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Archive for the ‘macOS’ Category

Identifying which Active Directory account is logged into Enterprise Connect

April 12, 2017 4 comments

As more Mac environments move away from binding Macs to Active Directory and using AD mobile accounts, and towards using local accounts in combination of tools like NoMAD and Apple’s Enterprise Connect, it’s become more challenging to identify which people are logged into which computers. While mobile Active Directory accounts will use the username and password of the person’s AD account, there is no such certainty with local user accounts.

Fortunately, my colleague Joe Chilcote recently let me know that it’s possible to query the logged-in user’s login keychain and get the username of the Active Directory account which is logged into Enterprise Connect. This can be accomplished by running the following command as the logged-in user:

/usr/bin/security find-generic-password -l "Enterprise Connect" $HOME/Library/Keychains/login.keychain | awk -F "=" '/acct/ {print $2}' | tr -d "\""

That should produce output similar to that shown below:

computername:~ username$ /usr/bin/security find-generic-password -l "Enterprise Connect" $HOME/Library/Keychains/login.keychain | awk -F "=" '/acct/ {print $2}' | tr -d "\""
AD_username_here
computername:~ username$

It’s also possible to leverage this technique to update the User and Location section of a particular computer managed by a Jamf Pro server. For more information, see below the jump.

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Building VMs on ESXi using esxi_macos_vm_creation.sh

April 11, 2017 1 comment

As part of my testing workflow, I’ve been using VMs running on a ESXi server running ESXi 6.5. To help me quickly build those VMs, I have been using a script named esxi_macos_vm_creation.sh for building VMs. This script is forked from Tamas Piros’s auto-create script for standing up Linux VMs on free ESXi:

https://github.com/tpiros/auto-create

My fork of the auto-create script is designed to create and configure virtual machines with Apple operating systems as the guest OS, hosted on a VMware ESXi server running on Apple hardware. The script assumes that the virtual machines are built using copied VMDK disk files, where the VMDK files are generated by AutoDMG and vfuse. For more details, see below the jump.

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Expanding partition size in an ESXi-hosted macOS VM

April 9, 2017 Leave a comment

As part of working on a project recently, I ran into an unexpected problem with ESXi-hosted Mac VMs. For these VMs, I was creating VMDK files from AutoDMG-generated disk images, using vfuse to convert the disk image into a VM with ESXi-compatible VMDK disk image files.

My workflow looked like this:

1. Create disk image using AutoDMG.
2. Use vfuse to create VMDK files using a command similar to the one shown below:

sudo vfuse -i /path/to/autodmg_created_disk_image_here --esx

Screen Shot 2017 04 09 at 12 08 22 PM

3. Upload the VMDK files to a convenient location on my ESXi server
4. Set up a new VM, using copies of uploaded VMDK files for the VM boot disk.
5. Resize the new VM to the desired size using VMware’s vmkfstools utility.
6. Start up the VM.

After logging in, I ran the following command to enable macOS to recognize and use the unallocated space from the VM resizing:

diskutil resizeVolume / R

Normally, this command is able to do a live re-sizing of the boot partition to use all available unallocated space. However, this time the re-sizing process failed and the following error was displayed:

Screen Shot 2017 04 09 at 10 20 53 AM

Screen Shot 2017 04 09 at 10 21 37 AM

How to fix this? For more details, see below the jump.

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Creating macOS installer disk images for VMware Fusion and ESXi with create_macos_vm_install_dmg

March 30, 2017 Leave a comment

I’ve had a tool available for a while named create_vmware_osx_install_dmg, but it looks like it has reached the end of the road with macOS 10.12.3. The reason for this is because macOS 10.12.4 has introduced a change that prevents the addition of third-party packages to the OS installer. create_vmware_osx_install_dmg uses the addition of a third-party installer package, so unfortunately this tool cannot be used to generate 10.12.4 or later OS installers.

That said, I still want to be able to create macOS installer disk images for VMware Fusion and ESXi, so I’ve forked create_vmware_osx_install_dmg into a new script named create_macos_vm_install_dmg. create_macos_vm_install_dmg will generate stock OS installer disk images for the following OS versions:

  • Mac OS X 10.7.x
  • OS X 10.8.x
  • OS X 10.9.x
  • OS X 10.10.x
  • OS X 10.11.x
  • OS X 10.12.x

This script does not use a third-party package, so it is able to build a macOS 10.12.4 installer disk image. For more details, see below the jump.

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Third-party installer packages may not be installable by the macOS 10.12.4 OS installer

March 29, 2017 4 comments

With the release of macOS 10.12.4, it appears that Apple has made a change to the OS installer that blocks the installation of third-party packages which have been added to the OS installer. In my testing, I’ve verified the following tools are affected:

Note: There may be others, this list is what I’ve tested.

In each case, the OS install process proceeds without issues until the OS installer tries to install the third party installer package. At that point, the installation process fails and displays the message shown below:

The package "Package Name Goes Here" is not signed.
Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.

Screen Shot 2017 03 28 at 8 45 36 AM

The error message displayed is misleading however, as this message may also appear if the package has been signed with a Developer ID Installer certificate.

In testing done by myself and others, we have found that there is one circumstance where you can still add a third-party installer package:

  1. If you are building a NetInstall NetBoot set using System Image Utility
  2. If the package is signed with a Developer ID Installer certificate.

Otherwise, the only installer packages I’ve seen which install correctly are packages which have been signed by Apple itself.

Screen Shot 2017 03 28 at 9 25 52 PM

For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: Mac administration, macOS

Disabling iCloud Desktop and Documents syncing

March 27, 2017 4 comments

As part of my pre-release testing of macOS Sierra, I tested iCloud Desktop and Documents syncing and decided I was not going to use it because of the problems I found. However, at that time I could not find a way to disable only iCloud Desktop and Documents without having to disable iCloud Drive entirely.

As part of the release of macOS 10.12.4, Apple has made available a profile option that allows for the specific disabling of iCloud Desktop and Documents syncing without needing to block iCloud Drive.

Screen Shot 2017 03 15 at 9 36 16 AM

For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: Mac administration, macOS

Creating multiline login banners

March 25, 2017 2 comments

In a number of Mac environments, there is a need or requirement for a login banner (otherwise known as a lock message). This message appears in the following locations:

  • FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen
  • OS login window
  • Screensaver lock window

Brevity is best, as staying within a maximum of three lines permits the banner text to be displayed consistently in all three locations. Exceeding the three-line limit may result in the text being cut off and not fully displayed.

You can set this banner text from the command line using the following defaults command, which should be run with root privileges:

/usr/bin/defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText "My Login Window Text Goes Here"

LWScreenShot 2017 03 25 at 11 31 14 AM

Being able to consistently set when lines begin and end can be challenging though, as the defaults command is not able to interpret a newline command natively. However, it is possible to set a multi-line login banner and be able to consistently set when lines begin and end. For more details, see below the jump.

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