Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

DHCP, or Dynamic Host Control Protocol, is the service used to hand out IP addresses and other network settings by network appliances and servers. The DHCP Server built into macOS Server 5.4 on High Sierra is similar to the DHCP service that was included in Server 10.2 and 10.2 and from the good ‘ole Panther days. It’s pretty simple to use and transparent, just as DHCP services should be.

To install the service, open the Server app and then click on the Show button beside Advanced in the server sidebar. Then click on DHCP.
At the DHCP screen, you’ll see two tabs: Settings, used for managing the service and Clients, used to see leases in use by computers that obtain IP address information from the server. You’ll also see an ON and OFF switch, but we’re going to configure our scopes, or Networks as they appear in the Server app, before we enable the service. To configure a scope, double-click on the first entry in the Networks list.
Each scope, or Network, will have the following options:
  • Name: A name for the scope, used only on the server to keep track of things.
  • Lease Duration: Select an hour, a day, a week or 30 days. This is how long a lease that is provided to a client is valid before the lease expires and the client must find a new lease, either from the server you’re configuring or a different host.
  • Network Interface: The network interface you’d like to share IPs over. Keep in mind that you can tag multiple VLANs on a NIC, assign each an interface in OS X and therefore provide different scopes for different VLANs with the same physical computer and NIC.
  • Starting IP Address: The first IP address used. For example, if you configure a scope to go from to you would have 50 useable IP addresses.
  • Ending IP Address: The last IP address used in a scope.
  • Subnet Mask: The subnet mask used for the client configuration. This setting determines the size of the network.
  • Router: The default gateway, or router for the network. Often a .1 address for the subnet used in the Starting and Ending IP address fields. Note that while in DHCP you don’t actually have to use a gateway, OS X Server does force you to do so or you cannot save changes to each scope.
  • DNS: Use the Edit button for DNS to bring up a screen that allows you to configure the DNS settings provided as part of each DHCP scope you create, taking note that by default you will be handing out a server of if you don’t configure this setting.
The DNS settings in the DHCP scope are really just the IP addresses to use for the DNS servers and the search domain. The search domain is the domain name appended to all otherwise incomplete Fully Qualified Domain Names. For example, if we use internal.krypted.lan and we have a DNS record for wiki.internal.krypted.lan then we could just type wiki into Safari to bring up the wiki server. Click the minus sign button to remove any data in these fields and then click on the plus sign to enter new values.
Click OK to save DNS settings and then OK to save each scope. Once you’ve build all required scopes, start the service. Once started, verify that a new client on the network gets an IP. Also, make sure that there are no overlapping scopes and that if you are moving a scope from one device to another (e.g. the server you’re setting up right now) that you renew all leases on client systems, most easily done using a quick reboot, or using “ipconfig /release” on a Windows computer. If you have problems with leases not renewing in macOS, check out this article I did awhile back. So far, totally easy. Each time you make a change, the change updates a few different things.

First, it updates the /etc/bootpd.plist property list, which looks something like this (note the correlation between these keys and the settings in the above screen shots.:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" ""> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>NetBoot</key> <dict/> <key>Subnets</key> <array> <dict> <key>allocate</key> <true/> <key>dhcp_domain_name</key> <string></string> <key>dhcp_domain_name_server</key> <array> <string></string> </array> <key>dhcp_domain_search</key> <array/> <key>dhcp_router</key> <string></string> <key>lease_max</key> <integer>3600</integer> <key>name</key> <string>192.168.210 Wi-Fi</string> <key>net_address</key> <string></string> <key>net_mask</key> <string></string> <key>net_range</key> <array> <string></string> <string></string> </array> <key>selected_port_name</key> <string>en0</string> <key>uuid</key> <string>B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E</string> </dict> </array> <key>allow</key> <array/> <key>bootp_enabled</key> <false/> <key>deny</key> <array/> <key>detect_other_dhcp_server</key> <false/> <key>dhcp_enabled</key> <false/> <key>old_netboot_enabled</key> <false/> <key>relay_enabled</key> <false/> <key>relay_ip_list</key> <array/> </dict> </plist>

Settings from this file include:
  • dhcp_enabled – Used to enable dhcp for each network interface. Replace the <false/> immediately below with <array> <string>en0</string> </array>. For additional entries, duplice the string line and enter each from ifconfig that you’d like to use dhcp on.
  • bootp_enabled – This can be left as Disabled or set to an array of the adapters that should be enabled if you wish to use the bootp protocol in addition to dhcp. Note that the server can do both bootp and dhcp simultaneously.
  • allocate – Use the allocate key for each subnet in the Subnets array to enable each subnet once the service is enabled.
  • Subnets – Use this array to create additional scopes or subnets that you will be serving up DHCP for. To do so, copy the entry in the array and paste it immediately below the existing entry. The entry is a dictionary so copy all of the data between and including the <dict> and </dict> immediately after the <array> entry for the subnet itself.
  • lease_max and lease_min – Set these integers to the time for a client to retain its dhcp lease
  • name – If there are multiple subnet entries, this should be unique and reference a friendly name for the subnet itself.
  • net_address – The first octets of the subnet followed by a 0. For example, assuming a /24 and 172.16.25 as the first three octets the entry would be
  • net_mask – The subnet mask clients should have
  • net_range – The first entry should have the first IP in the range and the last should have the last IP in the range. For example, in the following example the addressing is to
  • dhcp_domain_name_server – There should be a string for each DNS server supplied by dhcp in this array
  • dhcp_domain_search – Each domain in the domain search field should be suppled in a string within this array, if one is needed. If not, feel free to delete the key and the array if this isn’t needed.
  • dhcp_router – This entry should contain the router or default gateway used for clients on the subnet, if there is one. If not, you can delete the key and following string entries.
If you run the serveradmin command, followed by the settings verb and then the dhcp service, you’ll see the other place that gets updated:

serveradmin settings dhcp

The output indicates that

dhcp:static_maps = _empty_array
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:WINS_secondary_server = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:selected_port_name = "en0"
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:dhcp_router = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:dhcp_domain_name_server:_array_index:0 = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:net_mask = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:WINS_NBDD_server = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:net_range_start = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:lease_max = 3600
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:dhcp_domain_search:_array_index:0 = "internal.krypted.lan"
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:descriptive_name = "192.168.210 Wi-Fi"
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:WINS_primary_server = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:net_range_end = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:dhcp_ldap_url = _empty_array
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:WINS_node_type = "NOT_SET"
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:net_address = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:dhcp_enabled = yes
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:dhcp_domain_name = "internal.krypted.lan"
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:WINS_scope_id = ""
dhcp:subnet_defaults:logVerbosity = "MEDIUM"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:WINS_node_type_list:_array_index:0 = "BROADCAST_B_NODE"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:WINS_node_type_list:_array_index:1 = "HYBRID_H_NODE"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:WINS_node_type_list:_array_index:2 = "NOT_SET"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:WINS_node_type_list:_array_index:3 = "PEER_P_NODE"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:WINS_node_type_list:_array_index:4 = "MIXED_M_NODE"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:dhcp_domain_name = ""
dhcp:subnet_defaults:WINS_node_type = "NOT_SET"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:routers = _empty_dictionary
dhcp:subnet_defaults:logVerbosityList:_array_index:0 = "LOW"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:logVerbosityList:_array_index:1 = "MEDIUM"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:logVerbosityList:_array_index:2 = "HIGH"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:dhcp_domain_name_server:_array_index:0 = ""
dhcp:subnet_defaults:selected_port_key = "en0"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:selected_port_key_list:_array_index:0 = "bridge0"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:selected_port_key_list:_array_index:1 = "en0"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:selected_port_key_list:_array_index:2 = "p2p0"
dhcp:subnet_defaults:selected_port_key_list:_array_index:3 = "en1"
dhcp:logging_level = "MEDIUM"

Notice the correlation between the uuid string in /etc/bootp.plist and the arrayid entry for each subnet/network/scope (too many terms referring to the same thing, ahhhh!). Using the serveradmin command you can configure a lot more than you can configure in the Server app gui. For example, on a dedicated DHCP server, you could increase logging level to HIGH (as root/with sudo of course):

serveradmin settings dhcp:logging_level = "MEDIUM"

You can also change settings within a scope. For example, if you realized that you were already using and 201 for statically assigned IPs elsewhere you can go ahead and ssh into the server and change the first IP in a scope to 202 using the following (assuming the uuid of the domain is the same as in the previous examples):

serveradmin settings dhcp:subnets:_array_id:B03BAE3C-AB79-4108-9E5E-F0ABAF32179E:net_range_start = ""

You can also obtain some really helpful information using the fullstatus verb with serveradmin:

serveradmin fullstatus dhcp

This output includes the number of active leases, path to log file (tailing that file is helpful when troubleshooting issues), static mappings (configured using the command line if needed), etc.

dhcp:state = "RUNNING"
dhcp:backendVersion = "10.11"
dhcp:timeOfModification = "2017-9-04 04:24:17 +0000"
dhcp:numDHCPActiveClients = 0
dhcp:timeOfSnapShot = "2017-9-04 04:24:19 +0000"
dhcp:dhcpLeasesArray = _empty_array
dhcp:logPaths:systemLog = "/var/log/system.log"
dhcp:numConfiguredStaticMaps = 1
dhcp:timeServiceStarted = "2017-9-04 04:24:17 +0000"
dhcp:setStateVersion = 1
dhcp:numDHCPLeases = 21
dhcp:readWriteSettingsVersion = 1

Once started, configure reservations using  the /etc/bootptab file. This file should have a column for the name of a computer, the hardware type (1), the hwaddr (the MAC address) and ipaddr for the desired IP address of each entry:

%% # hostname hwtype hwaddr ipaddr bootfile
a.krypted.lan 1 00:00:00:aa:bb:cc
b.krypted.lan 1 00:00:00:aa:bb:cc

You can start and stop the service either using the serveradmin command:

serveradmin stop dhcp serveradmin start dhcp

Or using the launchctl:

sudo /bin/launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/bootps.plist sudo /bin/launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/bootps.plist

You can also add DHCP Reservations, or static maps. To do so, click on the clients tab and then click on the plus sign (“+”). From here, you can add a hostname and IP address to a given MAC address in order to allow that MAC address to always be assigned the IP you’d like.

Finally, you can define DHCP options in /etc/bootp.plist. This process isn’t necessarily support, there is no GUI control for options, and options are not as widely used with devices as they once were. However, it’s absolutely an option if needed.

September 26th, 2017

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server

Tags: , , , , , ,

Previously, we looked at setting up an Open Directory Master in macOS. An Open Directory Replica keeps a copy of the Open Directory database available for users even when the Master goes offline. But it can also take a part of the load from the Open Directory Master and when using the new Locales feature, balance network traffic. To get started with an Open Directory Replica, first enable SSH, now disabled by default. If SSH is not enabled, you will not be able to create an Open Directory Replica. SSH is enabled on a server by opening the Server app, clicking on the name of the server and then clicking on the Settings tab. here, check the box for “Secure shell connections (SSH)”.
Next, use the changeip to check the host name. While the Server app is cool, it caches stuff and I’ve seen it let things go threat shouldn’t be let go. Therefore, in order to make sure that the server has such an address, I still recommend using changeip, but I also recommend using the Server application. In OS X Server, I’ve seen each find things that other misses. Additionally, in Yosemite and above, OS X Server now requires to be able to lookup whatever the hostname is set to in order to actually promote either to a replica or a master. To use changeip to verify the hostname is set appropriately:

sudo changeip -checkhostname

The address and host names should look correct and match what you see in the Server application’s Next Steps drawer.

Primary address = Current HostName = DNS HostName = The names match. There is nothing to change. dirserv:success = “success”

Provided everything is cool with the hostname, use the slapconfig command to preflight a replica prior to promotion. The syntax there is the same as the -createreplica syntax, used as follows, assuming the master has an IP address of

/usr/sbin/slapconfig -preflightreplica diradmin

Provided that the server is ready, open the Server app on a freshly installed computer you want to be your Open Directory replica.

Then, click on the Open Directory service.

Then, use the ON button to start the configuration process. When prompted, click on “Join an existing Open Directory domain as a replica” and click on the Next button.

When prompted, enter the parent Open Directory server’s host name (likely the name of the Open Directory Master), directory admin user name (the diradmin or custom username provided when Open Directory was configured), and then the directory admin password.

Then click on the Next button again to setup the services.

At the Confirm settings screen, click on the Set Up button and the replica is completed provided there are no issues with the configuration. Check Server app on both the Replica and the Master and verify that the server is displayed under the Master.

Once you’ve created your first replica, you can then start to define replica trees, where each replica looks at one above it, which then looks at another. I’ll do another article later on replica trees.

Note: If there are any problems during promotion, I start over every time using slapconfig along with the -destroyldapserver option to nuke everything in OD:

sudo slapconfig -destroyldapserver

Use the logs to help if you’re having replica creation problems. These can be added using the -enableslapdlog option:

sudo slapconfig -enableslapdlog

You can use the -addreplica option to add replicas manually while running tail on the slapd logs:

sudo tail -f /var/log/slapd.log

Once the replica has been created, you can add more and split them into locales. You can also get pretty granular with the slurpd (the daemon that manages Open Directory replication) logs by invoking slurpd with a -d option followed by a number from 4 to 65535, with logging intensity of logs getting more as the number gets higher. You can also use the -r option to indicate a specific log file. If you have more than 32 replicas then it stands to reason that you also have a large number of objects in Open Directory, a fair amount of change occurring to said objects and therefore a fair amount of replication IO. In order to offload this you can move your replication temp directory onto SSD drives, by specifying the -t option when invoking slurpd.

The slurpd replication occurs over port 389 (by default). Therefore, in a larger environment you should be giving priority to network traffic. If you choose to custom make/install slurpd then you’ll also need to go ahead and build your Kerberos principles manually. In this case you would get a srvtab file for the slurpd server and then configure slapd to accept Kerberos Authentication for slaves. Having said this, I haven’t seen an environment where I had to configure slurpd in this fashion.

September 26th, 2017

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

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. screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-11-14-02-am 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. screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-11-16-06-am 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. screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-11-18-24-am 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. screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-11-18-58-am

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, would likely have a primary zone of
  • 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.

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.

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 rather than (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.” —
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 and our backup metadata controller record as apollo.krypted.xsan which points to 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., 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.


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. screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-12-25-31-pm
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
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 = 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 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 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/ 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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You can disable the Connect to Server menu in OS X. This can be done via MDM or using defaults. To do so with the defaults command, send a ProhibitConnectTo key into as True and then restart the Finder, as follows using the defaults command: defaults write ProhibitConnectTo -bool true ; killall Finder To undo: defaults write ProhibitConnectTo -bool false

September 4th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac Security

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You can find the version of the Server app that an OS X Server is running using the serveradmin command. To do so, run the serveradmin command followed by the -version option: sudo /Applications/ --version The output would be as follows: Version 15S5127

April 21st, 2016

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

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Repair permissions was unceremoniously removed from OS X in El Capitan. This staple of the Mac gurus toolkit disappeared. There was no 21 gun salute, there was no flaming casket sent out to sea and there was no sweet, sweet wake to get drunk at. Instead, there was pain. There was pain, because when the button disappeared, the need did not. Need proof? If you haven’t yet run it, let’s check your system to verify the permissions of the standard packages: sudo /usr/libexec/repair_packages --verify --standard-pkgs --volume / In the above command, we used the repair_packages binary, which has not changed in awhile. We then feed that the –verify option and the –standard-pkgs option, finally providing the volume of the current boot volume using –volume followed by the /. Pretty straight forward. Assuming there’s something to repair, the below will actually run that repair operation: sudo /usr/libexec/repair_packages --repair --standard-pkgs --volume / Where’s the sweet, sweet button? The rest of the screen is so darn lonely without it. Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.13.02 PM And now that you know the command, feel free to throw it in your self service. That way users can do it without opening terminal or using an admin password!

November 22nd, 2015

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

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The Caching Server in OS X Server 5 is pretty simple, right? You open up the server app and then click on the On button and you’re… off… to… the… races… Yup. There are also a few options that you can configure using the Server app. You can configure which IP addresses (or networks) are able to access your server. You can configure where the cache is stored. You can configure the amount of Cached used. And you can clear out that cache. Boom. Including the ON button, you’ve only got 5 things you can do here. Pretty easy. To script kicking off the service as just a proxy that caches all patches that it can, simply use the following command: sudo serveradmin start caching The above command simply enables the service and starts the daemon. At that point, it registers with Apple and starts caching what it can. For many environments, this is pretty much all you need to do. But you can also configure the options available in the GUI, and a few that aren’t, using the command line. And then there are some pretty cool things you can do in Caching under the hood that aren’t included in the Server app. Let’s look at what it might take to script setting up the Caching service. For example, if we wanted to do scripted Caching Server deployments. Well, we’d need to start the service. By default the service would start with only local subnets being able to access the service and all available content would be heated. Additionally, the default location for the cache is /Library/Server, with no limit to the cache and a reserved volume space of 25000000000 bytes. You can see this by looking at the output of serveradmin with a settings verb and the caching service, as follows: sudo serveradmin settings caching Which results in the following: caching:ServerRoot = "/Library/Server" caching:ReservedVolumeSpace = 25000000000 caching:LocalSubnetsOnly = yes caching:Port = 0 caching:CacheLimit = 0 caching:DataPath = "/Library/Server/Caching/Data" Now, let’s open up the caching server to the world, assuming of course that people can’t get to it unless they’re routable on our network. This makes caching for multiple subnets in a given LAN environment much simpler. To do so, we’d feed that caching:localSubnetsOnly back in, with a no: sudo serveradmin settings caching:LocalSubnetsOnly = no Once the service is started, you will be able to perform tasks, such as disabling the iCloud caching option. This is done by setting the AllowPersonalCaching key to false, as follows in the /Library/Server/Caching/Config/config.plist. <key>AllowPersonalCaching</key> <integer>false</integer> This can be done using the serveradmin command as well, using the settings verb with the caching service and the AllowPersonalCaching key, as follows: sudo serveradmin settings caching:AllowPersonalCaching = no You can also limit the space that the Caching Server uses for cached iCloud data with the Settings verb, the caching service and the PersonalCacheLimit keep, provided the PersonalCacheLimit doesn’t exceed the CacheLimit. For example: <key>PersonalCacheLimit</key> <integer>200000000000</integer> In /Library/Server/Caching/Config/ you’ll find a file called Config.plist. Here, you’ll find way more settings, including those not output when you run serveradmin. You can actually drop lots of settings into new servers by copying this file into the correct location. However, prior to doing so, you’ll need to sanitize the file. There are two unique keys that should never be copied between servers. The first is the ServerGUID. The ServerGUID is a generated unique identifier that the server creates for itself when started. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" ""> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>CacheLimit</key> <integer>0</integer> <key>DataPath</key> <string>/Library/Server/Caching/Data</string> <key>LastConfigData</key> <data> XXX </data> <key>LastConfigURL</key> <string></string> <key>LastPort</key> <integer>52303</integer> <key>LocalSubnetsOnly</key> <true/> <key>Port</key> <integer>0</integer> <key>ReservedVolumeSpace</key> <integer>25000000000</integer> <key>SavedCacheDetails</key> <dict/> <key>SavedCacheDetailsOrder</key> <array> <string>Mac Software</string> <string>iOS Software</string> <string>iCloud</string> <string>Books</string> <string>iTunes U</string> <string>Movies</string> <string>Music</string> <string>Other</string> </array> <key>SavedCacheDetailsStrings</key> <dict> <key>de</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>Bücher</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac-Software</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>Filme</string> <key>Music</key> <string>Musik</string> <key>Other</key> <string>Anderes</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS-Software</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>en</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>Books</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac Software</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>Movies</string> <key>Music</key> <string>Music</string> <key>Other</key> <string>Other</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS Software</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>es</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>Libros</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Software Mac</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>Películas</string> <key>Music</key> <string>Música</string> <key>Other</key> <string>Otros</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>Software iOS</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>fr</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>Livres</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Logiciels Mac</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>Films</string> <key>Music</key> <string>Musique</string> <key>Other</key> <string>Autres</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>Logiciels iOS</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>it</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>Libri</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Software Mac</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>Film</string> <key>Music</key> <string>Musica</string> <key>Other</key> <string>Altro</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>Software iOS</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>ja</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>ブック</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac ソフトウェア</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>ムービー</string> <key>Music</key> <string>ミュージック</string> <key>Other</key> <string>その他</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS ソフトウェア</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>ko</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>책</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac 소프트웨어</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>동영상</string> <key>Music</key> <string>음악</string> <key>Other</key> <string>기타</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS 소프트웨어</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>nl</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>Boeken</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac-software</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>Films</string> <key>Music</key> <string>Muziek</string> <key>Other</key> <string>Overig</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS-software</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>zh-CN</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>图书</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac 软件</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>影片</string> <key>Music</key> <string>音乐</string> <key>Other</key> <string>其他</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS 软件</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>zh-Hans</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>图书</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac 软件</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>影片</string> <key>Music</key> <string>音乐</string> <key>Other</key> <string>其他</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS 软件</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>zh-Hant</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>書籍</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac 軟體</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>影片</string> <key>Music</key> <string>音樂</string> <key>Other</key> <string>其他</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS 軟體</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>zh-TW</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>書籍</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac 軟體</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>影片</string> <key>Music</key> <string>音樂</string> <key>Other</key> <string>其他</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS 軟體</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>zh_CN</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>图书</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac 软件</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>影片</string> <key>Music</key> <string>音乐</string> <key>Other</key> <string>其他</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS 软件</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> <key>zh_TW</key> <dict> <key>Books</key> <string>書籍</string> <key>Mac Software</key> <string>Mac 軟體</string> <key>Movies</key> <string>影片</string> <key>Music</key> <string>音樂</string> <key>Other</key> <string>其他</string> <key>iCloud</key> <string>iCloud</string> <key>iOS Software</key> <string>iOS 軟體</string> <key>iTunes U</key> <string>iTunes U</string> </dict> </dict> <key>SavedCacheSize</key> <integer>0</integer> <key>ServerGUID</key> <string>A955E484-E2A6-4759-A8F4-108CF9B733A7</string> <key>ServerRoot</key> <string>/Library/Server</string> <key>Version</key> <integer>1</integer> There’s always some sanity checking you can do. The main reason I’ve seen the server not want to start is because the server cannot register with Apple. The first thing that the server does when it registers is establishes a connection to Apple using the ServerGUID and then pulls down more settings from and if needed, begins heating the cache. Now, if the serveradmin command reports back a fullstatus that the server is pending and never makes a connection, there are two issues I’ve seen occur. The first is that you copied the ServerGUID from another host that’s already registered with Apple. The second is an error for “The operation couldn’t be completed” with an error code of 1. To see this, you can run serveradmin with fullstatus and then the service identifier and the caching:startupStatus identifier: caching:RegistrationStatus:error = <62706c69 73743030 d4010203 04050618 19582476 65727369 6f6e5824 6f626a65 63747359 24617263 68697665 72542474 6f701200 0186a0a4 07081112 55246e75 6c6cd409 0a0b0c0d 0e0f1056 4e53436f 64655a4e 53557365 72496e66 6f584e53 446f6d61 696e5624 636c6173 73100180 00800280 035f1014 636f6d2e 6170706c 652e7365 72766572 6d677264 d2131415 165a2463 6c617373 6e616d65 5824636c 61737365 73574e53 4572726f 72a21517 584e534f 626a6563 745f100f 4e534b65 79656441 72636869 766572d1 1a1b5472 6f6f7480 0108111a 232d3237 3c424b52 5d666d6f 7173758c 919ca5ad b0b9cbce d3000000 00000001 01000000 00000000 1c000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 d5> caching:RegistrationStatus:errorDescription = "The operation couldn’t be completed. ( error 1.)" caching:RegistrationStatus:errorCode = 1 caching:RegistrationStatus = 0 This is usually because the server cannot make a connection to Apple. Check that the server can ping, or access the server. Most of the time I’ve found that this involves a proxy. To sanity check for this in a script, try and curl down a copy of There’s more, but I’m out of time. Will come back to this.

October 23rd, 2015

Posted In: Mac OS X Server, Mass Deployment

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The NetBoot service allows administrators of OS X computers to leverage images hosted on a server to boot computers to a central location and put a new image on them, upgrade them and perform automations based on upgrades and images. Since the very first versions of OS X, the service has been called NetBoot. In the Server app, Apple provides a number of options surrounding the NetInstall service, based on Automator-style actions, now calling the service NetInstall. The first step to configuring the NetInstall service is to decide what you want the service to do. There are three options available in System Image Utility (available under the Tools menu of the Server app in OS X Server):
  • Create a NetBoot Image: Allows Macs to boot over the network to a disk image hosted on a server.
  • Create a NetInstall Image: Leverage NetBoot as a boot disk so that an image hosted on a server can be used to run an OS X installer.
  • Create a NetRestore Image: Leverage NetBoot as a boot disk so that you can restore a computer that has been configured over a network. Use this option to restore an image that has been prepared.
For the purposes of this example, we’re going to use an OS X El Capitan (10.11) installer running Server 5 to boot an OS X computer over the network. The first step in doing so is to create a Network Disk Image of 10.9, or the 10.9 installation media (which is the Install OS X Mavericks bundle for this example). Before setting it up, download the Install OS X El Capitan installer app into the /Applications directory from the App Store. Create An Image To then set up the NetBoot disk image (you can’t start the NetInstall service until you give it an image to serve), often referred to as the NetBoot set, open the Server app and then click on System Image Utility from the Tools menu of OS X. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.25.36 PM When System Image Utility opens, click on the Install OS X El Capitan entry in the list of available sources and click Next. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.26.52 PM Then, in the list of options, click on NetBoot Image and then click on the Next button. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.27.40 PM At the License Agreement screen, click Agree. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.28.52 PM Then provide an account name, short name and password in the Image Settings screen. Also choose the language of the user and select if you want the account to log in automatically. Once provided, click Next. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.30.28 PM Next, select any profiles, packages or post-install scripts to run on the NetBoot image once created. Here, you can use a profile to deploy a printer, bind to Active Directory, or use a package to install software. Post-install scripts allow you to do pretty much anything you’d like to a system, provided it’s allowed by SIP. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.31.54 PM At the System Configuration screen, choose how you’d like systems to receive names. Here, you can provide a name as a base for computers to get a computer name or you can use a file to deploy names. In most cases, you should also check the box for “Match to client after install.” Click Next once you’ve selected how this should occur. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.33.21 PM At the Directory Servers screen, click on the plus sign if you’d like to bind the system to a particular directory server. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.33.33 PM In this example, we’re binding to Also provide an account with access to bind to where you’re binding. In this case, we’re using the built-in admin account for Active Directory. Click Add once you’ve provided the appropriate directory server and credentials. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.35.01 PM At the Image Settings screen, provide a name for the image, as well as how the index number for the image is created. Note that each image should have a unique image index, so unless you’re storing your image on multiple servers, it’s best left at the defaults. Click Next. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.36.53 PM At the Supported Computer Models screen, you can choose which models of computer you don’t wish to support for this image. We’re not doing that here, but it’s useful, for example, if you’d like to preclude desktops from an image. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.37.57 PM At the Filter Clients By MAC Address, you can choose to explicitly allow or deny given MAC addresses for computers. We’re not going to do that as part of this workflow, so just click Next (unless of course you’d like to do that). Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.38.13 PM Then, when prompted, select a location to store the Disk Image, provide any tags to be applied to the files that comprise the image and click on Save. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.38.58 PM The computer will then start creating the NetBoot set.   Setup The NetInstall Service Once finished, it’s time to set up the NetInstall service in OS X Server. To get started, go back to the Server app. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.39.33 PM First, define which disk will host NetBoot Images. To do so, click on the Edit Storage Settings button. At the Storage Settings overlay, select the volume that Images will be hosted as well as the volume that Client Data will be hosted. The Image is what you are creating and the Client Data is dynamic data stored in images. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.40.08 PM If you only have one disk, as in this example, click on “Images & Client Data” for that disk. Then click on the OK button. Once you’ve selected a disk to store your image, we need to copy the disk image into the Library/NetBoot/NetBootSP0 folder of the disk used for images. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 8.41.51 PM Once in the appropriate folder, click on the Edit button for Network Interfaces and select the appropriate network interface you wish to serve images over, and click OK. Refresh the Server app (Command-R) and provided the image was created and moved into the /Library/NetBoot/NetBootSP0 directory of a volume set to host images, the image will appear in the images list, with a green indicator light. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 9.04.37 PM The green indicator light means the image is being served over the network. Double-click on an image. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 9.04.41 PM At the image settings screen, you can select NFS over the default HTTP protocol for “Make available over”.Note, you can also restrict access to the image to certain models of Apple computers and/or certain MAC addresses by using the “Image is visible to” and “Restrict access to this images” options respectively. Additionally, use the Make this image available for diskless booting option to allow computers without hard drives to boot to the image. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 9.06.35 PM Click on the OK button. Click on the image and then click on the cog-wheel icon. Click on “Use as Default Boot Image” to set an image to be the default images computers boot to when booting to NetBoot. Now, it’s as easy as clicking on the ON button. Do so to start the service. Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 9.07.10 PM Once started, open a Terminal window. Here, let’s get a status of the service using the serveradmin fullstatus option (along with the service name, which is still netboot from the command line): sudo serveradmin fullstatus netboot The output of which shows the various components, logs and states of components: netboot:state = "RUNNING" netboot:stateTFTP = "RUNNING" netboot:readWriteSettingsVersion = 1 netboot:netBootConnectionsArray = _empty_array netboot:logPaths:netBootLog = "/var/log/system.log" netboot:dhcpLeasesArray = _empty_array netboot:stateDHCP = "STOPPED" netboot:stateHTTP = "RUNNING" netboot:serviceCanStart = 1 netboot:timeOfSnapshot = "2015-09-27 02:07:32 +0000" netboot:stateNFS = "STOPPED" netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:0:_array_index:0 = 1 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:0:_array_index:1 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:0:_array_index:2 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:0:_array_index:3 = 1 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:0:_array_index:4 = 2 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:1:_array_index:0 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:1:_array_index:1 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:1:_array_index:2 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:1:_array_index:3 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:1:_array_index:4 = 2 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:2:_array_index:0 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:2:_array_index:1 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:2:_array_index:2 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:2:_array_index:3 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:2:_array_index:4 = 2 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:3:_array_index:0 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:3:_array_index:1 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:3:_array_index:2 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:3:_array_index:3 = 0 netboot:stateImageArray:_array_index:3:_array_index:4 = 2 netboot:servicePortsRestrictionInfo = _empty_array netboot:netBootClientsArray = _empty_array netboot:servicePortsAreRestricted = "NO" netboot:setStateVersion = 1 netboot:startedTime = "2015-09-27 02:06:53 +0000" netboot:stateAFP = "STOPPED" And to start the service when not running: sudo serveradmin start netboot There are also a number of settings available at the command line that are not in the graphical interface. For example, to allow writing to the NetBoot share: sudo serveradmin settings netboot:netBootStorageRecordsArray:_array_index:0:readOnlyShare = no Or to get more verbose logs: sudo serveradmin settings netboot:logging_level = "HIGH" To stop the service: sudo serveradmin stop netboot In the beginning of this article, I mentioned that ways to configure NetInstall images. I’ll cover NetInstall and NetRestore in later articles as they tend to be more involved workflow-wise than copying a volume into a Network Disk Image. But to end this one, many an old-school admin might wonder where all the settings went that used to be in the GUI. Well, serveradmin still maintains a lot of the older stuff. To see a list of all available settings, run serveradmin with the settings verb and then netboot: sudo serveradmin settings netboot If there was a feature you want to use (e.g. maximum users), you should see it in the resultant list: netboot:netBootFiltersRecordsArray = _empty_array netboot:netBootStorageRecordsArray:_array_index:0:sharepoint = yes netboot:netBootStorageRecordsArray:_array_index:0:clients = yes netboot:netBootStorageRecordsArray:_array_index:0:volType = "hfs" netboot:netBootStorageRecordsArray:_array_index:0:okToDeleteSharepoint = no netboot:netBootStorageRecordsArray:_array_index:0:readOnlyShare = no netboot:netBootStorageRecordsArray:_array_index:0:path = "/" netboot:netBootStorageRecordsArray:_array_index:0:okToDeleteClients = yes netboot:netBootStorageRecordsArray:_array_index:0:volName = "Macintosh HD" netboot:netBootPortsRecordsArray:_array_index:0:deviceAtIndex = "en5" netboot:netBootPortsRecordsArray:_array_index:0:nameAtIndex = "USB 10/100/1000 LAN" netboot:netBootPortsRecordsArray:_array_index:0:isEnabledAtIndex = yes netboot:logging_level = "MEDIUM" netboot:filterEnabled = no netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:RootPath = "NetBoot.dmg" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:IsInstall = no netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:Kind = "1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:0 = "MacBookAir6,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:1 = "MacBookAir5,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:2 = "MacBookAir7,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:3 = "MacBookAir2,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:4 = "MacBookAir5,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:5 = "MacBookAir4,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:6 = "MacBookAir4,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:7 = "MacBookAir6,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:8 = "MacBookAir7,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:9 = "MacBookAir3,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:10 = "MacBookAir3,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:11 = "MacBookPro5,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:12 = "MacBookPro9,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:13 = "MacBookPro6,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:14 = "MacBookPro6,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:15 = "MacBookPro8,3" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:16 = "MacBookPro11,3" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:17 = "MacBookPro7,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:18 = "MacBookPro11,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:19 = "MacBookPro10,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:20 = "MacBookPro12,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:21 = "MacBookPro11,4" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:22 = "MacBookPro11,5" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:23 = "MacBookPro3,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:24 = "MacBookPro4,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:25 = "MacBookPro8,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:26 = "MacBookPro10,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:27 = "MacBookPro5,3" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:28 = "MacBookPro5,5" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:29 = "MacBookPro5,4" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:30 = "MacBookPro5,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:31 = "MacBookPro9,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:32 = "MacBookPro11,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:33 = "MacBookPro8,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:34 = "iMac14,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:35 = "iMac9,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:36 = "iMac7,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:37 = "iMac12,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:38 = "iMac11,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:39 = "iMac14,4" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:40 = "iMac11,3" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:41 = "iMac13,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:42 = "iMac15,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:43 = "iMac12,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:44 = "iMac8,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:45 = "iMac10,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:46 = "iMac13,3" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:47 = "iMac14,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:48 = "iMac14,3" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:49 = "iMac13,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:50 = "iMac11,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:51 = "Macmini5,3" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:52 = "Macmini5,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:53 = "Macmini4,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:54 = "Macmini5,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:55 = "Macmini3,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:56 = "Macmini6,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:57 = "Macmini6,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:58 = "Macmini7,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:59 = "MacBook8,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:60 = "MacBook7,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:61 = "MacBook5,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:62 = "MacBook6,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:63 = "MacBook5,2" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:64 = "MacPro3,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:65 = "MacPro5,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:66 = "MacPro4,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:67 = "MacPro6,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:DisabledSystemIdentifiers:_array_index:68 = "Xserve3,1" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:Description = "NetBoot of OS X 10.11 (15A178w) Install (9.12 GB)." netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:Name = "NetBoot of Install OS X 10.11 El Capitan" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:imageType = "netboot" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:Index = 3089 netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:osVersion = "10.11" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:BackwardCompatible = no netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:SupportsDiskless = no netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:EnabledSystemIdentifiers = _empty_array netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:Language = "Default" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:BootFile = "booter" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:IsDefault = no netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:Type = "HTTP" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:Architectures = "4" netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:IsEnabled = yes netboot:netBootImagesRecordsArray:_array_index:0:pathToImage = "/Library/NetBoot/NetBootSP0/NetBoot of Install OS X 10.11 El Capitan.nbi/NBImageInfo.plist" netboot:afpUsersMax = "50" Boot to Your NetBoot Image Next, you’ll want to have a computer boot to the NetBoot image you just created. Once upon a time, you would use the bless command to select a path to an image that you wanted to boot to in order to do so. Or you’d just boot holding down the N key and let the system pick an image. As of OS X 10.11, due to SIP restrictions, you’ll use the csrutil command to set a NetBoot address. To do so, run csrutil followed by the netboot option and then the add verb, followed by an address. In the following example, we’ll set the system to boot to the NetBoot server at csrutil netboot add Once you’ve finished any NetBoot workflows, use the remove verb to remove that address: csrutil netboot remove And to list any available NetBoot servers, use the list verb: csrutil netboot list Overall, all of this usually takes me a good 10 minutes of work, plus maybe up to half an hour of waiting for an image to create. You can use NetBoot to remotely boot systems, or NetInstall to remotely install systems. There are lots of articles out there (including here) on how to make sure clients can access these images over a network client, so I won’t rehash

October 7th, 2015

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

Tags: , , , , , ,

DNS is DNS. And named is named. Except in OS X Server. Sometimes. The configuration files for the DNS services in OS X Server are stored in /Library/Server/named. This represents a faux root of named configuration data, similar to how that configuration data is stored in /var/named on most other platforms. Having the data in /Library/Server/ makes it more portable across systems. The current version of BIND is 9.9.7-P2. Traditionally, you would edit this configuration data by simply editing the configuration files, and that’s absolutely still an option. In OS X Server 5 (for El Capitan and Yosemite), a new command is available at /Applications/ called dnsconfig. The dnsconfig command appears simple at first. However, the options available are actually far more complicated than they initially appear. The verbs available include help (show help information), list (show the contents of configurations and zone files), add (create records and zones) and delete (remove records and zones). To view data available in the service, use the list verb. Options available when using the list verb include –acl (show ACLs), –view (show BIND view data), –zone (show domains configured in the service), –rr (show resource records) and –rrtype (show types of resource records). For example, let’s say you have a domain called pretendco.lan and you would like to view information about that zone. You could use the dnsconfig command along with the list verb and then the –zone option and the domain name: /Applications/ list --zone=pretendco.lan The output would show you information about the listed zone, usually including View data: Views: Zones: pretendco.lan Options: allow-transfer: none allow-update: none  To see a specific record, use the –rr option, followed by = and then the fqdn, so to see ecserver.pretendco.lan: /Applications/ list --rr=ecserver.pretendco.lan By default views are enabled and a view called is created when the DNS server first starts up. You can create other views to control what different requests from different subnets see; however, even if you don’t create any views, you’ll need to add the –view option followed by the name of the view (– to any records that you want to create. To create a record, use the add verb. You can add a view (–view), a zone (–zone) or a record (–rr). Let’s start by adding a record to the pretendco.lan from our previous example. In this case we’ll add an A record called www that points to the IP address of /Applications/ add --zone=pretendco.lan --rr=www A You can add a zone, by providing the –view to add the zone to and not providing a –rr option. Let’s add krypted.lan: /Applications/ add --zone=krypted.lan Use the delete verb to remove the data just created: /Applications/ delete --zone=krypted.lan Or to delete that one www record earlier, just swap the add with a delete: /Applications/ delete --zone=pretendco.lan --rr=www A Exit codes would be “Zone krypted.lan removed.” and “Removed 1 resource record.” respectively for the two commands. You can also use the –option option when creating objects, along with the following options (each taken as a value followed by an =, with this information taken by the help page):
  • allow-transfer Takes one or more address match list entry. Address match list entries consist of any of these forms: IP addresses, Subnets or Keywords.
  • allow-recursion Takes one or more address match list entry.
  • allow-update Takes one or more address match list entry.
  • allow-query Takes one or more address match list entry.
  • allow-query-cache Takes one or more address match list entry.
  • forwarders Takes one or more IP addresses, e.g.
  • directory Takes a directory path
  • tkey-gssapi-credential Takes a kerberos service principal
  • tkey-domain Takes a kerberos realm
  • update-policy Takes one complete update-policy entry where you can grant or deny various matched objects and specify the dentity of the user/machine that is allowed/disallowed to update.. You can also identify match-type (Type of match to be used in evaulating the entry) and match-name (Name used to match) as well as rr-types (Resource record types that can be updated)
Overall, this command is one of the better updates we’ve seen from Apple when it comes to managing DNS in a long time. It shows a commitment to continuing to make the service better, when you add records or remove them you can instantly refresh the Server app and see the updates. It’s clear a lot of work went into this and it’s a great tool for when you’re imaging systems and want to create records back on a server or when you’re trying to script the creation of a bulk list of records (e.g. from a cached file from a downed host). It also makes working with Views as easy as I’ve seen it in most platforms and is overall a breeze to work with as compared to using the serveradmin command to populate objects so the GUI doesn’t break when you update records by hitting files directly.

October 5th, 2015

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

OS X Server 5, running on El Capitan or Yosemite, comes with a few new alerting options previously unavailable in versions of OS X. The alerts are sent to administrators via servermgrd and configured in the 5th version of the Server app. To configure alerts on the server, open the Server app and then click on Alerts in the Server app sidebar. Next, click on the Delivery tab. Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 12.32.32 AM At the Delivery screen, click on the Edit button for Email Addresses and enter every email address that should receive alerts sent from the server. Then click on the Edit button for Push Notifications. Here, check the box for each administrator of the server. The email address on file for the user then receives push notifications of events from the server. Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 12.33.13 AM
Click on OK when you’ve configured all of the appropriate administrators for alerting. Click on the Edit… button for Push and if Push notifications are not already enabled you will run through the Push Notification configuration wizard. Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 12.34.08 AM Then, check the boxes for Email and Push for each of the alerts you want to receive (you don’t have to check both for each entry). Alerts have changed in OS X Server, they are no longer based on the SMART status of drives or capacity; instead Delivery is now based on service settings.
Finally, as with previous versions of OS X Server, EL Capitan Server has snmp built in. The configuration file for which is located in the /private/etc/snmp/snmpd.conf and the built-in LaunchDaemon is, where the actual binary being called is /usr/sbin/snmpd (and by default it’s called with a -f option). Once started, the default community name should be COMMUNITY (easily changed in the conf file) and to test, use the following command from a client (the client is in the following example): snmpwalk -On -v 1 -c COMMUNITY

September 29th, 2015

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

Tags: , , , , , ,

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