MacTech Conference 2013

Posted November 5, 2013 by GregN
Categories: General, Mavericks, OS X, Python, Scripting

MacTech_Conference_2013-Gradient-logo-200x073My colleague, Matt Schnittker, and I will be leading a workshop on “Python for Systems Administrators” on Wednesday at MacTech Conference 2013.

If you are planning on participating in the workshop, please visit here first to get your class materials: http://gregneagle.github.io/mtc2013_python/

Hope to see you there!

Mavericks and Multiple Displays

Posted November 3, 2013 by GregN
Categories: Mavericks, MCX, OS X

In OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple changed multiple display behavior in the most dramatic way since 1987. By default, each display now has its own menu bar. Windows can be dragged from one display to another, but they cannot span displays. And putting an application into full screen mode affects only one display. You can use other displays, either with multiple applications, or with other full-screen applications. Apple describes this behavior as “Displays have separate Spaces”, and indeed the effect is almost like having multiple Macs connected to a single keyboard and mouse. I find that I like the new behavior, as I tend to put different applications on different displays.

This is a very different way of working with multiple displays, and might cause some confusion and annoyance for your users and support staff if they aren’t aware of the change, or if it affects their workflows. If you or your users prefer the “old” pre-Mavericks behavior, it’s simple to revert. Open the Mission Control preference pane in System Preferences, and uncheck “Displays have separate Spaces”. A logout is required to effect the change.

If you think you need to manage this for your users, to revert to pre-Mavericks behavior, set “spans-displays” in the “com.apple.spaces” preferences domain to TRUE.


% defaults write com.apple.spaces spans-displays -bool TRUE

You could probably use MCX or a configuration profile to manage this as well.

VPN menu in Mavericks

Posted November 3, 2013 by GregN
Categories: Mavericks, MCX, OS X

If you use Apple’s built-in VPN and rely on the VPN menu bar item, you might have noticed that that in Mavericks the menu item no longer shows the connection time by default.

That can lead people to believe the VPN connection has not been established, or for users to forget they are connected. It’s quite easy to turn the feature back on: just select “Show Time Connected” from the VPN menu item.

If you want to manage this for your users, the preference is stored in the “com.apple.networkConnect” domain as a boolean value under “VPNShowTime”:

% defaults read com.apple.networkConnect
{
VPNShowTime = 1;
}

You could almost certainly set this with MCX or a configuration profile.

AutoDMG

Posted October 22, 2013 by GregN
Categories: Deployment, Imaging, OS X, Python

If you’ve been using InstaDMG to create compiled modular deployment images, you may find it takes some work to get it to work with Mavericks.

Might I suggest a look at AutoDMG?

Works great to build Mountain Lion and Mavericks modular images; comes with a GUI(!) but usable from the command-line as well if you want to automate it!

Congratulations to MagerValp (Per Olofsson) on an excellent tool. It’s still in early development, but is shaping up very quickly.

Mavericks day

Posted October 22, 2013 by GregN
Categories: Deployment, Imaging, OS X, Packaging, Python

Mavericks
Apple released OS X Mavericks today. What does that mean for some of your favorite open source tools?

The Munki preview release here is Mavericks-ready.

createOSXInstallPkg here supports packaging a Mavericks install.

And Reposado can replicate Apple Software Updates for Tiger through Mavericks.

Adobe Flash Player 11.9

Posted October 8, 2013 by GregN
Categories: General

Flash Player 10Since I’ve complained about the various installers for Adobe Flash Player in the past, I feel honor-bound to compliment Adobe on this release:

Today Adobe released Flash Player 11.9.900.117, and this release includes a new package that does all the right things this time:

  1. It installs all needed components
  2. It installs silently from the command-line
  3. It installs properly at the loginwindow
  4. It installs on non-boot volumes

You can extract the package from the Install Adobe Flash Player application, or if you apply to redistribute Flash Player (which you should), you’ll find a link “for Systems Administrators”, which contains just the installation package.

The individual user installer can be obtained here.

MacSysAdmin 2013 links

Posted September 17, 2013 by GregN
Categories: General

Here are links for the things I’m talking about today at MacSysAdmin 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden:

aamporter:
    https://github.com/timsutton/aamporter

Adobe Enterprise tools:
AUSST:
    http://download.macromedia.com/pub/developer/creativesuite/AUSST/AUSST_3_0.dmg

    http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/creativesuite/pdfs/AdobeUpdateServerSetupTool.pdf

RUM:
    http://download.macromedia.com/pub/developer/creativesuite/AAMEE/mac/RemoteUpdateManager.dmg

RUM Channel IDs:
    http://forums.adobe.com/docs/DOC-2434

AAMEE:
    http://download.macromedia.com/pub/developer/creativesuite/AAMEE/mac/ApplicationManagerEnterprise_3_1_all.dmg
    http://download.macromedia.com/pub/developer/creativesuite/AAMEE/mac/ApplicationManagerEnterprise_2_1_all.dmg

AutoPkg:
    http://autopkg.github.io/autopkg
    https://github.com/autopkg/autopkg

AutoPkg recipes:
    https://github.com/autopkg/recipes
    https://github.com/keeleysam/recipes
    https://github.com/Jaharmi/autopkg_recipes
    https://github.com/hjuutilainen/autopkg-recipes

AutoPkg documentation:
    https://github.com/autopkg/autopkg/wiki

AutoPkg discussion:
    http://groups.google.com/group/autopkg-discuss

Jenkins:
    http://jenkins-ci.org

Other cool stuff from Tim:
    mcxToProfile: https://github.com/timsutton/mcxToProfile
    Brigadier: https://github.com/timsutton/brigadier

Other cool stuff from MagerValp:
    https://github.com/MagerValp/Create-Recovery-Partition-Installer
    https://github.com/MagerValp/CreateUserPkg

Other automatic Munki importing things:
    https://github.com/jamesez/automunki
    http://neographophobic.github.io/autoMunkiImporter/index.html
    https://github.com/neographophobic/autoMunkiImporter


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