/etc/hostconfig removed from Yosemite

October 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Apple has been warning folks for the past few OS releases that the /etc/hostconfig file was going away and it looks like they decided that Mavericks was the hostconfig file’s last hurrah.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 2.29.36 PM

As of OS X Yosemite, /etc/hostconfig is no longer installed as part of the OS.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 2.34.49 PM

Thanks to Dan O’Donnell for the heads-up:

Categories: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server

Resetting an account’s ability to log into a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac by using an Apple ID

October 26, 2014 4 comments

Apple’s release of Yosemite has brought with it the ability to use an Apple ID to unlock and reset a forgotten account password to log into a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac. You can use this ability in a couple of ways:

1. By setting up your iCloud account as your account on the Mac in question.

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 10.54.29 AM

2. By associating your local or mobile network account on the Mac with an Apple ID, and selecting the option when enabling FileVault 2 to use your Apple ID to unlock the disk and reset your password.

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 11.31.53 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 11.33.13 PM

Note: This method uses Apple’s services to store the needed FileVault 2 recovery key. If your Mac’s FileVault 2 recovery key is not being stored by Apple, you will not be able to use an Apple ID to reset your account’s ability to log into a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac.

For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

New FileVault 2 enablement option in Yosemite’s Setup Assistant

October 25, 2014 Leave a comment

One new window that appears in Apple’s Setup Assistant application for Yosemite is one that encourages new users of Yosemite to enable FileVault 2 encryption.


However, this Setup Assistant window appears to be selective as it appears for some users but not others. After some digging with the strings command, it looks like the FileVault 2 option in Setup Assistant does not appear in the following conditions:

  1. The Mac is not a laptop.
  2. The OS is unable to check the processor for certain features.
  3. The processor does not support AES-NI.
  4. The OS is booting from an external drive.
  5. There’s more than one user account on the system.
  6. The boot drive does not have a CoreStorage logical volume set up on it.
  7. The boot drive is already encrypted.
  8. The Mac was configured by the Device Enrollment Program to not display this option.
  9. This window had already appeared for this drive and user account.
  10. The user’s home folder is located somewhere other than the boot drive.
  11. The user has not logged into iCloud on this machine.

These criteria can be examined using the following procedure:

  1. Install Xcode or the Xcode Command Line Tools.
  2. Once Xcode or the Xcode Command Line Tools are installed, open Terminal and run the following command:
strings /System/Library/CoreServices/Setup\ Assistant.app/Contents/SharedSupport/MiniLauncher | grep "FDE upsell"

On a 10.10.0 system, that should produce the following output:

Skipping FDE upsell,  machine is not a portable
Skipping FDE upsell, unable to inspect cpu features
Skipping FDE upsell, unable to gather cpu features
Skipping FDE upsell, CPU doesn't have AES instruction set
Skipping FDE upsell, somehow running buddy on a disk image
Skipping FDE upsell, not an internal volume
Skipping FDE upsell, not a single user system
Skipping FDE upsell, root disk is not a CSLV
Skipping FDE upsell, root disk is already FDE
Skipping FDE upsell, system was opted out via Device Enrollment Program setting
Skipping FDE upsell, already occurred for this volume and user
Skipping FDE upsell, user home volume is separate from the system volume
Skipping FDE upsell, not logged into iCloud

Slides from the “Bringing the Casper Suite to Life with Virtual Test Environments” session at JAMF Nation User Conference 2014

October 21, 2014 Leave a comment

For those who wanted a copy of my virtualization talk at JAMF Nation User Conference 2014, here are links to the slides in PDF and Keynote format.

PDF: http://tinyurl.com/jnuc2014vmPDF

Keynote: http://tinyurl.com/jnuc2014vmkeynote

FileVault 2 decryption can be initiated but will not complete while booted from Yosemite’s Recovery HD

October 20, 2014 Leave a comment

To address this issue that caused problems for folks decrypting from Mavericks’ Recovery HD and Internet Recovery, Apple has made a change to Yosemite’s Recovery HD and Apple Internet Recovery with regards to FileVault 2 decryption. As of 10.10, you can initiate the decryption process from Yosemite’s Recovery HD and Internet Recovery, but the actual decryption will not proceed until you have booted from a drive that is running a regular Yosemite OS install.

When you decrypt from Yosemite’s Recovery HD, you will be notified that decryption is in progress and to run the following command to check on its progress:

diskutil cs list

When checked, you should see output for Conversion Status, Conversion Direction and Conversion Progress similar to what’s shown below:

  • Conversion Status: Converting
  • Conversion Direction: -none-
  • Conversion Progress: -none-

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.42.10 AM

These statuses will not change while you’re booted from Yosemite’s Recovery HD. If you reboot and boot back to Yosemite’s Recovery HD, you should see output for Conversion Status, Conversion Direction and Conversion Progress similar to what’s shown below:

  • Conversion Status: Converting
  • Conversion Direction: -none-
  • Conversion Progress: Paused

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.32.39 AM

Once booted from a regular Yosemite OS install, you should see decryption proceed.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.51.06 AM

I had filed a bug report about the decryption behavior in Mavericks’s Recovery HD which evolved into a bug report about this behavior. The bug report has been closed by Apple and I’ve posted the bug report at Open Radar now that the Yosemite NDA has been lifted. For those interested, the details are available via the link below:


Categories: FileVault 2, Mac OS X

First Boot Package Install Generator.app

October 19, 2014 Leave a comment

With the release of Yosemite, Apple has apparently made an undocumented change to the way it allows packages to be added to the OS installer. If you add any additional packages for installation as part of the OS install/upgrade, they must all be distribution-style flat packages. You can convert a component flat package to be a distribution-style flat packages by running the command below:

productbuild –package /path/to/component.pkg /path/to/distribution.pkg

This change is a problem for First Boot Package Install.pkg and First Boot Package Install With Automated Apple Software Update.pkg, as they are both built as a bundle-style package and not as flat packages. While both First Boot Package Install.pkg and First Boot Package Install With Automated Apple Software Update.pkg run fine on Yosemite, they cannot be added to customized NetInstall images created with System Image Utility or to createOSXinstallPkg-built Yosemite OS installer packages.


To address this issue, I’ve developed First Boot Package Install Generator.app, an Automator application that will allow the selection of a folder containing installer packages and then generate a distribution-style flat package that enables the selected packages to be installed at startup. It’s designed for use with createOSXinstallPkg with the goal of allowing installer packages that can’t run in the OS X Install environment to be used as part of a createOSXinstallPkg deployment workflow. See below the jump for the details.

Read more…

Disabling the iCloud and Diagnostics pop-up windows in Yosemite

October 16, 2014 1 comment

Starting in 10.7.2, Apple has set the iCloud sign-in to pop up on the first login.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 7.07.55 PM

In 10.10, Apple added a new Diagnostics & Usage window that pops up at first login after the iCloud sign-in.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 7.08.39 PM

Since having these pop-up windows appear may not be desirable in all Mac environments, it makes sense to be able to turn this off for new user accounts. As part of preparing for Yosemite in my own shop, I’ve developed a script that should disable both the iCloud and Diagnostics pop-ups on 10.7.2 – 10.10.0. See below the jump for the details.

Read more…


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