Google Updater for the Mac

Being fundamentally fed up with Google’s Mac software updating tool, I decided to keep a local copy of the instructions found here along with the reasons why I think it is a spectacularly bad (and buggy) piece of software, bordering on the evil:

  1. You cannot switch it off or control the update frequency in an obvious way.
  2. It enmeshes itself into your system without so much as a by-your-leave
  3. It does not work like Sparkle or any other sensibly designed software update mechanism for the Mac (Microsoft’s Office updater, in comparison, is much more polite)
  4. It makes a point of upgrading Gears without you knowing it (I only spotted that because I run Hardware Growler and it notified me of an image file being silently mounted)
  5. It has (as of March 2009) a stupid bug whereby if you’re running as a non-admin user, it will repeatedly fail to upgrade any applications installed in the main Applications folder because whoever implemented it does not know how to ask for admin privileges.

That said, here are my version of the notes from the site linked above, after some testing and figuring out what was and wasn’t actually set up with launchd (launchctl list | grep google is your friend).

Process Name Removal
Google Updater Helper Remove the Google item in ~/Library/Preferences/loginwindow.plist
googleml-modwatch Rename /Library/LaunchDaemons/
GoogleSoftwareUpdateDaemon Rename /Library/LaunchDaemons/
GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent Rename /Library/LaunchAgents/

You can still manually run the updates when you want to by running /Library/Google/Google Updater/Google, or you can just get rid of the whole thing by doing:

sudo /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/ --uninstall

Guess which one I picked.