Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2020-11-20

This summary isn’t quite as big as last week’s, but very close.

This week many people got their hands on the first Macs with Apple silicon M1 chips. The reviews and benchmarks are in and it looks as if Apple wasn’t over promising. Many software vendors are shipping updates for Big Sur and Universal app support. This is definitely an interesting and busy time.

Whether your organisation can dive head-first into Big Sur and Apple silicon deployment or you have to (or want to) hold back for a while, there will be articles in here to help you.

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.)

💻Apple Silicon M1 Macs

🌅macOS 11 Big Sur

⚙️macOS and iOS Updates

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Laura Rösler: “Every fifth Mac is on Big Sur. After 5 days (including initial crash of Apple services, weekend and issues with macOS 11 Internet Recovery) we’re up to more than 5800 Macs with macOS 11.”
  • macshome: “Remember that if you don’t have installer packages that declare arm64 support then the Installer will trigger the Rosetta 2 install as well. Even if the contents are universal.”
  • Rich Trouton: “Need the model numbers for the new Apple Silicon Macs? Mac Mini: Macmini9,1 MacBook Pro: MacBookPro17,1 MacBook Air: MacBookAir10,1 Developer Transition Kit: ADP3,2”
  • Nathaniel Strauss: “‘If upgrading from macOS Sierra or later, macOS Big Sur requires 35.5GB of available storage to upgrade. If upgrading from an earlier release, macOS Big Sur requires up to 44.5GB of available storage.’ Nearly 1/3 of a 120 GB SSD. “

🐞Bugs and Security

🔨Support and HowTos

🍏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 — 2020-11-13

Usually, I gather 30-40 links a week, which I then curate into this newsletter. This week I had more than a hundred links to work through, and discovered a few more posts and articles while I put everything together. What a week!

Macs with M1

New Macs with Apple Silicon M1 chips were introduced at the “One more thing” event on Tuesday. The MacBook Air, two-port MacBook Pro 13″ and the Mac mini are now available to order with the Apple Silicon M1 chip.

While the performance numbers look really exciting, there are a few interesting caveats, mostly with regards to external displays.All Macs with the M1 chip could drive a 6K display, the MacBooks can only drive a single external display and the Mac mini can only connect two external displays (a 6K and a 4K). External GPUs are not supported. (yet?)

The four port 13″ MacBook Pro and the 16″ MacBook Pro are still availble with Intel chips, as well as a Mac mini Intel configuration, which can have more RAM than the M1 Mac mini and optional 10Gig ethernet.

The M1 Macs cap out at 16GB RAM. This is a concern for many technical minded people. However, I would remind that the iPad Pro seems to fine with even less RAM, and that the fast SSD storage used in Macs these days make the penalty for paging to “disk” much less painful than it used to be.

Big Sur

And then we got Big Sur. Apple published macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 yesterday. And then a weird thing happened. We can only guess details, but it seems that the massive 12GB download overwhelmed Apple’s distribution network, but also took down other parts of Apple’s server network. (Then again, cause end effect might be the other way around. We don’t know.) One of the servers that was not reachable for a while was the OCSP server which macOS uses to verify the developer signatures of applications. Because of this app launches were slow on Macs everywhere. Issues were resolved within a few hours.

I would just love to be a fly on the wall in this post-mortem meeting at Apple. The chain of events that must have happened to cause this must be very strange, indeed.

Nevertheless, we got Big Sur.. eventually. And with Big Sur come lots of reviews, app updates (some universal), support articles, blog post.

Enjoy this “extra big” Big Sur edition of the news!

(If I missed something, please let me know. I will add 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.)

#! On Scripting OS X

📰News and Opinion

💻Apple Silicon M1 Macs

🌅 macOS 11 Big Sur and iOS 14

👩‍💻MacAdmins and Users on Big Sur

MDM vendors on Big Sur

Apple on Big Sur

Apple Developer

What’s new for Enterprise

⚙️macOS Catalina 10.15 and iOS 14 Updates

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Thomas Reed: “Scam sites that call just about everything a “virus,” and that promote junk apps to “remove” the “virus,” have become a plague. Consider macsecurity dot net, which scares people with things like a “DuckDuckGo virus” as a means for promoting ComboCleaner.” (Thread)
  • Camille Fournier: “Screw “choose boring technology,” today’s mantra is “make boring plans.” AKA, if you can break a problem down well enough that the plans look to an outsider like they are mostly boring and rote, you are probably a damn fine platform engineer.”
  • Bombich Software: “Apple fixed some of the APFS replication issues in the Big Sur 11.0.1 update, and CCC 5.1.23-b1 includes support for making bootable backups on Big Sur. To participate in this beta cycle, go to CCC’s Preferences > Software Update and check the box to be informed of beta releases.”
  • Panic: “Transmit 5.7 is ALSO now Apple silicon native on Mac, which is kind of a beautiful thing: this means that our little truck has run natively on every single Mac architecture in history, from 68k, to PPC, to Intel, now to M1. It just keeps on going!”
  • Longhorn: “So… I heard a lot of people asking: “can you run Windows on Apple M1 Macs?”( Thread)
  • Victor: “You thought kernel extensions on Apple Silicone were dead, but you were wrong.”
  • Adam C. Engst: “Apple has apparently resolved the problem with the certificate revocation server that was timing out and causing apps to open very slowly. Make sure to remove the workaround line from /etc/hosts if you added it!”
  • Carl Ashley: “Real talk @Apple @AppleSupport – the mechanisms available to #macadmins to withold OS updates and new OS releases is absolutely awful. We absolutely need the flexibility of being able to permanently block releases.”
  • Jeff Johnson: “Don’t confuse Developer ID certificate status (/usr/libexec/trustd to ocsp . apple . com) with notarization (/usr/libexec/syspolicyd to api . apple-cloudkit . com). Notarization check only occurs on first launch. Online Certificate Status Protocol can occur on any launch.” (Thread)
  • Keir Thomas: “Nice little Big Sur tweak for Disk Utility. When you click to use First Aid on a disk – which typically locks-up the Mac for a few seconds – it takes away the desktop and your apps temporarily so you CAN’T do anything.”

🐞Bugs and Security

🔨Support and HowTos

Wrangling file paths in Catalina and Big Sur – Howard Oakley

🤖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 — 2020-11-06

The news this week has certainly been… well… captivating on many levels.

Yesterday, Apple also dropped iOS 14.2 (and siblings) and a “macOS Catalina 10.15.7 Supplemental Update.” (I had hoped we were done with these.) Also, a “release candidate” for macOS Big Sur 11.0.1.

Next week, is the long anticipated third Apple Event this Fall, where everybody is expecting the first Apple Silicon Macs to be introduced and a macOS Big Sur release date to be announced. Whatever your process to prepare for a major macOS release is, I hope you are ready!

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.)

Headlines

News and Opinion

macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple Silicon

macOS Catalina 10.15 and iOS 14 Updates

Coronavirus and Remote Work

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Patrick Fergus: “Did you know (an Adobe Admin Console package of) Acrobat won’t install while Safari is running? Has anyone mentioned to the Acrobat team the reason blocking on Safari is because of the Acrobat NPAPI browser plugin Safari hasn’t loaded in a few years?”
  • Tim Perfitt: “I have been working with CryptoTokenKit’s persistent tokens on iOS 14.2 and something we have been hoping for for a long time on iOS. An app can vend a identity (private key + certificate) that can be consumed by other apps AND iOS itself.” (Thread)

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!

Scripting OS X — Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2020-10-30

A strange thing happened last Friday: while I was putting together last week’s news summary, HP printer connections on Macs all over started showing strange error messages. First suspicions were on the Xprotect update published a day before, but then HP had to admit that they had ‘accidentally’ revoked a certificate that was still very much in active use. As usual, Howard Oakley and Mr Macintosh covered the issue in much detail.

macOS Big Sur is still in beta did a surprising step from “11.0 beta 10” to “11.0.1 beta 1.” This probably means that there will be new Mac hardware soon that ships with a version of 11.0, and immediately prompt for an update when they are run for the first time.

Even though the 2020 conference season is not over yet—you can register for Everyworld here—Jamf has gone ahead and announced that JNUC 2021 will also be virtual. This will planning uncertainty for the organizers, speakers, attendees. Virtual JNUC 2020 was already a great event, but there were many aspects that can be improved on and I am happy that Jamf is taking the time necessary to take that on.

On the topic of conferences, the MacAdmins Podcast had Patrik Jerneheim from the MacSysAdmins Conference talking about the experience of MacSysAdmin Online.

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 iOS 14

Coronavirus and Remote Work

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Alexander Blach: “TIL: you can use a Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter to migrate data to a new iPhone using a wired connection (no Wi-Fi) while also charging both iPhones from a single power adapter.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “Yes, this is probably from Xcode, but Xcode isn’t running nor is an iOS simulator. I have no idea what to answer here and I am an Apple developer since before Swift! How would I know if I should trust this? If I deny it, there could be issues with development” (Thread)
  • Mr. Macintosh: “As to why we are getting 11.0.1 This could mean that 11.0 is GM for Apple Silicon Macs currently in production. When they arrive in customers hands, 11.0.1 will show as an available update. Doing it this way hides the AS installer data so we can’t look at the new DeviceIDs.”
  • Erik Gomez: “I think it’s less to hide things and more that Big Sur just isn’t ready.”

Bugs and Security

HP Printer certificates

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

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 — 2020-10-23

Bit of a lull in the news between the previous iOS 14 and forthcoming macOS 11 releases. Apple is shipping the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPad Air 4 this week and the devices look good in the reviews.

No reason to be bored, though. You probably haven’t caught up with the sessions from Virtual JNUC and MacSysAdmin Online, yet! (To be honest, there are some Campfire sessions I have not gotten around to watch yet.)

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 14 Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Patrick Wardle: “Previously, a comprehensive macOS firewall could be implemented via a Network Kernel Extension (kext) Apple deprecated kexts, giving us Network Extensions….but apparently (many of) their apps / daemons bypass this filtering mechanism. Are we ok with this!?” (Thread, Michael Tsai)
  • Joel Rennich: “Let’s talk attestation and boxes and what that means for generating keys on an iOS device. For a while folks, myself included, have been really interested in getting Apple to provide attestation statements about a key being in the Secure Enclave.” (Thread)

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

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 — 2020-10-02

Another very busy week. (But aren’t they all?)

The Mojave Supplemental Update was pulled and re-released, Jamf continues buying interesting people and technology, and we got macOS Big Sur beta 9 with a feature/fix that MacAdmins have been clamoring for.

Virtual JNUC 2020 was on and had some great sessions. If you have registered you can (re-)view the sessions in the portal for three more weeks and then they will be moved to the Jamf YouTube channel. Thanks to everyone who presented a session, I have not been to watch the all (not even close) but will try to over the next few weeks. Thanks also, to everyone who watched my session live and for all the kind feedback I have already gotten. You can find the slides, notes and links for my session here.

Don’t fall into the post-conference slump just yet, because MacSysAdmin Online will be next week!. Participation is free, but you can still support the team by buying the MacSysAdmin Online T-Shirt, which will also enroll you in an exclusive giveaway raffle.

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 iOS 14

macOS Catalina 10.15 and iOS 13 Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Steve Hayman: “Your grep one-liner du jour. Count how many words of each length appear in the /usr/share/dict/words dictionary. for n in $(jot 25); do printf "%2d letter words: " $n; grep -E "^.{$n}\$" /usr/share/dict/words | wc -l; done” (Thread)

Bugs and Security

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 — 2020-09-25

If you thought that the week after the iOS 14 release would be a quiet week, you would have been wrong.

We got updates for the Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and iMovie, the first bug fix updates for iOS 14 and siblings, macOS Big Sur beta8 and, quite surprisingly: 10.15.7.

It makes you wonder why this update got the 10.15.7 and not “yet another Supplemental Update,” but this is a very welcome change. Many thanks to Mr Macintosh and Howard Oakley for covering the updates so well.

Virtual JNUC 2020 is next week! (September 29 through October 1). My session will be on “Scripting Jamf Pro: Best Practices” on Oct 1 at 11am CDT (18:00 Central European). There will be a live Q&A during and after the session. You can still register for free.

The MacSysAdmin Online will be later in October. Participation will be free, but you can support the team by buying the MacSysAdmin Online T-Shirt, which will also enroll you in an exclusive giveaway raffle.

And just in this week, the “EveryWorld” conference will be online from November 25 to 27. There is a call for participation.

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

macOS Catalina 10.15 and iOS 14 Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Steve Hayman: “Well that’s easy.” (Read the thread for some Hayman scripting wisdom.)
  • Carl Ashley: “The elephant in the room: Keeping up to date with OS/app releases isn’t always important. Sometimes, being able to get s**t done with something that works is more important.” (Thread)
  • William Smith: “Next month, support for Microsoft Office for Mac changes in two ways: 1. With the release of Big Sur, only these N–2 versions are supported: macOS Big Sur macOS Catalina macOS Mojave 2. Office 2016 for Mac is end-of-lifed. Updates end. Support ends. KB docs begin retiring.”
  • mikey: “TIL there’s an osascript cache at ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.osascript/Cache.db
  • Carl Ashley: “Why is it, that in 2020, after many years of having MDM available, are we still not yet able to specify values to pass on to Setup Assistant, or even values for the settings that Setup Assistant sets that we can use in normal profile payloads?” (Thread)

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

iWork 10.2 updates

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 — 2020-09-18

Update season has started. After the event on Tuesday, where Apple announced new Watches and iPads, iOS 14 shipped on Wednesday, giving developers and admins less than 24 hours advance warning and probably the shortest lived GM ever.

We also got macOS Big Sur beta 7 and new betas for iOS 14.2 and siblings.

The future releases of hardware and software this year should remain interesting. I expect at least two more events like this, one focussing on the new iPhones and the other for a new Apple Silicon Mac (or more). I would also guess that we will get the “missing” iOS 14.1 with the new iPhones, and 14.2 shortly after.

The reason this newsletter is a bit later than usual, is that I was finishing recording and editing my presentation for MacSysAdmin Online to submit it today, just in time for the deadline. This is the second presentation for a major MacAdmin conference that I recorded and finished this month. It feels strange that neither of these presentations will be streamed until October, but I am very much looking forward to when you get to see them and all the other presentations from both conferences.

Virtual JNUC 2020 is happening September 29 through October 1. My session will be on “Scripting Jamf Pro: Best Practices” on Oct 1 at 11am CDT (18:00 Central European). There will be a live Q&A during and after the session. You can still register for free.

The MacSysAdmin Online will be later in October. Participation will be free, but you can support the team by buying the MacSysAdmin Online T-Shirt, which will also enroll you in an exclusive giveaway raffle.

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.)

Apple Event: Time Flies

News and Opinion

macOS 11 Big Sur and iOS 14

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Mr. Macintosh: “I’m hearing that the Jamf Pro 10.24 beta Big Sur fixes are in 10.24.1. Official support will be listed in the patch notes of 10.25 (not sure on 10.25 version numbering). 10.24.1 = Big Sur compatible. 10.25 = Big Sur official supported version.”
  • Andreas Schenk: “Using an iPad as an additional screen for macOS with sidecar seems to still deliver notifications from iPadOS, even if macOS is in DND mode. So if you happen to run a presentation using sidecar, first set the iPad to do not disturb, then use sidecar.”

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!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2020-09-11

Apple has announced an event next week September 15, 10am PDT. They have seeded many people in the press and on social media with the information that there will be no iPhones at this event. Expectations are for a new watch and iPad Air.

A new watch will likely require watchOS 7, which will require iOS 14, so the Apple systems upgrade season will start soon after this event. If previous years can be used to extrapolate (not at all certain this year) the iOS system upgrades could be available Friday, September 18 or September 25.

I am not concerned at all about no iPhones or Macs at this event. These will probably be remote, pre-recorded events like they did at WWDC. Apple can easily do multiple of these events until well into October, giving every product full attention.

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.)

Headlines

News and Opinion

macOS 11 Big Sur and iOS 14

macOS Catalina 10.15 and iOS 13 Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Arek Dreyer: “On your Mac, you can Option-Click the Notification Center icon to toggle Do Not Disturb.”
  • Arek Dreyer: “A bunch of Apple Reference and User Guide pages now have a ”Search the user guide” field, nice!”
  • Nathaniel Strauss: “Still true in Big Sur beta 6. Apple privacy/security team won a stupid fight… and everyone else lost. PPPC is needlessly confusing for most people. Schools won’t use Big Sur for at least 4–6 months after release. What a mess.” (More info from Michael Tsai)
  • Corey Quinn: “Myth: Companies are accelerating their cloud migrations due to COVID19. Fact: Companies are suddenly making better decisions since their executives aren’t being exposed to enterprise software ads in airports.”

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 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 — 2020-09-04

How can it be September already!? Where did the summer go?

Apple’s beta phase is heating up with a new beta release for iOS and macOS. We also got iOS and iPadOS 13.7.

Since Fall is here, so are some more virtual conferences. I will have sessions prepared for Virtual JNUC and MacSysAdmin Online.

Virtual JNUC 2020 is happening September 29 through October 1. You can still register for free.

The MacSysAdmin Online will be later in October. Participation will be free, but you can support the team by buying the MacSysAdmin Online T-Shirt, which will also enroll you in an exclusive giveaway raffle.

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 iOS 14

macOS Catalina 10.15 and iOS 13 Updates

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

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!