Reaction to “Recognition, Retirement, and Remembrance”

Mac admins: if you haven’t already, read Anthony’s article here:

His well-written, well-researched thoughts inspired some thoughts of my own.

It occurs to me that many of the “first” generation of Mac admins came from no-traditional backgrounds. This makes a bit of sense, since the Mac appealed to a new set of computer users.

My college degree was in Theater. I know many Mac admins who were (or are) musicians. Many many Mac admins come from Liberal Arts backgrounds or no college at all.

It’s far more common for “newer” Mac admins to come from more “traditional” backgrounds: they’ve studied computer science or software development.

Anecdotally, it seems to me that many of us who’ve come to this from non-traditional backgrounds are here for the long haul. One might speculate as to the reasons, but the fact remains that some of use have been doing this for _decades_.

It’s fantastic that we’re getting more people with deeper technical experience into the field — it’s what’s needed for the field to become more professional. Concepts like DevOps and Configuration Management and Version Control come from CompSci/Software development.

But: it also seems to me that admins coming from CompSci/software development backgrounds are far less likely to stay in the field long term. They are far more likely to move on to other things (bigger and better?!)

This, then, possibly presents another challenge for the community. Yes, we are starting to see a generational change, but we’re going to see faster “churn” overall.

We’re going to see new admins contribute exciting new things, but we’re also going to see those admins not stick around as long to shepherd what they’ve contributed.

Just as Anthony doesn’t really have any answers on how the community should deal with the generational change, I also don’t (yet at least) have any real suggestions on how the community should adapt to faster “churn”.

I do hope, however, that the community will take this opportunity to start talking about the changes and what can be done.

Reaction to “Recognition, Retirement, and Remembrance”

Munki 5.1.2 Official Release

This is the official release of Munki 5.1.2: an update to the Munki tools.
There are two changes in this release from version 5.1.1: 

• Code signing has been removed from files in the embedded Python framework; the existing code signing was broken because of the process making the framework relocatable. 

• When importing a Big Sur installer, the pkginfo will reflect the 35.5GB required space for upgrading from macOS Sierra or later. (See

The main focus for the Munki 5.1.x releases is compatibility with macOS Big Sur, but there are other changes.

See release notes for Munki 5.1 ( and 5.1.1 ( for more details on those changes.

See for information on the changes in Munki 5.

Munki 5.1.2 Official Release

This One Goes to 11: macOS version comparisons and Munki

In my Wednesday session for MacSysAdmin 2020 Online – “This One Goes to 11” – ( I talk about the implications of macOS Big Sur’s version numbering.

I didn’t talk in too much detail about how that might affect Munki admins specifically, and I’ll remedy that here.

Continue reading “This One Goes to 11: macOS version comparisons and Munki”
This One Goes to 11: macOS version comparisons and Munki

MacSysAdmin 2020 update: This One Goes to 11

In my Wednesday session for MacSysAdmin 2020 Online, I talk a bit about the dual-versioning of macOS Big Sur. Since the talk was recorded and submitted a few weeks ago, some things have changed!

When I recorded the presentation, Big Sur was on beta 6. In that version of Big Sur, the platform module in the bundled Python reported Big Sur’s version as 11.0:

# sw_vers
ProductName:	macOS
ProductVersion:	11.0
BuildVersion:	20A5364e
# /usr/bin/python

WARNING: Python 2.7 is not recommended. 
This version is included in macOS for compatibility with legacy software. 
Future versions of macOS will not include Python 2.7. 
Instead, it is recommended that you transition to using 'python3' from within Terminal.

Python 2.7.16 (default, Aug 24 2020, 12:22:49) 
[GCC Apple LLVM 12.0.0 (clang-1200.0.30.1) [+internal-os, ptrauth-isa=sign+stri on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import platform
>>> platform.mac_ver()
('11.0', ('', '', ''), 'x86_64')

In Big Sur beta 9, that behavior changed:

Continue reading “MacSysAdmin 2020 update: This One Goes to 11”
MacSysAdmin 2020 update: This One Goes to 11

Python 3 conversion resources

Here’s a list of resources for Mac admins converting their scripts from Python 2 to Python 3.

Python 3 framework (generic/stock framework from
(relocatable framework with pip, PyObjC, xattr, and six pre-installed)



Install python-modernize and pylint using pip:

pip install modernize
pip install pylint


Apple Installer pkg containing python-modernize and pylint:


six is installed as part of Apple’s Python 2.7 install; if you download the relocatable Python 3 framework from the link above, it also includes (a newer version of) six.

The Conservative Python 3 Porting Guide

Cheat Sheet: Writing Python 2-3 compatible code

One case-study

Python 3 conversion resources