Remotely gathering sysdiagnose files and uploading them to S3

October 16, 2020 Leave a comment

One of the challenges for helpdesks with folks now working remotely instead of in offices has been that it’s now harder to gather logs from user’s Macs. A particular challenge for those folks working with AppleCare Enterprise Support has been with regards to requests for sysdiagnose logfiles.

The sysdiagnose tool is used for gathering a large amount of diagnostic files and logging, but the resulting output file is often a few hundred megabytes in size. This is usually too large to email, so alternate arrangements have to be made to get it off of the Mac in question and upload it to a location where the person needing the logs can retrieve them.

After needing to gather sysdiagnose files a few times, I’ve developed a scripted solution which does the following:

  • Collects a sysdiagnose file.
  • Creates a read-only compressed disk image containing the sysdiagnose file.
  • Uploads the compressed disk image to a specified S3 bucket in Amazon Web Services.
  • Cleans up the directories and files created by the script.

For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

“Getting Started with Amazon Web Services” encore presentation at MacSysAdmin 2020

October 7, 2020 Leave a comment

The MacSysAdmin conference, like many conferences in 2020, has moved to an online format for this year. The MacSysAdmin 2020 organizers have also decided to have both sessions that are new for the 2020 conference as well as give an encore performance for sessions given at past MacSysAdmin conferences.

I was pleased to see that my “Getting Started with Amazon Web Services” session from MacSysAdmin 2018 made the cut for MacSysAdmin 2020. For those interested, my session will be available for viewing this Friday, October 9th.

Backing up Jamf Pro Self Service bookmarks

September 27, 2020 Leave a comment

As part of working with Jamf Pro, I prefer to be able to save as much of the existing configuration of it as possible. Normally I can do this via the Jamf Pro Classic API and I have a number of blog posts showing how I use the API to create backups of my Jamf Pro configuration.

However, one set of data which is not accessible via the API are the Self Service bookmarks.

Screen Shot 2020 09 27 at 11 29 48 AM

If I want to back up this information, is there a way outside of the API? It turns out that there is. For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Clearing failed MDM commands on Jamf Pro

September 25, 2020 Leave a comment

For a variety of reasons, MDM commands sent out from an MDM server can fail to run correctly on a Mac. Many times, these MDM commands will not be re-sent unless the failure is cleared. With the failure cleared, the MDM server will not have a record of sending the MDM command and should try again.

On Jamf Pro, there’s a couple of ways you can clear failed MDM commands. The first is a manual process which uses the Jamf Pro admin console. The second uses the Jamf Pro Classic API and can be automated. For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Uninstalling macOS system extensions

September 1, 2020 3 comments

With the ongoing change from kernel extensions to system extensions, one new thing Mac admins will need to learn is how to uninstall system extensions. Fortunately, Apple has provided a tool as of macOS Catalina that assists with this: systemextensionsctl

If you run the systemextensionsctl command by itself, you should get the following information about usage:

systemextensionsctl: usage:
	systemextensionsctl developer [on|off]
	systemextensionsctl list [category]
	systemextensionsctl reset  - reset all System Extensions state
	systemextensionsctl uninstall  ; can also accept '-' for teamID

The last verb, uninstall, is what allows us to remove system extensions. For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Categories: Mac administration, macOS

Speaking at Jamf Nation User Conference 2020

August 27, 2020 Leave a comment

I’ll be speaking about how SAP transitioned to an at-home workforce this year at Jamf Nation User Conference 2020, which is being held online from September 29th – October 1st, 2020. For those interested, my talk will be on Tuesday, September 29th from 12:30pm – 1:00pm CDT.

For a description of what I’ll be talking about, please see the SAP in the Haus – How SAP transitioned its global workforce to working from home session description. You can see the whole list of JNUC sessions here on the Sessions page.

If you haven’t already signed up, the conference is free and there’s still time to register. You can do that via the link below:

https://www.jamf.com/events/jamf-nation-user-conference/2020/registration/

Running recoverydiagnose in macOS Recovery

August 6, 2020 1 comment

Most Mac admins, especially those who file bug reports or who work with AppleCare Enterprise, are familiar with running the sysdiagnose tool to gather diagnostic information about a Mac they’re working on. Running sysdiagnose will trigger a large number of macOS’s performance and problem tracing tools and use their reports to assemble what amounts to a snapshot of your Mac’s complete state at the time you ran the sysdiagnose tool, which can be very useful to developers trying to trace down why a particular problem is occurring.

However, this tool only applies to a Mac’s regular OS. What if the problem you’re seeing is in the macOS Recovery environment? In that case, you can run the recoverydiagnose tool in macOS Recovery to gather similar data specifically for macOS Recovery-related problems. For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

PkgSigner AutoPkg processor updated for Python 3

July 31, 2020 Leave a comment

A while back, I discussed how to incorporate installer package signing into AutoPkg workflows. The PkgSigner processor used in this workflow was originally written by Paul Suh and it uses Apple’s productsign tool to access a Developer ID Installer certificate stored in the login keychain.

Like other processors and AutoPkg itself, PkgSigner needed updating to Python 3 when Python 2 reached end-of-life in April 2020. This updating process has been completed, thanks to Nick McDonald. To make sure PkgSigner is consistently using the same Python environment across machines, PkgSigner has also been set to use the Python 3 install bundled with AutoPkg.

For those who need it, I have a copy of the PkgSigner processor available via the link below:

https://github.com/rtrouton/AutoPkg_Processors/tree/master/PkgSigner

Categories: AutoPkg, Packaging

Enabling diagnostic logging for Microsoft Outlook 2019

July 20, 2020 Leave a comment

I was recently asked for assistance with a way to enable diagnostic logging for Microsoft Outlook 2019 for macOS:

I had seen Microsoft’s KBase article on how to do it, where it references enabling logging via the Outlook preferences:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2872257/how-to-enable-logging-in-outlook-for-mac

However, the KBase article only references how to enable this logging via the GUI and does not show how to do this via the command line. Fortunately my colleague @golby knew which settings could enabled from the command line to produce the requested logging. For more details, please see below the jump:

Read more…

create_macos_vm_install_dmg updated for macOS Big Sur installer disk images

June 28, 2020 3 comments

As part of testing macOS Big Sur 11.0.0, I’ve updated my create_macos_vm_install_dmg script. For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

%d bloggers like this: