Tag Archives: Casper

iPhone Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security

Casper 9.62 Is Out!

Casper 9.62 is now out! And holy buckets, look at all the stuff that got fixed in this release:

Casper-Suite-9.62-Release-Notes_320_414_84_1416419790

http://resources.jamfsoftware.com/documents/products/documentation/Casper-Suite-9.62-Release-Notes.pdf?mtime=1416856726

PS – There’s also some api improvement goodness!

Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security Mass Deployment public speaking

MacAdmins 2015

I was super-bummed that I missed the MacAdmins conference at Penn State University. But, all is not lost as MacAdmins will be held July 8-10 in 2015 at the Penn Stater Conference Center and I’ll be able to see all those awesome people there next year!

In the meantime, something fun and new is the 2014 MacAdmins Playlist to maybe get exposed to some new stuff: http://spoti.fi/VTdxLX.

As an aside, here’s a fun pic of @derflounder and I (and others) doing a round table from a few years ago on the Penn State site:

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 1.25.10 PM

 

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

Come One, Come All: To The JAMF Nation User Conference

If you do deployments of Apple products, there are a few conferences to look at. Based on where you are and what industry you are in, some of these are better than others. But if you use the Casper Suite or are considering doing so, it would be really hard to beat JNUC, the JAMF Nation User Conference.

jamf-nation-user-conference-2014_1140_464_84_1399405603

And yes, I’d of said all this and posted this even if I hadn’t of come to work here a week and a half ago! So come one, come all to Minneapolis. And if you’re really nice, we’ll hook you up with some good old fashioned Minnesota lutefisk!

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

DeviceScout

DeviceScout is a tool that leverages JAMF’s Casper Suite to show administrators vital statistics and show alerts on client systems. These alerts display some of the critical aspects of systems, from encryption to disk capacity to backups, there are a number of pretty cool aspects of DeviceScout.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 2.55.47 PM

Using the device view, you can view serial numbers, device types, check-in status, boot volumes, memory, etc. It’s a lot of insight into what you have on your systems. I’m a huge fan of such visibility. You will need to be running Casper to leverage DeviceScout, but it provides a very simple interface for management and even techs to see what’s going on in your enterprise in as quick a manner as possible. Inventory, security status, backup status and a support menu at your fingertips.

With very simple pricing, check out what they have to offer at http://www.devicescout.com.

Mac OS X Mass Deployment

Announcement (Cross Post) – JSS Add-on for Autopkg

(Guest Post by Allister Banks)

Chocolate+PeanutButter

As Venn diagram circles go, many folks in our community are getting into autopkg, and there’s even more that already use the JAMF Casper Suite. Over on the 318.com blog there’s an announcement for a new ‘processor’ add-on that can be installed with autopkg, that therefore can leverage the JSS API to fulfill many of the functions which up until present only Munki enjoyed. Please do read the release notes and give it a try!

Mac OS X

Repair Permissions From The Command Line

I’ve long been a supporter of building tools in self service portals such as those provided by JAMF and Munki to provide users who don’t have administrative permissions to perform tasks that wouldn’t typically otherwise be destructive. One such example is a simple repair permissions. An administrator can simply open Disk Utility, select their disk and then click Repair Disk Permissions

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 7.11.31 PMBut if you want to do this as a user who doesn’t have administrative privileges you would need to elevate your privileges before doing so. In a larger environment this would be incredibly annoying for dozens, hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of users to bring their computer to an administrator just to type in a password. But, if you have a patch management solution that has some kind of a self service portal, users could do this themselves. Typically, you would create a very small payload free package. This package might just contain a single script that might even be as short as a one-liner. For example, the following command would actually run a repairPermissions.

diskutil repairPermissions /

You could also send some environmental variables from your patch management tool for the boot volume, but in this simple instance we’re just going to run it, with the following type of output:

Started verify/repair permissions on disk0s2 Macintosh HD
Permissions differ on "Library/Application Support"; should be drwxr-xr-x ; they are drwxrwxr-x
Repaired "Library/Application Support"
Group differs on "Library/Printers/InstalledPrinters.plist"; should be 80; group is 0
Permissions differ on "Library/Printers/InstalledPrinters.plist"; should be -rw-rw-rw- ; they are -rw-r--r--
Repaired "Library/Printers/InstalledPrinters.plist"
[ \ 0%..10%..20%..30%..40%..50%..60%..70%................ ] 74% 0:00:34
Finished verify/repair permissions on disk0s2 Macintosh HD

You could get much more complicated, writing the output to syslog or even a syslog server. You can also have metapackages that just do a bunch of tasks and call them things like “Try to fix my computer.” Provided you have a patch management tool, you could also just scope some devices and push some of these things out en masse; however, for the most part, I’m a fan of self service, so that’s the example I’m using this for.

certifications iPhone Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security Mass Deployment public speaking

Penn State MacAdmins Back for 2013

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 http://macadmins.psu.edu/conference/submit-proposals.

This year, there will also be sponsors. To sponsor, see http://macadmins.psu.edu/conference/sponsorships.

Or to attend, see http://macadmins.psu.edu/conference/registration.

To sign up for the conference newsletter, see http://psu.us4.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=acd8b6acc541596a7bdf8e517&id=d37a7e26fd.

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.

Mass Deployment

More Information On Session From JAMF Nation

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 http://www.jamfsoftware.com/news/2012/10/25/session-mass-ios-deployments.

iPhone Mass Deployment

Using Apple Configurator To Automate Casper MDM Enrollment

Enrolling iPads into the JAMF Casper MDM solution is done through Apple Configurator, messages or using links deployed to iOS devices as web clips. When doing larger deployments the enrollment process can be automated so that devices are automatically enrolled into Casper MDM when they are set up using an Enrollment Profile that is manually downloaded from Casper and deployed to device. Additionally, a certificate can be needed if the certificate is not included in the profile, an option available as a checkbox in the setup. While you hopefully won’t need to download the certificate, we’ll start there:

Obtain the Certificate for the JSS Server

To obtain the trust certificate from the JSS Server:

  1. Open the web interface for the JSS.
  2. When prompted to trust the certificate, click on the disclosure triangle and then the checkbox to trust the cert, providing the administrative credentials when prompted.
  3. Open Keychain Utility.
  4. Click in the search field.
  5. Search for JSS.
  6. Control-click on the name of your server’s “Built-in Certificate Authority” entry.
  7. Choose the option to Export.
  8. When prompted, provide a name for the certificate in the Save As fiel.
  9. Choose a location to save the certificate to using the Where field.
  10. The .cer format is sufficient for our purposes.
  11. Click Save.

Download the Enrollment Profile

To download an enrollment profile from Casper MDM:

  1. Log into the web interface of the JSS.
  2. Click on the link for Mobile Device Enrollment
  3. At the Mobile Device Enrollment Invitations screen, click on the Enrollment Profiles tab.
  4. At the Enrollment Profiles screen, click on Download for the appropriate profile (for most environments there should only be one)
  5. Once the profile is downloaded, it will automatically attempt to enroll the computer you are downloading it from in the Profiles System Preferences pane.
  6. Click on Cancel.
  7. Click on the downloads link in Safari.
  8. Click on the magnifying glass icon to see the .mobileconfig file.

You have now downloaded the .mobileconfig file that will enroll devices into Casper MDM.

Add the Profile To Apple Configurator:

To deploy the profile through Apple Configurator:

  1. Open Apple Configurator on the client computer.
  2. Click on Prepare in the row of icons along the top of the screen.
  3. Drag the profile (by default currently called MDM-iOS5.mobileconfig) from the Finder into the list of Profiles.
  4. The profile then appears in Apple Configurator (in this example, called MDM-iOS5).

Deploy The Casper MDM Enrollment Profile Through Apple Configurator

Once the profile is installed in Apple Configurator, let’s deploy it. In this example, don’t configure any other options. To deploy:

  1. Set the name to be blank, numbering should be disabled, Supervision should be off, iOS should be set to No Change, “Erase before installing” should be unchecked, Don’t Restore Backup should be set in the Restore field.
  2. Check the box for the newly added profile (MDM-iOS5 in this example).
  3. Click on the Prepare button.
  4. At the “Are you sure you want to apply these settings to all USB-connected devices?” screen, click on the Apply button.
  5. The subsequent screen shows when devices are being configured. Here, dock the device to receive the profile (note, all docked iOS devices are going to be configured with this profile).
  6. Once the device is connected, the profile will begin to install. You are then prompted to “Tap device to install profile”.
  7. On the device, tap on the Install button.
  8. At the Warning screen, tap Install.
  9. Once the Profile is installed, tap Done.
  10. You have now been enrolled.

If you then wish to unenroll, simply remove the profiles by tapping on profiles and then tapping on the Remove button. Per the MDM API, a user can elect to remove their device from management at any point, so expect this will happen occasionally, even if only by accident.

Mass Deployment

One Teletype to Bind Them (Or, Clustered SSH for OS X)

When working at scale, and particularly with hosts that need to have the same configuration or you want to perform the same queries on, the issue becomes how do I ‘reach out and touch’ my fleet? Without centralized infrastructure backed by a messaging broker or a heavier process that leaves hooks in systems and/or requires its own domain specific language, sometimes you can get by with… plain ol’ ssh. Apple Remote Desktop can take us a lot of the way there, and one of the announced features of Mountain Lion is that screen sharing gets another piece of ARD’s pie, the ability to drag-and-drop files to transfer them to the remote machine. But when trying to use features other than screen control, ARD has been found to be hit-or-miss (or misreporting the functionality of hosts) in some circumstances.

csshX in action

‘Scripty’ folks look at these issues and craft tools to meet the challenge-slash-obscure-use case. Perl has long been relied upon for network-aware utilities, and csshX is a tool for managing a ‘cluster’ of  ssh sessions on the Mac. You can download or checkout the code from its googlecode site, and it has a man page that can be accessed when calling the binary directly with the -m switch. Options include telling it the login and/or password to use, feeding it a text file of hosts to access, or merely list hosts by DNS name or IP with spaces in between. Even if user names or passwords are different, fully-functional windows open as it attempts ssh connections to each host, with a red window you can use to control them all once you’ve authenticated to the ssh sessions.
From that point on, the world is your proverbial jerry-rigged oyster! To mimic ARD’s file transfers you could scp back to your machine (as kludges go, smileyface,) and another random tip: using the emacs readline functionality to jump to the beginning of a line with Ctrl-a still works, even though csshX uses that for a special purpose (as does the terminal multiplexer screen,) simply hit Ctrl-a again and the program will understand you wanted to send that to the remote sessions. Enjoy!