Archive for the ‘Jamf Pro’ Category

Backing up the contents of an AWS-hosted Jamf Pro cloud distribution point to a local directory

February 15, 2018 Leave a comment

As part of removing unused packages from a Jamf Pro cloud distribution point using @shea_craig‘s Spruce tool, I needed to first make a backup of the contents of the cloud distribution point to a local directory on my Mac. That way, in case I had made an error and deleted the wrong installer package, I had a copy of the package readily available and could re-add the package back to my Jamf Pro server.

The cloud distribution point in question is hosted out in Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) S3 service, so I decided to use AWS’s awscli command line tool‘s S3 functions to run a one-way synchronization process between the cloud distribution point in S3 and my local directory. For more details, please see below the jump.

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FileVault recovery key redirection profile changes in macOS High Sierra

January 15, 2018 8 comments

For macOS Sierra and earlier, Apple had a dedicated FileVault Recovery Key Redirection profile payload for FileVault recovery key redirection. This profile was designed to work with a mobile device management (MDM) server, to allow the MDM server to act as a recovery key escrow service and store FileVault personal recovery keys.

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Note: Jamf Pro will be used as the example MDM server in this post. However, similar functionality is available in other MDM services.

On macOS High Sierra, this FileVault Recovery Key Redirection profile payload no longer works. In its place, Apple has added new Enable Escrow Personal Recovery Key settings to the FileVault section of the existing Security profile payload.

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Adding the recovery key redirection to the Security payload may cause issues in some environments, as the Security profile payload has other settings which those environments may prefer to manage separately, or not manage at all.

For those who prefer to manage FileVault recovery key redirection separately from the other settings managed by the Security payload, it is possible to create a profile (with some manual editing) which only manages FileVault recovery key redirection. For more details, see below the jump.

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Implementing log rotation for the Jamf Infrastructure Manager logs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

November 4, 2017 Leave a comment

A while back, I had set up the Jamf Infrastructure Manager (JIM) in a VM running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to provide a way for a Jamf Pro server hosted outside a company’s network to be able to talk to an otherwise inaccessible Active Directory domain. The JIM software has been running fine since I configured it, but I recently needed to take a look at the JIM logs as part of diagnosing another issue.

For those not familiar with the JIM software, it has several log files and those logs are available in the following location on RHEL:


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When I checked the logs, I noticed that /var/log/jamf-im.log had grown to almost 500 MBs in size.

Considering this log is a plaintext file, that’s a big log file and it seemingly had been not been rotated or otherwise changed since I first installed the JIM software. To help make sure that the host VM would not eventually run out of space because of this growing log file, I needed to implement log rotation for the JIM logs. For more details, see below the jump.

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Building a Jamf Pro smart group containing High Sierra-incompatible Mac models

August 29, 2017 4 comments

As part of preparing for macOS Sierra in 2016, I prepared a smart group that listed Macs incompatible with macOS Sierra. Apple stated at WWDC 2017 that any Mac that can run macOS Sierra can also run macOS High Sierra, so that means that the list of incompatible Macs has not changed. For more details, see below the jump:

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Identifying the Jamf Pro server set in CasperCheck using an Extension Attribute

July 30, 2017 Leave a comment

As part of my Jamf Pro testing process, I will often set up a VM using a production setup workflow then enroll that newly-setup VM into my test Jamf Pro server. However, as part of my production workflow setup, I will usually install my CasperCheck self-repair solution in order to make sure the machine stays enrolled with my Jamf Pro server.

Unfortunately, this can lead to the following chain of events:

  1. Test VM is enrolled in the test Jamf Pro server
  2. CasperCheck runs on its pre-set schedule and detects that it is not enrolled with the Jamf Pro server specified in the script.
  3. CasperCheck runs its repair functions and enrolls the test VM in the production server.
  4. I wonder why my test VM isn’t talking to the test Jamf Pro server.
  5. I check the CasperCheck log, grumble when I notice that CasperCheck has done its job, and then install the test server’s CasperCheck script on the test VM.
  6. Reboot the test VM to trigger the test server’s CasperCheck script to enroll the test VM into the test server again.

This situation happened infrequently enough in the past that I usually just dealt with it on an individual basis, but I finally decided to fix it by writing a Jamf Pro Extension Attribute to help me identify which Jamf Pro server was specified in the installed copy of CasperCheck . For more details, see below the jump.

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Managing AWS-hosted VMs using EC2 Systems Manager

May 30, 2017 Leave a comment

I’ve been doing a lot of work recently with Linux VMs that are hosted on Amazon Web ServicesEC2 service. As part of this work, I’ve been working on two problems in parallel:

  • Enabling automation of certain management commands for the VMs
  • Securing SSH

Part of the issue was that I thought I needed to have SSH available to enable remote administration. If that was true, I also needed to secure SSH access so that I could use it and malicious third parties couldn’t. However, whatever method I chose also needed to be easily accessible to my team so that they could access the AWS-hosted VMs in case of an emergency where I wasn’t available.

I went through a few iterations of SSH solutions, including investigating multi-factor authentication and setting up SSH bastions. In the end though, I discovered a surprising solution that fixed both of my problems: AWS’s EC2 Systems Manager

Systems Manager allowed me to do the following:

  1. Manage my Linux VMs on EC2 without using SSH
  2. Block SSH access on my Linux VMs
  3. Run commands on multiple VMs at once
  4. Create a library of frequently used tasks and run those commands without needing to re-enter the scripts used to run those tasks.
  5. Not spend extra money on a management solution because AWS makes Systems Manager available at no cost to AWS customers.

For more details, please see below the jump.

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Creating Jamf Pro QuickAdd installer packages which do not install the Jamf Pro management user account

May 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Jamf Pro-managed Macs usually have a management account on the Mac, which is normally created as part of the Mac’s enrollment in the Jamf Pro service. This may cause issues in some Mac environments, where the creation of local user accounts is tightly controlled to help minimize opportunities for malicious third parties to compromise unused accounts.

To help protect against the Jamf Pro management account being compromised, Jamf has added some protections. These protections include including the ability to set a random password for the account on a per-machine basis and the ability to rotate the password on a regular basis.

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Depending on your needs though, it is also possible avoid setting up the Jamf Pro management account on Macs. The reason for this is that the Jamf Pro agent by and large does not need the Jamf Pro management account in order to work properly.

As of Jamf Pro 9.99.0, the Jamf Pro management account is used for the following:

If you are not using Jamf’s Remote application for remote screen sharing, or enabling the Jamf Pro management account for FileVault 2, it is not necessary to install the Jamf Pro management account on Jamf Pro-managed Macs at all. For more details, see below the jump.

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