Archive for August, 2015

Creating a VMware ESXi-hosted VM using VMware Fusion 8.x

August 27, 2015 10 comments

A new feature in VMware Fusion 8 Professional is the ability to create a new VM on an ESXi 6.x server. This new functionality gives Fusion users on OS X another tool for managing VMs on VMware’s ESXi hypervisor and complements the ability to copy VMs between VMware Fusion and VMware ESXi 5.5.x and 6.x.

There are a few things to know about if you want to create an OS X VM to an ESXi server running 6.x, so I’ve put together a procedure for those who want to leverage Fusion 8.x Pro to create new OS X VMs on ESXi. See below the jump for the details.

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Categories: Mac OS X, VMware, VMware ESXi

Using QuickRadar to file bug reports with Apple

August 26, 2015 Leave a comment

I’ve started filing bug reports with Apple using a handy tool named QuickRadar. It helps streamline the process by filing bug reports via a native app on my Mac, rather than having to go through this process:

  1. Open a web browser.
  2. Go through the process of signing into
  3. File a bug report using Apple’s bug reporting web interface

QuickRadar also makes it easy to cross-post the submission of a bug report to Open Radar. Since is not publicly searchable and only allows developers to see their own bugs, Open Radar is a way for developers to share their own bug reports and keep both themselves and their colleagues up-to-date on the status of various bugs filed with Apple. For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: Bug reporting

Session videos now available from Penn State MacAdmins Conference 2015

August 12, 2015 Leave a comment

The good folks at Penn State have begun posting the session videos from the Penn State MacAdmins Conference 2015. The sessions slides and currently available videos are all accessible from the Penn State MacAdmins’ Resources page at the link below:

As the session videos are being posted to YouTube, I’ve linked my Virtualization and OS X Testing session here:

The Take Vacations Using this One Weird Trick – Documentation! session I co-hosted with Vanessa White is linked here:

FileVault 2 on Yosemite is now FIPS 140-2 Compliant

August 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Apple announced on Saturday, August 8th that the FIPS 140-2 validations for the cryptographic modules used by iOS 8 and OS X 10.10.x have now been completed. This is significant news for folks who want to use FileVault 2 in government and regulated industries (such as financial and health-care institutions.)

For folks who haven’t heard of it before, FIPS 140-2 is an information technology security accreditation program run jointly by the US and Canadian governments. This program is used by private sector vendors to have their cryptographic modules certified for use in US and Canadian government departments and private industries with regulatory requirements for security.

As part of the announcement, Apple has released KBase articles and guidance for security offices who deal with encryption:

OS X Yosemite: Apple FIPS Cryptographic Modules v5.0

Crypto Officer Role Guide for FIPS 140-2 Compliance OS X Yosemite v10.10

According to Apple, the OS X Yosemite Cryptographic Modules, Apple OS X CoreCrypto Module v5.0 and Apple OS X CoreCrypto Kernel Module v5.0, require no setup or configuration to be in “FIPS Mode” for FIPS 140-2 compliance on devices running OS X Yosemite v10.10.

FileVault 2 is listed as being FIPS 140-2 Compliant as part of the Crypto Officer Role Guide for FIPS 140-2 Compliance OS X Yosemite v10.10 documentation, in the Compliant Applications and Services section.

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For more information about the validation certification, please see below the jump.

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Modifying Oracle’s Java SDK to run Java applications on OS X

August 8, 2015 3 comments

As part of releasing the developer betas for OS X 10.11, Apple announced that El Capitan would be the end of the line for the Java 6 runtime and tools provided by Apple, with the clear statement that developers should be moving on to Oracle’s Java tools.

To completely replace Apple’s Java 6 tools, Oracle’s Java JDK (Java SE Development Kit) will need to be installed. This is because the Oracle Java JRE (Java Runtime Environment) on OS X is a browser plug-in for running Java via a web browser and does not include capabilities for running Java desktop apps or command line tools.

By default though, the Oracle JDK does not set several options to advertise the capabilities provided by the JDK to Java apps, which may cause applications that need those capabilities to fail to launch. The capabilities are actually present in the JDK, but those options need to be set before applications will recognize them as available.

To fix this, we need to add the following options to Oracle’s Java JDK:

  • BundledApp
  • JNI

 In turn, enabling these options means they need to be added to the list of JVMCapabilities stored in the following plist file:


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For more details, see below the jump.

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Creating an Office 2016 15.12.3 installer

August 5, 2015 30 comments

One of the issues I worked on this week was building a new Office 2016 installer after Microsoft began making Office 2016 available to its volume license customers. I have an existing process to build a combined Office 2011 installer using Packages, which I’ve used successfully for a while, so I decided to see if I could apply the same process to building an Office 2016 installer.

However, when I installed the combined Office 2016 installer with DeployStudio, then logged in, I was asked to sign into an account and activate Office. Since my work has a volume license, this isn’t a screen I should be seeing.

Screen Shot 2015 08 05 at 2 50 18 PM

This is a problem that I’ve seen before with previous Microsoft Office 2011 installers and usually involves the license file not being applied when it should be. This behavior is seen on Macs in the following cases:

  1. Office 2016 is installed and then updated to 15.12.3 while nobody is logged in
  2. Office 2016 is installed and then updated to 15.12.3 without any Office applications being launched between the initial installation and the update.

These two scenarios will likely apply if you’re building a new machine using an automated deployment tool, but likely will not if you’re a home user.

The easiest fix I’ve found in my testing is to get the necessary volume license file from a machine that has Office 2016 installed on it and put it back on an as-needed basis.

The needed file is /Library/Preferences/ If you have a volume-licensed version of Office 2016 installed on your Mac, you should have this file.

Screen Shot 2015 08 05 at 2 49 40 PM

To address this issue, you can use Packages‘ ability to add resources to a Packages-built package. See below the jump for an example using an Office 2016 volume licensed installer package, the Office 2016 15.12.3 updates for Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word, as well the license file to build a unified Office 2016 15.12.3 installer package that does not prompt for a product key.

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Recovering Automator workflows from Automator applications

August 1, 2015 1 comment

Every so often, source code for an application gets lost, mislaid or not given to a customer. In that case, the application’s user may need to do a lot of work to decompile the application and see if the source code can be recovered from the application itself.

I recently had a colleague ask about a similar situation with an Automator application, where they had the Automator application itself but didn’t have access to the Automator workflow that created it.

After some testing, here’s how we were able to access the workflow using only the compiled application.

1. Save a copy of the Automator application to a convenient location.

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2. Right-click on the application and select Show Package Contents.

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3. Save a copy of Contents/document.wflow to a convenient location.

Screen Shot 2015 08 01 at 8 17 00 AM

4. Rename document.wflow to preferred_file_name_here.workflow.

5. When prompted, confirm that you want to change the extension from .wkflow to .workflow.

Screen Shot 2015 08 01 at 8 17 28 AM

At this point, you should be able to open the newly-renamed .workflow document in Automator and examine the workflow.

Screen Shot 2015 08 01 at 8 17 42 AM


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Update 8-1-2015: Steve Hayman pointed out that there’s an even easier way. For details, see below the jump.

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Categories: Automator, Mac OS X
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