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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

The latest version of macOS Server (5.4) is now available to be installed. To do so, first backup your server. Then, backup your server again, making sure you have a functional, bootable clone. Once you’re sure you have a solid backup of your server, open the App Store and search for Server. When you find the Server app, click on it.  

Once downloaded, you’ll be prompted that the Server app has been replaced.

Go into Applications and open the Server app. When prompted, click on Install (or Open if the server is already installed).

The download will begin. Once complete, you’ll see a notice that the “Server app replacement detected.” Click OK. Then, open the Server app. When the Server app opens, you’ll be prompted to update the server. Click Continue.  

At the Licensing Agreement screen, click Agree. At the screen to confirm your administrative access, provide a name and password for an account with administrative access and then click on Allow. Services are then upgraded. Once complete, the Server app will open and should have settings consistent with the settings prior to the upgrade. 

September 26th, 2017

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

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Profile Manager first appeared in OS X Lion Server as the Apple-provided tool for managing Apple devices, including Mobile Device Management (MDM) for iOS based devices as well as Profile management for macOS based computers, including MacBooks, MacBook Airs, Mac Minis, Mac Pros and iMacs running Mac OS X 10.7 and up. Profile Manager has seen a few more updates over the years, primarily in integrating new MDM options provided by Apple and keeping up with the rapidly changing MDM landscape. Apple has added DEP functionality, content distribution, VPP, and other features over the years. In macOS Server 5.4, there are plenty of new options, including the ability to deploy VPP apps to devices rather than Apple IDs. In this article we’ll get Profile Manager setup and perform some basic tasks.

Preparing For Profile Manager

Before we get started, let’s prep the system for the service. This starts with configuring a static IP address and properly configuring a host name for the server. In this example, the hostname will be osxserver.krypted.com. We’ll also be using a self-signed certificate, although it’s easy enough to generate a CSR and install it ahead of time. For the purposes of this example, we have installed Server from the App Store (and done nothing else with Server except open it the first time so it downloads all of its components from the web) and configured the static IP address using the Network System Preferences. Next, we’ll set the hostname to odr using the scutil tool.

sudo scutil --set HostName odr.krypted.com

Then the ComputerName:

sudo scutil --set ComputerName odr.krypted.com

And finally, the LocalHostName:

sudo scutil --set LocalHostName our

Now check changeip:

sudo changeip -checkhostname

The changeip command should output something similar to the following:

Primary address = 192.168.210.201 Current HostName = odr.krypted.com DNS HostName = odr.krypted.com The names match. There is nothing to change. dirserv:success = "success"

If you don’t see the success and that the names match, you might have some DNS work to do next, according to whether you will be hosting DNS on this server as well. If you will be hosting your own DNS on the Profile Manager server, then the server’s DNS setting should be set to the IP address of the Server. To manage DNS, start the DNS service and configure as shown previously:
 
Provided your DNS is configured properly then changeip should work. If you’re hosting DNS on an Active Directory integrated DNS server or some other box then just make sure you have a forward and reverse record for the hostname/IP in question. Profile Manager is built atop the web service and APNS. Next, click on the Web service and just hit start. While not required for Profile Manager to function, it can be helpful.

We’re not going to configure anything else with this service in this article so as not to accidentally break Profile Manager. Do not click on anything while waiting for the service to start. While the indicator light can go away early, note that the Web service isn’t fully started until the path to the default websites is shown (the correct entry, as seen here, should be /Library/Server/Web/Data/Sites/Default) and a View Server Website link is shown at the bottom of the screen. If you touch anything too early then you’re gonna’ mess something up, so while I know it’s difficult to do so, be patient (honestly, it takes less than a minute, wait for it, wait for it, there!).
 
Once the Web service is started and good, click on the View Server Web Site link at the bottom and verify that the Welcome to macOS Server page loads.

Setting Up Profile Manager

Provided the Welcome to macOS Server page loads, click on the Profile Manager service. Here, click on the ON button.
 
At the first screen of the Configure Device Management assistant, enter the name and phone number and click on Next.

The computer will then become a CA.  Choose an SSL certificate from the list provided and click Next. 

Note: This can be the certificate provided when Open Directory is initially configured, which is self-signed, or you can select a certificate that you have installed using a CSR from a 3rd party provider. At this point, if you’re using a 3rd party Code Signing certificate you will want to have installed it as well. Choose a certificate from the Certificate: drop-down list and then click on Next. If using a self-signed certificate you will be prompted that the certificate isn’t signed by a 3rd party. Click Next if this is satisfactory. 

At the Get An Apple Push Notification Device certificate screen, if you do not already have a push certificate installed for the system, you will then be prompted to enter the credentials for an Apple Push Notification Service (APNS) certificate. This can be any valid AppleID. It is best to use an institutional AppleID (e.g. push@krypted.com) rather than a private one (e.g. charles@krypted.com). Once you have entered a valid AppleID username and password, click Next. Provided everything is working, you’ll then be prompted that the system meets the Profile Manager requirements. Click on the Finish button to complete the assistant.

Click Finish to complete the Profile Manager setup.   

When the assistant closes, you will be back at the Profile Manager screen in the Server application. Here, check the box for Sign Configuration Profiles.

 

The Code Signing Certificate screen then appears. Here, choose the certificate from the Certificate field.

 

Unless you’re using a 3rd party certificate there should only be one certificate in the list. Choose it and then click on OK. If you are using a 3rd party certificate then you can import it here, using the Import… selection. Then click OK to save your settings. Back at the Profile Manager screen, you will see a field for the Default Configuration Profile. If you host all of your services on the one server (Mail, Calendars, VPN, etc) then leave the box checked for Include configuration for services; otherwise uncheck it.

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-11-52-49-am

Profile Manager has the ability to distribute apps and content from the App Store Volume Purchase Program or Apple School Manager through Profile Manager. To use this option, first sign up on the VPP site. Once done, you will receive a token file. Using the token file, check the box in Profile Manager for Volume Purchase Program” or “Apple School Manager” and then use the Configure… button to select the token file.

 
Now that everything you need is in place, click on the ON button to start the service and wait for it to finish starting (happens pretty quickly).
 
The process is the same for adding a DEP token. If you’re just using Profile Manager to create profiles that you’ll import into other tools (Casper, Deploy Studio, Apple Configurator, etc) you can skip adding these tokens as they’re likely to cause more problems than they help with. Once you’ve got everything configured, start the service. Once started, click on the Open Safari link for Profile Manager and the login page opens. Administrators can login to Profile Manager to setup profiles and manage devices.


 
The URL for this (for odr.krypted.com) is https://odr.krypted.com/profilemanager. Use the Everyone profile to automatically configure profiles for services installed on the server if you want them deployed to all users. Use custom created profiles for everything else. Also, under the Restrictions section for the everyone group, you can choose what to allow all users to do, or whether to restrict access to certain Profile Manager features to certain users. These include access to My Devices (where users enroll in the system), device lock (so users can lock their own devices if they loose them) and device wipe. You can also allow users to automatically enroll via DEP and Configurator using this screen.

Enrolling Into Profile Manager

To enroll devices for management, use the URL https://odr.krypted.com/MyDevices (replacing the hostname with your own). Click on the Profiles tab to bring up a list of profiles that can be installed manually.

 

From Profiles, click or tap the Enroll button. The profile is downloaded and when prompted to install the profile, click Continue.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 8.58.18 PM

Then click Install if installing using a certificate not already trusted.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 8.58.35 PM

Once enrolled, click on the Profile in the Profiles System Preference pane to see the settings being deployed.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 8.59.12 PM
You can then wipe or lock the device from the My Devices portal. Management profiles from the MDM server are then used. Devices can opt out from management at any time. If you’re looking for more information on moving Managed Preferences (MCX) from Open Directory to a profile-based policy management environment, review this article and note that there are new options in dscl for removing all managed preferences and working with profiles in Mavericks (10.9), Yosemite (10.10), El Capitan (10.11), Sierra (10.12), and now High Sierra (10.13).

If there are any problems when you’re first getting started, an option is always to run the wipeDB.sh script that resets the Profile Manager (aka, devicemgr) database. This can be done by running the following command:

sudo /Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/usr/share/devicemgr/backend/wipeDB.sh

Automating Enrollment & Random Management Tips

The two profiles needed to setup a client on the server are accessible from the web interface of the Server app. Saving these two profiles to a macOS computer then allows you to automatically enroll devices into Profile Manager using Apple Configurator, as shown in this previous article. When setting up profiles, note that the username and other objects that are dynamically populated can be replaced through a form of variable expansion using payload variables in Profile Manager. For more on doing so, see this article.

Note: As the database hasn’t really changed, see this article for more information on backing up and reindexing the Profile Manager database.

Device Management

Once you’ve got devices enrolled, those devices can easily be managed from a central location. The first thing we’re going to do is force a passcode on a device. Click on Devices in the Profile Manager sidebar.
 
Click on a device in Profile Manager’s admin portal, located at https:///profilemanager (in this case https://odr.krypted.com/profilemanager). Here, you can see:
  • General Information: the type of computer, capacity of the drive, version of OS X, build version, serial number of the system and the currently logged in user.
  • Details: UDID, Ethernet MAC, Wi-Fi MAC, Model, Last Checkin Time, Available disk space, whether Do Not Disturb is enabled and whether the Personal Hotspot is enabled.
  • Security information: If FileVault is enabled, whether a Personal Recovery is set and whether an Institutional Recovery Key has been installed.
  • Restrictions, whether any restrictions have been deployed to the device from Profile Manager.
  • Installed Apps: A list of all the apps installed (packages, App Store, Drivers, via MDM, etc).
  • In Device Groups: What groups are running on the system.
  • Certificates: A list of each certificate installed on the computer.
Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 9.08.31 PM

The device screen is where much of the management of each device is handled, such as machine-specific settings or using the cog-wheel icon, wiping, locking, etc. From the device (or user, group, user group or device group objects), click on the Settings tab and then click on the Edit button.
 
Here, you can configure a number of settings on devices. There are sections for iOS specific devices, macOS specific settings and those applicable to both platforms. Let’s configure a passcode requirement for an iPad.
 
Click on Passcode, then click on Configure.
 
At the Passcode settings, let’s check the box for Allow simple value and then set the Minimum Passcode Length to 4. I find that with iOS, 4 characters is usually enough as it’ll wipe far before someone can brute force that. However, if a fingerprint can unlock your devices then more characters is fine as it’s quick to enter them. Click OK to commit the changes.
 
Once configured, click Save. At the “Save Changes?” screen, click Save. The device then prompts you to set a passcode a few moments later. The next thing we’re going to do is push an app. To do so, first find an app in your library that you want to push out. Right-click (or control-click) on the app and click on Show in Finder. You can install an Enterprise App from your library or browse to it using the VPP program if the app is on the store. Before you start configuring apps, click on the Apps entry in the Profile Manager sidebar.
 
At the Apps screen, use the Enterprise App entry to select an app or use the Volume Purchase Program button to open the VPP and purchase an app. Then, from the https:///profilemanager portal, click on an object to manage and at the bottom of the About screen, click Enable VPP Managed Distribution Services.
 
Click on the Apps tab.
 
From the Apps tab, click on the plus sign icon (“+”). At the Add Apps screen, choose the app added earlier and then authenticate if needed, ultimately selecting the app. The app is then uploaded and displayed in the list. Click Add to add to the selected group. Then, click on Done. Then click on Save… and an App Installation dialog will appear on the iOS device you’re pushing the app to. At the App Installation screen on the iPad, click on the Install button (unless you’re using Device-based VPP) and the app will instantly be copied to the last screen of apps on the device. Tap on the app to open it and verify it works. Assuming it does open then it’s safe to assume that you’ve run the App Store app logged in as a user who happens to own the app.

You can sign out of the App Store and the app will still open. However, you won’t be able to update the app as can be seen here.

Note: If you push an app to a device and the user taps on the app and the screen goes black then make sure the app is owned by the AppleID signed into the device. If it is, have the user open App Store and update any other app and see if the app then opens.

Finally, let’s wipe a device. From the Profile Manager web interface, click on a device and then from the cog wheel icon at the bottom of the screen, select wipe. At the Wipe screen, click on the device and then click Wipe. When prompted, click on the Wipe button again, entering a passcode to be used to unlock the device if possible. The iPad then says Resetting iPad and just like that, the technical walkthrough is over.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 9.15.11 PM

Note: For fun, you can use the MyDevices portal to wipe your iPad from the iPad itself.

Conclusion

To quote Apple’s Profile Manager page:
Profile Manager simplifies deploying, configuring, and managing them all. It’s one place where you control everything: You can create profiles to set up user accounts for mail, calendar, contacts, and messages; configure system settings; enforce restrictions; set PIN and password policies; and more. Because it’s integrated with the Apple Push Notification service, Profile Manager can send out updated configurations over the air, automatically. And it includes web-based administration, so you can manage your server from any modern web browser. Profile Manager even gives users access to a self-service web portal where they can download and install new configuration profiles, as well as clear passcodes and remotely lock or wipe their Mac, iPhone, or iPad if it’s lost or stolen.
For the money, Profile Manager is an awesome tool. Apps such as Casper, AirWatch, Zenprise, MaaS360, etc all have far more options, but aren’t as easy to install (well, Bushel is… 😉 and nor do they come at such a low price point. Profile Manager is a great option if all of the tasks you need to perform are available within the tool. If not, then it’s worth a look, if only as a means to learn more about the third party tools and to export profiles you’ll use in other solutions.

September 26th, 2017

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve written about SQLite databases here and there over the years. A number of Apple tools and third party tools for the platform run on SQLite and it’s usually a pretty straight forward process to get into a database and inspect what’s there and how you might programmatically interact with tools that store data in SQLite. And I’ll frequently use a tool like Navicat to quickly and visually hop in and look at what happens when I edit data that then gets committed to the database. But I don’t always have tools like that around. So when I want to inspect new databases, or at least those new to me, I need to use the sqlite3 command. First, I need to find the databases, which are .db files, usually stored somewhere that a user has rights to alter the file. For example,  /Library/Application Support/My Product. In that folder, you’ll usually find a db file, which for this process, we’ll use the example of Data.db. To access that file, you’d simply run sqlite3 with the path of the database, as follows: sqlite3 /Library/Application\ Support/My\ Product/Data.db To see a list of tables in the database, use .tables (note that a tool like Postgress would use commands like /tr but in SQLite we can run commands with a . in front and statements like select do not use those): .tables To then see a list of columns, use .schema followed by the name of a table. In this case, we’ll look at iOS_devices, which tracks the basic devices stored on the server: .schema iOS_devices The output shows us a limited set of fields, meaning that the UDID is used to link information from other tables to the device. I like to enable column headers, unless actually doing an export (and then I usually do it as well): .headers ON Then, you can run a standard select to see what is in each field, which in the below example would be listing all information from all rows in the myapptable table: select * from myapptable; The output might be as follows: GUID|last_modified|Field3|Field4 abcdefg|2017-01-26T17:02:39Z|Contents of field 3|Contents of field four Another thing to consider is that a number of apps will use multiple .db files. For example, one might contain tables about users, another for groups, and another for devices in a simple asset tracking system. This doesn’t seem great at first, but I’ve never really judged it, as I don’t know what kind of design considerations they were planning for that I don’t know. If so, finding that key (likely GUID in the above example) will likely be required if you’re doing this type of reverse engineer to find a way to programmatically inject information into or extract information out of a tool that doesn’t otherwise allow you to do so.

February 24th, 2017

Posted In: Mac OS X, SQL

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Published 5 Lessons App Developers Can Learn From Pokémon Go with App Developer Magazine. Really more focused around the business of app development and release, and a quick read. Hope you enjoy! Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.03.05 AM  

August 19th, 2016

Posted In: Product Management, Programming

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One of the primary use cases for Apple Configurator 1 and Apple Configurator 2 is to get apps on devices. Even with MDM, you can use Apple Configurator 2 for app deployment. The value here might be that you end up transferring 10 gigs of apps over a USB cable, rather than over the air in larger deployments. Here, we’ll look at a basic app deployment using Apple Configurator 2. To get started, first download the app and get it in iTunes. This can be accomplished by copying the .ipa file for an app onto a device, or syncing an iOS device with iTunes that has the app installed. Take care that the Apple ID associated with the app will be applied on the device. Then, open Apple Configurator 2 and choose a Blueprint (View -> Edit Blueprints) you’d like to apply, or deploy, this app to. Once uploaded and assigned, any device that you apply the Blueprint to will receive the app. Right-click on the Blueprint and click on Add and then choose Apps in the submenu. Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 9.10.58 AM You will need to authenticate to the iTunes Store using an Apple ID. Notice that if you’ve previously connected Apple Configurator 2 to the iTunes Store that you will routinely get prompted to reconnect when the key expires (seems to be after a good 4 hours of inactivity, but not sure yet exactly when to expect – this might be a bit annoying for environments that have students that don’t have that password doing some of the work). Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 8.42.45 AM The when you authenticate, you’ll be prompted for a list of apps to install. Here, we’re just going to choose some generic app and click on Add Apps (yes, that’s plural, you can choose more than one). Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 8.43.51 AM The app will be listed. Any device the Blueprint is applied to then receives the app. Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 8.44.05 AM You can also assign an app to a device manually. To do so, control-click (or right-click) on a device and then use Add to choose the Apps… option. The rest of this process is pretty much the same. Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 8.46.53 AM Overall, these options are similar but a bit more matured than they were in Apple Configurator 1. There are a few other pretty cool options that we’ll explore soon, but for now this should get you started in getting apps as a part of your Apple Configurator 2 deployment.

November 9th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mass Deployment

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The 4th Generation of the Apple TV supports installing apps. And part of playing around with new apps is sometimes you’re not going to want them on your TV any more. To remove apps, the process is similar to that of an iPad. Highlight an app that you’d like to remove and then hold down the clicker on the app. Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 10.03.21 PM The app will go a little larger. Click on it again and you’ll get the option to Delete the app. Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 10.03.32 PM Click Delete and the app disappears. Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 10.03.39 PM That’s it. The app, and any storage that is being consumed by the app, is then freed up.

November 7th, 2015

Posted In: Apple TV

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The most substantial part of the update to the 4th generation of the Apple TV is the addition of an App Store. Awesome! There are a nice number of apps so far. Not too many, just yet. Let’s look at installing an app. To do so, start your Apple TV and from the home screen, click on the App Store icon. Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.28.37 PM From the App Store, search for an app and click on it. If you like the screenshots, click on the Get button (it’s a free app so it says Get). Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.29.35 PM Once installed, click on Open. Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.29.44 PM The app opens. Yay. Very easy. Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.29.53 PM Some of the apps from your other devices may work on the Apple TV. If you go to Purchased Apps from the top row of options, you’ll be able to click on All Apps. From there, you’ll see a list of apps available for the Apple TV. Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.30.28 PM If you click on an App, you can then click on Install. Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.30.37 PM Once installed, you can open apps and use them.

November 4th, 2015

Posted In: Apple TV

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Starting today, Bushel can be used to deploy Volume Purchase Program (VPP) apps to Apple devices running iOS 9 or OS X 10.11 El Capitan without the need for an Apple ID. That’s right, no Apple ID required! Read More About VPP App Distribution Without Apple IDs on the Bushel Blog

August 13th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone, JAMF

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There’s a quick and easy IT Business Edge slideshow at http://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/the-5-mobile-apps-you-really-need-for-smb-success.html that I helped with about 5 Mobile Apps You Really Need for SMB Success. Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 2.55.35 PM Hope you enjoy!

August 10th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment, Network Infrastructure

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We’ve all been there, or spoken with someone who’s been there: you’re looking at a locked device and someone doesn’t know the PIN to unlock the device. On an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch a Mobile Device Management product such as Bushel can unlock that device by resetting the PIN and allowing you to configure a new PIN. It’s kinda’ awesome when someone forgets a PIN they assigned a device, leaves the company or just plain forgets. But, there are a few things we should probably mention about this feature of Bushel: Read More About Unlocking A Locked Device On The Bushel Blog

July 15th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone, JAMF, Mac OS X

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