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Privileges.app and time-limited admin

July 22, 2022 3 comments

Privileges is an open source tool from SAP which helps folks manage admin rights for their account. As part of its feature set, it includes an option for time-limited admin using a specific function called Toggle privileges.

Privileges dock toggleon

Privileges dock toggleon20

However, Toggle privileges’s time-limited admin feature for Privileges is its most misunderstood feature. The reason is that while the ability to set a time limit is only available if you’re using the Toggle privileges function, many users assume that this time-limited admin is available universally to all the functions used to get admin rights using the Privileges app.

It is not. Time limited admin is only available using the Toggle privileges function. If you’re not using the Toggle privileges function, there is no time limitation and you cannot set one from within the Privileges app.

This information is available in the Privileges FAQ:

Screen Shot 2022 07 22 at 10 05 50 AM

What does this mean?

  1. The only way time-limited admin is currently working on Privileges is by using the Toggle privileges function.
  2. If you are clicking on the icon in the dock and not selecting the Toggle privileges function, there’s no time limit.
  3. If you’re using the PrivilegesCLI command line tool, there is no time limit.

How long do you have admin if you’re not using the Toggle privileges function? Admin rights are granted until some process (like running Privileges again) takes them away. There’s no time limit.

All of the Privileges management options available for time-limited admin at this time apply only to the Toggle privileges function. If you’re using any of the management settings options listed below, they apply only and exclusively to the Toggle privileges function:

  • DockToggleTimeout
  • DockToggleMaxTimeout

They will not manage time-limited admin for any of Privileges’ functions outside of using the Toggle privileges function.

What if you want time-limited admin outside of using the Toggle privileges function? You will need to use a separate mechanism. In my case, I usually point folks towards using PrivilegesDemoter:

https://github.com/sgmills/PrivilegesDemoter

This tool uses a separate mechanism for figuring out the timing and then uses the PrivilegesCLI command line tool to take away admin when the time limit set for PrivilegesDemoter expires.

Building a Privileges installer package using AutoPkg

April 20, 2022 Leave a comment

In working with folks who want to build installer packages to install the Privileges app, I’ve noticed that a number of them have experienced problems with manually building an installer package for Privileges which correctly installs the Privileges app’s helper tool.

The result of an installer which does not install the helper tool correctly is that when a user requests administrator privileges using the Privileges app, the app prompts them to install the helper tool. This requires administrative rights, which sets up a chicken and egg situation where admin privileges are being required to get admin privileges.

Screen Shot 2022 04 20 at 3 45 38 PM

Fortunately, there is an automated method for building the installer package which (so far) has worked correctly in each case I’m familiar with. There are AutoPkg recipes available for creating a Privileges installer package and AutoPkg is able to build a correctly working Privileges installer package.


computername:~ username$ autopkg search com.github.rtrouton.Privileges
Name Repo Path
—- —- —-
Privileges.munki.recipe apfelwerk-recipes Privileges/Privileges.munki.recipe
Privileges.install.recipe rtrouton-recipes Privileges/Privileges.install.recipe
Privileges.munki.recipe rtrouton-recipes Privileges/Privileges.munki.recipe
Privileges.jss.recipe rtrouton-recipes JSS/Privileges.jss.recipe
Privileges.pkg.recipe rtrouton-recipes Privileges/Privileges.pkg.recipe
Privileges.download.recipe rtrouton-recipes Privileges/Privileges.download.recipe
To add a new recipe repo, use 'autopkg repo-add <repo name>'
computername:~ username$

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gistfile1.txt

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For more details, please see below the jump.

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Building an installer package for Privileges.app

March 20, 2019 11 comments

One of the open-source contributions by the Apple@SAP team has been Privileges.app, a tool designed to grant or take away administrator rights from accounts on macOS. The general idea behind Privileges is that it allows people to work with the account privileges of a standard user for day-to-day use, but allows them to get administrator rights when needed.

Documentation for Privileges.app can be found at the GitHub repo which hosts it, which is available via the link below:

https://github.com/SAP/macOS-enterprise-privileges

However, one item not included in that documentation is how to package it for deployment. Instead, AutoPkg recipes were written and made available to automate the packaging process:


computername:~ username$ autopkg search com.github.rtrouton.Privileges
Name Repo Path
—- —- —-
Privileges.munki.recipe apfelwerk-recipes Privileges/Privileges.munki.recipe
Privileges.install.recipe rtrouton-recipes Privileges/Privileges.install.recipe
Privileges.munki.recipe rtrouton-recipes Privileges/Privileges.munki.recipe
Privileges.jss.recipe rtrouton-recipes JSS/Privileges.jss.recipe
Privileges.pkg.recipe rtrouton-recipes Privileges/Privileges.pkg.recipe
Privileges.download.recipe rtrouton-recipes Privileges/Privileges.download.recipe
To add a new recipe repo, use 'autopkg repo-add <repo name>'
computername:~ username$

view raw

gistfile1.txt

hosted with ❤ by GitHub

However, not everyone is able to use AutoPkg in their environment, so manual packaging instructions are now available here. For more details, please see below the jump:

Read more…

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