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.

Stopping unwanted collabd errors in /var/log/system.log on Mavericks Server

September 5, 2014 2 comments

As part of standing up a new DeployStudio server on Mavericks Server in my shop, I noticed that I had a lot of errors showing up in /var/log/system.log that looked like this:

September 5 10:21:16 servername_here collabd[240]: [CSConnectionPool.m:196 fa7d000 +9998ms] Could not open a connection to Postgres. Please make sure it is running and has the correct access.
September 5 10:21:16 servername_here collabd[240]: [CSXCWorkSchedulerService.m:196 fa7d000 +0ms] Failed to open DB connection, retrying in 10s: [CSDatabaseError] Connection to DB failed

This error is caused by OS X Server’s wiki service trying and failing to get a database connection. Googling for those errors led me to a lot of results on how to fix a busted Wiki on OS X Server, but I wasn’t interested in running OS X’s wiki service on this box. If you’re in a similar situation, the collabd service can be stopped via Mavericks Server’s serveradmin tool to fix this issue.

To stop the collabd service, run the following command:

sudo serveradmin stop collabd

After a few minutes, you should see the following output:

collabd:state = "STOPPED"

The errors should also stop appearing in /var/log/system.log.

Deploying Sophos Enterprise Anti-Virus for Mac OS X 9.x

September 2, 2014 10 comments

For the past few major releases, Sophos used a standard installer package to install both their free and paid antivirus solution. With the release of Sophos Anti-Virus 9.x though, Sophos changed how their antivirus solution for Macs was installed. Sophos has now switched to using an application to install their antivirus. However, for their customers using Sophos Enterprise Console, Sophos still provides an installer metapackage. This is good news for Mac admins, but the configuration and login credentials that used to be stored in /Library/Preferences/com.sophos.sau.plist in Sophos 8.x has been overhauled in Sophos 9.x. /Library/Preferences/com.sophos.sau.plist in Sophos 9.x now no longer contains login information, only server locations.

The login credentials no longer being available in /Library/Preferences/com.sophos.sau.plist meant that the Sophos Anti-Virus client was not able to connect back to the Sophos enterprise console and receive either management or updates. Since those login credentials were working in my shop for machines in Active Directory OUs that the Sophos enterprise console was managing, that meant that those credentials were available somewhere on the system. After working on the problem in his own shop, Tim Kimpton figured out that both of the following files were needed:

/Library/Preferences/com.sophos.sau.plist

/Library/Sophos Anti-Virus/Sophos.keychain

Once I had this information and understood what was going on, I was able to build and deploy a Sophos Enterprise Anti-Virus for Mac OS X 9.x installer that was able to install a pre-configured set of auto-update settings. For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

First Boot Package Install With Automated Apple Software Update.pkg

August 31, 2014 3 comments

While working recently on First Boot Package Install.pkg, I decided to implement a way to automatically install all available Apple software updates along with enabling other packages to be installed at first boot. After some work and testing, I’m happy to announce the release of First Boot Package Install With Automated Apple Software Update.pkg.

The main difference between First Boot Package Install.pkg and First Boot Package Install With Automated Apple Software Update.pkg is that before installing the user-selected packages, all available Apple software updates are downloaded and installed. By design, the First Boot Package Install With Automated Apple Software Update.pkg script will use Apple’s softwareupdate tool to check for and install available updates, then reboot the Mac automatically until all available updates have been installed.

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 9.34.24 PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 9.36.48 PM

As not all shops that may want to use First Boot Package Install.pkg will find this functionality to be needed or desirable, I’ve set up a new repo on Github for First Boot Package Install With Automated Apple Software Update.pkg. That way, Mac admins will be able to choose which one they want to use.

All First Boot Package Install With Automated Apple Software Update.pkg components and scripts are available at my GitHub repo:

https://github.com/rtrouton/First-Boot-Package-Install-With-Automated-Apple-Software-Update

Please see the README available at the repo for how to use First Boot Package Install With Automated Apple Software Update.pkg. The Iceberg project files are also available via the link above if you want to build a customized First Boot Package Install With Automated Apple Software Update.pkg for your own environment.

Installation error reporting now available in First Boot Package Install

August 23, 2014 2 comments

Following up on a pull request by Matthew Kweskin, I’ve updated First Boot Package Install so that it now reports whether an installation has succeeded or failed. This error reporting is in addition to the error logging recorded by OS X’s installer tool to /var/log/install.log.

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 11.13.23 AM

For those interested, here are the changes to First Boot Package Install‘s firstbootpackageinstall.sh script.

I’ve updated the First Boot Package Install GitHub repo with the new First Boot Package Install installer package, along with updating the posted firstbootpackageinstall.sh script and the Iceberg project files with the changes.

AutoPkgr receipe now available for AutoPkg

August 21, 2014 Leave a comment

To go along with my use of AutoPkg, I’ve started relying on AutoPkgr to automate running AutoPkg and notifying me when I had new updates. While I was checking over my current list of AutoPkg receipes today, I went to look for a recipe for AutoPkgr. To my surprise, no such recipe appeared to exist.

Thanks in large part to Tim Sutton‘s GitHubReleasesInfoProvider for AutoPkg, I’ve now been able to post download and package recipes for AutoPkgr. The recipes and support files are available from here on my GitHub repo:

https://github.com/rtrouton/AutoPkg

Uninstalling App Store apps from the command line

August 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Over the weekend, Rasmus Sten posted to Twitter about an interesting uninstall command line utility that he had found while testing 10.10.

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.39.07 AM

On investigation, it became apparent that this uninstall utility was not new and was available starting in 10.7.x and later. It also appears to be undocumented and has neither a man page or help pages available.

To use the uninstall tool:

1. Log into the Mac in question

2. Verify that your application was installed by the App Store

3. Open Terminal

4. Run the following command with root privileges:

uninstall file:///Applications/Application_Name_Here.app

5. You will be prompted to authenticate with an administrator’s username and password

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 8.44.55 AM

6. The application should then be uninstalled.

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 8.47.17 AM

After working with this tool, it does have some limitations. For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

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