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Installing and configuring the Jamf Infrastructure Manager on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

April 29, 2017 4 comments

I recently needed to configure Jamf’s Jamf Infrastructure Manager (JIM) 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 documentation on how to set up an Infrastructure Manager covers the essentials of how to do it, but doesn’t include any screenshots or have information about how to access the logs to help debug problems. After some research and working with the JIM a bit, I was able to figure out the basics. For more details, see below the jump.

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Generating multiple-use Casper QuickAdd installer packages using the JSS

August 18, 2016 Leave a comment

As part of the process of upgrading my Casper server, I generally create a new installer for the Casper agent in the form of a QuickAdd installer package. This process usually looks like this:

1. Update the Casper Suite applications on the Mac where I’m generating the new QuickAdd installer package.

2. Open Casper Recon.

Screen Shot 2016 08 13 at 10 23 59 PM

3. Sign into Casper Recon.

Screen Shot 2016 08 13 at 10 24 58 PM

4. Select QuickAdd Package from the Recon sidebar.

Screen Shot 2016 08 13 at 10 26 45 PM

5. Set up the desired options for the QuickAdd installer package.

Screen Shot 2016 08 13 at 10 27 41 PM

6. Click the Create button.

Screen Shot 2016 08 13 at 10 27 42 PM

7. Choose a name for the new QuickAdd installer package.

Screen Shot 2016 08 13 at 10 28 06 PM

8. Wait for Recon to create the QuickAdd installer package.

Screen Shot 2016 08 13 at 10 28 43 PM

9. Take the newly-created QuickAdd package and use it to replace the existing QuickAdd packages used by CasperCheck and my deployment workflows.

Screen Shot 2016 08 13 at 10 29 31 PM

The reason I use this process is that Casper’s Recon application is able to generate a QuickAdd installer package with an unlimited enrollment invitation. With an unlimited enrollment invitation, I can use the same QuickAdd installer package multiple times to enroll multiple machines. This is in contrast the user-based enrollment process via the JSS, which by default generates a QuickAdd installer package with a one-time-use enrollment invitation.

I have this Recon-based process documented, but it’s always been something I’ve wanted to automate at least somewhat. Recently, as part of a discussion with my colleague Tom Larkin, I learned that a Casper JSS server which is configured to send out emails is capable of generating enrollment invitation emails, which include a link to download a JSS-generated QuickAdd. That invitation can be set to link to a QuickAdd with an unlimited enrollment invitation and an expiration date many years in the future, which effectively gives me the ability to generate the QuickAdd installer packages I want without the need to use Casper’s Recon application. For more details, see below the jump.

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Performance tuning for the Casper JSS

April 17, 2016 1 comment

One of the challenges Casper admins can run into is performance tuning, which can require going into parts of the JSS that you normally go into only when JAMF Support asks you to do so. To help with this process, there are formulas which you can use to calculate if your JSS’s Tomcat and MySQL services are configured for best performance.

Before proceeding further, I want to emphasize that a) check with JAMF Support first and b) you should always, always, always make backups of your JSS before changing settings. I assume no responsibility and bear no culpability if your JSS breaks as a result of anything you implement as a result of reading this post. I am also not responsible for incorrect math, ruining anyone’s weekend, or that long talk you now need to have with your boss about why your JSS is now broken.

One other thing to be aware of is that I’m going to be focusing on Linux and Windows in this post since those are the platforms that I’m most familiar with for hosting a Casper 9 JSS.

For more details, see below the jump:

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Status report script for Linux-hosted Casper servers

December 14, 2015 1 comment

As part of keeping an eye on my support systems, I’ve been using a script for my Casper servers running on Linux which emails me a status report on a daily basis. I adapted this script from an earlier one I wrote to monitor Tomcat and alert me if Tomcat was having issues. The script tells me a number of things that are useful to know, including the following:

  • Uptime
  • Free space on all attached drives
  • Who’s logged in via SSH or in the console
  • Virtual memory statistics
  • Current system tasks
  • SMB connections information
  • Recent entries in the Apache server logs
  • Recent entries in the JSS server log

In my case, my Casper servers are hosted on Red Hat Enterprise Linux so I’ve focused this script’s development and testing on compatibility with RHEL-based Linux distributions. That said, nothing in it is RHEL-specific so it should also work on other Linux distributions. For more information, see below the jump.

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Categories: Casper, JSS, Linux, Scripting

Adding a self-signed Casper Root CA as a trusted root

December 24, 2014 1 comment

Since Elliot Jordan’s presentation at JAMF Nation User Conference 2014, I’ve started using AutoPkgr in combination with Shea Craig’s JSSImporter to automatically package and upload a number of software packages to my Casper servers.

Having AutoPkgr handle this task has been great, but I’ve had to do some additional work to make sure that JSSImporter was OK with Casper using SSL certificates issued by its own internal certificate authority instead of by a third-party external certificate authority like Verisign. On top of that, the urllib3 library used by JSSImporter added a new warning that is triggered by HTTPS requests that use an certificate that can’t be validated. Since the Casper server was signing its own certificates using its own internal certificate authority, this warning was being triggered on every AutoPkg recipes’ run, which sometimes resulted in interesting emails like the one below.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 9.26.24 AM

I could have installed the Casper agent on the VM that I was using to host AutoPkgr, which would have installed the root certificate for the Casper server’s internal certificate authority. However, I didn’t necessarily want to have Casper manage the VM as that would have consumed one of my available Casper licenses on a machine that didn’t need management.

However, I did want to get the root certificate for the Casper server’s internal certificate authority installed on the VM. That would allow the Casper server’s SSL certificate to be recognized as a validated certificate and fix the issues I was having with not having a validated certificate.

For details on how I fixed this, see below the jump.

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Updating Red Hat Enterprise Linux and MySQL for Casper JSS server running on Linux

October 9, 2013 3 comments

In my own shop, I’m currently running Casper 8.x on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux server. The server had been set up initially with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 and MySQL 5.1.47 and it had stayed there for a while. However, I looked ahead to Casper 9.x and saw the following versions of MySQL were now listed as being required:

MySQL Enterprise Edition 5.5 or later, or MySQL Community Server 5.5 or later

I’m still running Casper 8.x, but I wanted to get ahead of the curve and not have to deal with a MySQL upgrade at the same time as a future Casper 9.x upgrade. Thanks to the Linux folks at my workplace, I was able to do so with a minimum of hassle. See below the jump for the details.
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Categories: Casper, JSS, Linux

Uninstalling Casper on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

September 24, 2013 Leave a comment

I recently had to roll my Casper test server back, as I had been testing Casper 9.x but needed to verify something worked in Casper 8.x. Since I hadn’t found a good knowledge base article on JAMF Nation for uninstalling Casper’s JSS from a Red Hat Enterprise Linux server, I asked JAMF Support how to do this. Here’s the procedure I used, based on their response:

Note: This procedure should only be used if you need to completely uninstall your Casper JSS. It removes all certificates, databases and anything else stored in your JSS.

1. SSH into the RHEL server as my user account.

2. su into the root account on the server by running the following command:

su root

3. Stop JAMF’s Tomcat by running the following command:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/jamf.tomcat7 stop

4. Delete the jss directory from /usr/local by running the following command:

rm -rf /usr/local/jss

Once /usr/local/jss was removed, I needed to remove the JSS’s MySQL database in order to complete the uninstall. Here’s the procedure I used:

5. Run the following command to get a MySQL prompt:

mysql

6. From the mysql> prompt, run the following command to remove the existing database:

mysql> drop database jamfsoftware;

7. Exit out of MySQL with the following command:

mysql> exit;

At this point, the JAMF-provided parts of the JSS were all removed. I hadn’t removed anything from my JSS’s file share, so all my installers and deployable scripts were intact. I then rebooted, just to make sure no stray processes remained before I tried reinstalling Casper 8.x.

Once the server was back up, I ran the following procedure to prepare the server for re-installing Casper 8.x.:

1. SSH into the RHEL server as my user account.

2. su into the root account on the server by running the following command:

su root

3. Run the following command to get a MySQL prompt:

mysql

4. From the mysql> prompt, run the following command to create a new empty jamfsoftware database for the JSS:

mysql> create database jamfsoftware;

5. Exit out of MySQL with the following command:

mysql> exit;

With the new jamfsoftware database created in MySQL on my test server, I was then ready to reinstall Casper 8.x.

Categories: Casper, JSS, Linux
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