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.
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.
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.
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: [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: [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.
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:
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.