Session videos now available from MacDevOpsYVR 2017

June 13, 2017 Leave a comment

The good folks who host the MacDevOpsYVR conference have begun posting the session videos from MacDevOpsYVR 2017. As the session videos are being posted to YouTube, I’ve linked my Storing our digital lives: from MFS to APFS session here:

The other videos from the conference are being posted here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIZgKKNrG-ty72Bez8b2qHg/videos

AutoPkg recipes for Apple Enterprise Connect

June 12, 2017 1 comment

To help keep on top of software updates, I’ve been using AutoPkg in combination with AutoPkgr and JSSImporter for a while now to upload new software updates to Jamf Pro. However, I recently ran into a challenge when I wanted to build an AutoPkg recipe for Apple’s Enterprise Connect.

AutoPkg recipes usually rely on the vendor having a publicly accessible way to get downloads via HTTP or HTTPS. Apple does not have a publicly accessible download URL for Enterprise Connect and in fact discourages customers from sharing the download link. The fact that there was a download link meant that I could write AutoPkg recipes but at the same time I couldn’t include the URL needed to download the latest update as part of the recipe .

After some thinking and research into AutoPkg’s functionality, I found a way to create AutoPkg recipes for Enterprise Connect while at the same time not sharing Apple’s download URL. For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

WWDC 2017 notes

June 9, 2017 Leave a comment

While I’m not at Apple’s WWDC conference this year, several other folks in the community stepped up to help crowdsource questions and answers for the Mac admin community. Due to wanting to stay on the right side of Apple’s NDA, the resulting notes have been posted to Apple’s developer forums rather than to here.

To make it easier for Mac admins to access them, I’ve set up a post in the forums where I’ve linking the various forum posts. It’s available via the link below:

https://forums.developer.apple.com/message/234797

Categories: WWDC 2017

Slides from the “Storing our digital lives: Mac filesystems from MFS to APFS” session at MacDeployment 2017

June 9, 2017 1 comment

For those who wanted a copy of my filesystem talk at the MacDeployment 2017 conference, here are links to the slides in PDF and Keynote format.

PDF – http://tinyurl.com/MacDeployment2017pdf

Keynote – http://tinyurl.com/MacDeployment2017key

Slides from the “Payload-free Packages: Bundle vs Flat” QuickTalk at MacDevOpsYVR 2017

June 6, 2017 Leave a comment

For those who wanted a copy of my payload-free package QuickTalk at the MacDevOpsYVR 2017 conference, here are links to the slides in PDF and Keynote format.

PDF – https://tinyurl.com/MacDevOpsPkgPDF

Keynote – https://tinyurl.com/MacDevOpsPkgKey

Slides from the “Storing our digital lives: Mac filesystems from MFS to APFS” session at MacDevOpsYVR 2017

June 5, 2017 Leave a comment

For those who wanted a copy of my filesystem talk at the MacDevOpsYVR 2017 conference, here are links to the slides in PDF and Keynote format.

PDF – http://tinyurl.com/MacDevOpsYVR2017pdf

Keynote – http://tinyurl.com/MacDevOpsYVR2017key

Managing AWS-hosted VMs using EC2 Systems Manager

May 30, 2017 Leave a comment

I’ve been doing a lot of work recently with Linux VMs that are hosted on Amazon Web ServicesEC2 service. As part of this work, I’ve been working on two problems in parallel:

  • Enabling automation of certain management commands for the VMs
  • Securing SSH

Part of the issue was that I thought I needed to have SSH available to enable remote administration. If that was true, I also needed to secure SSH access so that I could use it and malicious third parties couldn’t. However, whatever method I chose also needed to be easily accessible to my team so that they could access the AWS-hosted VMs in case of an emergency where I wasn’t available.

I went through a few iterations of SSH solutions, including investigating multi-factor authentication and setting up SSH bastions. In the end though, I discovered a surprising solution that fixed both of my problems: AWS’s EC2 Systems Manager

Systems Manager allowed me to do the following:

  1. Manage my Linux VMs on EC2 without using SSH
  2. Block SSH access on my Linux VMs
  3. Run commands on multiple VMs at once
  4. Create a library of frequently used tasks and run those commands without needing to re-enter the scripts used to run those tasks.
  5. Not spend extra money on a management solution because AWS makes Systems Manager available at no cost to AWS customers.

For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

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