mojave)
  • 10.13 (High Sierra)
  • 10.12 (Sierra)

You need a device's agent activation key to install the agent software. You can find the activation key by navigating to the All Devices view and clicking on the name of the device. In Device Details, click Settings > Local Agent. Next to Activation Key, click Get Activation Key then Copy Activation Key.

  1. Click Actions > Download Agent/Probe.
  2. From the Select Customer/Site drop-down menu, select a customer or site.
  3. Click Get Registration Token.
  4. When selecting a customer-specific agent to download, the registration token is included in the download. You do not need to generate a key. For more information on registration tokens, see Registration tokens for agent installation.

  5. In the System Agent/Probe area, click the macOS Agent link and select a location to download the DMG file.
  6. Once the install file has downloaded, navigate to the downloaded file location.
  7. Double-click the DMG file and follow the instructions on the Installer screen.

If you are installing the agent from the customer/site level, the installation proceeds. At the System level, you must enter either the activation key or customer name and ID, also known as an Access Code, which can be found by clicking Administration > Customer/Sites.

Install the macOS agent with the dmg-install.sh script

  1. From N-central download the "DMG Installation Script" and the "macOS Agent (dmg)".
  2. Make sure to extract the script into the same folder location as the dmg.
  3. Use one of the methods below to install:
    • With an activation key, retrieved from the central server:

      sudo dmg-install.sh -k <activation key>

    • Prior to N-centrall 2020.1, with a Customer Name and Customer ID (Customer name may need to be quoted if it contains spaces or shell meta-characters):

      sudo sh dmg-install.sh -s <server endpoint ip/fqdn without the https://> -c <customer name> -i <customer id>

    • On 2020.1 or later with a Customer Name and Customer ID (Customer name may need to be quoted if it contains spaces or shell meta-characters):

      sudo sh dmg-install.sh -s <server endpoint ip/fqdn without the https://> -c <customer name> -i <customer id> -t <registration token>

    • For N-central 2022.6 and later with a Customer Name and Customer ID (Customer name may need to be quoted if it contains spaces or shell meta-characters):

      sudo sh silent_install.sh -s <server endpoint ip/fqdn without the https://> -c <customer name> -i <customer id> -t <registration token> -I <installation package>

  4. Additional Flags:
    1. -p Specify the protocol for the agent to use.
    2. -a Specify the port for the agent to use.
    3. -x Specify an http proxy for the agent to use.
  5. Once the script has run navigate to All Devices and click the Network Devices tab.
  6. Click Add.
  7. Click Discovered Assets.
  8. Select your device and import it.

Your device should now be added in N-central.

You can confirm this from the Customer level, by navigating to All Devices, and click the Network Devices tab.

Install the Mac agent on Catalina

With Catalina, the Apple gatekeeper requires notarization during installation. The Mac agent installer is signed, but not notarized. When installing the Customer or System DMG installer it can fail to register. To complete the agent installation, you will need to open the System Preferences and select the Security and Privacy option to allow the agent to install.

Keep the System Preferences open for the duration of the install procedure.

  1. Download the DMG from N-central and accept the prompt to allow it to download.

  2. Double click on the installer in the downloads folder.

  3. Click OK in the "Register the N-central Agent" window.

  4. Open Security and Privacy and unlock it with your password. Leave open.

  5. Click Open in the "Register the N-central Agent".

  6. Click Registerin the "Register the N-central Agent" window.

  7. Enter the user password in the security prompt and click OK.

  8. Click Cancel in the ".Mac_Agent cannot be opened" window.

  9. In Security and Privacy, click on Open Anyway.

  10. Click Open in the ".Mac_Agent cannot be opened" window.

  11. Enter the user password in the security prompt and click OK.

This will result in the agent successfully installing.