One of the issues I worked on this week was building a new Office 2011 installer after Microsoft released the Office 2011 14.5.0 update. I have an existing process to build a combined Office 2011 installer using Packages, which I’ve used successfully for a while.
This time though, I hit a problem. When I installed the combined Office 2011 installer with DeployStudio, then logged in, I was asked to enter a product key. Since my work has a volume license, this isn’t a screen I should ever see.
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:
- Office 2011 is installed and then updated to 14.5.0 while nobody is logged in
- Office 2011 is installed and then updated to 14.5.0 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 14.4.x installed on it and put it back on an as-needed basis.
The needed file is /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist. If you have a volume-licensed version of Office 2011 installed on your Mac, you should have this file.
To address this issue, you can use Packages’ ability to add resources to a Packages-built package. See below the jump for an an example using an Office 2011 SP 4 installer package, the Office 2011 14.5.0 Update, and the com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist license file to build a unified Office 2011 14.5.0 installer package that does not prompt for a product key.
As part of working with OS X VMs in VMware Fusion and ESXi, I’ve regularly installed the VMware Tools and have even found ways to incorporate their installation into my build process. However, getting the latest VMware Tools installer into my VM building workflow has usually involved at least one manual step or having a system management tool handle the installation for me. I wanted something that was completely automated without needing to also install a system management client. My end goal was that I didn’t have to worry about doing anything; the latest VMware Tools for my OS X VM would just be installed into the VM as part of the build process.
After doing some research and testing, I have a solution that looks like it does just that. For more details, see below the jump.
As part of working with open source software on OS X, it’s often convenient to use a package manager to install open source packages. Good package managers are useful because they handle downloading the open source software you want, make sure that any related software dependencies get handled, and make it easy to keep the software you installed up to date.
The ones that I’ve worked with in the past have been the following:
pkgsrc has the following strengths:
- Easy to install
- Works on multiple Unix-based platforms
- Installs its software all within one dedicated location (/usr/pkg)
- Does not require the creation of dedicated local user accounts
- Installs software with root privileges
That last point was important to me because Homebrew doesn’t do that. Instead, Homebrew installs software with the ownership set to be the user who ran the installation command.
That characteristic of Homebrew has always made me crazy, but I freely admit that’s my own personal peeve. As with many things, I’m not going to tell folks what package manager to use if their choice is working well for them.
To aid with the installation of pkgsrc on OS X, I’ve written a script. For more details, see below the jump.
My shop recently made the change from using Juniper Network‘s Network Connect VPN client to using Juniper’s Junos Pulse VPN client. As part of the changeover, I wanted to provide an installer for our folks to use which would install both the Junos Pulse software and the configuration needed to connect to our VPN.
Fortunately, Juniper made the process of creating and importing the necessary configuration fairly straightforward. My VPN admin provided me with a copy of the needed .jnprpreconfig config file from our VPN server and I could use Pulse’s jamCommand application to import it. Once I had both the .jnprpreconfig config file and a copy of the Junos Pulse installer, I was able to create an installer using this method that handled both the installation and the automated configuration of the Junos Pulse VPN client. For more details, see below the jump.
Following the release of Security Update 2015-002, it became apparent that the usually-hidden /mach_kernel file was now visible via the Finder. The mach_kernel file file is important to OS X and is stored on the root level of the hard drive on most versions of OS X (OS X 10.10.x has moved the mach_kernel file out of the root level of the Mac’s boot drive.)
As part of a post describing the problem, Tim Sutton has written a script to identify and fix the issue by using the ls command to check for the hidden attribute and then using the chflags command to re-hide the /mach_kernel file as needed. I’ve adapted Tim’s script for use in my own shop to have Casper find and fix this issue. For more details, see below the jump.
With the release of Sophos Enterprise Anti-Virus 9.2.x, Sophos changed how their enterprise antivirus solution for Macs was installed. While previous versions of Sophos Enterprise used an Apple installer metapackage, Sophos has now switched to using an application to install their enterprise antivirus software.
This switch was a problem for Mac admins who wanted to deploy Sophos Enterprise Anti-Virus 9.2.x, as the previously-available installer package had simplified the task of deployment. The new Sophos Enterprise Anti-Virus 9.2.x install application added further complexity by storing many of the installer’s files and other components outside the application in a separate Sophos Installer Components directory.
However, after doing some research and testing, it looks like it is possible to repackage Sophos Enterprise 9.2.x for deployment. For more details, see below the jump.
A number of Mac admins need to provide the Xcode Command Line Tools for the Macs in their environments, either as part of building machines or afterwards. To help with this task, I’ve developed a script that will download and install the Xcode Command Line Tools on Macs running 10.7.x and higher. See below the jump for more details.