Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

One of the things that is awesome and sometimes frustrating about Apple Configurator is that when you do certain tasks, you end up updating the OS on devices. The reason this is awesome is that it allows you to centralize operations. The reason this can be frustrating is that if you’re on a limited bandwidth connection, you may find that you can’t do very basic tasks before downloading a large OS update. And if you’ve got a bunch of Apple Configurator workstations, and you are running a training session, this can get infinitely more annoying.

In these types of lab environments, you’re in luck. If you have an ipsw (the iOS OS update file), you can copy the file from ~/Library/Containers/ onto another machine. To copy them onto a USB drive called bananarama for example, use the following command:

cp -R ~/Library/Containers/ /Volumes/bananarama/ipsws/

And once you’ve moved that drive, to then copy them back:

cp -R /Volumes/bananarama/ipsws/ ~/Library/Containers/

August 22nd, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

You can easily create a backup of an iOS device using Apple Configurator. Once you’ve created a backup, it can be restored onto a number of devices. This contains iOS data and data outside of the secure enclave. These backups allow you to restore an iOS device, add apps (not using the backup), set backgrounds, set app locations on the home screen, etc.

To do so, open Apple Configurator and then click on the Prepare icon.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 12.02.27 AM

At the Prepare screen, click into the Restore field and then click on the Create Backup button.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 12.02.31 AM

At the pop-up menu, select the device you’re backing up (usually there’s only one) and then click on the Create Backup button.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 12.02.41 AM

Then choose the location you’d like to place the backup file.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 12.04.14 AM

Click Save and the backup starts.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 12.04.30 AM

Once the backup is complete, you will have an iosdevicebackup file in the location you saved the file to. This is stored on the iOS device and can then be restored to other devices.

August 15th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone

Tags: , , , , ,

You may have noticed a few new articles on Apple Configurator 1 recently (which isn’t assuming anyone actually notices what I’m writing about). While preparing for the massive change that is Apple Configurator 2, I’ve taken the liberty to put a page up compiling many of my articles that align into a guide on Apple Configurator 1, to offer up an outline for what I’ll be working on for Apple Configurator 2. This guide is now available at

August 13th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone

Tags: , , , , ,

I guess someone asked for it, although it wasn’t me… But you can install fonts on Apple devices, using Apple Configurator. To do so, first open Apple Configurator and click on an existing profile or create a new profile for the font installation.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 3.02.29 PMScroll down in the list along the left sidebar until you see Font. Click on Font and then click on Configure.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 3.02.37 PMYou are then presented with a dialog box to select a font file. Browse to the font you’d like to deploy and then click on Select.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 3.03.46 PM

Click on the plus sign (+) in the upper right corner of the screen if you’d like to deploy more fonts with this profile, or click Save to save the changes.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 3.03.59 PM

Now deploy the profile and the device will get the desired font(s)!

January 29th, 2014

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

Tags: , , , ,

About Apple Configurator 1.4.1 is now out, to complement iOS 7.0.3 and OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Configurator 1.4.1 is available from the Updates tab of the Mac App Store and requires OS X Mountain Lion or later, as well as iTunes 11.1 or later.


What’s new in Configurator 1.4.1

• Options to configure which Setup Assistant steps display during device setup
• Fixes an application quitting issue that could occur when saving a profile with invalid options
• No longer removes Mobile device management (MDM) enrollment profile from a supervised device when refreshing it
• Fixes creation of Font profiles for iOS 7
• Renames the Supervision Profile which appears on devices to Configurator Trust Certificate. For more information, see this article.

October 24th, 2013

Posted In: iPhone

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Did you know that you can ask Apple Configurator to give you a lot more logs than it does by default? Holy crap. Makes life so much simpler when you’re having problems, to actually get real logs. And then there’s that… To get more logs, close Apple Configurator and then write All into the LogLevel key in

defaults write LogLevel ALL

Re-open Apple Configurator and you’re golden. Then, have some problems and be so happy to get some logs, viewable in Console.

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 12.40.21 AM

September 4th, 2013

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

Tags: , , ,

My next book, coauthored with Mr. TJ Houston, is now available. The rough draft was mostly complete the week of MacSysAdmin in Sweden. I announced the book at the conference and was busy at work after to get as much as possible complete. And after many an hour and month spent editing this book (props to TJ for doing a lot of the editing), it’s finally  available on Packt Publishing. To quote the site, this is what the book is on:

The Apple Configurator is an incredible piece of software which grants full control in mobile device management, but on a larger scale. The popularity of people taking their own devices to work has grown tremendously. However, valued professional and personal information is at risk, through loss, theft, or hacking. Instant Apple iOS Configuration Utility How-to is a hands-on guide that eliminates any worries that are associated with the deployment and security of iOS devices. This book provides practical, quick win solutions to combat these issues, with clear, concise, and informative examples providing solutions to secure, remote wipe, and encrypt devices. The book will further explore how to personalize iOS devices for configuration and deployment.


With the Instant Apple iOS Configurator Utility Book How-to, learn to build profiles with customised control settings, with examples on how to capture device information and use console logs for added protection. You will become skilled at tracking and installing provisional profiles for greater security. We will also explore developing workflows for successful deployment, installing software and applications whilst managing files on iOS devices, and how to deploy enrolment profiles for mobile device management solutions en masse. If you are looking for a complete guide that provides simple solutions to complex problems, look no further.

To buy, visit this link:

Note: I think the title is a little off, that’s in progress for being fixed.

February 20th, 2013

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

Tags: , , , , , , ,

TrainSignal, a popular site for computer based training videos, has built a course for iPads in the Enterprise. As a technical reviewer, I’ve had a chance to check out all the content, and it’s a good overview of what it takes to deploy iOS in enterprise environments. The course covers Apple Configurator, iPhone Configuration Utility and other tools common in such a deployment as well as the general concepts that those not yet familiar with iOS should get before embarking on such a deployment.

The course is narrated by and developed by John O’Neill Sr., who brings a really upbeat and refreshing tempo to the table. To access the content, check it out at


January 10th, 2013

Posted In: Articles and Books, iPhone

Tags: , , , ,

Last year, I had a great time at the Penn State MacAdmins conference. There were tons of smart people to mingle with and everyone had plenty to discuss when it came to managing the Mac. There were a lot of people from education but also plenty from companies. The talks were well run and the conference location, the Penn Stater, was awesome. I love how it’s like a big winding maze.

Having gone to school in a town like State College (Athens, GA), I’ve always had a warm spot for cute college towns. And State College is clearly a special place. I’d recommend a trip there to anyone that loves places like Ann Arbor, Norman, Stillwater, Opelika, Corvallis, Blacksburg, Madison, Manhattan (Kansas), Ithaca, Iowa City, Ames, Morgantown, Lafayette (Indiana), Lawrence, Champaign, Logan, College Station and of course, Oxford Mississippi (Ole Miss is a truly special place).

So you’re lucky then, ’cause the Penn State MacAdmins Conference is back for 2013, being held in beautiful State College, PA at Penn State University. The Conference is May 22nd through 24th with a new introductory Boot Camp being held the day before (May 21st) to prep admins for the rest of the conference. And May is one of the best times to visit a place like this. Spring is in the air, kids are getting ready to graduate, the flowers are in bloom and of course, there’s no more snow to be shoveled. A month later and the school would practically be shut down, the town a ghost town.

But in late May, college towns are electric. So don’t just stay at the Penn Stater the whole time, go explore downtown and that Nittany Lion thing – and the spot where Joe Pa’s statue used to be. Take a carriage ride, swing by the Governor’s Pub, have some red meat at Otto’s and of course, perform the underclassmen ritual of throwing up on College Ave! And yes, there’s a College Ave, as there should be. Anyway, the social element of a conference like this is great. Meet those people you tell to RTFM on the ‘ole Enterprise List, the people whose feeds you read and the people whose feeds you deleted  ’cause they talk about college football too much…

The Call for Proposals is now open, so to submit a talk, use

This year, there will also be sponsors. To sponsor, see

Or to attend, see

To sign up for the conference newsletter, see

And for an example of what you are in store for:

PS – There are 12 teams in the Big 10. While at State College, make sure to remind everyone wearing blue of this fact.

November 12th, 2012

Posted In: certifications, iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment, public speaking

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

JAMF has posted some information on the session I did at JAMF Nation User Conference a few days ago. I’m guessing they’ll be posting the videos up there soon enough.

More information at

October 28th, 2012

Posted In: Mass Deployment

Tags: , ,

Next Page »