Twelvetide, Day 6: Automate

This is the sixth part of a twelve-day series on my new year’s resolutions to become a better Mac admin. During these twelve days my book “Packaging for Apple Administrators” is on sale! (Previous Post: “Replace a Legacy Practice”)

There a many tedious and repetitive tasks for system administrators that are ripe for automation. However, automation always brings with it an initial time cost. You need to put time and effort into analysing the task and writing an script or tool to automate. In some cases the time invested may not pay off.

Even if you do not know how to code (yet! see: Day 2) you can profit from the automation tools others have written. Most management systems have some level of automation, and hooks to extend that.

  • autopkg and AutoPkgr: tools to automate detection, downloading, re-packaging and import of software.
  • Recipe Robot: tools to automate the creation of autopkg recipes to automate the download and packaging of software (very meta)
  • outset: outset lets you put scripts and packages in a folder structure to be executed at login or startup etc.
  • Imagr: automate NetBooted installations
  • python-jss: access to the Jamf server API through python
  • quickpkg: quickly build packages from dmg or zip wrapped applications
  • munki-pkg: automate package building
  • mcxToProfile and makeProfilePkg: simplifies the creation of configuration profiles and installer packages to install them
  • Managing Printers With Munki: process can also be transferred to other management systems

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