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Archive for the ‘macOS’ Category

Using the macOS High Sierra OS installer’s startosinstall tool to install additional packages as post-upgrade tasks

September 26, 2017 1 comment

Starting with macOS 10.12.4, Apple locked down the macOS installer to make it impossible to add non-Apple installer packages directly to the macOS Install .app without using NetInstall. However, there is a way to configure the macOS High Sierra OS installer to install additional packages as a post-upgrade task. For more details, please see below the jump.

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Categories: Mac administration, macOS

Using the macOS High Sierra OS installer’s startosinstall tool to avoid APFS conversion

September 26, 2017 4 comments

As part of the upgrade process to macOS High Sierra, Apple has stated that certain drives will be converted from using the HFS+ filesystem to Apple’s new default filesystem, APFS. The conversion criteria is shown below:

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For those Mac admins who don’t necessarily want to convert yet, there is a way to configure the macOS High Sierra OS installer to skip the APFS conversion. For more details, please see below the jump.

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Changing local account passwords may cause new login keychain to be silently generated on macOS High Sierra

September 25, 2017 7 comments

As part of my testing of macOS High Sierra, I’ve noticed that login behavior has changed for local accounts, in cases where the password of the login keychain is different from the password of the account logging in.

On macOS Sierra, the following behavior occurs when the password of the login keychain is different from the password of the local account logging in:

1. The login process pauses
2. You’re prompted to continue login, create a new keychain, or update the existing keychain password.

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3. If you choose to update the existing keychain password, you enter the keychain’s current password (which is usually the account’s former password.)

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4. The login process proceeds and the desktop comes up.

On macOS High Sierra, the following behavior occurs when the password of the login keychain is different from the password of the local account logging in:

1. The login keychain with the different password is renamed to login_renamed_number_goes_here.keychain-db and stored in ~/Library/Keychains.

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2. A new login keychain is created in ~/Library/Keychains. The new login keychain is named login.keychain-db and uses the password of the local account logging in.

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Note: This is behavior I’ve observed for local accounts only. I have not been able to test with network accounts, like Active Directory mobile accounts.

Update 9-26-2017: This behavior was addressed in the betas for Active Directory mobile accounts:

The reason why this behavior is problematic is that anything stored in the former login keychain is not transferred to the new login keychain. Saved passwords, certificates, and any other secrets stored in the now-former login keychain will not be present in the new login keychain. They will need to be manually copied, or re-saved into the new login keychain.

For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: Mac administration, macOS

APFS preparation and macOS High Sierra

September 9, 2017 5 comments

As part of the pre-release announcements about macOS High Sierra, Apple released the following KBase article:

Apple makes a number of statements about APFS and its effects in this KBase article, but what do they all mean? I’m going to try to clarify while staying on the right side of Apple’s NDA. 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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Adding password protection to manually installed management profiles

August 24, 2017 Leave a comment

While working with some colleagues, I recently built a management profile that my one colleague requested to be set as non-removable. Normally, this can be accomplished by setting the PayloadRemovalDisallowed key in the profile to a boolean value of true.

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I provided the profile to my colleague and he tested it out. However, in the course of testing, he discovered that the profile could be removed by a user with administrative rights using the following procedure:

1. Open System Preferences
2. Select the profile in question.
3. Click the minus button.

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4. Be warned about removing a locked profile.

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5. Enter admin credentials when prompted.

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After entering admin credentials, the profile was then removed.

When I checked Apple’s reference documentation on configuration profiles, the issue came down to how the profile was being delivered. Apple’s documentation includes the following note about the PayloadRemovalDisallowed key:

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This profile was being installed by an installer package, so from Apple’s point of view it was being installed manually. That meant that the manual installation behavior, where the profile could be removed by anyone with admin rights, was the applicable behavior here.

Another colleague working with us on this issue suggested adding a removal password to the profile, using Apple’s com.apple.profileRemovalPassword profile payload.

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A removal password for a profile is designed to allow the removal of a management profile, even if that profile is otherwise set to be non-removable. For more details, see below the jump:

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Kernel extensions and macOS High Sierra

August 24, 2017 6 comments

As part of the pre-release announcements about macOS High Sierra, Apple released the following KBase article:

As part of the KBase article, Apple included a Changes coming with macOS High Sierra section which featured this note:

macOS High Sierra introduces a new feature that requires user approval before loading new third-party kernel extensions. This feature will require changes to some apps and installers in order to preserve the desired user experience.

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That section in turn links to this KBase article, which describes the behavior in more detail:

To improve security on the Mac, kernel extensions installed with or after the installation of macOS High Sierra require user consent in order to load. This is known as User Approved Kernel Extension Loading. Any user can approve a kernel extension, even if they don’t have administrator privileges.


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What’s all this mean? For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: Mac administration, macOS
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