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Creating mobile accounts using createmobileaccount is not working on OS X 10.10.3

April 9, 2015 4 comments

Following the release of OS X 10.10.3, I noticed in my testing that I was no longer able to create Active Directory mobile user accounts using the /System/Library/CoreServices/ManagedClient.app/Contents/Resources/createmobileaccount tool.

The process of using the createmobileaccount tool usually works like this:

  1. Open Terminal or run a script
  2. Run the following command with root privileges:
/System/Library/CoreServices/ManagedClient.app/Contents/Resources/createmobileaccount -n network_account_username_goes_here

What normally happens is a new mobile account and home folder are then set up on the Mac for the network_account_username_goes_here account. On 10.10.3, I’m receiving an error indicating that the mobile account could not be created.

To try to narrow down if it was an issue specific to Active Directory account, I tested against both my shop’s Active Directory domain and OpenLDAP domain. In both cases, I received similar errors.

Active Directory on OS X 10.10.3

AD_error_10103

OpenLDAP on OS X 10.10.3

OpenLDAP_error_10103

To verify that this was a 10.10.3-specific issue, I re-ran my tests in a 10.10.2 VM. On 10.10.2, my results were what I expected: A new mobile account and home folder were created on the VM.

Mobile account creation on OS X 10.10.2

AD_output_10102

Mobile account creation via the OS loginwindow

One piece of good news is that this does not appear to affect the creation of mobile accounts via the loginwindow. In my testing against my Active Directory domain, automatic mobile account creation via the loginwindow appears to work fine.

The process I used in my testing looked like this:

  1. Bind test Mac running OS X 10.10.3 to my shop’s Active Directory domain, with mobile account creation enabled in the Apple Active Directory plug-in’s settings.
  2. Verify that the test account was not present as a mobile account on the Mac
  3. Log in with the test account’s credentials at the loginwindow

The results were what I expected: A new mobile account and home folder were created on the test Mac.

To help get this issue fixed, I’ve filed a bug report. For those interested in duping it, it’s bug ID 20482382.


Update 4-10-2015: My bug report has been closed as a duplicate of bug ID 20295898. If you want to file a bug report that dupes mine, please use the following bug ID to do so:

Bug ID 20295898


For those interested in the details, I’ve also posted the bug report to Open Radar:

http://www.openradar.me/20482382

Accessing and unhiding the hidden ~/Library folder

April 3, 2015 1 comment

Starting in Mac OS X 10.7.x, Apple started hiding the Library directory stored inside an account’s home folder. I’ve written a script to un-hide it on my own Macs, but I recently came across a couple of Apple-supported ways to access and unhide the ~/Library directory. For more details, see below the jump.

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Upgrading an ESXi server from 5.5 to 6.0

March 25, 2015 3 comments

As part of moving my ESXi environment from 5.5 to 6.0, I have a 2012 Mac Pro which I’m using to host my OS X test environment for work. As this server is already configured the way I want it, I wanted to do a straight upgrade and preserve my existing settings and datastores. Fortunately, the 2012 Mac Pro is listed on VMware’s hardware compatibility list as being supported hardware.

While ESXi 6.0 is not yet listed as a supported release, I had it on reasonably good authority that I could use the stock ESXi 6.0 installer to upgrade. All I needed to do was get a copy of the ESXi 6.0 installer ISO file from the VMware website and use Disk Utility to burn the ISO file to a CD. For more details, see below the jump.

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Setting up ESXi 6.0 on a 2012 Mac Mini Server

March 24, 2015 1 comment

Something I’ve been doing for a while is running ESXi on my home server setup. Up until now I’ve been running ESXi 5.5.x on a 2011 Mac Mini, but with the release of ESXi 6.0 by VMware, I decided it was time to upgrade to new hardware. I opted to use the 2012 Mac Mini Server over the 2014 Mac Mini because the 2012 Mini Server uses quad-core processors with hyper-threading. Hyper-threading effectively doubles the number of available processors, so I would be upgrading from four available processors on my 2011 Mini to eight available processors on my 2012; in turn doubling the number of virtual machines which I could host and run inside of ESXi.

Unlike my previous installation of ESXi 5.x on a 2011 Mac Mini Server, where I needed to add ethernet drivers to the stock ESXi 5.x installer, ESXi 6.0 will install and work without additional drivers or installer modification needed. All I needed to do was download a copy of the ESXi 6.0 installer ISO file from the VMware website, use Disk Utility to burn the ISO file to a CD and use that to install ESXi 6. For more details, see below the jump.

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Oracle’s Java 8 Update 40 has been updated again to …. Java 8 Update 40

March 16, 2015 9 comments

Oracle has released a new update for Java 8, but has continued their recent trend of not bumping the version number. Oracle has put out a new build of Java 8 but didn’t bump the version number from Java 8 Update 40, which makes this the third release of Java 8 Update 40.

At this point, it appears that Oracle is now providing the install application across the board. When you update an existing Java installation on OS X via Oracle’s Java update mechanism, you will receive Oracle’s install application for Java along with the selected option to install the Ask.com browser add-ons. If you download an installer from Java.com, you will also receive this install application.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 3.47.54 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.03.52 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 3.57.05 PM

While the Oracle install application is not a standard installer package, it appears that Oracle had stored an installer package for Java 8 within the install application at the following location:

/path/to/install.app/Contents/Resources/JavaAppletPlugin.pkg


Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 3.48.18 PM

The JavaAppletPlugin installer package is digitally-signed and does not include the Ask.com browser add-ons.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 3.48.27 PM

The difference between the three Java 8 Update 40 releases

Early March’s Java 8 Update 40 (released on March 4, 2015): Java 8 Update 40 build 25 (1.8.40.25)

Mid-March’s Java 8 Update 40 (released on March 13, 2015): Java 8 Update 40 build 26 (1.8.40.26)

Just-Past-Mid-March’s Java 8 Update 40 (released on March 16, 2015): Java 8 Update 40 build 27 (1.8.40.27)

If you have Java 8 Update 40 installed, you can find out which build you have by running the following command in Terminal:

defaults read /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Info.plist CFBundleVersion

If you have Java 8 Update 40 build 25, the following string will be returned:

1.8.40.25

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 3.47.40 PM

If you have Java 8 Update 40 build 26, the following string will be returned:

1.8.40.26

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.06.45 PM

If you have Java 8 Update 40 build 27, the following string will be returned:

1.8.40.27

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 3.51.16 PM

For more details, see below the jump.

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Oracle’s Java 8 Update 40 has been updated to …. Java 8 Update 40

March 13, 2015 1 comment

Oracle has released a new update for Java 8, but this update has an interesting wrinkle. Oracle has put out a new build of Java 8, but didn’t bump the version number from Java 8 Update 40. So folks who have the previous version of Java 8 Update 40 installed may receive a message to update to Java 8 Update 40 from their current version, which will also be Java 8 Update 40.

For those thinking this sounds familiar, Oracle did the same thing with Java 8 Update 31 in February.

java_8_update_40

The difference between the two Java 8 Update 40 releases

Early March’s Java 8 Update 40 (released on March 3, 2015): Java 8 Update 40 build 25 (1.8.40.25)

Mid-March’s Java 8 Update 40 (released on March 12, 2015): Java 8 Update 40 build 26 (1.8.40.26)

If you have Java 8 Update 40 installed, you can find out which build you have by running the following command in Terminal:

defaults read /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Info.plist CFBundleVersion

If you have Java 8 Update 40 build 25, the following string will be returned:

1.8.40.25

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 3.47.40 PM

If you have Java 8 Update 40 build 26, the following string will be returned:

1.8.40.26

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.06.45 PM

Following installation of Java 8 Update 40 build 26, I tested on a 10.10.2 Mac against the following sites:

Oracle’s Java Test page: https://www.java.com/en/download/help/testvm.xml

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.10.06 PM

Java Tester’s Java Version page: http://javatester.org/version.html

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.09.53 PM

In both cases, the Java applets on those sites launched and worked without issue using Java 8 Update 40 build 26 (though the javatester.org applet needed to be whitelisted.)

To make things even more confusing, Oracle is providing a different installer for its update feed than it’s providing at the Java.com download site. When you update an existing Java installation on OS X via Oracle’s Java update mechanism, you will receive Oracle’s install application for Java along with the selected option to install the Ask.com browser add-ons.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.05.41 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.03.52 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 3.57.05 PM

If you download an installer from Java.com, you will receive a standard digitally-signed installer package which does not include the Ask.com browser add-ons.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 3.56.36 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 7.10.42 AM

Unfortunately, Oracle has not provided any information about why these differences in installation methods exist. To make sure you’re installing Java 8 Update 40 without the Ask.com browser add-ons, I would currently recommend downloading the installer package available via the Java.com download site.

Deploying a pre-configured Junos Pulse VPN client on OS X

March 13, 2015 1 comment

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.

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