Scripting OS X — Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-04-02

Anther week, another beta release. Apple has released the sixth beta for macOS 11.3 (20E5224a), iOS 14.5, and siblings.

Apple has also announced the dates for WWDC 2021. It will take place June 7–11 “to a screen near you.” I have updated the conference overview on Scripting OS X. So, we have two months left before we enter the next major beta cycle. But, did we ever leave the Big Sur beta cycle?


To support the 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!


📰News and Opinion

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Nathaniel Strauss: “We’re 4 months into Big Sur. If your product still doesn’t have support you’ve missed 1/3 of the OS cycle. You’re not behind, you’re slipping into irrelevant.”
  • Edward Marczak: “Big thanks to everyone in the #macadmin community releasing open source solutions. So much thought and care goes into this work that’s not only needed to fill gaps, but also every bit as good as commercial products. Thank you also for sharing documentation and good example code.”
  • James Turner: “Running a mixed fleet I am confident saying that the value in the community and open source solutions available for #macadmin is immeasurable.”
  • Nathaniel Strauss: “First time a DMG has advertised at me. @ReflectorApp Hey, consider not doing this. There are admins out there using your Sparkle feed for automation. Pretty sure that’s not a valid version string.” (Image)

🔐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 — 2021-03-26

No major Apple announcement either this week. We got the fifth beta for macOS 11.3, iOS 14.5 and siblings. Apple also released new versions for the apps formerly known as iWork. Is this the start of the spring release season?

Talking about spring releases, Mac OS X was released twenty years ago this week!


To support the 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!


List of upcoming conferences, dates, and their video archives on my website:

📰News and Opinion

🌅macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple silicon Macs

🔨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 — 2021-03-19

Fairly quiet week. No major news from Apple, except for the fourth beta of macOS 11.3, iOS 14.5 and siblings.

Apple has admitted that the original ‘large’ HomePod is discontinued. You can still buy them while supplies last. This seems like release some bad news before the good news. Apple often releases new products or updates at this time of year.


To support the 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!


I have a list of upcoming conferences and dates on my website. The list also contains links where you can submit a session proposal and a link to the video archive of the conference, where available (this is new since last week).

PS: Don’t be alarmed. I will be experimenting with the layout of this newsletter over the next few weeks.

📰News and Opinion

🌅macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple silicon Macs

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Tim Perfitt: “I think I finally figured out how DFU in the M1 works. Apple says to: 1. Plug in to correct USB port to another mac running AC2. 2. hold power, left control option and right shift for 10 seconds 3. the release all but power button for another 10 seconds.” (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!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-03-12

Lots of news this week as macOS 11.2.3 and a iOS 14.4.1 dropped. Adobe is starting to ship Apple silicon versions of their software, but they are not universal apps. Git has a security issue with git clone, but no updated installer for macOS.

And I was on the MacAdmins Podcast and MacAdmins Monthly!

PSU MacAdmins have announced their schedule for another series of Campfire sessions this summer and MacDevOps YVR are calling for proposals! I have put the list I started last week on a page on my site. I plan to update that regularly.

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

  • Steve Troughton-Smith: “If you were confused by the matrix of SwiftUI, Catalyst and AppKit apps on macOS, it’s because this is what it looks like:” (Image)
  • Darren Wallace: “Mac Adobe Users seeing a new folder at ~/Documents/Library that you do not have permission to? Looks like a bug introduced for users who’s Creative cloud Desktop App (CCDA) updated from v5.3 > v5.4. Adobe are aware and a hot-fix is being worked on.”
  • Jason Broccardo: “#macadmins: Apple, please stop releasing supplemental updates that don’t change the OS build number as it creates confusion. Apple: Sure thing, we’ll require an OS update to patch Safari. Build number changes just like you asked.”
  • Nathaniel Strauss: “AutoPkg recipes updated for Google Drive 46.0.3. (AutoPkg recipes) Google is starting to ship Intel and Apple silicon versions side by side. Expect packages to be roughly double in size (~300 MB) with both included.”

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!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-03-05

Jamf is opening the registration for the virtual JNUC 2021! They are also calling prospective speakers to submit their proposals.

Because I was curious what the status of the various Mac Admin conferences was this year, I put together a list.

The list is for information only. I do not intend to shame or pressure any of the organziers of these conferences, no mattter what the status of their conference is. These are harrowing times for organizing anything, let alone a conference. My deepest thanks and respect to anyone who puts together any form of conference or meeting.

Registration open

Not certain yet

Please let me know if missed something and I will update 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.)

News and Opinion

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Mr. Macintosh: “macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 (20D80) Full Installer is now available.”
  • Wil Shipley: “Honestly if you’re distributing software that requires me to have either python or cmake (or, worse, both cough openCV) you’ve failed everyone. Anyways, the next couple hours I’ll be upgrading python and downloading modules, because that’s a fun game that I love playing.”

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 — 2021-02-26

Lots of updates this week: a new app for cloud logins, Munki patch and beta, a tool to ‘Nudge’ users to update or upgrade, an update to Scout, which reads plists, xml and JSON, and Jamf Connect.

Also another minor update for macOS. It is refreshing that Apple now has the third version digit available to distinguish ‘supplemental updates.’ Less refreshing is the fact that even a ‘minor’ update which fixes a single documented issue requires a 2.6GB download and 30 minutes with multiple reboots.

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 Apple silicon Macs

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Tim Perfitt: “ok, this was unexpected. you can run custom gui apps and command utils on the m1 in 1TR (recovery).” (Thread)
  • Greg Neagle: “@tperfitt It should. Bootstrappr works fine on m1 from 1TR/Recovery.”
  • Laura Rösler: “After 3 months with macOS Big Sur, almost ¾ of our Mac fleet is on macOS 11.”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Just for Fun

  • MIT CSAIL: “Today’s the day that “hello world” said “hello world!” The term was coined in a textbook published #otd in 1978: “C Programming Language,” written by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie.”

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 — 2021-02-19

Yesterday evening (central european time) my social media feeds were dominated with news and comments about the Perserverance Mars rover landing on Mars. I watched the live stream and it was thrilling to watch the culmination of years of work of thousands of experts.

As I was watching the live stream from the JPL command center on the big screen and following the comments and updates on Twitter, I realized how wonderful it is that I can follow and celebrate such an event live, from my home.

Before internet streaming and social media, the details of such an event would have been inaccessible to all but a few. Sadly, this kind of event is not really of interest for TV stations. We would have gotten a nice summary the next day in the news. The scientists and engineers behind this miraculous achievement would have remained faceless.

We would have missed the drama of an automated spacecraft landing itself so far away, that any signal of success or disaster takes 11.5 minutes to reach Earth. We would have missed the anxiety and trepidation of the people in the control center, watching the telemetry for even the most minute signs of success or failure. We would have missed the increasing relief and celebration as each milestone was successfully handled by the automated systems designed, built, programmed, and tested over years and years. We would have missed the humanity of the event.

But now, millions of interested viewers, all over the world, can tune in. The engineers get their well-deserved moment on the stage and you can get a glimpse of how human the entire endeavor is during the final “seven minutes of terror,” where so much could go wrong, with instant disastrous consequences, but amazingly did not!

It has become apparent, that there are many problems with modern media that need to be addressed and solved. But it is a relief that there are some aspects that work and that we can really feel good about.

Of course, for the actual research on Mars, the landing is just the beginning. So, well done, and happy rock-hunting, Perserverance and team!

The only thing that did bubble up through the Mars landing was MacAdmins who were really thrilled about the update to Apple’s Platform Security document. While we MacAdmins are often justifiably upset with the state or lack of Apple documentation, this is one area where they get it right, and that has to be acknowledged. Thank you, anonymous Apple writers!

If you haven’t gotten it yet, my new book “macOS Terminal and Shell” is available in the Apple Books store!

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

  • MacAdmins Conference: “The @macadminsconf conference team is prepping the fire pit for another summer of campfire sessions. Stay tuned for details on our virtual conference this year. #macadmins #psumac”
  • Mr. Macintosh: “macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 (20D75) Full Installer now available!!! 12.21GB 071-05432 Build number (20D75) vs 11.2.1 update (20D74)” (Fixes the free disk space issue)
  • Thomas Tempelmann: “Huh, diskutil coreStorage encryptVolume, which used to be the command to encrypt HFS volumes, isn’t available in BS any more. So, while my previous statement isn’t incorrect, the real reason is that BigSur removed the ability to encrypt HFS+ vols altogether. Nice one, Apple.”
  • Howard Oakley: “So heartening to see that even malware authors have released their first Universal binaries. That must leave just Adobe then?”

🔐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 — 2021-02-12

Publication day! “macOS Terminal and Shell” is available! You can still get the introductory pricing US$/€17.99 (10% off) until Feb 15, after which the standard price will be US$/€19.99.

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 Apple silicon Macs

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Mr. Macintosh: “Just because you can update the DTK to 11.3 Beta, doesn’t mean you should. Upgrading to 11.3 will disable both USB-A ports with firmware update 6723.100.321. You can downgrade to 11.2 using AC2. Once back on 11.2, USB-A will work again. fw = 6723.81.1”
  • Steve Hayman: “Well, ok. So, officially I was shayman@next.com. The boss was of course sjobs@next.com . There were 8 Steves at the company at the time… .” (Thread)
  • Mr. Macintosh: “macOS Apple Silicon M1 Restore Database Updated! Big Sur 11.2.1 IPSW restore file is now available. UniversalMac_11.2.1_20D74_Restore.ipsw Quick Note: 11.0.1 was still signed as of last night.”
  • Victor: “FYI: Many macOS MDM profiles are “single use” and have no effect after they’re installed. This is especially true of profiles introduced in recent years like system extension/privacy approvals etc.” (Thread)

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 more) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-02-05

This week finally brought the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2. Lots of interesting information, as usual gathered together by Mr. Macintosh and Howard Oakley.

In other news, I am nearly done with the new book “macOS Terminal and Shell.” The publication date has been set to February 12, 2021. (next Friday) You can pre-order now and get the benefit of the introductory pricing: US$/€17.99 (10% off). The introductory price is valid until Feb 15, after which it will rise to US$/€19.99.

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 Apple silicon Macs

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • That Tim Guy: “Just stumbled on this one: CMD+Shift+\ Exposé within a multi-tab finder window.” (works in most apps that use tabs)
  • Mike Lynn: “So on this particular issue: Resolves an issue where Mac computers managed by MDM were sometimes unable to retrieve software updates using System Preferences. It’s hard to do managed OS updates when the update mechanism itself is the one having the issue.” (Thread)
  • Nick Zolotko: “FYI launchctl kickstart -k system/com.applesoftwareupdated works as well for a nice one liner!”
  • Jason Broccardo: “10.14.6 + Sec Update 2021-001: 18G8012, 10.5.7 + Sec Update 2021-001: 19H512, 11.2: 20D64”
  • Apple removes obstacle to security in Big Sur – Matthias Wollnik, Jamf Blog

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

  • GitHub: “See your contribution graph right on your iOS homescreen. With the latest version of GitHub for mobile, we’ve added a widget that will show your contribution history, updated in real-time.” (Note sure I like GitHub contribution “bragging” but it sure makes a pretty widget.)

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 — 2021-01-29

This week featured Data Privacy Day with some interesting accouncements from Apple. Also, we got the iOS 14.4, iPadOS 14.4 ,and watchOS 7.3 updates. macOS 11.2 was not released. We got a third macOS 11.2 release candidate in the beta channels instead.

In other news, the review and editing work for my next book: “macOS Terminal and Shell” is progressing nicely. I have made the book available for pre-ordering in the Apple Books Store. Apple Books requires me to put in some date for the release, but I anticipate that we will beat the “March 1” date that I filled in as a placeholder.

This book will teach you to use Terminal and the shell on macOS. It starts with an introduction to the command line, the terminology, its history and concepts. Then we examine macOS, its file systems, and shells (sh, bash and zsh) in detail. We learn how to configure the Terminal application and zsh to work more productively. This is a great entry book for technical minded users new to the command line, but also a great reference for experienced users.

While my experience as a Mac system administrator has certainly influenced the book, it is relevant for all users who need to or want to learn using Terminal and the shell, such as developers, scientists and “pro” users in general. Please share this with readers who will be interested.

I have been working on this book, on and off, for a long time. In the mean time, macOS has changed its name, split the boot volume, changed the default shell, “gone to eleven,” and moved to Apple silicon. This is my longest book yet. It would print out to be more than 300 pages. Though you would loose several movies and all the hyperlinks on paper.

The price after release will be US$/€ 19.99. To reward loyal readers of this newsletter and my weblog, there will be a special introduction price for the pre-order period at US$/€ 17.99 (10% off).

Go pre-order “macOS Terminal and Shell” on the Apple Books store!

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

  • Tim Perfitt: “You can drag items from the control center to menu items on Big Sur. Neato.” (Video, thread)
  • Dr. Graham R. Pugh: “/usr/lib/java_home behaves differently on Big Sur. If you’re using it in scripts to show if JDKs are installed, watch out!”
  • Martin: “If you want to make an Intel Mac boot into the Startup Manager automatically, type into terminal: Sudo nvram manufacturing-enter-picker=true” (Video, via Mr Macintosh)
  • David Smith: “Double checking: people using Console.app on macOS know about right clicking messages to get options for filtering them out, right?”
  • Anthony Reimer: “Minor bit of trivia for my #MacAdmin friends: Apple has stopped using the AirPort branding for Wi-Fi as of the M1 Macs. Compare the labels on the iMac 2020 and Mac mini M1 2020.” (Images)
  • Jason Broccardo: “Why is the CLI tools update asking for a restart, it’s never done that? Apply update, “Restart Now” disappears.”

Bugs and Security

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!