Archive

Archive for February, 2019

Mounting Time Machine local snapshots as read-only volumes

February 23, 2019 Leave a comment

Starting with macOS High Sierra, Time Machine on Apple File System-formatted (APFS) boot drives gained the ability to create APFS snapshots. These snapshots are stored on the boot volume, but are not the same as the local backups that Time Machine uses on HFS+-formatted drives.

On HFS+ formatted drives, Time Machine local backups are stored in an invisible directory named .MobileBackups on the root level of the boot drive.

Screen Shot 2019 02 23 at 10 44 17 AM

In turn, this .MobileBackups directory is mountable as /Volumes/MobileBackups and you can access the backed-up files stored inside by navigating via the command line or Finder window.

Screen Shot 2019 02 23 at 10 59 43 AM

On APFS-formatted drives, the /.MobileBackups directory and /Volumes/MobileBackups are no longer available. Instead, Time Machine is now using APFS snapshots to store a read-only copy of the state of your Mac at the time when that snapshot was taken. These snapshots are invisible to the file system, so unlike HFS+, there isn’t a directory or file you can access. Instead, you now need to use the mount_apfs command’s -s option to mount APFS snapshots as read-only volumes.

Screen Shot 2019 02 23 at 11 45 51 AM

For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Mouse doesn’t move at FileVault login screen in VMware Fusion macOS Mojave VMs

February 15, 2019 1 comment

As part of working with FileVault on macOS Mojave, I’ve been using VMs running in VMware Fusion 11.x for testing. As part of that, I’ve seen a problem where the mouse doesn’t move when the VM has booted to the FileVault login screen. The keyboard responds and arrow keys can be used to select users, but the mouse itself is immovable and does not respond.

Screen Shot 2019 02 14 at 8 29 34 PM

After some research, I ran across someone who had the same issue and found a workaround. For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Re-syncing local account passwords and Secure Token on FileVault-encrypted Macs running macOS Mojave

February 10, 2019 4 comments

As part of FileVault on Apple File System, Apple introduced a new account attribute called Secure Token. As mentioned in a previous post, Secure Token can present some interesting problems for Mac admins who work with FileVault-encrypted laptops. Among the potential complications are these scenarios:

  • “I changed the password for my local account, but only the old password is being taken at the FileVault login screen.”
  • “We’ve lost the password to the only local user account with a Secure Token, so now we can’t enable any other accounts on this Mac for FileVault.”

Usually, this happens because the local account password in question was changed outside of the Users & Groups preference pane in System Preferences and now Secure Token and the account password are out of sync with each other.

Up until the past few days, the only fix I knew of for that situation was to back up the data and wipe the drive. However, it looks like there is a workaround for encrypted Macs which fixes the password problem and sorts out Secure Token in these scenarios. In both cases, a personal recovery key will be needed as the way to authorize the needed changes. For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Unable to enable FileVault on macOS Mojave

February 8, 2019 2 comments

As part of FileVault on Apple File System, Apple introduced a new account attribute called Secure Token. Secure Token can present some interesting complications for Mac admins and among them is this scenario:

“The laptop is decrypted, but we can’t re-enable FileVault now.”

Usually, this happens because the account password was changed outside of the Users & Groups preference pane in System Preferences and now Secure Token and the account password are out of sync with each other.

Up until today, the only fix I knew of for that situation was to back up the data and wipe the drive. However, it looks like there is a workaround that fixes the password problem and sorts out the Secure Token attribute for the account on a decrypted laptop. For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Providing access to macOS software updates via Jamf Pro’s Self Service

February 5, 2019 7 comments

For a number of OS releases, Apple made both macOS software updates and Mac App Store (MAS) updates available via the MAS Updates page. I was able to use this to provide an easy way for customers to check for available software updates using Jamf Pro’s Self Service

As of macOS Mojave though, Apple moved macOS software updates to the Software Update preference pane in System Preferences.

Screen Shot 2019 02 05 at 10 56 41 AM

Opening the Software Update preference pane will automatically trigger a check for available macOS updates, so it’s possible to approximate the previous behavior by running the following command without root privileges:

open /System/Library/PreferencePanes/SoftwareUpdate.prefPane

When this command is run via the command line, the following actions take place:

  1. System Preferences launches
  2. The Software Update preference pane automatically loads
  3. The Mac automatically checks for macOS updates.

For folks using Jamf Pro, this command can be leveraged to provide a way for customers to easily check for macOS software updates on their own schedule. For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

%d bloggers like this: