krypted March 24th, 2017
Posted In: MacAdmins Podcast
Casper 9.9 has shipped! After the most thorough of testing and field enablement, JAMF has shipped Casper 9.9, with tons of new awesomeness for iOS 9.3. You now have the ability to do Lost Mode, which allows you to see where a lost device is, and allows your users the peace of mind that their privacy is protected by informing them that administrators looked at the location of a device (and you can assign a custom Lost Mode message, for example providing a reward for the return of a lost device). You can also manage a number of Notification Center features. You now have the ability to use the Classroom App in conjunction with education device deployments. You now have the ability to unlock new, great payloads, such as placing badges where you want them on a home screen. You can also now use the B2B App Store with Casper. And for the first time, you also have the ability to show and hide apps!
And cool new features aren’t limited to iOS. Casper can also now manage Active Directory bindings with DEP devices using the Active Directory/LDAP payloads, streamlining those workflows in a more supportable fashion. And manage user account types. This brings us closer and closer to true zero-touch deployments. And lots of issues are resolved that make your installation (e.g. detecting Java versions) and management (e.g. some cool new screens) more and more stable and user friendly with each release!
So log into JAMF Nation, and check out Casper 9.9 in your testing environment, and unlock all the new coolness. 🙂
krypted March 31st, 2016
It can be tough to get information about larger Mac deployments. I’ve written a few books on it. Apple has built some pages on it. But many prefer to consume their content through video. As such, Sean Collins has teamed up with Lynda.com to put together an IT Administrator’s Guide for El Capitan. With topics ranging from SIP to DEP, and all the acronyms in the middle, Sean’s soothing voice will guide you through what you need to get started with a new Mac deployment.
Many a job can seem daunting, but with this latest addition to our arsenal, you’ll instantly feel less intimidated. It’s like the Sun A of the Mac world. But afterwards, when you go into corpse pose, you won’t fall asleep, because the content is too good. Check it out here:
krypted January 15th, 2016
I love answering a question with a question. Is asr still in OS X? Is NetInstall still in OS X Server? Can OS X still NetBoot? Does System Image Utility still work? The answer to all of these is yes. Therefore, the answer to “Is imaging dead” is clearly no. Is it on its way out, maybe. Debatable. Is it changing? Of course. When does Apple not evolve?
What have we seen recently? Well, the rhetoric would point to the fact that imaging is dying. That seems clear. And this is slowly coming out of people at Apple. The word imaging is becoming a bad thing. But, as a customer recently asked me, “what do you do when a hard drive fails and you need to get a system back up”? My answer, which of course was another question was “what do you do when that happens with an iPad?” The answer is that you Restore.
What is the difference between an Image and a Restore? Yes, I meant to capitalize both. Yes, I realize that’s not grammatically correct. No, I don’t care. It’s my prose, back off. But back to the point. What is the difference between the two? Am Image can have things inserted into /Applications, /Library, and even /System (since it’s not booted, it’s not yet protected by SIP). An Image can have binaries and scripts automatically fire, that Apple didn’t bake into the factory OS. On an iPad, when you Restore, you explode an .ipsw file onto disk that can’t be altered and acts as an operating system.
The difference here is that one is altered, the other isn’t. Additionally, iOS ripsaw files only contain drivers for the specific hardware for a given device (e.g. one for iPad Mini and another for iPhone 6). But, you have pre-flight and post-flight tasks you need to perform. Everyone understands that. Think about automation via profiles. You can run a script with a profile. You can apply a profile at first boot. You can install a package (the future of packages is IMHO more debatable than the future of images) and a .app with a profile. These might take a little more work than it does with a NetInstall and System Image Utility. But then, it might not. You’d be surprised what’s easier and what’s actually harder (for now) with this new workflow. Complexities are more logistical than technical.
So, Imaging is dead, long live Restoring? Arguably, any older workflows you have will be fine for some time. So any good article has a call to action somewhere. The call to action here is to try to subtly shift your deployment techniques. This involves implementing a DEP strategy where possible. This involves putting the final nails in the coffin of monolithic imaging. This involves moving to as thin an image as possible. This involves (I can’t believe I’m saying this) de-emphasizing scripting in your deployment process. This also involves completing the move that you’ve hopefully started already, from MCX to profile or mdm-based management.
What else do you think this involves? Insert running commentary below!
krypted December 5th, 2015
When a DEP device is setup, the device is supervised. By supervising a device, in Apple wisdom, ownership by the organization is proven and so additional options for limiting what a device can do. For example, supervised iOS devices that are enrolled in an MDM solution by a DEP portal cannot then be unenrolled. Supervision also allows an MDM to escrow a key that can be used to unlock a device locked by Activation Lock. And there are plenty of restrictions and other management options that Apple makes available on a device owned by an organization rather than an individual. It’s understandable given the massive consumer market served and the desire to preserve a fantastic user experience on devices.
If you purchased iOS devices before DEP was available, then you can still enable supervision on those devices. To do so, we’ll use Apple Configurator 2. Before you do anything, know that this process will wipe a device and reactivate the device. There are a number of reasons for this, including Activation Lock escrow, but the important thing to know is that any time you change the Supervision state on a device (going from DEP to non-DEP, going from Supervised to non-supervised via Configurator) that you will wipe the device.
First, plug in a device you’d like to supervise. Once plugged in, right-click on the device.
Click on Prepare… At the contextual menu you can select Automatic or Manual configuration. Automatic uses DEP. Since we’re supervising because DEP isn’t available to us, I’ll assume you want to use Manual in this screen. Choose that and then click on Next.
At the Enroll in MDM Server screen, here we’re not going to automate the enrollment. But if you have an enrollment certificate you’d like to export so that you can automate enrollment during the preparation step, you can use that here. Click Next to proceed.
Now we’re at the important part (for the purposes of this article at least). Here, at the Supervise Devices screen, you can check the box to “Supervise devices”. This comes with a child option to disable the ability for other devices to pair to the device. Let’s check both, which will Supervise the device while also allowing it to synchronize with computers, and then click Next.
When prompted for the Organization information, choose the Organization you configured when setting up Apple Configurator 2, unless you have multiple organizations/certificates.
Finally, select which options during activation that should be used. Here, you can choose to skip various options during the activation process, letting the iOS activation for new devices require less screens (streamlining deployment) while implementing default settings on devices. These screens include Language, Region, Location Services, Set Up, Move from Android, Apple ID, Zoom, Siri, Diagnostics, Passcode, Touch ID, and Apple Pay. I’m going to leave the setting for the setup assistant to “Show all steps” but you can choose to skip any you’d like to skip.
Click Prepare, unlock your device, and watch it get wiped. If the device is supervised by DEP, the process should fail (don’t try it unless you’re committed to wiping the device) unless you erase the device first.
krypted November 5th, 2015
As the largest Apple IT gathering in the world rapidly approaches, we want to give you an early glimpse into the great presentations at the JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC).
We are excited to announce that we’ve added the first ten JNUC sessions to our site. With sessions for education and commercial organizations, you’re sure to find presentations to meet your needs. Highlights include best practices for preparing Macs for online testing, ways to bring Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and Device Enrollment Program (DEP) to life in your environment, and methods for mitigating and addressing Mac security threats.
Haven’t registered yet? There’s still time, but hurry. We’re nearing our capacity.
krypted August 26th, 2015
Posted In: Mac OS X
You can see exactly what Bushel, and other MDM platforms do to your OS X devices using the System Information utility. As with all Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions that interface with OS X, you can use the About this Mac menu item under the Apple menu at the top of the screen to bring up the System Information utility. When you open this tool, you will see a lot of information that can be derived about your devices. Scroll down the list and click on Profiles. Here, you will see all of the Device and User profiles that have been installed on your computer, the payloads within each profile and the keys within each payload.
Inside each profile there are a few pieces of information that define how the profile operates on the computer. Click on one to see the specific details for each Payload. Payloads are a collection of settings that a policy is changing. For example, in the above screenshot, allowSimple is a key inside the com.apple.mobiledevice.passwordpolicy payload. This setting, when set to 1 allows simple passcode to be used on the device. When used in conjunction with the forcePIN key (as seen, in the same payload), you must use a passcode, which can be simple (e.g. 4 numeric characters).
Using these settings, you can change a setting in Bushel and then see the exact keys in each of our deployed payloads that changed when you change each setting. Great for troubleshooting issues!
krypted December 2nd, 2014
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.
To get started, log into your Bushel and click on Devices. Here, click the button for Device Enrollment Program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
krypted November 21st, 2014
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 OS X based computers, including MacBooks, MacBook Airs, Mac Minis, Mac Pros and iMacs running Mac OS X 10.7 and up. In OS X Mountain Lion, Apple added a number of new features to Profile Manager and revved the software to Profile Manager 2.0, most notably adding the ability to push certain types of apps to mobile devices. In Mavericks Server (Server 3), Apple provides new options and streamlined a bunch of things, most notably App Store and VPP integration. In subsequent releases (point releases) Apple also added DEP functionality and you can also now distribute content (in the form of books) to devices. 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 YosemiteSam.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 using scutil.
sudo scutil --set HostName YosemiteSam.krypted.com
Then the ComputerName:
sudo scutil --set ComputerName YosemiteSam.krypted.com
And finally, the LocalHostName:
sudo scutil --set LocalHostName YosemiteSam
Now check changeip:
sudo changeip -checkhostname
The changeip command should output something similar to the following:
Primary address = 192.168.210.201
Current HostName = YosemiteSam.krypted.com
DNS HostName = YosemiteSam.krypted.com
The names match. There is nothing to change.
dirserv:success = "success"
f 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, APNS and Open Directory. 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 OS X Server page loads.
Setting Up Profile Manager
Provided the Welcome to OS X Server page loads, click on the Profile Manager service. Here, click on the Configure button.
At the first screen of the Configure Device Management assistant, click on Next.
Assuming the computer is not yet an Open Directory master or Replica, and assuming you wish to setup a new Open Directory Master, click on Create a new Open Directory domain at the Configure Network Users and Groups screen.
Then click on Next. At the Directory Administrator screen, provide the username and password you’d like the Open Directory administrative account to have (note, this is going to be an Open Directory Master, so this example diradmin account will be used to authenticate to Workgroup Manager if we want to make changes to the Open Directory users, groups, computers or computer groups from there). Once you’re done entering the correct information, click Next.
At the Organization Information screen, enter your information (e.g. name of Organization and administrator’s email address). Keep in mind that this information will be in your certificate (and your CSR if you submit that for a non-self-signed certificate) that is used to protect both Profile Manager and Open Directory communications. Click Next.
At the Confirm Settings screen, make sure the information that will be used to configure Open Directory is setup correctly. Then click Set Up (as I’ve put a nifty red circle next to – although it probably doesn’t help you find it if it’s the only button, right?).
The Open Directory master is then created. At the Organization Information screen, enter the name of the contact information for an administrator and click on the Next button. Even if you’re tying this thing into something like Active Directory, this is going to be a necessary step (unless of course you’re already running Open Directory on the system). Once Open Directory is setup you will be prompted to provide the information for an SSL Certificate.
At the Organization Information screen, enter your information and click Next.
At the Configure an SSL Certificate screen, choose a certificate and click Next.
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.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org) rather than a private one (e.g. email@example.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.
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.
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.
One of the upgrades in Profile Manager 2.2 is the ability to distribute objects from the App Store Volume Purchase Program 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 for “Distribute apps and books from the Volume Purchase Program” and then use the Choose 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).
Once started, click on the Open Profile Manager link and the login page opens. Administrators can login to Profile Manager to setup profiles and manage devices.
The URL for this (for YosemiteSam.krypted.com) is https://YosemiteSam.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://YosemiteSam.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.
Then click Install if installing using a certificate not already trusted.
Once enrolled, click on the Profile in the Profiles System Preference pane to see the settings being deployed.
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) and Yosemite (10.10).
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:
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 Mac OS X 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.
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://YosemiteSam.krypted.com/profilemanager). Here, you can see:
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, OS X 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. 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 (in this case it’s a group called Replicants) 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 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.
Note: For fun, you can use the MyDevices portal to wipe your iPad from the iPad itself.
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 MDM, AirWatch, Zenprise, MaaS360, etc all have far more options, but aren’t as easy to install 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 you’ll ultimately end up using. One thing I can say for it is that Profile Manager is a little faster and seems much more stable (in fact, Apple has now published scalability numbers, which they have rarely done in the past). You can also implement newer features with it, including Books distribution, Gatekeeper, DEP and Messages.
krypted October 16th, 2014