Archive

Archive for July, 2022

Privileges.app and time-limited admin

July 22, 2022 1 comment

Privileges is an open source tool from SAP which helps folks manage admin rights for their account. As part of its feature set, it includes an option for time-limited admin using a specific function called Toggle privileges.

Privileges dock toggleon

Privileges dock toggleon20

However, Toggle privileges’s time-limited admin feature for Privileges is its most misunderstood feature. The reason is that while the ability to set a time limit is only available if you’re using the Toggle privileges function, many users assume that this time-limited admin is available universally to all the functions used to get admin rights using the Privileges app.

It is not. Time limited admin is only available using the Toggle privileges function. If you’re not using the Toggle privileges function, there is no time limitation and you cannot set one from within the Privileges app.

This information is available in the Privileges FAQ:

Screen Shot 2022 07 22 at 10 05 50 AM

What does this mean?

  1. The only way time-limited admin is currently working on Privileges is by using the Toggle privileges function.
  2. If you are clicking on the icon in the dock and not selecting the Toggle privileges function, there’s no time limit.
  3. If you’re using the PrivilegesCLI command line tool, there is no time limit.

How long do you have admin if you’re not using the Toggle privileges function? Admin rights are granted until some process (like running Privileges again) takes them away. There’s no time limit.

All of the Privileges management options available for time-limited admin at this time apply only to the Toggle privileges function. If you’re using any of the management settings options listed below, they apply only and exclusively to the Toggle privileges function:

  • DockToggleTimeout
  • DockToggleMaxTimeout

They will not manage time-limited admin for any of Privileges’ functions outside of using the Toggle privileges function.

What if you want time-limited admin outside of using the Toggle privileges function? You will need to use a separate mechanism. In my case, I usually point folks towards using PrivilegesDemoter:

https://github.com/sgmills/PrivilegesDemoter

This tool uses a separate mechanism for figuring out the timing and then uses the PrivilegesCLI command line tool to take away admin when the time limit set for PrivilegesDemoter expires.

Specifying shell commands to run when opening new Terminal windows from macOS’s Terminal settings

July 15, 2022 Leave a comment

As a follow-up to a previous post, as part of that post I had been running certain shell commands by adding them to a .zshrc file:

With some additional research, I learned that I could also run these commands using the Run command function which is available in your Terminal settings under the Shell tab.

Screen Shot 2022 07 15 at 11 17 29 AM

To replicate what I wanted, I had to enable the Run command option in the Shell tab, then also set Run inside shell. Once those were enabled, I added the following shell commands:

export PS1="\$ " && unset zle_bracketed_paste && clear
  • export PS1=”\$ “: Sets the prompt to only display “$” (no quotes) using the PS1 environmental variable.
  • unset zle_bracketed_paste: Disable the zsh shell’s bracketed paste feature.
  • clear: Removes all contents (including running the commands listed above) from the Terminal window.

The reason why this is nice is that I can now add running these commands to a macOS configuration profile using the CommandString key:


<key>CommandString</key>
<string>export PS1="\$ " &amp;&amp; unset zle_bracketed_paste &amp;&amp; clear</string>

view raw

gistfile1.txt

hosted with ❤ by GitHub

To see this used in context in a macOS configuration profile, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Categories: macOS, Management Profiles

Customizing Terminal behavior for documentation needs

July 14, 2022 Leave a comment

As part of writing documentation today, I was given a script to follow when making some videos as part of the documentation process. The script included the following requirement:

  • Prepare the Terminal to not show the hostname or the logged-in user

By default, Terminal in macOS Monterey will show both. How to get rid of this?

Screen Shot 2022 07 14 at 3 27 15 PM

Fortunately for me, @scriptingosx had already documented how to do this as part of this post. You can use the PS1 environmental variable to set how your prompt appears in Terminal. After some experimentation, I set the following environmental variable:

PS1="\$ "

To have this prompt appear whenever I opened a new Terminal session, I added the following line to a newly-created .zshrc file in my home folder:

export PS1="\$ "

The .zshrc file is a configuration file for the zsh shell, so adding that and then opening a new Terminal window gave me a prompt which looks like this.

Screen Shot 2022 07 14 at 3 07 10 PM

As part of making the videos, I also noticed that when I copied and pasted a command into the Terminal that the pasted text was highlighted automatically. I’d seen this before and ignored it, but I thought it might be an unnecessary distraction for those watching this video later, so I went looking for how to disable it.

Screen Shot 2022 07 14 at 3 14 30 PM

After some research, I found that this was zsh’s “bracketed paste” feature, which was introduced as part of zsh 5.1. This feature can be turned off using the following command:

unset zle_bracketed_paste

Screen Shot 2022 07 14 at 3 15 20 PM

Adding entries for both the prompt and turning off bracketed paste to my .zshrc file gave me the Terminal behavior I wanted:

export PS1="\$ "
unset zle_bracketed_paste

Screen Shot 2022 07 14 at 3 19 14 PM

I also performed additional customization of my Terminal experience, but those modifications were managed using a configuration profile. For more details on that, please see this previous post:

https://derflounder.wordpress.com/2019/12/19/deploying-terminal-profile-settings-using-macos-configuration-profiles/

Removing unwanted Time Machine backups from APFS-formatted Time Machine backup drives on macOS Monterey

July 1, 2022 Leave a comment

I recently needed to prune some Time Machine backups, where I wanted to manually delete some older backups while not deleting everything on the drive. When I researched this, the guidance provided used the procedure described below:

  1. Connect your external backup drive to your Mac if needed.
  2. Launch the Time Machine app.
  3. Use the timeline on the right of the screen or the arrows to navigate to the backup date you want to delete. Alternatively, use the Finder window to navigate to the file or folder you want to delete.
  4. After selecting the date or file you want to delete, click the Action () button in Finder and choose to either Delete Backup or Delete All Backups of [Your File]

For an HFS+ formatted Time Machine backup drive, this guidance is correct. However, my Time Machine backup drive is APFS formatted. When following this guidance, I ran into the following issue:

  1. Connect your external backup drive to your Mac if needed.
  2. Launch the Time Machine app.
  3. Use the timeline on the right of the screen or the arrows to navigate to the backup date you want to delete. Alternatively, use the Finder window to navigate to the file or folder you want to delete.
  4. After selecting the date or file you want to delete, click the Action () button in Finder.

With APFS-formatted Time Machine backup drives, only the option to restore files is available. The Delete Backup or Delete All Backups options are not available.

Screen Shot 2022 07 01 at 3 17 34 PM

So how can unwanted Time Machine backups be manually deleted? For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

%d bloggers like this: