Archive for June, 2012

Deploying NFS automounts for Macs via installer package

June 29, 2012 Leave a comment

As a follow-up to this post by Peter Bukowinski, you can add NFS automounts to Macs running 10.6.x – 10.8.x using an edited /etc/auto_master file and a new /etc/automounts directory (the /etc/automounts directory does not exist by default in OS X.) Once added to the Mac in question, your Macs can then communicate with your NFS server(s) by mounting and unmounting shares using autofs.

Because the needed changes are file-based, you can deploy the NFS automounts with an installer package. That allows your NFS automount setup to be deployed as part of building a new machine, by your system management tool, or even just by running the package installer on the machine itself. See below the jump for how to package this using Iceberg.

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Creating an updated Recovery HD

June 26, 2012 7 comments

One of the challenges with imaging with Lion and the upcoming Mountain Lion can be creating a Recovery HD partition. There’s an existing solution developed by Clay Caviness which uses Lion Recovery Update to install a Recovery HD partition, but that update installs a Recovery HD that’s running 10.7.2.

Joel Bruner built on Clay’s work to develop a scripted process for installing or updating the Recovery HD partition with the current OS, but Joel’s process requires user input. For those wanting to have an automated process, Allen Golbig built on Joel’s work to develop an installer package that installs an up-to-date Recovery HD partition on Macs that have an older or missing Recovery HD partition. Since the installer doesn’t need user input, the installer can be run by itself or as part of an automated workflow. See below the jump for the procedure.

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Downloading Lion OS installers for your specific Mac model

June 26, 2012 13 comments

One of the changes with Lion is that Apple is no longer including install media with new Macs. For folks doing managed deployments, this can cause an issue because you may have new hardware that uses a build of Mac OS X that’s newer than the version that’s available in the Mac App Store. However, there is a way to get an installer for your new hardware from Apple. How? See below the jump.

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Booting to a default NetBoot set with VMWare Fusion’s Technology Preview

June 22, 2012 2 comments

As a follow-up to the previous post, the NetBoot support built into VMWare Fusion’s June 2012 Technology Preview also supports easily booting to a default NetBoot set.

To boot to a default NetBoot set, hold down the N key on your keyboard when the VM starts up. Just like a physical Mac, the VM should then look for and boot from the default NetBoot set.

An added feature for VMWare Fusion’s NetBoot support is that VMs will automatically try to boot from a default NetBoot set if the VM can’t find a boot OS otherwise. I was able to verify this by setting up a new and completely unconfigured VM, where there was no OS install disk or disk image selected to boot from. (To make sure it was able to see the NetBoot set, I did change the Network Adapter settings to Ethernet Sharing: Ethernet.)

The VM started and found no OS on the VM’s boot disk or elsewhere. It then booted to my network’s default NetBoot set without any intervention on my part.

Screen Shot 2012-06-22 at 6.13.17 AM

Screen Shot 2012-06-22 at 6.13.40 AM

Categories: Mac administration, VMware

NetBoot support now available for OS X VMs in VMWare Fusion’s Technology Preview

June 21, 2012 5 comments

VMWare has released a new version of their VMWare Fusion Technology Preview. Among its new features is one that Mac admins have been wanting for a while: NetBoot support for OS X VMs.

The NetBoot support is still in the experimental stage, so it currently requires some setup in order to work. See below the jump for the process I’m using.

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Categories: Mac administration, VMware

“Getting Started with Cauliflower Vest” in MacTech’s May 2012 issue

June 17, 2012 1 comment

For those interested in using Google’s Cauliflower Vest for FileVault 2 management, I have an article in MacTech’s May 2012 issue. It’s titled Getting Started with Cauliflower Vest and is a guide to getting your own Cauliflower Vest setup up and running.

Categories: Cauliflower Vest, MacTech

Automatically activate the Java web plug-ins setting on Mac OS X 10.6.x

June 14, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the features of Apple’s Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 9 update is that this Java update for Mac OS X 10.6.8 turns off the automatic execution of Java applets through web browsers.

The Java update does allow for the automatic execution of Java applets to be re-enabled through the browser. However, if it’s been a while since a Java applet was launched, then automatic execution of Java applets is once again automatically disabled.

The good news is that Apple is using exactly the same method to disable Java on 10.6.8 that they used on 10.7.x. I’ve tested my existing script / LaunchAgent combination on a 10.6.8 test Mac and it works without any modifications.

On 10.6.8 and higher, the script will enable the Enable applet plug-in and Web Start Applications setting in the Java Preferences application.The LaunchAgent runs the script on login to any user account with the logging-in user’s privileges and permissions. It’s available here on my GitHub repo.

Changing Keychain Minder’s displayed text using Xcode

June 5, 2012 Leave a comment

I was recently asked about my organization’s Keychain Minder application, as I had altered the displayed text to better meet my organization’s needs.

Screen Shot 2012-06-05 at 4.32.30 PM

For those who also want to do this for their own organization, see below the jump for the procedure I’ve used.

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Categories: Mac administration, Xcode

Installing Mac OS X 10.7.x Server on an erased hard drive using DeployStudio and InstallLion.pkg

June 4, 2012 Leave a comment

As previously described, you can use DeployStudio and InstallLion.pkg to clean install Mac OS X 10.7.x on a Mac. For those who need the same capabilities to install Mac OS X Server 10.7.x, you can use the same methodology to build a workflow that installs Mac OS X Server, assuming that you have access to a Mac Mini Server.

If you do have access to a Mini Server, you can download an InstallESD disk image using Apple Internet Recovery using the procedure described here at The downloaded InstallESD.dmg will include all of the needed packages to install Mac OS X Server. Once you have that all-important disk image, see below the jump for the procedure.

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Installing Mac OS X 10.7.x on an erased hard drive using DeployStudio and InstallLion.pkg

June 4, 2012 5 comments

One of the great advantages of using DeployStudio for building Macs is its flexibility. Another element of flexibility was added over the past few days, when the DeployStudio folks released DeployStudio rc132. Among the various entries in the release notes were these two for the DeployStudio Assistant application:

-live package install support in 10.7 NetBoot sets,

-improved support of python in 10.7 NetBoot sets.

If you put those two items together, you have the necessary support to install InstallLion.pkg on an erased or otherwise empty hard drive from a DeployStudio boot set running Mac OS X 10.7.x.

In other words, you can use DeployStudio to do an automatic clean install of Mac OS X 10.7.x and correctly create the Recovery HD partition. See below the jump for the procedure.

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