Category: MacAdmins

Change even more Finder options using defaults

Last month Charles Edge shared a blog post titled, “Change Default Finder Views Using defaults” where he outlined how to switch to List view in Finder from the command line. I’m a big fan of that change and the command shared was just one of a dozen options I configured for new users at my old job.

My list is by no means comprehensive, but read on for same additional commands.

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This Mac is Locked. Try again in 24,284,826 minutes

My team recently had an unusual MDM lock ticket escalated to us. The user had already been provided with the PIN from our MDM, however the lock screen said they needed to wait 24,284,826 minutes (over 46 years!) before they could enter the PIN.

This was a new one for me so I immediately jumped on the MacAdmins Slack to see if anyone had dealt with this problem before. The fix turned out to be relatively simple, read on for the details.

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Deadline timer preference added to Microsoft AutoUpdate

Microsoft quietly added a new preference for AutoUpdate last month that allows MacAdmins to override the length of the default 60 minute deadline timer. The preference works starting with version 4.48 of MAU.

More details about update deadlines and this timer are available in my article Forcing Microsoft Office update deadlines with MAU from July 2019.

The new preference key is “UpdateDeadline.FinalCountDown” and is under the “com.microsoft.autoupdate2” preference domain. The data type is an integer that represents minutes.

I have already added the new preference to the ProfileManifests project that powers ProfileCreator, iMazing Profile Editor and Jamf JSON Schemas.

If you have any questions please join us in the #microsoft-autoupdate channel of the MacAdmins Slack.

Thanks to Darrin Pertschi for making me aware of this new preference.

Adventures in Fast User Switching on macOS Monterey

For many years I have managed Fast User Switching (FUS) on macOS in the maner documented by Apple; with the MultipleSessionEnabled key in the .GlobalPreferences payload. Unfortunately as of Big Sur the documentation is no longer complete.

I didn’t notice until last week but Nathaniel Strauss reported this problem over a year ago in his article “Managing Fast User Switching Broken in Big Sur.” He also recently confirmed that he has had no luck in getting Apple to restore the functionality via that key.

However thanks to a push in the right direction from colleagues on the MacAdmins Slack, I now have control of FUS reliably working via configuration profile or defaults commands. Read on for the details…

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Managing AirDrop Discoverability Options

AirDrop debuted on the Mac with the release of OS X 10.7 Lion in 2011. A short time later Jared Nichols discovered a way to disable the feature that was then widely shared by Rich Trouton.

For over a decade MacAdmins have been successfully using this preference in scripts and later in configuration profiles to disable AirDrop. However the payload is not officially documented by Apple.

Another preference that Apple has not documented is the ability to configure the discoverability settings of AirDrop: Everyone, Contacts Only or No One.

The method to set this preference has been revealed over the years, but a recent discussion in the MacAdmins Slack made me realize it has not been widely shared. Read on for the details.

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MunkiReport and Python 2

Apple announced the deprecation of Python 2 with the release of macOS 10.15 Catalina in 2019, however MacAdmins have never known when it would actually be removed. The general expectation was with macOS 13 due out later this year, but Apple surprised us when it published the macOS Monterey 12.3 Beta Release Notes last week.

Open source projects have been planning for this eventuality, with many having already completed the transition to Python 3 by shipping their own version or using clever code to locate an appropriate version already installed.

MunkiReport is no exception, development of version 6 is well underway, but is not ready yet. Thanks to the quick work by a number of talented contributors to the project, an update to version 5 has been released to bridge the gap until MR6 with Python 3 is ready.

However there is a major change admins will need to account for, so read on for the details.

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Optimization preference added to Microsoft AutoUpdate

Paul Bowden shared a new preference for Microsoft AutoUpdate last month that configures the method MAU uses to apply updates. The preference was created to work around security agents that can cause problems when updating Office on macOS.

The option is just now being highlighted despite being added to MAU 4.40 back in October 2021. Read on for the details.

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Set Slack’s default sign-in workspace with a configuration profile

One of the ways MacAdmins try to help onboard new colleagues is by automating the setup of devices and services. Simplifying first day setup for can go a long way toward helping a new hire feel confident in their new role.

One first-day task in many workplaces is getting that new employee setup in Slack. Having them type out a potentially lengthy workspace address isn’t great, so Slack has provided the ability to use a default sign-in file to direct them to the right place. Unfortunately it has to be in the User’s Downloads folder to work.

While this might work in one-off situations it isn’t ideal for automation. Thankfully a Slack developer responded to my enhancement request in the MacAdmins Slack and as of a couple months ago this can now be configured with a profile. Read on for the details.

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Microsoft Teams support coming to AutoUpdate in March

Paul Bowden announced last week that AutoUpdate will officially begin handling Microsoft Teams with the release of MAU 4.45 on March 15, 2022.

“We’ve done a lot of analysis with various Teams builds … and we see quite a lot of segmentation because of the way the Teams built-in updater works right now, and that’s the reason why we’re switching over to MAU,” Bowden said.

“The good impact is that you’ll see a lot more consistency with your Teams versions out there. MAU will fully support not updating Teams while you’re in the middle of a conference call and all the good stuff like that.”

If you are defining an app array in your configuration profile for MAU or using MAUCacheAdmin there are a few things you’ll need to change. Read on for the details.

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Control the CUPS web interface with a Munki NoPkg

Back in September 2021 a colleague on the MacAdmins Slack was looking for a way to programmatically enable the CUPS web interface on macOS. I had recently completed my article “Allow standard users to manage printers with a Munki NoPkg” and realized I could easily adapt it to handle this task.

This isn’t something I use in production but read on for the details if you think it could be helpful in your environment.

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