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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:

http://openradar.appspot.com/radar?id=5885738759487488

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.

First_Boot_Package_Install_Generator_Icon  

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 Leave a 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…

Scripted decryption when using a FileVault 2 institutional recovery key with Mavericks’ Recovery HD

October 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Something that has usually been a manually-driven process for me has been FileVault 2 decryption when using an institutional recovery key. In large part, this is because you need to boot to either Recovery HD or Apple’s Internet Recovery. When you combine that with this known issue with decrypting when booted from Recovery HD or Apple’s Internet Recovery, it made me wish for a scripted process for decrypting when using an institutional recovery key.

Apparently, I should wish for things more often because @ttaniguti has developed a script that does precisely that. FileVault Rescue’s decrypt.sh script is designed to properly decrypt a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac using an institutional recovery key while the Mac is booted to Mavericks’ Recovery HD or Apple’s Internet Recovery.

In my testing, the script works fine on a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac running 10.9.5 and it avoids the known issues with decrypting while booted from Recovery HD by running diskutil cs revert twice at the proper times in the decryption process.

To use this script, you will need the following:

1. A FileVaultMaster.keychain file that contains the private key of your institutional recovery key.

2. The unlock password for the FileVaultMaster.keychain file stored in a plaintext file named pass.txt

Once you have both of these, copy the two files along with the decrypt.sh script to something that you’ll be able to access while booted to Mavericks’ Recovery HD or Apple’s Internet Recovery. A USB flash drive would work well here.

A YouTube video is available to show you how to use the script and I’ve linked it below:

Hat tip to Allister Banks for letting me know about this script.

Virtualization session at JAMF Nation User Conference 2014

October 4, 2014 Leave a comment

I’ll be speaking about how to leverage virtualization in your test environments at JAMF Nation User Conference 2014, which is being held from October 21st – 23rd, 2014 in Minneapolis, MN. For those interested, my talk will be on Tuesday, October 21st.

For a description of what I’ll be talking about, please see the Bringing the Casper Suite to Life with Virtual Test Environments session description. You can see the whole list of JNUC sessions here on the Conference Events page.

Disabling the Featured Banner in Casper 9.5.1

September 24, 2014 1 comment

As part of preparing for Yosemite, I’ve started testing Casper 9.5.1. As part of my testing, I wanted to address an issue that first appeared for me in Casper 9.4: The blue Featured banner in Self Service.

I use the Featured setting to publish items to the Self Service landing page. When I upgraded my test environment to Casper 9.4, I noticed that all of my Featured items now had a blue Featured banner. Since everything on the main landing page is set to be Featured, in my opinion the banner is distracting and does not add value.

blue_featured_banner

I have submitted a feature request to be able to turn off the blue Featured banner, but as of 9.5.1 this feature request is marked as UNDER REVIEW and has not been implemented. Since I anticipate that I’ll have Macs running Yosemite within the next month, I’ll likely need to deploy Casper 9.5.1 and I wanted to be able to stop this banner from appearing in 9.5.1’s Self Service.

The approach I adopted was to take a copy of the appropriate PNG file on the Casper server and use Preview’s Instant Alpha tool to make all content in the image transparent. In effect, I wanted to have the Featured banner file still be there (to help avoid failures in the event that something in Self Service was checking for the file’s presence) but have the banner itself be completely invisible to my users. This approach worked just fine in my testing and it appears to be similar to what Christopher Collins is using in his shop.

For those who want a copy of the transparent PNG file that I created, I have it available for download here. Once downloaded and uncompressed, it’ll be a PNG file named casper_95_featured.png.

Using the downloaded PNG file, here’s how to deploy on a Casper server to make the Featured banner transparent:

NOTE: The instructions below are for a Casper server running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, where the JSS Tomcat directory is stored in /usr/local/jss and the Tomcat server has an associated tomcat7 user. The JSS Tomcat directory may be installed in a different location and the Tomcat user may not be named tomcat7 on operating systems other than RHEL . When in doubt, contact JAMF Support for assistance.

1. Log into the Casper server using an account that can use root privileges.

2. Copy casper_95_featured.png into /usr/local/jss/tomcat/webapps/ROOT/images/selfservice2

3. Rename the existing featured.png in /usr/local/jss/tomcat/webapps/ROOT/images/selfservice2 to now be named featured_bak.png

4. Rename casper_95_featured.png to now be named featured.png

5. Run the following command with root privileges:

chown tomcat7:tomcat7 /usr/local/jss/tomcat/webapps/ROOT/images/selfservice2/featured.png

6. Start Self Service and verify that the blue Featured image does not appear.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 7.37.41 AM

If the blue Featured banner is still appearing in Self Service, the Featured banner may be cached on individual Macs To fix this, you can clear the Self Service cache on the affected machines by following the procedure below:

1. Quit Self Service

2. Remove the com.jamfsoftware.selfservice folder from /Users/username/Library/Caches/

3. Relaunch Self Service

The blue Featured banner should no longer appear in Self Service.

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