Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2020-02-14

Somewhat quiet week on the Apple Admin side. I think 10.15.3 is now the point where many MacAdmins are busy rolling out Catalina, or at least seriously preparing for it.

If you believe I missed something, let me know!

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On Scripting OS X

MacAdmins on Twitter

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2020-02-07

We got a remarkable series of open source updates this week. AutoPkg, JSSImporter, and Outset all published updates that make the project independent of the pre-installed Python 2.7 on macOS. Since Python 2.7 will be deprecated really soon, Apple had announced that future macOS versions will not include a pre-installed Python anymore. These projects join Munki which had the update with “Python” independency with version 4.0 in December. Thanks to all contributors who put their efforts into these open source projects!

The next beta cycle for the Apple operating systems started this week. Once again, it looks as it if the “Spring Updates” for macOS 10.15.4 and iOS 13.4 will add features and changes relevant for users and administrators. Check out the details in the AppleSeed for IT portal.

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

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Martin Lang: “The number of SAP colleagues who chose a Mac as their primary computer has doubled over the last 15 months, it’s at almost 26K now with 82% of them running the latest macOS Catalina”
  • Laura Rösler: “We‘ve finally more than 26,000 Macs at SAP ….and crossed the 85% for macOS Catalina.”
  • Andrew Laurence: “For those in the ITlife who might not be familiar: MS plans to flip configurations on DCs, requiring either packet signing on LDAP connections, or using TLS with LDAP. This has been recommended for years.” (Thread)
  • Parker Higgins: “I used to wonder why the interfaces on Star Trek are so clunky given that it’s centuries in the future, but I guess that’s just Enterprise software for you”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. 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 — 2020-01-31

Update week! macOS Catalina 10.15.3 and the iOS 13.3.1 and other related updates dropped. And while the Catalina update seems to fix some things it also breaks others. Thanks to the all the contributors for the extra information that Apple does not provide.

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📰News and Opinion

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Sarah: “Well, it’s racked. Looks kind of funny next to an Xserve though. https://t.co/BnKwR499VI” (Images)
  • Rosyna Keller: “Don’t use PackageMaker to make installer packages. It’s a long dead tool (2012 or so) and developers should switch to productbuild/pkgbuild*, which incorporate the command line utilization. It also can’t create signed packages. *Or is a third-party toool that scripts these. Installer packages are required to be signed to be notarized (so PackageMaker packages are out) and, as PackageMaker was a 32-bit app, it won’t run on Catalina. It’s that old.”

🔨Support and HowTos

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

🏝macOS Catalina 10.15.3 and iOS 13.3.1

♻️Updates and Releases

🎧To Listen

🎈Just for Fun

📚 Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. 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 — 2020-01-24

We got the third group beta releases for the next updates this week. Can I just gripe for a moment that macOS 10.15.2 was released along side iOS 13.3 and watchOS 6.1.1, while 10.15.3 will (probably) be released along side iOS 13.3.1 and watchOS 6.1.2? Apple versioning makes no sense at all, any 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

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Tim Perfitt: “Reboot to recovery on next reboot: sudo nvram "recovery-boot-mode=unused" Subsequent reboots go back to macOS.”
  • Roben Kleene: “Some of the built-in scripting language binaries (only the interactive ones?) now print a warning message about not being included by default in a future version of macOS. Just in case you were wondering how serious they are about this: They’re serious.”
  • Jeff Johnson: “I’ve learned that Apple engineers have internal tools which allow them to delete macl xattr as well as to bypass other Catalina privacy and sandbox protections without rebooting and disabling SIP. Inside Apple they don’t suffer the same problems as external users and developers.”

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Just for Fun

  • Jenny on Twitter: “No one asked for this. But here it is: every macOS wallpaper from Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah to macOS 10.15 Catalina combined.” (Follow link for image)

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. 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 — 2020-01-17

Somewhat slow week for MacAdmin news. The new year is still ramping up.

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

On Twitter

  • Steve Hayman: “Happy 40th Birthday to one of my favourite Unix features, the Shebang! Dennis Ritchie introduced the two-character #! sequence – which tells Unix how to execute a script file – 40 years ago today.”
  • Carl Ashley: “Interrogating a preinstall script for a package. It’s doing naughty things. This is just a sample. What package sins keep you awake at night, macadmins?… ” (Image)

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

To Listen

Updates and Releases

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. 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 — 2020-01-10

Happy New Year!

New decade, even. Well, the last decade has certainly been… interesting.

What ever the new year (and decade) brings from the Apple Admin side of things, I will link to it!

I will be presenting at MacAD.UK (March 24–25) this year again. The topic of my session will be “Terminal Wizardry and and Witchcraft 2020” which will pick up on the presentation from two years ago. Much has changed since then and it is time for an update. I am looking forward to meeting you there!

Quite a bunch of links this time, because we were off for two weeks and this is the catch up summary. You can tell that most MacAdmins were able to take some time off as well, except for Howard Oakley (Eclectic Light) who just kept publishing like he always does. (Thank you for all your work, Howard!)

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Headlines

“Apple Device Management: A Unified Theory of Managing Macs, iPads, iPhones, and AppleTVs” by Rich Trouton and Charles Edge

On Scripting OS X

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Fiora: “looks like dropbox doesn’t like me using dropbox as an automatic backup service… ” (Thread)
  • Jason Broccardo: “It’s 2020 and you know what that means, right? Adobe Flash Player dies at the end of this year!”
  • Roy van Rijn: “One of our office chairs turns off monitors… we couldn’t believe it, but we have it on tape. Surprisingly, there even is a known issue for it”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Just for Fun

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. 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 — 2019-12-20

We are close to completing another trip around the sun. Whether you use the solstice (Dec 22) or the Perihelion (Jan 5) or the quaint Gregorian Calendar which switches on Dec 31.

(Dates are for UTC. The exact astronomical event may be it may be a Dec 4 or Jan 4 at your location, depending on your time zone.)

You’d think that Apple would take an early break after the Mac Pro release, but we got new and updated security documentation. Together with the new deployment and MDM documentation updated last week.

Because of the holidays, this newsletter will be taking a break as well. The next one should be on Jan 10, 2020, summarizing everything that happened in the mean time.

I wish you Happy Holidays and all the best for the new Year 2020!

See you next year!

Armin Briegel

Note: if you get an AppStore/iTunes Gift Card for Christmas, gift yourself one of my books!

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

This is a good summary, but I find the continued expectation that Apple has to keep delivering “Blockbuster” devices quite tiresome. Who else is has delivered blockbuster devices? Also, the statement implies that the iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods (all introduced since 2010) aren’t blockbusters?

macOS Support Essentials 10.15 – Apple Pro Training Series: Supporting and Troubleshooting macOS Catalina – Adam Karneboge and Arek Dreyer – Available for PreOrder!

On Scripting OS X

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Jean-David Gadina: “You can keep SIP but allow debugging (including instruments) with csrutil enable --without debug --without dtrace
  • Russ Bishop: “TIL: 3rd party kext tries to inject macOS dylib into all processes, breaks downloaded simulators. Surprise! Simulator binaries can’t load mac dylibs. So far that’s four unique ways I’ve seen badly made kernel extensions break simulators. All are ”security“ products.”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

This joins last week’s new documentation:

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Just for Fun

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. 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 — 2019-12-13

Christmas for Mac users came early this year. At least for those Mac users who can afford a new Mac Pro. Whether you think the price is justified or not, whether you would like an Apple tower Mac or think desktops are so last decade, the Mac Pro (and the new MacBook Pro 16“) symbolizes a new desire from Apple to re-focus on the ”Pro” users. It remains to be seen if Apple’s vision of what Pro users need and want matches the reality.

Those who don’t get a shiny new Mac Pro, still got updates this week. macOS Catalina 10.15.2, iOS 13.3 and its various sibling updates dropped this week as well.

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

Moving to zsh – Book reviews

Do you know that you can gift Apple Books? If you are looking for last minute gift ideas for that Terminal using friend, family member, or co-worker of yours, give them some know-how and increased productivity: “Moving to zsh”

macOS Catalina 10.15.2 and iOS 13.3 updates

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Rich Trouton: “The book I wrote with @cedge318 has been available for pre-order, but it looks like we’re getting close to a release date of January 3, 2020! For folks with a shiny new Amazon gift card this Christmas, why not treat yourself to the gift of knowledge?” Amazon US, UK, DE (Affiliate Links)
  • Victor (groob): “Maybe next time @Apple will consider shipping a few review models to enterprise customers who need to make sure these are ready for users. Priorities…”
  • Pepijn Bruienne: “It’s official! iOS and iPadOS 13.3 now support FIDO2/Webauthn for NFC, USB and Lightning-based security keys for everyone. Get a key, start enabling FIDO2 with services that support it and ask those who don’t what their timeline for adoption is.”
  • Graham Pugh: “Fun fact: Apple even renewed the certificate in the Java for OSX 2017–001 installer. And there is still software out there that needs it…”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. 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 — 2019-12-06

The days are getting shorter and darker… At least here in the northern hemisphere, the readers south of the equator can please stop gloating. Still no sign of the Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR, which were promised “Fall 2019.” Apple has done this before, when they released the iMac Pro in the last business week of 2017.

The beta 4 for iOS 13.3 just dropped. I get the feeling it’ll be another few frantic weeks at Apple before the end of the year!

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

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Tim Sutton: “Til brew-cask has a --no-quarantine flag; especially helpful if are weird like me and sometimes use it to install binaries that aren’t notarized: brew cask install jtool --no-quarantine
  • Greg Neagle: “Last call for testers! Munki 4 is likely to be released next week. Test the current beta in your environment and file issues!”
  • Jamf: “ICYMI, the Jamf Online Training Catalog is now open to all Jamf customers! With over 100 modules and 15 series of content, the catalog is structured to help you learn about JamfPro, JamfConnect or JamfSchool anytime and anywhere. Jamf Online Training
  • Kyle Crawford: “Did you know that user-approving kexts on Catalina requires admin rights?!!”
  • Patrick Fergus: “Adobe Customer Feedback survey for IT Admins Link

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. 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 — 2019-11-29

Happy day after Thanksgiving to the US readers! Happy “week where we can take a breath from tech news” for everyone else!

It is tradition to reflect on things you can be grateful for. There are many standard replies, such as family, friends, and—more particular to this newsletter—the amazing MacAdmins community. But, this year I wanted to say that I am grateful to be working in a field that is always changing.

I started out using and managing Macs in the nineties. Back then Apple had a strong market in the print and publishing business and education, but nearly nowhere else. It was obvious that the Macintosh operating system needed a complete overhaul to remain relevant, but Apple’s attempts to build a new system failed. Apple was considered stagnant and irrelevant. The change came in 1996 when Apple bought NeXT and Steve Jobs returned to the company. The iMac, iBook, and Mac OS X saved Apple.

Even though, in hindsight, it is obvious that Mac OS X was an important part of that transition, there were many back then who rejected the new system. There were many reasons for being conservative: the iMac, iBook, and even the blue PowerMac towers looked like “toys,” third party applications were slow to adopt Mac OS X, the new OS was not yet ready for some critical workflows, Windows and Linux were tempting alternatives.

In the beginning, it was mainly new users who would embrace the new Mac OS. Java and web developers, as well as scientists, who realized there was now a Unix(-like) platform with a nice UI and MS Office (one of the first major commercial app suites to have a Mac OS X version). It always felt like the “traditional” Mac users had to be dragged along.

Apple has changed multiple times since then: online and retail stores, the iPod, the iTunes Store, the iPhone, the App Store, the iPad, the Apple Watch, and a focus on services.

There were also failures, dead ends, and missteps along the way: the hockey puck mouse, the Cube, the various incarnations of iTools/dotMac/Mobile me/iCloud, server hardware and software, the butterfly keyboards… In the MacAdmin space we had WebObjects, NetInfo, MCX, Workgroup Manager, NetBoot, NetRestore, Profile Manager, Mac OS (X) Server, bash3 and Python2…

We often complain about the pace of change in the technology field. I agree the entire field would be well-served with more consideration, rather than rushing features at all cost to fulfill an arbitrary, self-imposed deadline. But the absence of change is stagnation and irrelevancy.

I remember when Apple was considered stagnant and irrelevant. I really don’t miss those times.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Talking about change: My new book “Moving to zsh” is now available in the Apple Books Store.

Howard Oakley from the Eclectic Light Company calls it: “[T]imely, invaluable, and very clearly written for anyone who ever uses the command line.”

Packaging for Apple Administrators” and “Property List, Preferences, and Profiles for Apple Admnistrators” are on sale until Dec 3. I also permanently dropped the price for “macOS Installation.”

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

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Rich Trouton: “Need a quick way to check Apple’s system status boards? System status: isappleup.com Developer system status: developer.isappleup.com
  • Victor (groob): “Adding async command information to @micromdm_io Admins will be able to check the status of each command in the queue and see the raw request/response at any time.” (video)

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. 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!