krypted.com

Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

OS X Server stores most logs in files that are in the /Library/Logs/ProfileManager directory. Logs are split up between php, devicemgrd.log, scep_helper.log, servermgr_devicemgr.log, profilemanager.log and others. In my experience, if there’s a lot of errors at first, or if the service doesn’t work, just reformat and start over. But, once a server is in production, you don’t want to re-enroll devices after you do that. So, as with all good error prodding, start with the logs to troubleshoot.

By default the logs can appear a bit anemic. You can enable more information by increasing the logging level. Here, we’ll shoot it up to 6, which can be done with the following command:

sudo debugDeviceMgr 6

Debug levels go all the way to 9, but at that point things get… Noisy. And to turn it back off, use:

sudo debugDeviceMgr 1

Basically, this command sets the required services in /Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ to debug mode as well as /Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/usr/share/devicemgr/config/com.apple.DeviceManagement.postgres-debug.plist and /Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/usr/share/devicemgr/config/com.apple.DeviceManagement.postgres.plist to configure debug mode. In other words, it touches a lot of services. And given how chatty some can be, only leave logging levels higher than I’d say 2 in the event of short-term troubleshooting.

December 29th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment

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So fun!

December 28th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, MacAdmins Podcast, public speaking

Apple recently introduced a laptop with the same fingerprint technology found in an iPhone as well as a T-1 chip to take the sapphire Touch ID sensor information and store it securely, non-reversibly(ish), on the machine. OS X 10.12 now comes with a tool that can manage the fingerprints, stored as keys, on the device. The bioutil command is simple to use, with a few options that are mostly useful for enabling different features of the new technology.

Let’s get started by enabling the unlock option, using the -r option to see if Touch ID is enabled for the current user and -s to check the system as well:

bioutil -r -s

Now let’s enable Touch ID to be able to unlock the system, with -u (provided it’s not already enabled):

bioutil -u

If you’ll be using ApplePay, also use -a (on a per-user basis):

bioutil -a

Next, let’s enables Touch ID to unlock the system for the current user:

bioutil -w -u 1

This user will obviously need to provide their fingerprint in order to use Touch ID. Once done, let’s see how many fingerprints they’ve registered using the -c option (which checks for the number of fingerprints registered by the currently enrolled user):

bioutil -c

Now let’s delete all fingerprints for the current user (note that they’re not reversible so you can’t actually look at the contents):

bioutil -p

Next, we’ll use sudo to remove all fingerprints for all users (since we’re crossing from user land, we’ll need to provide a password):

sudo bioutil -p -s

Instead, we could have targeted just deleting the fingerprints that had been registered for user 1024, using -s and -d together, followed by the actual UID (which also requires sudo – as with all -s option combos):

sudo bioutil -s -d 1024

Now let’s disable Touch ID for the computer, using -w to write a config, and that -u from earlier, setting it to 0 for off:

sudo bioutil -w -s -u 0

And viola, you’re managing the thing. Throw these in an Extension Attribute or in Munki and you’re managing/checking/knowing/reporting/all the thingsings! Enjoy!

December 16th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security

Tags: , , , , , ,

The last JamfNation User Conference, or JNUC for short, was far and away the biggest and best. It was packed though, and given the year-over-year increase in people attending, the conference is being moved to the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis.

For more information on or to early-bird register for JNUC 2017, visit the official JNUC page.

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I’ll certainly be there, and I look forward to seeing all of you again and meeting all the newcomers this year, as well as getting a recording going of the MacAdmins Podcast while we’re all together!

December 11th, 2016

Posted In: JAMF, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, MacAdmins Podcast

macOS has keychains. Sometimes they’re a thing. When they are you might want to delete them. Let’s say you have an admin account. You want to keep the keychains for that account, but remove all the others. For this, you could do a shell operator to extglob. Or you could do a quick while loop as follows:

ls /Users | grep -v "admin" | while read USERNAME do; rm -Rf "/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Keychains/*" done;

If you borrow this, be careful.

December 1st, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac Security

Tags: , , , ,

Recently, I got a strange message when trying to run a command:

You have exceeded the maximum number of shell sessions.

I’d seen a series of commands but never really needed to use them, so I ran:

shell_session_delete_expired

And viola, life was good. My command run. Of course, the next time I went to close the terminal correctly using the exit command. Upon doing so, I noticed:

logout
Saving session…
…copying shared history…
…saving history…truncating history files…
…completed.

[Process completed]

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So, I opened a new shell and ran:

shell_session_update

And go the same result. Same with:

shell_session_save

Fun.

November 8th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security

Tags: , , , ,

Stoked that we got to interview Michael Lynn (@mikeymikey) for the MacAdmins podcast. It turned out to be a great episode on the future of Mac management and MDM. I’m glad we were able to have him join in! Pepijn and Marcus did a great job as well, so all round, a great episode. Hope you enjoy!

Or find it on the Podcast site at http://podcast.macadmins.org/2016/10/24/episode-13-mdm-me-maybe/

October 24th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, MacAdmins Podcast

Tags: , , , , , ,

Automating OS installations is going to eventually be about as easy on macOS as it is in iOS (er, if you have MDM that is). But in the meantime, it’s getting a bit more challenging. The obvious way Apple would prefer this to happen these days is via the startosinstall command that first shipped with El Capitan and with brtool getting moved around all the time, and becoming less of a thing, there’s one quick and easy thing you can do:

sudo "/Applications/Install macOS Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/startosinstall" --applicationpath "/Applications/Install macOS Sierra.app" --agreetolicense --nointeraction --volume /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD

In the above command, we’ve dropped “Install macOS Sierra.app” on a machine. While you’d guess that it would find the application path based on its own surname, we went ahead and supplied it as that seems to basically be a thing. Basically, –agreetolicense keeps us from having to run some expect scripts to accept a license agreement, –nointeraction suppresses as many of the screens as possible, and –volume allows us to install to any volume we’d like. This isn’t fully automated, but I have been able to layer in some more logic to quit apps before the script fires and then expect out other items from the script to automate a restart, watching for osinstallersetupd as a key.

This is all a bit bulkier than just using something like createOSXinstallPkg but it’s important to mention that there are a number of system components that are allowed for in SIP that use osinstallersetupd and so this blessed mechanism is likely the future until you can trigger an OS upgrade (and update I suppose) using an MDM command.

October 23rd, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security

Tags: , , , , , , ,

macOS Server has long had a VPN service to allow client computers to connect to a network even when they’re out of the office. The server was once capable of running the two most commonly used VPN protocols: PPTP and L2TP. And while PPTP is still accessible via the command line, L2TP is now configured by default when you setup the server using the Server app.

Setting Up The VPN Service In OS X Server

To setup the VPN service, open the Server app and click on VPN in the Server app sidebar. The VPN Settings  screen has a number of options available, as seen here.

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The VPN Host Name field is used by administrators leveraging profiles. The setting used becomes the address for the VPN service in the Everyone profile. L2TP requires a shared secret or an SSL certificate. In this example, we’ll configure a shared secret by providing a password in the Shared Secret field. Additionally, there are three fields, each with an Edit button that allows for configuration:

  • Client Addresses: The dynamic pool of addresses provided when clients connect to the VPN.

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  • DNS Settings: The name servers used once a VPN client has connected to the server. As well as the Search Domains configuration.

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  • Routes: Select which interface (VPN or default interface of the client system) that a client connects to each IP address and subnet mask over.

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  • Save Configuration Profile: Use this button to export configuration profiles to a file, which can then be distributed to client systems (macOS using the profiles command, iOS using Apple Configurator or both using Profile Manager).
  • Shared Secret: A passphrase that must be supplied by the client prior to getting a username and password prompt.

Once configured, open incoming ports on the router/firewall. While deprecated(ish) PPTP runs over port 1723. L2TP is a bit more complicated, running over 1701, but also the IP-ESP protocol (IP Protocol 50). Both are configured automatically when using Apple AirPorts as gateway devices. Officially, the ports to forward are listed at http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1629.

Using The Command Line

I know, I’ve described ways to manage these services from the command line before. The serveradmin command can be used to manage the service as well as the Server app. The serveradmin command can start the service, using the default settings, with no further configuration being required:

sudo serveradmin start vpn

And to stop the service:

sudo serveradmin stop vpn

And to list the available options:

sudo serveradmin settings vpn

The output of which shows all of the VPN settings available via serveradmin (which is many more than what you see in the Server app:

vpn:vpnHost = "odr.krypted.com"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Server:Logfile = "/var/log/ppp/vpnd.log"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Server:VerboseLogging = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Server:MaximumSessions = 128
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:DNS:OfferedSearchDomains:_array_index:0 = "jamfsw.corp"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:DNS:OfferedServerAddresses:_array_index:0 = "10.10.16.200"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:DNS:OfferedServerAddresses:_array_index:1 = "10.1.16.20"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:DNS:OfferedServerAddresses:_array_index:2 = "8.8.8.8"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Radius:Servers:_array_index:0:SharedSecret = "1"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Radius:Servers:_array_index:0:Address = "1.1.1.1"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Radius:Servers:_array_index:1:SharedSecret = "2"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Radius:Servers:_array_index:1:Address = "2.2.2.2"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:EAP:KerberosServicePrincipalName = "vpn/odr.krypted.com@OSXSERVER.KRYPTED.COM"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:enabled = no
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Interface:SubType = "PPTP"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Interface:Type = "PPP"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:LCPEchoFailure = 5
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:DisconnectOnIdle = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:AuthenticatorEAPPlugins:_array_index:0 = "EAP-RSA"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:AuthenticatorACLPlugins:_array_index:0 = "DSACL"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:CCPEnabled = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:IPCPCompressionVJ = 0
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:ACSPEnabled = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:LCPEchoEnabled = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:LCPEchoInterval = 60
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:MPPEKeySize128 = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:AuthenticatorProtocol:_array_index:0 = "MSCHAP2"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:MPPEKeySize40 = 0
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:AuthenticatorPlugins:_array_index:0 = "DSAuth"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:Logfile = "/var/log/ppp/vpnd.log"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:VerboseLogging = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:DisconnectOnIdleTimer = 7200
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:PPP:CCPProtocols:_array_index:0 = "MPPE"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:IPv4:OfferedRouteMasks = _empty_array
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:IPv4:DestAddressRanges:_array_index:0 = "10.10.23.255"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:IPv4:DestAddressRanges:_array_index:1 = "10.10.23.254"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:IPv4:OfferedRouteAddresses = _empty_array
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:IPv4:OfferedRouteTypes = _empty_array
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:IPv4:ConfigMethod = "Manual"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Server:LoadBalancingAddress = "1.2.3.4"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Server:MaximumSessions = 128
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Server:LoadBalancingEnabled = 0
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Server:Logfile = "/var/log/ppp/vpnd.log"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Server:VerboseLogging = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:DNS:OfferedSearchDomains:_array_index:0 = "jamfsw.corp"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:DNS:OfferedServerAddresses:_array_index:0 = "10.10.16.200"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:DNS:OfferedServerAddresses:_array_index:1 = "10.1.16.20"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:DNS:OfferedServerAddresses:_array_index:2 = "8.8.8.8"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Radius:Servers:_array_index:0:SharedSecret = "1"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Radius:Servers:_array_index:0:Address = "1.1.1.1"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Radius:Servers:_array_index:1:SharedSecret = "2"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Radius:Servers:_array_index:1:Address = "2.2.2.2"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:EAP:KerberosServicePrincipalName = "vpn/odr.krypted.com@OSXSERVER.KRYPTED.COM"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:enabled = yes
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Interface:SubType = "L2TP"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Interface:Type = "PPP"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:LCPEchoFailure = 5
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:DisconnectOnIdle = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:AuthenticatorEAPPlugins:_array_index:0 = "EAP-KRB"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:AuthenticatorACLPlugins:_array_index:0 = "DSACL"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:VerboseLogging = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:IPCPCompressionVJ = 0
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:ACSPEnabled = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:LCPEchoInterval = 60
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:LCPEchoEnabled = 1
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:AuthenticatorProtocol:_array_index:0 = "MSCHAP2"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:AuthenticatorPlugins:_array_index:0 = "DSAuth"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:Logfile = "/var/log/ppp/vpnd.log"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:DisconnectOnIdleTimer = 7200
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPSec:SharedSecretEncryption = "Keychain"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPSec:LocalIdentifier = ""
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPSec:SharedSecret = "com.apple.ppp.l2tp"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPSec:AuthenticationMethod = "SharedSecret"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPSec:RemoteIdentifier = ""
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPSec:IdentifierVerification = "None"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPSec:LocalCertificate = <>
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPv4:OfferedRouteMasks = _empty_array
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPv4:DestAddressRanges:_array_index:0 = "10.10.23.128"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPv4:DestAddressRanges:_array_index:1 = "10.10.23.254"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPv4:OfferedRouteAddresses = _empty_array
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPv4:OfferedRouteTypes = _empty_array
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:IPv4:ConfigMethod = "Manual"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:L2TP:Transport = "IPSec"
vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:L2TP:IPSecSharedSecretValue = "Yq!XdGsVyAY?o;9jnj[X"

To disable L2TP, set vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:enabled to no:

sudo serveradmin settings vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:enabled = no

To configure how long a client can be idle prior to being disconnected:

sudo serveradmin settings vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:PPP:DisconnectOnIdle = 10

By default, each protocol has a maximum of 128 sessions, configureable using vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Server:MaximumSessions:

sudo serveradmin settings vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Server:MaximumSessions = 200

To see the state of the service, the pid, the time the service was configured, the path to the log files, the number of clients and other information, use the fullstatus option:

sudo serveradmin fullstatus vpn

Which returns output similar to the following:

vpn:servicePortsAreRestricted = "NO"
vpn:readWriteSettingsVersion = 1
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:AuthenticationProtocol = "MSCHAP2"
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:CurrentConnections = 0
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:enabled = yes
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:MPPEKeySize = "MPPEKeySize128"
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:Type = "PPP"
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:SubType = "PPTP"
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:AuthenticatorPlugins = "DSAuth"
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:AuthenticationProtocol = "MSCHAP2"
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:Type = "PPP"
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:enabled = yes
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:CurrentConnections = 0
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:SubType = "L2TP"
vpn:servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:AuthenticatorPlugins = "DSAuth"
vpn:servicePortsRestrictionInfo = _empty_array
vpn:health = _empty_dictionary
vpn:logPaths:vpnLog = "/var/log/ppp/vpnd.log"
vpn:configured = yes
vpn:state = "STOPPED"
vpn:setStateVersion = 1

Security folk will be stoked to see that the shared secret is shown in the clear using:

vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:L2TP:IPSecSharedSecretValue

Configuring Users For VPN Access

Each account that accesses the VPN server needs a valid account to do so. To configure existing users to use the service, click on Users in the Server app sidebar.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-9-14-23-pm

At the list of users, click on a user and then click on the cog wheel icon, selecting Edit Access to Services.

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At the Service Access screen will be a list of services that could be hosted on the server; verify the checkbox for VPN is highlighted for the user. If not, click Manage Service Access, click Manage and then check the VPN box.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-9-15-02-pm

Setting Up Client Computers

As you can see, configuring the VPN service in macOS Server 5.2 (running on Sierra) is a simple and straight-forward process – much easier than eating your cereal with a fork and doing your homework in the dark.. Configuring clients is as simple as importing the profile generated by the service. However, you can also configure clients manually. To do so on a Mac, open the Network System Preference pane. From here, click on the plus sign (“+”) to add a new network service.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-9-17-20-pm

At the prompt, select VPN in the Interface field and then either PPTP or L2TP over IPSec in the VPN Type. Then provide a name for the connection in the Service Name field and click on Create.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-9-18-33-pm

At the list of network interfaces in the Network System Preference pane, provide the hostname or address of the server in the Server Address field and the username that will be connecting to the VPN service in the Account Name field. If using L2TP, click on Authentication Settings.

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At the prompt, provide the password entered into the Shared Secret field earlier in this article in the Machine Authentication Shared Secret field and the user’s password in the User Authentication Password field. When you’re done, click OK and then provided you’re outside the network and routeable to the server, click on Connect to test the connection.

Conclusion

Setting Up the VPN service in macOS Server 5.2 is as simple as clicking the ON button. But much more information about using a VPN can be required. The natd binary is still built into OS X at /usr/sbin/natd and can be managed in a number of ways. And if you’re using an Apple AirPort as a router (hopefully in a very small environment) then the whole process of setting this thing up should be super-simple.

October 16th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The changes in the Server app were far more substantial in the El Capitan version (OS X Server 5) than in the macOS Server 5.2 version that we’re now looking at. All of the options from OS X are still there and the dnsconfig command line interface for managing the service are basically unchanged. The DNS service in OS X Server, as with previous versions, is based on bind 9 (BIND 9.9.7-P3 to be exact). This is very much compatible with practically every DNS server in the world, including those hosted on Windows, OS X, Linux and even Zoe-R.

The first time you open the DNS Service click on the DNS service in the ADVANCED section of the list of SERVICES.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-11-13-27-am

Then, click on the cog wheel icon below the list of records and click on Show All Records.

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At the Records screen, you’ll now see forward and reverse record information. Click the Edit… button for the Forwarding Servers field. Here, you’ll be able to enter a Forwarders, or DNS servers that resolve names that the server you’re using can’t resolve using its own DNS records.

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Click the plus sign to enter the IP address of any necessary Forwarders. Enter the IP address of any Forwarding servers, then click OK to save your changes.

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Once back at the main DNS service control screen, click the Edit… button for Perform lookups for to configure what computers the DNS server you are setting up can use the DNS service that the server is hosting.

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At the Perform Lookups screen, provide any additional subnets that should be used. If the server should be accessible by anyone anywhere, just set the “Perform lookups for” field at the DNS service screen to “all clients”.

All you have to do to start the DNS is click on the ON button (if it’s not already started, that is). There’s a chance that you won’t want all of the records that are by default entered into the service. But leave it for now, until we’ve covered what everything is. To list the various types of records:

  • Primary Zone: The DNS “Domain”. For example, www.krypted.com would likely have a primary zone of krypted.com.
  • Machine Record: An A record for a computer, or a record that tells DNS to resolve whatever name is indicated in the “machine” record to an IP address, whether the IP address is reachable or not.
  • Name Server: NS record, indicates the authoritative DNS server for each zone. If you only have one DNS server then this should be the server itself.
  • Reverse Zone: Zone that maps each name that IP addresses within the zone answer with. Reverse Zones are comprised of Reverse Mappings and each octal change in an IP scheme that has records mapped represents a new Reverse Zone.
  • Reverse Mapping: PTR record, or a record that indicates the name that should respond for a given IP address. These are automatically created for the first IP address listed in a Machine Record.
  • Alias Record: A CNAME, or a name that points to another name.
  • Service Record: Records that can hold special types of data that describe where to look for services for a given zone. For example, iCal can leverage service records so that users can just type the username and password during the setup process.
  • Mail Exchanger Record (aka MX record): Mail Exchanger, points to the IP address of the mail server for a given domain (aka Primary or Secondary Zone).
  • Secondary Zone: A read only copy of a zone that is copied from the server where it’s a Primary Zone when created and routinely through what is known as a Zone Transfer.

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When you click on the plus sign, you can create additional records. Double-clicking on records (including the Zones) brings up a screen to edit the record. The settings for a zone can be seen below.

 screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-11-19-59-am

These include the name for the zone. As you can see, a zone was created with the hostname rather than the actual domain name. This is a problem if you wish to have multiple records in your domain that point to the same host name. Theoretically you could create a zone and a machine record for each host in the domain, but the right way to do things is probably going to be to create a zone for the domain name instead of the host name. So for the above zone, the entry should be krypted.com rather than mavserver.krypted.com (the hostname of the computer). Additionally, the TTL (or Time To Live) can be configured, which is referenced here as the “Zone data is valid for” field. If you will be making a lot of changes this value should be as low as possible (the minimum value here is 5 minutes). Once changes are made, the TTL can be set for a larger number in order to reduce the amount of traffic hitting the server (DNS traffic is really light, so probably not a huge deal in most environments using a macOS Server as their DNS server). Check the box for “Allow zone transfers” if there will be other servers that use this server to lookup records.

Additionally, if the zone is to be a secondary zone configured on another server, you can configure the frequency to perform zone transfers at this screen, how frequently to perform lookups when the primary name server isn’t responsive and when to stop bothering to try if the thing never actually ends up coming back online. Click on Done to commit any changes made, or to save a new record if you’re creating a new zone.

“Note: To make sure your zone name and TLD don’t conflict with data that already exists on the Internet, check here to make sure you’re not using a sponsored TLD.” — http://krypted.com/mac-os-x/dont-go-near-there-sponsored-top-level-domain-names/

Double-click on a Machine record next (or click plus to add one). Here, provide a hostname along with an IP address and indicate the Zone that the record lives in. The IP Addresses field seems to allow for multiple IPs, which is common in round robin DNS, or when one name points to multiple servers and lookups rotate amongst the servers. However, it’s worth mentioning that when I configure multiple IP addresses, the last one in the list is the only one that gets fed to clients. Therefore, for now at least, you might want to stick with one IP address per name.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 10.29.37 PM

Note that the above screen has the domain in the zone field and the name of a record, such as www for the zone called, for example, krypted.lan. Click Done to commit the changes or create the new record.

Next, let’s create a MX record for the domain. To create the MX for the domain, click on the plus sign at the list of records.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 10.31.46 PM

Select the appropriate zone in the Zone field (if you have multiple zones). Then type the name of the A record that you will be pointing mail to. Most likely, this would be a machine record called simply mail, in this case for krypton.lan, so mail.krypted.lan. If you have multiple MX records, increment the priority number for the lower priority servers.

As a full example, let’s create a zone and some records from scratch. Let’s setup this zone for an Xsan metadata network, called krypted.xsan. Then, let’s create our metadata controller record as starbuck.krypted.xsan to point to 10.0.0.2 and our backup metadata controller record as apollo.krypted.xsan which points to 10.0.0.3. First, click on the plus sign and select Add Primary Zone.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 10.33.11 PM

At the zone screen, enter the name of the domain you’re setting up (e.g. krypted.com, also known as the zone), check the box for Allow zone transfers (there will be a second server) and click on the Done button. Click on the plus sign and then click on Add Machine record.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-11-21-17-am

At the New Machine Record screen, select the appropriate zone as the Zone and then enter starbuck as the Host Name and click on the plus sign for IP Addresses and type in the appropriate IP. Click on Done to commit the changes. Repeat the process for each host that needs an address and then click Done to create the records.

Setting Up Secondary Servers

Now let’s setup a secondary server by leveraging a secondary zone running on a second computer. On the second macOS Server, click on the plus sign for the DNS service and select Add Secondary Zone.

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At the Secondary Zone screen, enter krypted.xsan as the name of the zone and then the IP address of the DNS server hosting that domain in the Primary Servers field. Click Done and the initial zone transfer should begin once the DNS service is turned on (if it hasn’t already been enabled).

Managing DNS From The Command Line

Now, all of this is pretty straight forward. Create a zone, create some records inside the zone and you’re good to go. But there are a lot of times when DNS just needs a little more than what the Server app can do for you. For example, round robin DNS records, bind views, etc. Therefore, getting used to the command line is going to be pretty helpful for anyone with more than a handful of records. The first thing to know about the DNS command line in macOS Server is to do everything possible using the serveradmin command for global management and dnsconfig for record and zone management. Once you start editing configuration files, the user interface can become unstable and other updates may or may not override the updates you make in those configuration files.

To start the service, use the start option:

sudo serveradmin start dns

To stop the service, use the stop option:

sudo serveradmin stop dns

To get the status of the service, including how many zones are being hosted, the last time it was started, the status at the moment, the version of bind (9.8.1 right now) and the location of the log files, use the fullstatus option:

sudo serveradmin fullstatus dns

A number of other tasks can be performed using the settings option. For example, to enable Bonjour Client Browsing, an option previously available in Server Admin, use the following command:

sudo serveradmin settings dns:isBonjourClientBrowsingEnabled = yes

Subnets can be created programmatically through serveradmin as well. Let’s look at what our krypted.xsan subnet looks like, by default (replace your zone name w/ krypted.xsan to see your output):

sudo serveradmin settings dns:views:_array_id:com.apple.ServerAdmin.DNS.public:primaryZones:_array_id:krypted.xsan

Now, let’s say we’d like to disable bonjour registration of just this zone, but leave it on for the others on the server:

sudo serveradmin settings dns:views:_array_id:com.apple.ServerAdmin.DNS.public:primaryZones:_array_id:krypted.xsan:bonjourRegistration = no

The entire block can be fed in for new zones, if you have a lot of them. Just remember to always make sure that the serial option for each zone is unique. Otherwise the zones will not work properly.

While serveradmin is one way to edit zone data, it isn’t the only way, you can also use the dnsconfig options described in http://krypted.com/?p=45195. In /private/var/named are a collection of each zone the server is configured for. Secondary zones are flat and don’t have a lot of data in them, but primary zones contain all the information in the Server app and the serveradmin outputs. To see the contents of our test zone we created, let’s view the /Library/Server/named/db.krypted.xsan file (each file name is db. followed by the name of the zone):

cat /var/named/db.krypted.xsan

Add another record into the bottom and stop/start DNS to immediately see the ramification of doing so. Overall, DNS is one of those services that seems terribly complicated at first. But once you get used to it, I actually find manually editing zone files far faster and easier than messing around with the Server app or previously Server Admin. However, I also find that occasionally, because the Server app can make changes in there that all my settings will vanish.

Troubleshooting is another place where the command line can be helpful. While logs can be found in the Server app, I prefer to watch log entries live as I perform lookups using the /Library/Logs/named.log file. To do so, run tail -f followed by the name of the file:

tail -f /Library/Logs/named.log

Also, see http://krypted.com/mac-os-x-server/os-x-server-forcing-dns-propagation for information on forcing DNS propagation if you are having issues with zone transfers. Finally, you can manage all records within the DNS service using the new /Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DNSManager.framework/dnsconfig command line tool. I’ve written an article on managing DNS using this tool, available here.

October 13th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X Server, Mac Security

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