Download Full Installer

A while back I wrote up a blog post on deploying the Install macOS Big Sur application. As one of the solutions, I posted a script (based on Greg Neagle’s installinstallmacos.py) which listed the pkgs from Apple’s software update catalogs so you could download them.

During and after WWDC, I wanted to see if I could build a SwiftUI app. I thought that building a user interface for this task would be a nice practice project.

Ironically, since I want the app to work on Big Sur, I could not use any of the new Swift and SwiftUI features Apple introduced this year. Even so, since I had not used SwiftUI to build a Big Sur application, most of the features Apple introduced last year were still new to me.

It was often unexpected to me which parts turned out to be challenging and which parts were really easy to implement. For example, implementing a preferences window, turned out to be super-easy, but it took me two false-starts to find the correct approach. Communicating with the preferences system of macOS is also very easy, but so poorly documented that you are always second guessing if what you are doing is right.

Apple’s documentation for Swift and SwiftUI on this has definite highlights, but is very sparse overall. I am still not sure if some of the decisions I made while putting this together were “good” choices.

Nevertheless, it works! I think it might be a nice tool to have, so I put it on GitHub. You can just download the app from the release page and use it, or clone the repo and take a look at the code.

Constructive feedback is always welcome! I am still learning this as I go along, too.

MacDeployment and MacDevOps YVR Presentations

I am a bit behind: the videos for both presentations I did in the last weeks at MacDeployment and MacDevOps YVR are now available. I made pages for each presentation with links to the slides, videos, and all the links I mentioned:

I had a really good time presenting and participating at both conferences. Even though they were remote, it was good to see everyone—again and for the first time.

There are more conferences coming up this year and I will be presenting more. You can see the list of MacAdmin conferences on the continually updated conference page.

(Illustration by Ashton Rodenhiser (Twitter, Web))

Scripting OS X — Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-06-18

While attending WWDC and MacDevOps YVR last week – or at least attempting to – I realized that you can get real jet lag from virtual conferences.

Many people are catching up to the news from WWDC last week with many posts reacting to and/or summarizing the news. We also a patch for iOS 12 and and new macOS 11.5/iOS 14.7 betas.


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I’d like to thank Mosyle for being the new sponsor for this news summary! I have been watching what they have been doing in the macOS MDM space and believe they are a great fit as a sponsor.


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

  • Morten Just: “Go To Folder – ⌘⇧G in Finder got its first update in ~15 years with Monterey. Spotlight-style UI, and you can search for any folder https://t.co/jfGe1Z1RAw” (video)
  • Rich Trouton: “The more I look at macOS Monterey, the more that I’m convinced it is kindred to Mac OS X Snow Leopard – an OS focused on fixing existing issues and beneficial improvements to previously introduced features. This is a Good Thing and I look forward to the fall release.”
  • Anthony Reimer: “Reminded of the model-specific features of macOS Monterey by @howardnoakley and @TidBITS, I’ve updated my Mac Hardware/Software Obsolescence Chart (yes, for the 3rd time in a week) with info on support for Universal Control and AirPlay for Mac.”
  • mikeymikey: “Almost every scripted language in macOS provides a warning if you execute it interactively. Tcl, ruby, perl, you name it.”

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!

Scripting OS X — Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-06-11

WWDC week! We got to see new iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and most importantly: the new macOS 12 Monterey.

What a week (or two). In addition to WWDC, there were and are MacDeployment last week and MacDevOps YVR this week. It is a good thing that all the sessions (including WWDC) will be made available online, because I have a lot of catching up and re-watching to do. You can find links to all the conferences and their session archives on my conferences page.


(Sponsor: SentinelOne)

Focus on Security
Among all the new features announced by Apple this week with macOS Monterey are a number of topics directly related to security. Let’s take a look at 12 things to know from WWDC!


The first MacAdmin reactions for macOS Monterey are (cautiously) positive. Apple introduced several new features, like an “Erase all Content and Data” option, better management features for software updates, remote lock, and better extension management, which MacAdmins had been clamoring for. We also got a preview of some technologies like declarative management. It all looks very promising and I hope the features will hold up to practical use.

AppleSeed for IT is making the beta available, along with some extra documentation for admins. You can sign up with the managed Apple ID you use to sign into Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager. The earlier you get your feedback in to Apple, the higher the chance that it can be addressed before release.

MacSysAdmin conference will be online again this year. While it is sad that we will not be able to meet in Gothenburg this year, this was my favorite virtual conference to watch and present at last year. Like WWDC, MacSysAdmin will be releasing pre-recorded presentations every day from October 5 through 8. There will be T-shirt sale to help fund the conference.

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

Reactions

Developer Release Notes

MacAdmins on Twitter

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

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!

WWDC 2021 – What to watch for MacAdmins

So, WWDC started yesterday and Apple will release more than 200 sessions over the next week. Of course, most of these sessions are focussed on developers building apps for the Apple platforms. As a Mac and iOS admin, which sessions are interesting?

Of course, we won’t know which sessions are good until we can watch them. But here is the list of sessions that I expect to be interesting. I will update this post all week. Let me know if you find something interesting that I missed.

Apple releases the sessions every day of the WWC week at 9am PDT/17:00CEST. I will add the day of the week after the session title. You can watch the sessions in the Developer app on your Apple device and on Apple’s developer web page.

Keep in mind that while the excitement is huge around WWDC time, you do not have to watch all the sessions this week. The sessions will remain available and you can take your time to catch up.

Keynote and Platform State of the Union

The keynote is of course press- and end-user facing and very marketing driven. Still worth watching it (if you haven’t already) for the highlights. The ‘Platform State of the Union’ is the ‘real’ developer-focussed keynote. It is interesting to watch to understand where Apple thinks the focus is going to be. This year the highlights are the new Xcode Cloud, new Swift features, Object Capture and many new frameworks.

Device Management

There is actually a dedicated category for “Device Management” in the Developer app. Some of these sound very promising:

Swift and SwiftUI

I believe Swift will be more and more important for MacAdmins to build tools.

Security and Privacy

Other Sessions

Some of the other sessions will ahve relevance for MacAdmins (and users) as well. Often these sessions will have segments with a general overview of a feature, followed by details on how to implement it in code.

AppleSeed for IT

When you can use your managed Apple ID from Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager to log in to AppleSeed for IT. There you can download the beta systems to start testing now. AppleSeed for IT also contains more detailed release notes, which you find as a PDF under the downloads category.

Keep in mind that while you can discuss information released in the WWDC sessions in public, information that is exclusive to AppleSeed for IT and the other seed and beta programs is subject to the NDA, and should not be discussed in public forums.

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-06-04

‘Twas the week-end before WWDC…

We did get updates to the apps formerly known as iWork and the second macOS 11.5 beta with some interesting notes in the AppleSeed for IT docs.


(Sponsor: SentinelOne)

Security Research

20 Common Tools & Techniques Used by macOS Threat Actors & Malware. We’ve included real in-the-wild examples and information about IoCs, hashes, and researcher analyses.

Read the blog post here


MacDeployment, hosted by the University of Calgary, was this week. Many thanks to the organizers, speakers, and audience. It was a fun event and a great one to kick-off the virtual conference season. They have already posted links to the three session blocks as videos on their sessions page.

Next we had the first Campfire session hosted by PSU MacAdmins. These will continue every Thursday in June and July.

Next week Monday, Apple starts off WWDC with the Keynote and State of the Union. Then they will release additional sessions over the rest of the week. You can watch with the Apple Developer app.

And then, last but not least, we will have MacDevOps YVR on June 9–11. You can still register for that.

You can also find all the info and links for the various conferences on my conference page, which is continually updated.

This will be a busy 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

  • Rich Trouton: “Generating remote lock or wipe commands and need a random six digit number? Run this command: ((RND=RANDOM<<15|RANDOM)) ; echo ${RND: -6}
  • Nathaniel Strauss: “macOS 11.5 beta 2 (re)introduces a couple very sought after features. Go read the release notes. Feeling a lot better about deploying M1 Macs to students in the fall. Thanks MacAdmin community for coming together to file feedback.”
  • David Smith: “Helpful Mac debugging tip You can enable super detailed UserDefaults logging with: sudo log config --subsystem=com.apple.defaults --mode "level:debug, persist:debug" (And disable again with sudo log config --subsystem=com.apple.defaults --reset)”

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!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-05-28

Less than two weeks to WWDC and we got the macOS Big Sur 11.4 and iOS 14.6 updates with siblings.


(Sponsor: SentinelOne)

Performance vs Security

Apple is inventing new names, new architecture, and new challenges. Here’s why your macOS EDR solution shouldn’t be running under Rosetta 2. Let’s dive in!

Read the blog post


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

Even without the updates this would have been a long summary as we have many interesting posts and updates.

Apple has published a new set of interactive tutorials: Deployment and Management. These look very interesting. I have only been able to briefly skim over it—Apple claims it will take close to 12 hours (!) to work through them all.

The tutorials are based on using Profile Manager in macOS Server, which is… well… They also focus on iOS clients, with very little macOS specific information. But they should still be able to give a good introduction to several concepts and workflows.

Definitely a promising new offering from Apple and I am looking forward to working through this and hope there will be more like this coming for Apple Adminstrators!


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

Upcoming Conferences

We have four (!) virtual conferences coming up! Each with a different format and approach, but I am sure all will be interesting.

I will be speaking about “Presenting Online” (very meta) at MacDeployment and about “Packages” at MacDevOps YVR. Looking forward to seeing you there.

(Continually updated list of MacAdmin related conferences.)

macOS and iOS Updates

Guides

(all user guide updates via @Schoun)

Security

(Perma-list of relevant Apple Support pages..)

Reactions

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • mikeymikey: “Hey. You. Vendor for macOS that is trying to rely on python. … you do know that python3 is not -actually- part of macOS, right? Like … it -only- works if the user also has Xcode / the developer command-line tools installed (neither of which are included by default in macOS)”
  • John C. Welch: “If you want to see if a company really cares about details, their installer/uninstaller is the fastest, most reliable thing to check.”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

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!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-05-21

This is the first sponsored News Summary. Some background: I left my job as a Systems Engineer earlier this year. The plan is to focus more on writing books, freelance consulting, and some other ideas. Whether you like it or not, as a freelancer you have to spend your time on things that make money. Since I want to continue this newsletter, taking on sponsors seemed like a good solution.

I want to have sponsors whose offerings are relevant to MacAdmins and I am really grateful that SentinelOne stepped up to give it a go!


(Sponsor) eBook: macOS Threat Hunting & Incident Response

Here’s a detailed eBook from SentinelOne, covering macOS security, including real examples and step-by-step instructions. An essential read about Threat Hunting and Incident Response.

The eBook is provided for free, you can download your copy here.


Just to clarify: I am not sharing any subscriber information directly with the sponsors. But please follow the links and read their offerings carefully, so that they see the worth of sponsoring here! 😉 I think SentinelOne is starting out with an interesting eBook free offer!

I am also looking forward to more interesting sponsors in the future! (If you think your company or product is a good fit to sponsor this newsletter, please contact me!)

In other MacAdmin news this week: we got the first reviews for the M1 iMac and the iPads Pro. Apple is starting to release news ahead of WWDC. (just a bit over two weeks left.) We got an announcement for lossless and spatial audio in Apple Music and an amazing preview for new features for people with disabilities.

On the system update news: macOS 11.4 and iOS 14.6 have not been released yet, but macOS 11.5 beta and iOS 14.7 beta have been released in the beta channels.


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

  • ConfiantIntel: “OSX/Bundlore Loader found (0 detections in VT) compiled for ARM (targeting the new M1 MacBook!) , and notarized by Apple.” (Thread)
  • Nathaniel Strauss: “MDM initiated software update on M1 MacBook Air. Failed twice during download phase. Restarted. Failed at the end of prepare phase. Restarted. Couldn’t get process to run at all. Will not be using MDM software updates in the short term.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “We are pretty much feature complete for MDS 4. Here are the exciting new features.” (Image with text)

Security and Privacy

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 — 2021–05–14

No new updates this week. Nevertheless, MacAdmins seem to be taking the time to catch up and get some work done, as we got many interesting posts this week. We also got beta3 for 11.4.

MacDeployment is scheduled for June 1–2 and you can register to attend for free! I will be doing “An Online Presentation on Presenting Online.” I have also updated my conference overview page.


To support this weekly news summary, please consider:

macOS Terminal and Shell Book Cover

macOS Terminal and Shell: 
You have always wanted to ‘learn Terminal,’ right? This book teaches how (and why) to use the command line on macOS. Get it on Apple Books!

(If you have already bought the book, please leave a review on the Apple Books Store. Thank you!)


If you are interested in sponsoring this newsletter, please contact me!

Kandji has commissioned Jason Snell of Six Colors to create an Enterprise Report Card for Apple. This is a chance for Mac Admins to give feedback on how they see Apple.

The deadline to add your score and comments is today May 14, 2021. The results will be compiled to run in early June before WWDC. The contact information is for the survey only and you can choose to remain anonymous.

This is a great chance for MacAdmins to provide some feedback!

📰News and Opinion

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Rich Trouton: “I learned something usefule about macOS login keychain behavior today: When you’re logged in and open Terminal, your login keychain unlocks for that Terminal session. When you’re connecting to your Mac via SSH and provide your password, your login keychain unlocks for that SSH session. When you’re connecting to your Mac via SSH and are using passwordless login, your login keychain does not unlock for that SSH session. Makes sense, right? No password, no automatic unlock. Still caught me off guard when something I was expecting to work did not work.”
  • Brent Simmons: “Right now is actually a pretty great time for Mac apps. Old faves like BBEdit, NetNewsWire, Acorn, OmniOutliner, and many others are still around — and there are amazing newcomers like Sketch and Nova and plenty of others. The best may be yet to come. :)”
  • Marco Arment: “Instead, what we keep hearing from Apple is ‘You owe us for your entire business, you should be thankful for everything we’ve done for you, we don’t need you, we’re doing you a favor by allowing you, and your apps add absolutely no value to our highly profitable hardware.’” (Thread)
  • Tim Perfitt: “M1 Mac mini arrived! I shall use this thread for my findings.” (Thread)

🔐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 — 2021-05-07

After the long awaited big updates last week, Apple followed up this week with another, albeit much smaller, update. macOS 11.3.1 et al are security updates for some pretty serious bugs, that may already be exploited.

Less than one month until WWDC!

MacDevOpsYVR has started releasing their speaker list and I am proud to say that I will be doing a 15 minute talk, title ‘The Encyclopedia of Packages.’ You should check out the speaker list, it is very interesting. MacDeployment is now scheduled for June 1-2. I have updated my conference overview page!


To support this weekly news summary, please consider:

macOS Terminal and Shell Book Cover

macOS Terminal and Shell:
You have always wanted to ‘learn Terminal,‘ right? This book teaches how (and why) to use the command line on macOS. Get it on Apple Books!

(If you have already bought the book, please leave a review on the Apple Books Store. Thank you!)


If you are interested in sponsoring this newsletter, please contact me!

Kandji has commissioned Jason Snell of Six Colors to create an Enterprise Report Card for Apple. This is a chance for Mac Admins to give feedback on how they see Apple.

The deadline to add your score and comments is May 14, 2021. The results will be compiled to run in early June before WWDC. The contact information is for the survey only and you can choose to remain anonymous.

This is a great chance for MacAdmins to provide some feedback!

News and Opinion

macOS and iOS Updates

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Maxwell: “Every system library and framework is in the shared cache, and now there are 4 shared caches in system/library/dyld. x64h, arm, rosetta and x86 for that 1 trash can Mac Pro they still haven’t canned. each about a gig but they compress well.”
  • Craig Hockenberry: “One thing I’ve noticed as of late is Apple locking things down without looking at the bigger picture of how sometimes more security actually makes things less secure. Let me explain…” (Thread)

Security and Privacy

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!