Category: Mac admin’ing

  • If you update an AutoPkg parent recipe, but your override is still using old settings…

    AutoPkg has a cool feature called parent trust that allows you to create recipe overrides that store a hash of the parent recipe (instead of running the parent recipe directly), and then prevent you from running the recipe if there’s a change to the parent recipe, until you update the trust info. (I also have…

  • Force-stopping the MunkiStatus progress bar at the login window

    Sometimes, the MunkiStatus progress bar over the login window can get stuck, and pressing the Stop button can take a while to halt the progress bar completely. To kill it immediately, press Cmd-Option-Shift-Escape (this is a slight modification of the usual force-quite key combination, which is Cmd-Option-Escape). Full credit to Yehuda Bialik and Greg Neagle…

  • Using AppleScript to install macOS software updates via System Preferences

    Right now, this is a bit more of a proof-of-concept, but since /usr/sbin/softwareupdate has become increasingly unreliable in the past year for automating and enforcing Apple software updates, having a way to automate installing updates through the GUI on certain relatively unattended Macs is worth exploring. I’ve created a GitHub project for that called Sys…

  • A way to install macOS Catalina guest on VirtualBox on a Mac host

    Why this blog post? I won’t say this is the way to install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox, but it’s certainly a way, and it’s difficult to find information about a way to do it. There are a lot of posts indicating that 10.15 or 10.15.1 worked but 10.15.2 and beyond don’t. Or that there are…

  • What can you do at the password prompt in Catalina’s recovery mode?

    The mysterious password prompt Starting in macOS 10.15 (Catalina), Apple started requiring a password to do anything useful after booting into recovery mode: It’s not exactly clear what this password is for. T2-chip Macs have hardware-based encryption, and that encryption is able to turn on instantaneously. Without mounting the encrypted drive, you can’t really reset…

  • Fixing Jamf device signature error

    Even though this Jamf Nation thread is five years old, as of this writing, it’s still got the solution to the Device Signature Error – A valid device signature is required to perform the action error message. In my experience, the actual working solution is to run sudo jamf enroll -prompt and then enter credentials…

  • Running commands as a user when scripting for Munki or Jamf

    Munki and Jamf run as root, so scripts they execute execute as root, not user. One great way around this is to use Outset‘s login scripts (login-once, login-every), but sometimes you may have occasion to actually run a script immediately as the logged-in user. Obviously, you’ll want to get the currently logged-in user into a…

  • Using a Munki nopkg to disable Chrome 80’s ScrollToTextFragment feature

    Update, 14 July 2020 With Chrome 84, Google has now removed the ability to disable the ScrollToTextFragment feature, so this whole write-up is now obsolete What is ScrollToTextFragment With Chrome 80, Google has introduced a new ScrollToTextFragment feature that allows you to reference an anchor link by any phrase that’s in a webpage, even if…

  • Fix for custom user icons freezing up System Preferences

    Even though there is some flexibility in terms of what sizes and resolutions you can use for custom user icons (to select for user pictures), if your icon’s resolution is way off, you may see a frozen blank, grey screen when trying to change the picture from that too-high-res picture to something else: To get…

  • Introduction to Nudge

    What is Nudge? In 2018, Erik Gomez created Nudge, which is open source and has nine other contributors as of this writing. Part of the beauty of Nudge is its simplicity—it doesn’t actually install any updates itself (it does invoke the softwareupdate binary to check for or download Apple software updates, but it doesn’t actually…

  • Upping the logging level in Munki

    As noted in the Troubleshooting section of the Munki wiki, you can increase the logging level for Munki clients. The default logging level is 1, which looks like this: Dec 12 2019 20:04:20 -0800 GoogleChrome version 79.0.3945.79 (or newer) is already installed. If you increase the logging level to 4, it will look like this:…

  • Yes, Munki’s makecatalogs runs on Linux

    You can’t run all of Munki‘s admin tools on Linux, because some of the things the tools use involve Mac-specific tools, which is why even Munki admins who host their Munki servers on a Linux server will use a Mac for things like munkiimport. You can, however, run makecatalogs on Linux, though. Here’s just a…

  • Using AutoPkg to distribute and test Munki 4 (or any new Munki version) in prerelease

    10 December, 2019 update: Munki 4 is now an official (not pre-) release, so the below instructions are for when the next version is in prerelease… 25 November, 2019 (original post) As of this writing, Munki 4 is in the late stages of testing (its current on release candidate 1), so if you want to…

  • Forcing updates to Google Chrome using Chrome preferences / a Chrome profile

    Why use Chrome relaunch notification instead of Munki I’m a huge fan of using Munki to patch software on macOS, but Munki is generally polite—it usually won’t kill an application while the user is using it. There is an option in Munki to force an install after a certain date, but that will log the…

  • Setting up Reposado without downloading Apple update pkgs

    Reposado allows you to set up your own local repo of Apple software updates. This can be handy if you want to control the flow of updates (having a testing branch, for example, and then promoting items from testing to production). With Apple deprecating custom catalog URLs in Catalina (they still work for now, though),…