Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-03-05

Jamf is opening the registration for the virtual JNUC 2021! They are also calling prospective speakers to submit their proposals.

Because I was curious what the status of the various Mac Admin conferences was this year, I put together a list.

The list is for information only. I do not intend to shame or pressure any of the organziers of these conferences, no mattter what the status of their conference is. These are harrowing times for organizing anything, let alone a conference. My deepest thanks and respect to anyone who puts together any form of conference or meeting.

Registration open

Not certain yet

Please let me know if missed something and I will update it next week!

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Mr. Macintosh: “macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 (20D80) Full Installer is now available.”
  • Wil Shipley: “Honestly if you’re distributing software that requires me to have either python or cmake (or, worse, both cough openCV) you’ve failed everyone. Anyways, the next couple hours I’ll be upgrading python and downloading modules, because that’s a fun game that I love playing.”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Just for Fun

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Book Update for Big Sur – Moving to zsh v5

I have pushed an update for the “Moving to zsh” book.

Since I have also published a new book “macOS Terminal and Shell” last month, you might be wondering whether you need both books, or just one.

Moving to zsh” is the book where I documented my journey from using bash in Terminal on macOS to using zsh. Before Apple announced that they would switch from bash to zsh as the default shell with macOS Catalina, I used bash “because it was the deafult.” In this book, I describe how to move from bash to zsh. Because of this, “Moving to zsh” is aimed at a user who is already conformtable using Terminal with bash and is wondering what the change means and how to get some extra features and productivity out of zsh.

macOS Terminal and Shell” is the book for those that have no or little experience with using Terminal and probably don’t even know why bash or zsh matters. Or maybe you have a bit experience, but just don’t feel comfortable because you have the feeling you are not quite understanding what is going on. This book will teach you to use Terminal and the shell with confidence, and it will show how you can configure it to be more productive. Since zsh is the current default shell on macOS Catalina and Big Sur, we will focus on zsh, but explain differences to bash where necessary.

As usual, the update to “Moving to zsh” is free if you have already purchased the book. You should get a notification from the Books application to update. (On macOS, I have seen that it can help to delete the local download of the book to force the update.)

If you are enjoying the book, please rate it on the Books store, or even leave a review. These really help, thank you!

The changes are listed here. This list is also in the ‘Version History’ section in the book. There, you will get links to the relevant section of the book, so you can find the changes quickly.

  • Updated list of other books with ‘macOS Terminal and Shell’
  • Added the vared command (variable editor) as an alternative to read
  • Many typos and other minor corrections and clarifications

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-02-26

Lots of updates this week: a new app for cloud logins, Munki patch and beta, a tool to ‘Nudge’ users to update or upgrade, an update to Scout, which reads plists, xml and JSON, and Jamf Connect.

Also another minor update for macOS. It is refreshing that Apple now has the third version digit available to distinguish ‘supplemental updates.’ Less refreshing is the fact that even a ‘minor’ update which fixes a single documented issue requires a 2.6GB download and 30 minutes with multiple reboots.

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple silicon Macs

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Tim Perfitt: “ok, this was unexpected. you can run custom gui apps and command utils on the m1 in 1TR (recovery).” (Thread)
  • Greg Neagle: “@tperfitt It should. Bootstrappr works fine on m1 from 1TR/Recovery.”
  • Laura Rösler: “After 3 months with macOS Big Sur, almost ¾ of our Mac fleet is on macOS 11.”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Just for Fun

  • MIT CSAIL: “Today’s the day that “hello world” said “hello world!” The term was coined in a textbook published #otd in 1978: “C Programming Language,” written by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie.”

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-02-19

Yesterday evening (central european time) my social media feeds were dominated with news and comments about the Perserverance Mars rover landing on Mars. I watched the live stream and it was thrilling to watch the culmination of years of work of thousands of experts.

As I was watching the live stream from the JPL command center on the big screen and following the comments and updates on Twitter, I realized how wonderful it is that I can follow and celebrate such an event live, from my home.

Before internet streaming and social media, the details of such an event would have been inaccessible to all but a few. Sadly, this kind of event is not really of interest for TV stations. We would have gotten a nice summary the next day in the news. The scientists and engineers behind this miraculous achievement would have remained faceless.

We would have missed the drama of an automated spacecraft landing itself so far away, that any signal of success or disaster takes 11.5 minutes to reach Earth. We would have missed the anxiety and trepidation of the people in the control center, watching the telemetry for even the most minute signs of success or failure. We would have missed the increasing relief and celebration as each milestone was successfully handled by the automated systems designed, built, programmed, and tested over years and years. We would have missed the humanity of the event.

But now, millions of interested viewers, all over the world, can tune in. The engineers get their well-deserved moment on the stage and you can get a glimpse of how human the entire endeavor is during the final “seven minutes of terror,” where so much could go wrong, with instant disastrous consequences, but amazingly did not!

It has become apparent, that there are many problems with modern media that need to be addressed and solved. But it is a relief that there are some aspects that work and that we can really feel good about.

Of course, for the actual research on Mars, the landing is just the beginning. So, well done, and happy rock-hunting, Perserverance and team!

The only thing that did bubble up through the Mars landing was MacAdmins who were really thrilled about the update to Apple’s Platform Security document. While we MacAdmins are often justifiably upset with the state or lack of Apple documentation, this is one area where they get it right, and that has to be acknowledged. Thank you, anonymous Apple writers!

If you haven’t gotten it yet, my new book “macOS Terminal and Shell” is available in the Apple Books store!

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

📰News and Opinion

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • MacAdmins Conference: “The @macadminsconf conference team is prepping the fire pit for another summer of campfire sessions. Stay tuned for details on our virtual conference this year. #macadmins #psumac”
  • Mr. Macintosh: “macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 (20D75) Full Installer now available!!! 12.21GB 071-05432 Build number (20D75) vs 11.2.1 update (20D74)” (Fixes the free disk space issue)
  • Thomas Tempelmann: “Huh, diskutil coreStorage encryptVolume, which used to be the command to encrypt HFS volumes, isn’t available in BS any more. So, while my previous statement isn’t incorrect, the real reason is that BigSur removed the ability to encrypt HFS+ vols altogether. Nice one, Apple.”
  • Howard Oakley: “So heartening to see that even malware authors have released their first Universal binaries. That must leave just Adobe then?”

🔐Security and Privacy

🔨Support and HowTos

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

♻️Updates and Releases

🎧To Listen

🎈Just for Fun

📚 Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-02-12

Publication day! “macOS Terminal and Shell” is available! You can still get the introductory pricing US$/€17.99 (10% off) until Feb 15, after which the standard price will be US$/€19.99.

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple silicon Macs

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Mr. Macintosh: “Just because you can update the DTK to 11.3 Beta, doesn’t mean you should. Upgrading to 11.3 will disable both USB-A ports with firmware update 6723.100.321. You can downgrade to 11.2 using AC2. Once back on 11.2, USB-A will work again. fw = 6723.81.1”
  • Steve Hayman: “Well, ok. So, officially I was shayman@next.com. The boss was of course sjobs@next.com . There were 8 Steves at the company at the time… .” (Thread)
  • Mr. Macintosh: “macOS Apple Silicon M1 Restore Database Updated! Big Sur 11.2.1 IPSW restore file is now available. UniversalMac_11.2.1_20D74_Restore.ipsw Quick Note: 11.0.1 was still signed as of last night.”
  • Victor: “FYI: Many macOS MDM profiles are “single use” and have no effect after they’re installed. This is especially true of profiles introduced in recent years like system extension/privacy approvals etc.” (Thread)

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Just for Fun

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or more) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-02-05

This week finally brought the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2. Lots of interesting information, as usual gathered together by Mr. Macintosh and Howard Oakley.

In other news, I am nearly done with the new book “macOS Terminal and Shell.” The publication date has been set to February 12, 2021. (next Friday) You can pre-order now and get the benefit of the introductory pricing: US$/€17.99 (10% off). The introductory price is valid until Feb 15, after which it will rise to US$/€19.99.

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple silicon Macs

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • That Tim Guy: “Just stumbled on this one: CMD+Shift+\ Exposé within a multi-tab finder window.” (works in most apps that use tabs)
  • Mike Lynn: “So on this particular issue: Resolves an issue where Mac computers managed by MDM were sometimes unable to retrieve software updates using System Preferences. It’s hard to do managed OS updates when the update mechanism itself is the one having the issue.” (Thread)
  • Nick Zolotko: “FYI launchctl kickstart -k system/com.applesoftwareupdated works as well for a nice one liner!”
  • Jason Broccardo: “10.14.6 + Sec Update 2021-001: 18G8012, 10.5.7 + Sec Update 2021-001: 19H512, 11.2: 20D64”
  • Apple removes obstacle to security in Big Sur – Matthias Wollnik, Jamf Blog

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

  • GitHub: “See your contribution graph right on your iOS homescreen. With the latest version of GitHub for mobile, we’ve added a widget that will show your contribution history, updated in real-time.” (Note sure I like GitHub contribution “bragging” but it sure makes a pretty widget.)

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-01-29

This week featured Data Privacy Day with some interesting accouncements from Apple. Also, we got the iOS 14.4, iPadOS 14.4 ,and watchOS 7.3 updates. macOS 11.2 was not released. We got a third macOS 11.2 release candidate in the beta channels instead.

In other news, the review and editing work for my next book: “macOS Terminal and Shell” is progressing nicely. I have made the book available for pre-ordering in the Apple Books Store. Apple Books requires me to put in some date for the release, but I anticipate that we will beat the “March 1” date that I filled in as a placeholder.

This book will teach you to use Terminal and the shell on macOS. It starts with an introduction to the command line, the terminology, its history and concepts. Then we examine macOS, its file systems, and shells (sh, bash and zsh) in detail. We learn how to configure the Terminal application and zsh to work more productively. This is a great entry book for technical minded users new to the command line, but also a great reference for experienced users.

While my experience as a Mac system administrator has certainly influenced the book, it is relevant for all users who need to or want to learn using Terminal and the shell, such as developers, scientists and “pro” users in general. Please share this with readers who will be interested.

I have been working on this book, on and off, for a long time. In the mean time, macOS has changed its name, split the boot volume, changed the default shell, “gone to eleven,” and moved to Apple silicon. This is my longest book yet. It would print out to be more than 300 pages. Though you would loose several movies and all the hyperlinks on paper.

The price after release will be US$/€ 19.99. To reward loyal readers of this newsletter and my weblog, there will be a special introduction price for the pre-order period at US$/€ 17.99 (10% off).

Go pre-order “macOS Terminal and Shell” on the Apple Books store!

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Tim Perfitt: “You can drag items from the control center to menu items on Big Sur. Neato.” (Video, thread)
  • Dr. Graham R. Pugh: “/usr/lib/java_home behaves differently on Big Sur. If you’re using it in scripts to show if JDKs are installed, watch out!”
  • Martin: “If you want to make an Intel Mac boot into the Startup Manager automatically, type into terminal: Sudo nvram manufacturing-enter-picker=true” (Video, via Mr Macintosh)
  • David Smith: “Double checking: people using Console.app on macOS know about right clicking messages to get options for filtering them out, right?”
  • Anthony Reimer: “Minor bit of trivia for my #MacAdmin friends: Apple has stopped using the AirPort branding for Wi-Fi as of the M1 Macs. Compare the labels on the iMac 2020 and Mac mini M1 2020.” (Images)
  • Jason Broccardo: “Why is the CLI tools update asking for a restart, it’s never done that? Apply update, “Restart Now” disappears.”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-01-22

A series of interesting articles on various Mac product rumors from Mark Gurman this week. Should be an interesting year.

Apple also released macOS 11.2 and iOS 14.4 (and siblings) release candidate to the various beta programs yesterday. Should be an interesting week.

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

Apple silicon Macs

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • François: “To list applications that are not Universal, try a spotlight search with ‘Executable Architectures’ is not ‘arm64’ and ‘Kind’ is ‘Executable’. CLI: mdfind 'kMDItemExecutableArchitectures != arm64 && kMDItemContentType == "
  • macshome: “1. Save the search as a smart folder 2. Get info on the folder 3. Copy query”
  • Zachary Cutlip: “Can’t recall if I shared this before, but quick tip to customize your shell inside VSCode, as well as keep it from polluting your shell history: Check forTERM_PROGRAM env variable == ‘vscode'”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

To Listen

MacAdmin Pet of the Week

This week’s pet is Marshmallow – one of our two bunnies – who was definitely up to something. (Picture by my wife Ariane.)

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-01-15

The year is just starting, but Apple is waking up nearly as fast as an M1 MacBook Air. We got new betas for macOS 11.2 and iOS 14.4. MacAdmins have been busy, too. Thank you for all the great articles!

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple silicon Macs

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Hector Martin: “So I’m working in understanding the Apple Silicon boot/OS provisioning process. This is all subject to change, but here are some takeaways according to my current understanding.” (Thread)
  • Joel Rennich: “While it still needs work, specifically around how Apple gates token access, this is PKINIT on an iPhone using the Single Sign On Extension and a CryptoToken Kit extension at the same time.” (Movie, thread)
  • Patrick Wardle: “The ContentFilterExclusionList list has been removed (in macOS 11.2 beta 2)!! This means socket filter firewalls (such as LuLu) can now comprehensively monitor & block all network traffic)”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Listen

MacAdmin Pet of the Week

New Section! If you aren’t yet following Tim Perfitt of Twocanoes (MDS, Winclone and many other useful tools) on Twitter, maybe the litter of puppies they are fostering right now will convince you.

(If you have a pet you’d like to share here, ping me on Slack or Twitter.)

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Scripting OS X — Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-01-08

Happy New Year!

Even though the events of the last few days might make this sound cynical, I mean it honestly. Let’s make the best of it!

I really hope you got to spend the holidays safely with family and get some peace and relaxation. I used some of the extra time to (finally) finish the first draft of my next book: “macOS Terminal and Shell” It should be ready for publishing in a few weeks.

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple silicon Macs

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Joachim Fornallaz: “Keyboard shortcut of the day: In Messages, hit ⌘T to bring up the Tapback chooser for the last message (or the selected one on macOS), then press 1 through 6 to select the Tapback you want.”
  • Eric Holtam: “M1 hardware cannot use a PRK to unlock and boot a FilveVaulted disk. Only user passwords. If you don’t like this regression, file feedback.”
  • Benedict Evans: “TIL: Google’s Pixel 2, released in 2017, is now unsupported and gets no new software updates. Given today’s security environment, I guess that means I should recycle it. Apple just released iOS 12.5 for devices shipped in 2013.”
  • Nathaniel Strauss: “Activation lock on AS Macs is the only way to prevent setting up a machine as new while bypassing MDM/management entirely. JamfPro doesn’t support it yet. Upvote and comment on this feature request if that matters to you.”
  • Peter Steinberger: “Homebrew deprecated and removed a parameter within 20 days, shortly before Christmas, breaking automation around the world. Our CI also broke, but I’m sympathetic to the team. The thread is so typical. Only complaining, nobody offering to help or sponsor.” (via Erik Gomez)

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!