I have a Mac that I maintain remotely and I have been using the command line software update to install the standard Mac updates.
# softwareupdate --list
# softwareupdate --install --all
I didn't know I could do the same thing for packages until this morning when the 10.7.4 update broke one of my macs in a weird way. I could do many things as long I didn't touch the menu bar or some dialog boxes. If I did, the program seemed to hang in using the shader compiler to send stuff to the ATI chip.
I downloaded the 10.7.4 Combo Update from Apple, but I could not launch the Installer.
This article gave me the info I needed.
I found out I can run package updates from the command line.
sudo installer -pkg MacOSXUpdCombo10.7.4.pkg