Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

Apple’s Volume Purchase Program allows you to export a VPP token and then import that token into a server to create a connection between an MDM solution (e.g. Bushel, Apple’s Profile Manager, Casper, etc) and apps you purchase through the VPP portal. But what’s in a token? The VPP token is a base64 encoded file. You can cat the file and it will show you a bunch of garbly-gook (technical term): base64 --decode /Users/charlesedge/Desktop/kryptedcom.vpptoken But there’s more to it than all that. We can run the base64 command to see: base64 --decode /Users/charlesedge/Desktop/kryptedcom.vpptoken In some cases, this file can display improperly, if it fails use the following command: echo `cat /Users/charlesedge/Desktop/kryptedcom.vpptoken` | base64 --decode The contents of the file are then displayed, as follows: {"token”:”AbCDe1f2gh3DImSB1DhbLTWviabcgz3y7wkDLbnVA2AIrj9gc1h11vViMDJ11qoF6Jhqzncw5hW3cV8z1/Yk7A==","expDate":"2015-07-03T08:30:47-0700","orgName”:”"} This is a comma separated set of keys, including token, expedite and orgName. Do not edit any of this or you may spontaneously combust. The token establishes the trust but the expiration date will show you when a vpptoken expires and will need to be renewed by. The orgName is what you entered in the VPP portal when you setup the account and is also escaped and then used as the file name. These two pieces of data can help you if you have a bunch of vpptokens that you need to keep track of.

May 19th, 2015

Posted In: iPhone

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Apple began rolling out new features with the new Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) program last year. There are lots of good things to know, here. First, the old way should still work. You’re not loosing the stuff you already invested in such as Configurator with those codes you might have used last year with supervision. However, you will need an MDM solution (Profile Manager, Casper, Absolute, FileWave, etc) to use the new tools. Also, the new token options are for one to one (1:1) environments. This isn’t for multi-tenant environments. You can only use these codes and options for iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 and 10.10. Also, if you install your vpptoken on Yosemite Server and you’re running that same vpptoken elsewhere, Yosemite Server will take all of the codes that have been issued for itself (feature or bug, you decide). But this article isn’t about the fine print details of the new VPP. Instead, this article is about making Profile Manager work with your new VPP token. Before you get started, know that when you install your vpptoken, if it’s in use by another MDM, Profile Manager will unlicensed all apps with your other MDM. To get started, log into your VPP account. Once logged in, click on your account email address and then select Account Summary. vpp1 Then, click on the Download Token link and your token will be downloaded to your ~/Downloads (or wherever you download stuff). vpp2 Once you have your token, open the Server app and click on the Profile Manager service. vpp3 Click on the checkbox for Distribute apps and books from the Volume Purchase Program. vpp4 At the VPP Managed Distribution screen, drag the .vpptoken file downloaded earlier into the screen. Click Continue. The VPP code email address will appear in the screen. Click Done. vpp5 Back at the profile manager screen, you should then see that the checkbox is filled and you can now setup Profile Manager. vpp6 The rest of the configuration of Profile Manager is covered in a previous article. Note: The account used to configure the VPP information is not tracked in any serveradmin settings.

October 17th, 2014

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

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I posted an article on the Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) for Business on It’s available here. I didn’t think to include a link to the Apple page on the VPP, but here it is.

July 14th, 2011

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mass Deployment

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