Archive for November, 2020

Identifying Universal 2 apps on macOS Mojave and later

November 21, 2020 Leave a comment

As Apple introduces its new Apple Silicon Macs, it’s important that Mac admins be able to identify if their environment’s software will be able to run natively on both Intel and Apple Silicon as Universal 2 apps or if they’ll need Apple’s Rosetta 2 translation service installed first on their Apple Silicon Macs to allow their apps to run.

To assist with this identification effort, Apple has provided two tools:

Both have been around for a while and initially helped identify the original Universal binaries, which were compiled to support both PowerPC and Intel processors. They’ve now been updated for this new processor transition and either will be able to identify if an app’s binary was compiled for the following:

  • x86_64 (Intel)
  • arm64 (Apple Silicon)
  • Both x86_64 and arm64 (Universal 2)

For more details, please see below the jump.

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Categories: Mac administration, macOS

Installing Rosetta 2 on Apple Silicon Macs

November 17, 2020 27 comments

With Apple now officially selling Apple Silicon Macs, there’s a design decision which Apple made with macOS Big Sur that may affect various Mac environments:

At this time, macOS Big Sur does not install Rosetta 2 by default on Apple Silicon Macs.

Rosetta 2 is Apple’s software solution for aiding in the transition from Macs running on Intel processors to Macs running on Apple Silicon processors. It allows most Intel apps to run on Apple Silicon without issues, which provides time for vendors to update their software to a Universal build which can run on both Intel and Apple Silicon.

Without Rosetta 2 installed, Intel apps do not run on Apple Silicon. So for those folks who need Rosetta 2, how to install it? For more details, please see below the jump.

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Preventing the macOS Big Sur upgrade advertisement from appearing in the Software Update preference pane on macOS Catalina

November 12, 2020 12 comments

Not yet ready for macOS Big Sur in your environment, but you’ve trained your folks to look at the Software Update preference pane to see if there’s available updates? One of the ways Apple is advertising the macOS Big Sur upgrade is via the Software Update preference pane:

Screen Shot 2020 11 12 at 2 25 15 PM

You can block it from appearing using the softwareupdate –ignore command, but for macOS Catalina, Mojave and High Sierra, that command now requires one of the following enrollments as a pre-requisite:

  • Apple Business Manager enrollment
  • Apple School Manager enrollment
  • Enrollment in a user-approved MDM

For more information on this, please reference the following KBase article: (search for the following: Major new releases of macOS can be hidden when using the softwareupdate(8) command).

For more details, please see below the jump.

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Categories: Mac administration, macOS

Detecting kernel panics using Jamf Pro

November 10, 2020 4 comments

Something that has (mostly) become more rare on the Mac platform are kernel panics, which are computer errors from which the operating system cannot safely recover without risking major data loss. Since a kernel panic means that the system has to halt or automatically reboot, this is a major inconvenience to the user of the computer.


Kernel panics are always the result of a software bug, either in Apple’s code or in the code of a third party’s kernel extension. Since they are always from bugs and they cause work interruptions, it’s a good idea to get on top of kernel panic issues as quickly as possible. To assist with this, a Jamf Pro Extension Attribute has been written to detect if a kernel panic has taken place. For more details, please see below the jump.

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Extension attributes for Jamf Protect

November 4, 2020 1 comment

I’ve started working with Jamf Protect and, as part of that, I found that I needed to be able to report the following information about Jamf Protect to Jamf Pro:

  1. Is the Jamf Protect agent installed on a particular Mac?
  2. Is the Jamf Protect agent running on a particular Mac?
  3. Which Jamf Protect server is a particular Mac handled by?

To address these needs, I’ve written three Jamf Pro extension attributes which display the requested information as part of a Mac’s inventory record in Jamf Pro. For more details, please see below the jump:

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