Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-10-15

Apple has announced the next live event for Monday (Oct 18). The expectation is they will show new Apple Silicon Macs and announce the publishing date for macOS Monterey.


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uberAgent: per-application network monitoring

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uberAgent is an innovative user experience monitoring product for macOS and Windows. uberAgent’s highlights include detailed information about application performance, network reliability drill-downs, application usage metering, browser performance, and web app metrics. Try for yourself and get your free 100 user community license at uberagent.com.


We also got a new series of betas for macOS 12 Monterey (beta 10) and iOS 15.1 (beta 4) and siblings.

MacSysAdmin concluded last week, but the sessions are still online. I still have some catching up to do. On top of that, Objective-by-the-Sea have posted their sessions on YouTube, as well!

Watch those sessions quickly, because next week is Jamf Nation User Conference, which will bring even more sessions to feel guilty because you have not watched them yet. You can still register for free. I will be in a Panel on Patch Managemet with Ryan Ball and Ben Toms, and I have a presentation on Installomator.

We also learned some dates for some of the conferences next year. I have updated my conference page, which also has links to session archives (where available).

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News and Opinion

macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Patrick Wardle: “Really seems that malware (adware) authors have no problem getting their malicious creations notarized by Apple…unless this is really a legitimate/required Flash Player update!?”
  • Patrick Wardle: “~1 hr later (on a Saturday no less), Apple has revoked the notarization/certificate!”
  • William Smith: “Attention MacAdmins: Today’s release of Microsoft Office for Mac 16.54 is the last version to support macOS Mojave 10.14.x. November’s release of 16.55 will require a minimum of macOS Catalina 10.15.”
  • Edward Marczak: “Instead of blocking the Next Major OS: – Prep, test, and be ready to roll it out day 1 – Communicate your upgrade policy If there is some breaking change, communicate this to your user base, and people that upgrade just earn themselves a trip to the re-imaging station.” (Thread)

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Watch

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!

Installomator update: v0.7

We have published an update for Installomator. It is now at version 0.7 and has over 340 labels!

Here are the changes in detail:

  • default for BLOCKING_PROCESS_ACTIONis now BLOCKING_PROCESS_ACTION=tell_user and not prompt_user. It will demand the user to quit the app to get it updated, and not present any option to skip it. In considering various use cases in different MDM solutions this is the best option going forward. Users usually choose to update, and is most often not bothered much with this information. If it’s absoultely a bad time, then they can move the dialog box to the side, and click it when ready.
  • script is now assembled from fragments. This helps avoid merging conflicts on git and allows the core team to work on the script logic while also accepting new labels. See the “Assemble Script ReadMe” for details.
  • We now detect App Store installed apps, and we do not replace them automatically. An example is Slack that will loose all settings if it is suddenly changed from App Store version to the “web” version (they differ in the handling of settings files). If INSTALL=force then we will replace the App Store app. We log all this.
  • Change in finding installed apps. We now look in /Applications and /Applications/Utilities first. If not found there, we use spotligt to find it. (We discovered a problem when a user has Parallels Windows installed with Microsoft Edge in it. Then Installomator wanted to update the app all the time, becaus spotlight found that Windows version of the app that Parallels created.)
  • Added bunch of new labels, and improved others.
  • Renamed buildCaseStatement.sh to buildLabel.sh and improved it a lot. It is a great start when figuring out how to create a new label for an app, or a piece of software. Look at the tutorials in our wiki.
  • Mosyle changed their app name from Business to Self-Service

I have explained the changes to building the script in the beta release post and in the readme document on the repository. If you want to build your own labels, this is very important, be sure to read that first.

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-10-08

MacAdmins are waiting for Apple to announce another Keynote event where we expect new Macs and the release date for macOS 12 Monterey. Not this week though. Instead, Apple had a beautiful video paying tribute to Steve Jobs.

Celebrating Steve – October 5 – Apple (YouTube)


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uberAgent: web app monitoring

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uberAgent is an innovative user experience monitoring product for macOS and Windows. uberAgent’s highlights include detailed information about application performance, network reliability drill-downs, application usage metering, browser performance, and web app metrics. Try for yourself and get your free 100 user community license at uberagent.com.


We did get new betas for macOS 12 Monterey, iOS 15.1 and a release candidate for the macOS 11.6.1 update. Also firmware updates for AirPods Pro and Max.

This week also featured MacSysAdmin Online. Every day a few videos from great presenters in the MacAdmin space were released. You can find them all here, along with links to the slides and/or resource pages. Access is free, and today is the last day you can purchase a T-shirt to support the online conference.

Many, many thanks to Patrik Jerneheim and everyone involved in making this happen. Huge kudos to all the speakers, I will have re-watch every one of the sessions to be able to process all the information and wisdom there-in. I am so proud to be a part of this. I am crossing my fingers to see you all in Göteborg next year!

If you think your company or product is a good fit to sponsor this newsletter, please contact me!

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 12 Monterey and iOS 15

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • William Smith: “Advice to my past self… Don’t learn a device management system. Learn how to manage devices. Likewise, don’t learn an MDM. Learn MDM. Don’t learn how to support an operating system. Learn how to support your users. The rest will follow.”
  • Rands: “Ok. We’re in a meeting together. Rad. Here’s the mental checklist of what I’m doing in the first couple of minutes.” (Thread)

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

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!

MacSysAdmin Online 2021 is live!

The first set of sessions for the MacSysAdmin Online sessions are… well… online!

There is an introduction video from Patrik Jerneheim, a session on Time Machine by Howard Oakley, Rich Trouton demonstrates AutoPkg in the cloud and Charles Edge celebrates Scandinavian contributions to computing. Oh, and I talk about building tools with Swift and SwiftUI.

You can find the links to all the videos from today on the MacSysAdmin website. More sessions will be published every day this week at 09:30 CEST (UTC+2).

You can find the links and resources for my Swift session here.

You can still support MacSysAdmin Online by purchasing a T-Shirt. The store will remain open until Friday.

Many thanks to Patrik Jerneheim and the team for putting this on. Also to all the presenters for building these sessions.

News Summary for Admins — 2021-10-01

We got some really nice updates for the Pages, Keynote, and Numbers apps this week, across all platforms. A new beta for macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15.1 (and siblings).


(Sponsor: vast limits)

uberAgent: application usage monitoring

uberAgent Logo

uberAgent is an innovative user experience monitoring product for macOS and Windows. uberAgent’s highlights include detailed information about application performance, network reliability drill-downs, application usage metering, browser performance, and web app metrics. Try for yourself and get your free 100 user community license at uberagent.com.


We are all looking with some envy towards Hawaii where the Objective-by-the-Sea conference is happening.

Next week Tuesday is the start of MacSysAdmin Online!. It is, yet again, painful that we cannot meet in person. The sessions will be available for free every day according to the program. You can still support the conference by purchasing a T-shirt. When you do so you will get a small surprise from Scripting OS X, as well.

And then we have JNUC later this month. This conference is also free to participate, but requires registration. It is not too late!

More links at my overview of the most important MacAdmin conferences.

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 12 Monterey and iOS 15

⚙️macOS and iOS Updates

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Nathaniel Strauss: “iPadOS15 does not respect allowEraseContentAndSettings. Anyone can go into Settings > General > Transfer or Reset and erase the device. The option isn’t grayed out. Please file cases and feel free to reference my own case number 101500664636″
  • Rich Trouton: “TIL that Apple’s profile settings for Time Zone (timeZone) requires an underscore if something is two words: Right: America/New_York Wrong: America/New York If set incorrectly, the time zone defaults to using UTC.”
  • Andrew Laurence: “OH: “Managing macOS Software Update is like building a house with cooked spaghetti.” “

🔐Security and Privacy

🔨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!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-09-24

iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8 and the other related updates were published this week. On top of that the first iPhones 13 and new iPad mini are arriving today. I only linked to two reviews – you will know where to get opinions from your favorite bloggers and streamers.


(Sponsor: vast limits)

uberAgent: application performance monitoring

uberAgent Logo

uberAgent is an innovative user experience monitoring product for macOS and Windows. uberAgent’s highlights include detailed information about application performance, network reliability drill-downs, application usage metering, browser performance, and web app metrics. Try for yourself and get your free 100 user community license at uberagent.com.


We also got more security updates for iOS 12 and Catalina. And a new macOS 12 Monterey beta, as well as the first round of iOS 15.1 betas.

Last week’s newsletter dropped just a bit before the good news of the 11.6 full installer being available. Keep providing that feedback!

We have two major MacAdmin conferences coming up, both are online.

First is MacSysAdmin Online which will release sessions starting October 5 through October 8. You can still order a T-shirt to support the conference. The amazing speaker list is online. I will be presenting a session on Swift.

Later is Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC) which is (again) entirely online and entirely free. You can still register and already look at the session list. I will be presenting a session on Installomator and participate in a panel on patch management.

There is always my overview of the most important upcoming conferences.

Also, in personal news: I am now working at Jamf. But this should not affect this news summary at all.

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

iOS 15 and siblings

Apple Support

macOS 12 Monterey

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Patrick Fergus: “Hey Everyone, Adobe Admin Console packages that include Acrobat should no longer fail when Safari is open.”
  • Eric Boyd: “Hi there @Apple device owners! We are mere hours away from the next major OS release for iPhones, iPads, Apple TV’s and iPods. So, what can you do to ensure the best experience with your upgrades? I have a few best practices that I follow and recommend for almost everyone.” (Thread)
  • Rich Trouton: “Every so often, I have a packaging task that I’m not sure AutoPkg can handle. I keep being wrong about that because AutoPkg just needs me to write the right recipe.”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

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!

Working at Jamf…

On a personal note: today is my first day working at Jamf as a Consulting Engineer.

I have been working with Jamf for more than a decade. Back then it was called Casper. Over the years, I have experienced the product and the company as a partner, as a customer and admin, and as a consultant. Working from the inside seemed like a logical next step. I will be joining a great team where I already know many people and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone else!

But don’t be afraid, this weblog and the weekly newsletter will continue as usual!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-09-17

So, we got a surprise update this week. macOS 11.6 and iOS 14.8 and despite the version numbers it does look as if they are “merely” security updates. They patch fairly serious vulnerabilities and there seem to be no other fixes or features, but the version numbering seems odd for a security update.


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The Fusion of Apple MDM, Identity, Patching & Security.

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Even worse, there was no full installer, even after waiting a day or so. At first the communication from Apple was that there would be no full installer. This is problematic because the full installer is the best or only way to automate updates on Big Sur. Surprisingly, that message changed, “due to overwhelming feedback.” So great job on the feedback, everyone! (And keep providing it through all your available channels.)

Also in security, a malware-laden version of iTerm2 appeared this week. Apple has since revoked the certificate in question and most Malware tools should recognize it. This is a reminder that it can be fairly easy to be tricked into installing something malevolent.

Oh, and yes, there was an Apple Event with new iPhones, Watch, and iPads. Is it weird that the new iPad mini excites me most!?

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 12 Monterey and iOS 15

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Darren Wallace: “TIL if you have two Jamf Pro instances linked to the same Intune instance, and enrol a device fully via Jamf Pro ‘A’ you need to trash the computer record in Jamf Pro ‘A’ before you can register the device in Intune properly through Jamf Pro ‘B'”
  • Peter Bukowinski: “Working in a remote shell with a tool that writes binary files (e.g. tcpdump) and don’t have an easy way to transfer files locally? bzip2 -9 filename; base64 filename.bz2 Copy the resulting text. Then in a local shell, echo "[PASTED_TEXT]" | base64 -d > filename.bz2
  • Howard Oakley: “Also worth noting that, among others, SMB is updated from 3.6 to 3.6.1. How significant that might be is something Apple doesn’t seem to want to explain.”
  • Felipe Baez: “If you try installing an application that requires Rosetta on a M1 Mac, make sure you’re online otherwise you’ll get a very deceiving message from Apple. They should definitely rephrase that error.” (Image)
  • John Opdenakker: “The plural of regex is regrets.” (via Andrew Laurence)
  • Derek Parker: “I once read a tweet which explained tar commands in the form of two mnemonics: Need to untar? -xzf— “extract ze files” Need to tar? -czf— “compress ze files” And I think about it every single time I use tar. Wish I knew who to attribute this to, but it’s really great.”

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 — 2021-09-10

Quiet week… There was Labour Day in the US. Hope you all had a great and quiet week-end! I have also been distracted preparing my presentation for MacSysAdmin 2021.

Apple did announce their first event since WWDC for next week Sep 14! I guess everyone is holding their breath for this.


(Sponsor: Mosyle)

The Fusion of Apple MDM, Identity, Patching & Security.

Mosyle Fuse logo

Mosyle Fuse is the first and only product to bring a perfect blend of an Enterprise-grade MDM, an innovative solution for macOS Identity Management, automated application installation and patching, and purpose-built multi-layer endpoint security, all specially designed for Apple devices used at work at a price point that’s almost unexplainable.

Click here to learn more!


With the event next week, the release of the next major Apple OS upgrades is imminent and the beta season is coming to a close. (Though, not really. Apple will continue to release betas of the updates through out the year, some of which will add more new features, and Apple admins will should keep testing and filing feedback continously.) This year was a strange beta season, with a three week break in macOS releases, and an even longer break in Xcode releases. It will be interesting to see how this reflects in the timing of the releases. Remember, last year macOS 11 was not released until November.

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 12 Monterey and iOS 15

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

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 — 2021-09-03

It is September now, and we finally got Monterey beta 6!

It is unclear when exactly iOS 15 (and siblings) and macOS 12 Montery will be released, but it might be less than a month now. How is your testing and feedback going?


(Sponsor: Mosyle)

The Fusion of Apple MDM, Identity, Patching & Security.

Mosyle Fuse logo

Mosyle Fuse is the first and only product to bring a perfect blend of an Enterprise-grade MDM, an innovative solution for macOS Identity Management, automated application installation and patching, and purpose-built multi-layer endpoint security, all specially designed for Apple devices used at work at a price point that’s almost unexplainable.

Click here to learn more!


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

I moved the last post up to the news section, because I think it is very relevant for MacAdmins. The Mac App Store is still fundamentally broken for macOS developers and vendors, but also for MacAdmins. Managed deployment and updates through VPP (sorry, “Apps and Books”) is still fundamentally unreliable. There may be improvement in sight with the new declarative MDM, but it is still uncertain when that may roll out to all kinds of deployments and include App Store deployment.

Even when the actual deployment eventually becomes reliable, there are so many applications, like Fission, that are not available in the Mac App Store because of the restrictions, rules, and their seemingly arbitrary enforcement by Apple review. Other applications might be in the Mac App Store, but VPP (sigh… “Apps and Books”) cannot be used to purchase, manage, and deploy in-App-Purchases or App Store subscriptions.

There is certainly some “Catch 22” situation here. Since deployment through VPP (grrr… “Apps and Books) is so horrible, no-one is using it, so there is likely little feedback, and hence no resources are put towards it by Apple. But VP… “Apps and Books” is the only method to deploy apps to iOS, and there you cannot manage in-App-Purchases or subscriptions either.

Until these problems are fixed on the developer and the deployment side, the Mac App Store is not a valid tool for MacAdmin purposes.

The new features, fixes, and updates for macOS Monterey are encouraging that Apple is listening to the issues that MacAdmins have with Apple’s vision of deployment. But not everything is good yet, there is still a lot of improvements to be made.

macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Thomas Reed: “We’re starting to see the inevitable angry customer support tickets from people wanting to know why “Malwarebytes” is blocking their legitimate software. (For those unaware, some old apps are causing this due to macOS no longer trusting an old certificate authority.)”
  • mikeymikey: “Important call out in beta 6 on Monterey for macadmins” (Installation of PAMs now require user authorization or PPPC-approval)

Security and Privacy

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!