Adobe Installation and Licensing

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Sep 13, 2012

AAMEE 3.1…or why puffer fish is a delicacy

Imagine the feel of fine chopsticks between your fingers. Imagine picking up a thinly sliced fugu sashimi and bringing it to your mouth.  You can hear the koto strings being plucked off in the distance. You breathe deeply as you place the fugu in your mouth. You have faith that the chef has properly removed the liver with his special fugu hiki knife. This will not kill you. This is safe. You have to believe in the mastery of the chef; that he knows his trade. And as you swallow, you know that the puffer fish has met its match.

Four months, almost to the day I posted the blog post “AAMEE 3.0 for CS6 available now! Removes puffer fishes!” in which I strangely used the puffer fish as a metaphor for the anti-piracy licensing and serialization that Adobe introduced with CS6. These new policies were really a pain for IT admins, especially in education that use old-school methods of monolithic imaging like Ghost or Deep Freeze. Get it, old-school?  I really didn’t realize how many classroom environments did not have any infrastructure in place to remotely push out files or run our new serialization executable. So Adobe, in traditional Adobe mode, made IT admins mad and then told them to use a work-around that didn’t work. So a no-work-around. A not-going-to-work-for-us-around. An Adobe-is-giving-us-the-run-around. You get what I am saying.

And for four months, four crucial months in which schools were preparing their labs and classrooms for fall, IT admins struggled and spent extra hours at night and the weekends just to get their installs of CS6 to work in a serialized state. And many of the folks had never used AAMEE, and were forced to use AAMEE and cursed having to learn another tool. And they cursed Adobe, and they cursed AAMEE, and they cursed me. And this was personally really disheartening. I come to work to each day to make sure IT admins don’t curse Adobe. And to beat Joe Chilcote in foosball. Which makes Joe, who is in our IT, curse at me. Irony?

The puffer fish/fugu metaphor turns out to be a really good one for this release. The final version of AAMEE 3.1 removes the machine-to-license relationship that I outlined in the “Imaging CS6-Attack of the Clones” blog post in June.

This means that any serialized package created by AAMEE 3.1 that is installed in a master image will still be serialized on a cloned system. Why? Because we have removed the toxic liver of the fugu/puffer fish. If you are just tuning in, we are using the puffer fish’s liver as a metaphor instead of the puffer fish. Let me recap this: use AAMEE 3.1 to create a package and the machine-to-license relationship that was introduced in CS6 has been negated, neutralized, and ostensibly: neutered. Therefore, the imaging workflow/workaround that I outlined in that imaging post is no longer relevant. There is no longer any need to create an unserialized trial package and jump through the hoops. You can now create a serialized package like you should have been able to do in the first place.

NOTE: The AAMEE 3.1 beta did not remove the machine-to-license relationship. Only, the final version of AAMEE 3.1. So, if you were someone who downloaded the beta of AAMEE 3.1 from Adobe Labs please upgrade to AAMEE 3.1 today.

Wait, so AAMEE 3.1 beta was not feature-complete? Nope. There are three main features of AAMEE 3.1 that were not outlined in the AAMEE 3.1 beta post which listed out ten new things in the beta. The three new ones not present in the beta:

1) Removal of the CS6 machine-to-license relationship to improve imaging

2) AAMEE 3.1 MSI now double-clickable with basic installation Windows UI

3) Running of AAMEE 3.1 uninstall package now removes Software ID tags (SWID)

That brings the number of changes from AAMEE 3.0 to AAMEE 3.1 up to 13. Thirteen significant changes that I am very proud of. I am very proud of the AAMEE crew for turning out such a major release (despite the dot release nomenclature) in just four months. I also have to thank Adobe’s Provisioning team who helped implement the removal of the machine-to-license relationship components and helped making sure the SWID tags were cleaned up properly. A lot of hard work went into this release. Dot releases are not supposed to be this hard, this epic, this important. But this one was. And at the end of the day I know this release is what we should of provided to the IT community in the first place. That wasn’t possible, and I apologize. It took Adobe four months to right some wrongs. Nobody is going to give us a medal for speedy response to the IT community. No one is going to shake our hands for building software that negates something that shouldn’t of been in place for our Enterprise customers in the first place. I know this. That doesn’t mean this fugu sashimi isn’t delicious.

Oh, and before I forget: must give a shout out to our AAMEE Quality Engineering folks who with this release certified two additional workflows: Symantec Ghost for imaging and LANDesk for deployment. Thanks to both for Symantec and LANDesk for helping out on this process. Providing more and more testing workflows is never a popular request and I am really glad to have the support of our QE team and their management to continually support so many OS configurations, language testing, deployment and now, imaging workflows. Working out the kinks and documenting known issues behind the scenes is pretty much a thankless job. Except I just thanked them.

As stated in our previous post, AAMEE 3.1 is live on our Licensing Web Site  (LWS) and in Technical resources section of Adobe CS IT site. You’ll find the 3.1 Read Me and updated Deployment Guide there as well.

Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

Deployment Partners, Imaging


  • By Shane Palmer - 7:02 AM on September 14, 2012   Reply

    Will existing packages created with AAMEE 3.0 and updated with 3.1 have the serialization removed or do I need to create a new package from scratch?

  • By Diego Vazquez - 9:10 AM on September 14, 2012   Reply

    If I install an unserialized/trial package (create win AAMEE 3.0, update with AAMEE 3.1) and then later I run the serialization executable before capturing the master image, the clones will be activated or I will need to redo all of my deployment package?

    • By Saransh Katariya - 11:38 PM on September 17, 2012   Reply

      Hi Shane/Diego,

      You need to create a new package with AAMEE 3.1 for fixing the machine-to-license relationship of CS6. This will not work by modifying the AAMEE 3.0 packages or serializing AAMEE 3.0 created packages with AAMEE 3.1 created serialization executable. You should create a AAMEE 3.1 install + updates serialized package (option one of AAMEE 3.1). When you deploy this package and create an image, the licensing will not break on deploying this image on client machines. This will also not work for packages created using AAMEE 3.1 beta version. So, make sure you create your package with AAMEE 3.1.

      Saransh Katariya | Member of technical staff | Adobe Systems |

  • By dmcsween - 9:17 AM on September 14, 2012   Reply

    I liked the part about Joe Chilcote, because I’m a fan. The rest was just AAMEE blahblah dot release, blahblah serialization blahblah Ginger blahblah.

  • By Don Montalvo - 7:54 PM on September 16, 2012   Reply

    A great tool keeps getting better and better…kudos to the Adobe team!

  • By Ted - 10:49 AM on September 17, 2012   Reply

    Kudos to the Adobe team for understanding this roadblock occurs in many IT infrastructures, especially educational settings, where imaging tools and process tend to progress at a much slower rate of change.

  • By Paul Cossey - 7:36 AM on September 26, 2012   Reply

    Do we still have to run the created msi file under a silent install or should I be able to just double click the msi and watch it run?

    • By Paul Cossey - 8:03 AM on September 26, 2012   Reply

      I’ve just re-read the post, and you should be able to run it manually via double clicking. However when I run the serialized package it looks like its going to run though and then the progress bar back tracks and disappears!

      • By Jody Rodgers - 4:47 PM on September 26, 2012   Reply

        Does the software install? Which OS? Please provide more details.

        Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

      • By Saransh Katariya - 1:10 AM on September 27, 2012   Reply

        hi Paul,

        There is a forum page written by me which explains double click functionality. The link is . Please go through it once. Let us know if you face issues.

        Saransh Katariya | Member of Technical staff | Adobe Systems |

        • By Mike Palmer - 3:26 PM on April 16, 2013   Reply

          I too am enjoying this problem. I believe I have followed every instruction but when I try to install the package the procedure seems to run OK up to “Please wait while Windows configures package” then the progress bar retracts and the process stops. Nothing is changed, no directory created, no log files.

  • By Patrick Fergus - 8:08 AM on October 1, 2012   Reply

    It appears the first time an application launches from a suite packaged by AAMEE 3.1it launches Adobe Application Manager. Then both the launched application and Adobe Application Manager quits. This occurs once per license (e.g. Design and Web Premium, Production Premium, InCopy) as a member of that suite license is launched. After this, the applications in that suite run normally. Is this expected behavior?

    AAMEE 3.1, Mac OS X

    • By Jody Rodgers - 7:32 PM on October 1, 2012   Reply

      That sounds rather odd to me. We’ll look into this. What version of the Mac OS (clinet) is this occurring on?

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

      • By Patrick Fergus - 12:04 PM on October 2, 2012   Reply

        10.6.8. If you have a preferred file transfer method I can get you any logs you prefer.

  • By John Reinhard - 3:49 PM on November 19, 2012   Reply

    Is there an update set of documentation for AAMEE 3.1. The link above: has outdated information. I have read, but do not understand enough of the AAMEE 3.1 deployment guide. What I want to do is install CS6 on a master image and then distribute that image (we use altiris). It sounds like I need to create an install package with AAMEE 3.1 first to break the machine to serial number licensing relationship, then install it on the master image and then create a serialization file to later run on all imaged computers. My AAMEE install package fails to install properly on the master computer. So where I can turn for help? thanks.

  • By Andrew - 8:37 PM on November 25, 2012   Reply

    the deployment guide PDF makes reference to AAMEE 3.1 being able to create packages for 5 and 5.5 as well as 6. My experience says otherwise. Can you please confirm?

    • By Jody Rodgers - 12:43 AM on November 29, 2012   Reply

      Sorry for the delay Andrew. You can only use AAMEE 3.1 for CS6 media, not CS5 and 5.5. However, the RUM tool that comes with AAMEE 3.1 does update 5, 5.5 and 6 installs.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe

  • By Luke - 7:03 PM on November 28, 2012   Reply

    We are having issues with AAMEE 3.1 initially verifying the serial number, even after entering a proxy username and password, it comes back with please connect to the internet and retry. Is there a list of urls / IP addresses that I can get the boffins at head office to add to the list of allowed sites.

    • By Jody Rodgers - 12:35 AM on November 29, 2012   Reply

      Luke, I have dropped you an email with some tips.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe

      • By Bryan Styer - 3:24 PM on December 11, 2012   Reply

        Just want to confirm before we go down a long and potentially painful path:
        1. Can we clone a system using AAMEE3.1.108.0 that has been pre-serialized without the need to push serialization or enable activation post-imaging?
        2. What is the URL as per Adobe for AAMEE 3.1 download? The Adobe Blog post says the beta will not do yet fails to provide any link or URL. Obviously we want to be sure we are building from the right tool to avoid any unwanted surprises at the start of term.
        3. Has activation changed in any way because of these welcome changes?
        4. Is the Version of AAMEE I have (downloaded from the one that will work?

        Bryan Styer

        • By kagibson - 10:19 AM on December 12, 2012   Reply

          Hi Bryan,
          By Using AAMEE 3.1 you can create a serialized package and install it on your master machine. You can then clone this machine and roll it out to your other clients.

          The URL you quoted and the version you listed is correct.

          Karl Gibson
          Product Manager- Enterprise IT Tools

      • By Matthias P. - 1:59 AM on July 29, 2013   Reply

        I have problems with verifying the serial number, but in my case the AAMEE 3.1 don’t ask for proxy username and password.
        The AAMEE 3.1 stand still with no feedback.

        Please Help

        • By Eric Wilde - 12:09 PM on August 9, 2013   Reply


          My apologies. I just noticed this comment was sitting in the queue to be approved and reviewed. I’ll notify Karl or another to respond.

        • By Karl Gibson - 1:13 AM on August 12, 2013   Reply

          Apologies for the delay in my response. Sometimes it is best to post current issue on the deployment forum as it is monitored more frequently by the team and community (

          Regarding your question though I am curious are you saying that you are in a proxy environment however when you launch AAMEE 3.1 and it cannot reach the internet it does not prompt you for proxy credentials ?

          Karl Gibson | Product Manager | Enterprise IT Tools

  • By Eric Blevins - 5:36 AM on December 5, 2012   Reply

    Just to note I spent almost 3 hrs talking with Adobe Volume Licensing support staff about activation issues I’ve been having after deploying images and when i referenced the information in your posting they said that was not correct and that packages create with AAMEE 3.1 will not function properly when used in imaging. They referred me to steps similar to the older post you mention. My case number is 183858652, if you are interested.

    • By kagibson - 7:50 AM on December 5, 2012   Reply

      Hi Eric,
      First off our apologies that you are having this experience and that there is a contradiction amongst our teams. Would you mind dropping me an E-mail with what you are trying to do and the issues you are encountering ? Hopefully we can try and get this sorted for you and jump on a call if required.

      Karl (

      • By Eric Blevins - 7:47 AM on December 6, 2012   Reply

        Thank you so much for offering to assist with this issue. I’ll drop you an email later today with the details.

  • By Bryan Styer - 11:11 AM on December 11, 2012   Reply

    Just want to confirm before we go down a long and potentially paiful path:
    1. Can we clone a system using AAMEE3.1.108.0 that has been pre-serialized without the need to push serialization or enable activation post-imaging?
    2. What is the URL as per Adobe for AAMEE 3.1 download? The Adobe Blog post says the beta will not do yet fails to provide any link or URL. Obviously we want to be sure we are building from the right tool to avoid any unwanted surprises at the start of term.
    3. Has activation changed in any way because of these welcome changes?
    4. Is the Version of AAMEE I have (downloaded from the one that will work?

  • By Eric - 3:40 PM on December 13, 2012   Reply

    I am having issues with packages created with the new AAMEE 3.1. When I created two packages one with the first option and one with the trial, but display a sign in screen when launching photoshop and have trail things pop up. I even try to serialize and get an error code 25.

  • By Ylla Pito - 7:17 AM on December 19, 2012   Reply


    I have created CS6 Web Developer Premium installer package which also includes latest updates.

    When I use that installer package to install CS6 I will also get /Users/Root -folder which contains Library/Application Support /…-folders. /Users/Root is owned by root but readable by world.

    Why does AAMEE 3.1 ( created installer package creates that folder? Bug?

    I also used AAMEE 3.1 to create installer which contains just Photoshop. That installer contained .fseventsd folder which was not accessible to others. So others (IT staff) were not able to copy the installer from our server – until I removed that .fseventsd

    rm -r DevWebPhotoshop_Install.pkg/Contents/Resources/Patches/PhotoshopCameraRaw7-7.0_7.2.82/.fseventsd

    And why does AAMEE’s package version number is 3.1 but the program itself is

  • By Rahul - 5:24 AM on December 20, 2012   Reply

    Hi Ylla Pito,

    we verified issues mentioned in your post. here are the updates –

    1) verified packaging with DesignWebPremium suite (i assume by Web Developer installer you meant the same). after deploying the package which includes all the products and updates there no such folder created as /Users/Root. We used ARD to deploy the package, while user is logged in on client machine. please let me know if you are trying some other deployment tool/method? Also please share installer and PDApp logs for this issue. we need these logs to debug the issue.

    2) About Photoshop Camera Raw update. Problem exists with the update, which will be fixed in next patch release. for the current patch please use the workaround that you have already mentioned.

    3) About version 6.2.112: this is version of one of the internal components of product which is being installed on machine so this is not a bug.

  • By Michael - 9:05 AM on February 11, 2013   Reply

    Tried to submit this via but AAME isn’t listed
    Feature Request 1: Can the next version of AAME 3 allow me to save the serial numbers for the various suites. If I need to create 32 and 64 bit single application packages from a suite I have to enter the same serial number in for each application package
    Feature Request 2: Could the update part of the wizard be improved to only select updates for the actual applications I included not every update for the suite in question

  • By Harry Johnston - 9:12 PM on February 28, 2013   Reply

    Found another puffer-fish, I’m afraid. 🙂

    AAMEE installation is very slow on machines where access to the internet is blocked. See or for more details.

  • By Matthew Strickland - 2:58 PM on March 25, 2013   Reply

    I suspect it still doesn’t work – but it would be nice if the Windows AAMEE could create Mac deployment packages (and visa versa) – as we use mixed machines and I administer from one (being the Windows machine that doesn’t run OS X)

  • By sfawcett - 7:59 AM on April 26, 2013   Reply

    Have we an answer on of aamee 3.1 ?
    Can I install, serialize and then ghost ?

    • By Karl Gibson - 8:11 AM on April 26, 2013   Reply

      If you use AAMEE 3.1 and create a serialised package and install in on your master machine you can then use Ghost to clone. Just launch the applications before creating the clone. Please review the current AAMEE 3.1 documentation for more information.


  • By Lisa - 11:28 AM on June 20, 2013   Reply

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Last summer, preparing for the fall semester, was every bit the nightmare you describe! Finally someone at Adobe gets it! 🙂

  • By Jim Carrera - 5:50 AM on June 28, 2013   Reply

    No, Adobe doesn’t get it, and they are not alone. The whole purpose of purchasing volume license software is that once you enter the volume license key you don’t have to jump through hoops to get the software to work on your deployed computers. Spending hour, or days, trying to get a “work around” to work is unproductive and quite frustrating.

  • By Houser - 1:22 PM on August 9, 2013   Reply

    In 2013, I’m still living a nightmare, maybe just reserved for us Apple folks. The AAMEE 3.1 from the LWS site is refusing to make a usable PKG when working on 10.8 Mountain Lion machines. Suggestions?

  • By Wesley Shaver - 11:09 AM on August 13, 2013   Reply

    I author my image masters using a Hyper-V virtual machine. When I try to run the installer for a serialized package created with AAMEE 3.1 on my imaging VM the install does not complete properly. No log files are created, the installer just quits with no error. Should I be able to use AAMEE-created serialized packages on a Hyper-V VM?

    • By Karl Gibson - 6:34 AM on August 30, 2013   Reply

      Hi ,
      Wesley although we do not support this type of environment there should be no technical reason why this is failing. I would trouble shoot the issue as if it were a regular install. Try and launch the msi from the command prompt with elevated privileges see if the log files get create in the &temp% directory if not I would have the msi installer create logs as check why it is not launching. If you don’t have any success please post the details on the deployment forum.

      Karl Gibson | Product Manager | Enterprise IT Tools