Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2020-05-29

Update week, part 2. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 dropped this week. Among many other changes, it contains an important change to softwareupdate --ignore which seriously affects MacAdmins.

As always, many thanks to those who are providing better update information than Apple. Especially: Mr Macintosh and Howard Oakley.

The conference schedule has been seriously affected by the pandemic. The silver lining here is that with all the conferences. Thanks to the MacDeployment YYC twitter post we have a virtual conference line up:

I will be presenting at at least two of these: a Campfire Session on June 11 on ‘Moving to zsh’ and ‘Practical Scripting’ at MacSysAdmin Online.

MacAD.UK is, as of now, still scheduled to occur in person on November 3 and 4.

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macOS Catalina 10.15 and iOS 13 Updates

Update Information

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • William Smith: “A gift to your future self (and others)… Use shortcuts like -s and -v for command options in your daily Terminal work to save you time and keystrokes. But use the full names of command options in your scripts to better explain what you’re doing.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “I wrote a shell script that gets the DEP record if you give it a Mac serial number. Here is what it does: Puts serial into VMWare image config Starts up VM SSH’es into VM and runs command to print DEP record (ssh keys set up prior) shuts down VM runtime is about 30 secs.”
  • Hannes Juutilainen: “If a folder name ends with .noindex it will not be indexed by Spotlight. And if a folder name ends with .nobackup it will not be included in Time Machine backups.”
  • Joel Rennich: “So… you’d like to find out if your IdP vendor supports Apple’s Single Sign On extensions? All SSOEs need to have an Apple App Site Association file hosted at the endpoint URL that the SSOE wants to be authoritative for.” (Thread)
  • Joel Rennich: “The only publicly available Apple SSO Extension that I’m aware of is Microsoft’s MSAL library with their latest Authenticator app from the App Store. Currently in public preview and only on iOS.”
  • Graham Gilbert: ““Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when using the softwareupdate(8) command with the --ignore flag” tldr: if you don’t patch, you’re vulnerable. We’re trying to improve your security. Finally something I agree with, well done @apple” (counterpoint)
  • Simon Carlson-Thies (LinkedIn): “Zoom has a seriously odd way of dealing with preferences…” (link for more)

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!

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2020-05-22

Update week, part 1! iOS 13.5 and siblings have arrived. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 GM was released to seed and beta testers, so probably next week?

I will be talking at the “Virtuele Macbeheerders bijeenkomst” (Virtual MacAdmins Meeting, which you probably could have guessed) about Installomator next week. Warning: other than mine, all sessions will be in Dutch, but they sound very interesting.

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 Catalina 10.15 and iOS 13 Updates

🦠Coronavirus and Remote Work

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Mactroll: “A heavily contrived, but still fun, example of using a Managed Apple ID with a Single Sign on Extension. A story in a few parts, but first the video…” (Video, thread)
  • Mactroll: “More SSO Extension fun! This time signing into an O365 application, Powerpoint, and activating the subscription.” (video, thread)
  • William Smith: “MacAdmins, support for Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac ends October 13, 2020 (five months). Plan to move to a Microsoft 365 subscription for your organization or upgrade your volume license to Office 2019. Announcement from December 2019
  • Patrick Fergus: “Support for 27 languages in Outlook for iOS being removed at the end of June 2020. Office 365 Message center MC213632.”
  • Jeff Johnson: “This is an interesting chart. 10.15 adoption seems to be significantly lower than 10.14 or 10.13.” (Chart, 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 — 2020-05-15

Lots of security related news with a new thunderbolt exploit (mostly on Windows, but macOS is not entirely unaffected) and a nasty exploit for Acrobat Reader DC.

Many were expecting 10.15.5 to drop this week, but unless it comes on Friday afternoon, we will have to be more patient. But Apple continues to release something new every week, with a new “major” update to Logic Pro X. (What do versions numbers even mean anymore?)

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

🦠Coronavirus and Remote Work

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

🐞Bugs and Security

Macs are fully vulnerable to all of the Thunderbolt security flaws when running Bootcamp, and ‘partly affected’ when running macOS.

🔨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 — 2020-05-08

This week we learned that JNUC is also going virtual (20 Sep–1 Oct), as well as the dates for the virtual WWDC (starts 22 June). The good thing about having virtual conferences is that we all can go!

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

On Scripting OS X

My five-minute presentation from the Texas Apple Admin Virtual Meeting this week. Thanks again for having me!

News and Opinion

macOS Catalina 10.15 and iOS 13 Updates

Coronavirus and Remote Work

MacAdmins on Twitter

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 — 2020-05-01

In this time where days and dates seem to lose all meaning and context: we made it to May…

New beta releases for macOS 10.15.5 and iOS 13.5 (changed from the initial and weird 13.4.5). Oh, and Microsoft is re-branding Office 365 as Microsoft 365.

The Houston Apple Admins group are hosting a virtual meetup next week, 5 May 2020 from 12–1p.m Central time (19:00–20:00 Central European time). I’ve been told everyone is welcome. I have the honor of being among their list of speakers for short 5–10 minute ‘lightning presentations.’ (It’s like speed dating, but with MacAdmin topics.) See you virtually there!

Stay Safe, everyone!

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 Catalina 10.15 and iOS 13 Updates

  • Mr. Macintosh:Article Update! Apple has removed the “Restore from Snapshot” Feature from the macOS Catalina New Features Page. Having the ability to restore from a snapshot taken just before a macOS update was very useful. I hope this feature returns soon.”

Coronavirus and Remote Work

MacAdmins on Twitter

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 — 2020-04-24

One of those “in between” weeks, where nothing particular happens, but enough to fill a newsletter. As usual, many thanks to everyone who shares their knowledge in a post.

Stay safe!

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 Catalina 10.15 and iOS 13 Updates

Coronavirus and Remote Work

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Adam Codega: “You can place custom Teams video call backgrounds in ~/Library/Application \Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads I imagine an upload GUI button will be coming soon. If you place it manually, Teams displays a broken thumbnail icon because of .DS_Store in the folder.”
  • Erik Gomez: “How I explained my job today: Imagine managing 80,000 servers, each one a unique node with a very opinionated System Administrator who indirectly and directly tries to break everything you do.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “The new T2 Macs had a bit of twist for Winclone. If you are migrating a Boot Camp partition from a non-T2 mac to a T2 Mac, the restored Boot Camp partition doesn’t have the Apple SSD driver need to boot and it blue screens.”
  • Carl Ashley: “Python versions 2.7.18, 3.7.7, and 3.8.2 from python.org are now codesigned bugs.python.org/msg366846

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support this News Summary

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 — 2020-04-17

New iPhone SE release! It looks like a nice upgrade to the iPhone 8 physical design. If you were hoping that ‘SE’ would continue to mean ‘small,’ then you will be disappointed. As John Gruber notes, this is the first time an iPhone model carries the exact same name as a previous model. To distinguish them, I’d suggest calling the new model “iPhone SE/20.”

We also got a new series of beta system releases from Apple.

Please read Babo D’s excellent summary of some of the changes to the softwareupdate management in macOS. This will affect every MacAdmin.

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 Catalina 10.15 and iOS 13 Updates

🦠Coronavirus and Remote Work

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • William Smith: “MacAdmins, Only six more updates coming for Office 2016 for Mac and then no more! It end-of-lifes in October 2020 with no plans for further support. Put together your plan now to move to Office 2019 ASAP. macadmins.software/calendar/

🐞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 — 2020-04-10

It wouldn’t be Apple Update week without a supplemental update a week later… We got i[Pad]OS 13.4.1 and a macOS 10.15.4 Supplemental update this week. Time to re-download your installers!

Also in other news, several MacAdmin conferences are reacting to the Coronavirus pandemic. We have cancellations, but also also new approaches to virtual conferences, which is exciting as it opens to audience to a much larger audience.

Stay safe!

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 Catalina 10.15 and iOS 13 Updates

Conference Updates

Coronavirus and Remote Work

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Nathan McNulty: “Re: NYC blocking Zoom” (Thread)
  • Mike Lynn: “There’s a lot of stuff in that Platform Security guide. I just learned today we have the 802.11w and WPA3 hardware requirements in there, for instance.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “starting a new project tomorrow codenamed SCONE. smart card over network environment. insert a smart card into a reader on one mac and use it to authenticate or sign things on any mac on the network.” (short thread)
  • Dana Keeler: “Firefox 75 released yesterday, and with it, you can use client auth certificates from your OS certificate store! Set ”security.osclientcerts.autoload“ to true in about:config to try it out! Windows and macOS (Mojave and later)”
  • Cabel: “Did you know you can share any iCloud Drive file publicly? And if you share an iCloud Drive file with someone else using iCloud Drive, when they hit save, you get their changes automatically? No, you don’t know any of this, because the menu item to do this is ‘Add People’”

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!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2020-04-03

In this time where days just blur into each other: we made it to April, everyone!

The video conferencing software Zoom is enjoying new popularity, but also (deservedly) new scrutiny. MacAdmins have been complaining about their absolutely insane installer package for years. Now, the security people are on it.

I repeat my offer: I will donate a code for my book “Packaging for Apple Administrators” to any engineer at Zoom who is working on improving the installer. (The book has helped engineers at other companies.)

Stay Safe!

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

  • Bruvik: “Turns out – it is impossible to enter the | symbol on a virtualbox machine on a mac if you have both the guest and host keyboard layout set to norwegian”
  • Tim Perfitt: “triple boot successful both with boot files on efi partition and on the volume. next up, quad boot with 2 versions of windows.” (read the thread!)
  • Rich Trouton: “Need to quickly check to see if your web server’s system clock has drifted? Here’s a one-liner to check using curl to see if a web server’s system clock has the correct time by comparing it against Google’s”
  • Tim Perfitt: “Boot Camp on ARM-based Macs? Possible.”
  • Rosyna Keller: “This is a tweetstorm discussing the new features of altool 4.01 (included with Xcode 11.4), changes to the notarization documentation, and a change to notary service requirements, with the far majority coming directly from user requests We’ll start with altool 4.01.” (Thread)
  • BBEdit: “ICYMI from yesterday’s 13.1 beta change notes, there’s a little taste of home for TextWrangler customers who are making the switch.” (Image)
  • Tom Bridge: “Every. Single. Day. I have to explain how the Screen Recording, Mic and Camera permissions work. Every day. Sometimes a dozen times a day. This sucks.”

Zoom Security and Installer

Note: several MacAdmins have known and complained about this for a long time.

Coronavirus and Remote Work

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 — 2020-03-27

Update week! As they had announced last week Apple released the ‘Spring Updates’ this week. As has been standard in the last two years, these updates contain new behaviors and features, many of which are relevant to MacAdmins.

Frederick Abeloos, aka ‘Traveling Tech Guy,’ has published a book with all his great research on FileVault:

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 Catalina 10.15.4 and iOS 13.4 Updates

News and Opinion

Coronavirus and Remote Work

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • William Smith: “Just learned a handy little command to query security information on macOS: sudo /usr/libexec/mdmclient QuerySecurityInfo This is a fantastic overview!”
  • Brian Stucki: “Confirmed: the updated Mac mini will still identify as “Late 2018” in software, etc. Also confirmed: We’re on pace for the biggest Mac mini signup week ever. Feels good to give people access to build servers, remote desktops, etc while working from home.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “reply with a Mac keyboard shortcut you wish everyone knew. I’ll start: Control-a jumps to start of line (a is the start of the alphabet to remember) Control-e jumps to end of line (e for ”end“ to remember)” (Read the replies, there are some real good ones.)

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Most of these are via Mr Macintosh – thanks!

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!