Category Archives: Mac OS X Server

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MacVoices Podcast With Chuck Joiner About The New Take Control Of OS X Server Book!

Yay, podcasts! Chuck Joiner was kind enough to have me on MacVoices. We did a show, now available at http://www.macvoices.com/macvoices-14223-charles-edge-helps-take-control-os-x-server

Or if you’d like to watch on YouTube or inline:

http://youtu.be/AeccoRqIrgc

Bushel iPhone Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security Mass Deployment

Bushel Goes Into Invitation Mode!

Yesterday the Bushel team finished some new code. This code allows you to refer your friends to Bushel! This skips the codes that everyone was waiting for and lets people create accounts immediately!

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From your home screen, click on Invite Friends. Or from the Account screen, scroll down to the section that says “Invite friends to join Bushel”. From here, you can post codes to Facebook, Tweet codes, post codes to LinkedIn and even email them.

We’re not going into general availability just yet. But we’re definitely making it easier long-term to sign up and use Bushel! We hope you love it as much as we do!

Since we’re still architecting how these final screens look, the final features and stress testing the servers, also if you’re testing the system please feel free to fill out our feedback form so we know what you think of what we’re doing and where we’re going!

Or if you’re still waiting for a code, use this link to skip that process https://signup.bushel.com?r=fd0fcf9e6d914a739d29c90421c0fb45.

Articles and Books Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security Mass Deployment

My Take Control Of OS X Server Book Now Available!

Thanks to all the awesome work from Adam and Tanya Engst, Tidbits announced today that my Take Control of OS X Server is now available! To quote some of the Tidbits writeup:

Some projects turn out to be harder than expected, and while Charles Edge’s “Take Control of OS X Server” was one of them, we’re extremely pleased to announce that the full 235-page book is now available in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket versions to help anyone in a home or small office environment looking to get started with Apple’s OS X Server.

As you’ll likely remember, we published this book chapter by chapter for TidBITS members, finishing it in early September (see “‘Take Control of OS X Server’ Streaming in TidBITS,” 12 May 2014). Doing so got the information out more quickly, broke up the writing and editing effort, and elicited reader comments that helped us refine the text.

Normally, we would have moved right into final editing and published the book quickly, but from mid-September on, our attention has been focused on OS X 10.10 Yosemite, iOS 8, and our new Take Control Crash Course series. We were working non-stop, and while we wanted to release “Take Control of OS X Server,” we felt it was more important to finish the books about Apple’s new operating systems for the thousands of people who rely on Take Control for technical assistance.

During that time, we had the entire book copyedited by Caroline Rose, who’s best known for writing and editing Inside Macintosh Volumes I through III at Apple and being the editor in chief at NeXT. Plus, we went over the book carefully to ensure that it used consistent terminology and examples, optimized the outline, and improved many of the screenshots.

The main problem with this delay was that Apple has now updated OS X Server from version 3.2.2 (Mavericks Server, which is what we used when writing the book) to 4.0 (Yosemite Server, which is all that works in Yosemite). Updating the book for Yosemite Server would delay it even longer. Luckily for us, veteran system administrators say that you should never upgrade OS X Server on a production machine right away. And even luckier, the changes in Yosemite Server turn out to be extremely minor (a sidebar in the Introduction outlines them), so those who want to get started now can use the instructions in the book with no problem. It’s also still possible to buy Mavericks Server and install it on a Mac running Mavericks, as long as you have the right Mac App Store link from the book. We are planning to update the book for Yosemite Server (which mostly involves retaking screenshots and changing the “mavserver” name used in examples) in early 2015 — it will be a free update for all purchasers.

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You can find out more about the book at http://www.takecontrolbooks.com/osx-server. An update will be due out in early 2015, so stay tuned for more!

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Bushel: The Device Enrollment Program (DEP) In Action

Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP for short) allows you to automatically setup devices with the settings you need on devices that your organization purchases. In Bushel, we give you the ability to link an Apple DEP account up with your Bushel account. This allows devices to add themselves automatically to your Bushel when the devices are activated. We tend to think this is the coolest thing since sliced bread and so we want to make sure you know how to use the feature.

Setup Device Enrollment Program in Bushel

To get started, log into your Bushel and click on Devices. Here, click the button for Device Enrollment Program.

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Download your certificate and go to deploy.apple.com and log into your Device Enrollment Program account. Click on Manage Servers in the Deployment Programs sidebar.

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Next, click on Add MDM Server and provide the certificate we gave you and a name. Once Bushel has been added to your Device Enrollment Program (DEP) account, click on Assign by Serial Number to add your first device. Assuming the device is part of your DEP account, enter the serial number for the device and choose which server (the one you just added) that the device should reach out to on activation to pull settings from.

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Once you’ve added the server, you’ll be greeted by a screen that says Assignment Complete. You can now wipe the device and upon reactivation the device will pull new settings from your Bushel.

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The Device Enrollment Program in Bushel

Click OK and you can add more devices. Once your devices are added into the Apple DEP portal they will automatically appear in the DEP screen of your Bushel. Click on a device to assign a username and email address, if you will be using email.

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Good luck!

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Use libimobiledevice To View iOS Logs

Xcode and other tools can be used to view logs on iOS devices. One of those other tools is libimobiledevice. I usually install libimobiledevice using homebrew, as there are a few dependencies that can be a little annoying. To install homebrew if you haven’t already, run the following command:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Once run, follow the prompts to complete the installation. Once homebrew is installed, run the following brew command to download the required components and then libimobiledevice:

brew install -v --devel --fresh automake autoconf libtool wget libimobiledevice

Then run ideviceinstaller:

brew install -v --HEAD --fresh --build-from-source ideviceinstaller

Once these are installed, you can plug in a paired device, unlock it and use the following command to view the logs on the screen:

idevicesyslog

This is akin to running a tail against the device. Again, the device must be paired. You can use the command line (e.g. if you’re running this on Linux) to view the logs, but if you’re not paired you’ll need to use idevicepair to pair your device, followed by the pair verb (which is very different from the pear verb):

idevicepair pair

You can also unpair using the unpair verb:

idevicepair unpair

When pairing and unpairing, you should see the appropriate entries in /var/db/lockdown. The final option I’m going to cover in this article is the date (very useful when scripting unit tests using this suite. To obtain this, use the idevicedate command, no operators or verbs required:

idevicedate

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Startup Profiles

The profiles command in Yosemite (and Mavericks for that matter), can configure profiles to install at the next boot, rather than immediately. Use the -s to define a startup profile and take note that if it fails, the profile will attempt to install at each subsequent reboot until installed. To use the command, simply add a -s then the -F for the profile and the -f to automatically confirm, as follows (and I like to throw in a -v usually for good measure):

profiles -s -F /Profiles/SuperAwesome.mobileconfig -f -v

And that’s it. Nice and easy and you now have profiles that only activate when a computer is started up.

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qlmanage

QuickLook scans file contents before you open those files. Usually this just lets you view a file quickly. But you can also use this same technology from the command line to bring about a change to the Finder without actually opening a file. To access QuickLook from the command line, use qlmanage.

qlmanage -p ~/Desktop/MyTowel42.pdf

While open, click the space bar to go back to your Terminal session. The most notable use case here is that when you use qlmanage you don’t run the risk of changing the date/time stamp of the files.

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Yosemite and statshares in smbutil

The statshares option has an -m option to look at a mount path for showing the path to the mount (e.g. if the mount is called krypted this should be something like /Volumes/krypted):

smbutil statshares -m /Volumes/krypted

When run, you see a list of all the attributes OS X tracks for that mount path, including the name of the server, the user ID (octal), how SMB negotiated an authentication, what version of SMB is running (e.g. SMB_1), the type of share and whether signing, extended security, Unix and large files are supported.

Additionally, if you’d like to see the attributes for all shares, use the -a option after statshares:

smbutil statshares -a

Overall, this is a nice health check type of verb for the smbutil command that can be added to any monitoring or troubleshooting workflow. Other verbs for smbutil include lookup, status, view, and identity. All are very helpful in troubleshooting connections to smb targets.

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Directory Utility in Yosemite. I’m not Dead Yet… Mapping Attributes 101

The Directory Utility application has moved to /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications. Once open, you can use it to bind to directory services, change search policies and even dink around with NIS if you still rock the flannel with your ripped up jeans. But, the thing that I tend to do in Directory Utility the most is look at user and group attributes. To do so, open Directory Utility and click on the Directory Editor tab. In the bar directly below, you’ll see Viewing and In Node. The Viewing option is what type of object you’re going to look at. The In Node option shows the directory domain you’re viewing. Below, we show the local users in /Local/Default. Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 9.02.04 AM

Click on a user and you will see all of the attributes that exist for that user. Not all users are created equal when it comes to attributes, so if you’re looking for a specific attribute then you can go through different users to see what they have.

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Change the In Node option to /LDAPV3/127.0.0.1 (or the name of your directory service such as your Active Directory) to see all the attributes available there. You can then note the names and use them in scripts, etc.

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You can also access this information via dscl, but I’ve covered that enough times in the past to be bored with myself for even making the reference. Enjoy.

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Yosemite Server Guide/Page Live

A blog is a great way to communicate information. But pedagogy, yo… Blogs are not great ways to teach in a guided manner. But they can be. So with a little Table of Contents, or a Guide of sorts, you can easily communicate in a fashion similar to a book. And this makes the third annual OS X Server Guide that I’m publishing in this manner; the guides for Mavericks and Mountain Lion are  still available. I doubt I’ll ever actually bother to take them down.

I’ve been working on getting the annual guide up for a few weeks and while there are still some posts remaining, but it’s basically done (some articles just haven’t gone up yet, but they’re basically written). So, if you’re fighting the good fight (and I do think it’s a good fight) and rolling Yosemite Server, click over on http://krypted.com/guides/yosemite-server for the latest guide, covering OS X Server 4 running on OS X Yosemite (which I still like to call Yosemite Server).

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Oh, and if you’re keeping track (doubtful): yah, I know I never finished the Windows Server Guide, but I did write and finish the Xsan one and there might have been a divorce, 2 books, a product release, job change and a few benders mixed in there – one of which might still be ongoing… So I’ll eventually get back to it. Or not….