Archive for the ‘General’ category

MacTech Conference 2013

November 5, 2013

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:

Hope to see you there!

Adobe Flash Player 11.9

October 8, 2013

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

September 17, 2013

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


Adobe Enterprise tools:


RUM Channel IDs:



AutoPkg recipes:

AutoPkg documentation:

AutoPkg discussion:


Other cool stuff from Tim:

Other cool stuff from MagerValp:

Other automatic Munki importing things:


March 14, 2013

Mountain Lion image

Today Apple finally released OS X 10.8.3.

This release has been awaited by many Mac admins as the hope was that this version would support all Macs capable of running Mountain Lion. Prior to this release, the Late 2012 Macs (iMacs, 13″ Retina MacBookPros and Mac minis) required a different build of 10.8.2 than did other Macs.

This required having multiple restore images or OS installer pkgs and possibly multiple NetBoot disks to support all the Macs in your organization.

The hope (and assumption) was that 10.8.3 would unify the Mountain Lion builds, and that all recent machines would be able to use the new version.

How, though, to be sure? One way is to look at what Apple says. Mount the InstallESD.dmg disk image inside the 10.8.3 Install OS X Mountain and take a look at /System/Library/CoreServices/PlatformSupport.plist.

One of the keys in this plist looks like this:


If your Macs are in this list, they should be supported by 10.8.3.

UPDATE: There are some Macs NOT in this list that are also supported by 10.8.3 — those are the “Late 2012″ Macs. See the follow-up post.

Adobe CS6 Serialization problem links

January 17, 2013

Here are some links related to the Adobe CS6 Serialization issue:

Still more on Flash Installers

January 8, 2013

A follow up from today’s earlier post: some commenters mention that the disk image they downloaded contains a package like “normal”.

I’ve found at least five versions of the 11.5.502.146 installer:


All of these were downloaded today. Which version you get seems to depend on which browser you use!

Safari may lead you to one (if you decline the suggestion to also install Chrome you get a different one); Chrome returns another, and Firefox returns still another! And if you register to redistribute Flash and use the special URL you are given if/when you are approved for redistribution, you get yet another version.

And yet none of these are simply Apple packages. Sigh. They are either disk images that contain an application that contains a package, or disk images that contain an application that downloads another disk image that contains an application that contains a package.

On a related note, I recently watched Inception.

New Year, New Flash Post

January 8, 2013

Flash Player 10Today Adobe released yet another Flash update. If you need to deploy it in an enterprise environment and head to to grab it, you might be surprised that what you download no longer includes an Apple package, and if you aren’t careful, the thing you download will try to install Google Chrome as well.

If you want the previous installer format, which was a disk image containing an application that contained an Apple package, you can still get it.

If you have not yet, you need to sign up to redistribute Adobe Flash here. Once you are approved, you’ll get a special link to download versions of the Flash installer that act like the previous ones.

At least for now.

MacTech Fall 2012 Issue

November 21, 2012

The “Fall 2012 Special” issue of MacTech Magazine is available! If you’re not a subscriber, you can get the issue on your iPad for USD 4.99 — look for the MacTech Newsstand app.

I have two articles in this special issue:

“Drinking Adobe RUM” – I write about automating Adobe CS updates via the command line. Bonus topic: using Apple’s pkgbuild utility to create an installer package for Adobe’s RUM tools.

“Creating Deployment Images with FileWave Lightning” – This examines a new tool for building modular images. It may be a great alternative to InstaDMG or Apple’s System Image Utility, and you can use it even if you don’t use FileWave.


MacTech Presentation notes and links

October 18, 2012

Here are links to more information related to the tools, techniques, and topics I discussed today in my MacTech Conference 2012 presentation.

Modular image-building tools:

Software deployment/Configuration management tools:


More tools:

MacTech Conference 2012

October 1, 2012

MacTech Conference 2012 is a little over two weeks away! If you haven’t registered yet, get $400 off the regular registration price by following this link:

I’ll be presenting again this year. More exciting, on Wednesday evening, October 17th, MacTech Conference attendees will be guests at a special event at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Not only will they get a behind-the-scenes look at the Animation Studios and talk with Disney technologists and artists, but also have a rare look at how Walt Disney Animation Studios uses advanced technology to create their animated films.

I look forward to seeing you there!


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