Tag: Apple

Customizing Microsoft Office versions served by an MAU Caching Server

I have been running a Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) Caching Server for a couple years now and have always allowed it to download and serve everything, even applications we don’t use. My thinking was that I’d rather have something and not need it, than need it and not have it.

This has never been an issue for older products like Office 2011 and Lync (or even current products like Company Portal and Skype for Business) because combined they are only around 500 MB. The fact that Office 2011 and Lync are no longer receiving updates means the bits on disk haven’t changed in over a year and don’t need to be downloaded with each run of MAUCacheAdmin.

However things changed with the release of Office 2019 last fall. While Office 2011 is no longer being maintained, Office 2016 will continue receiving security updates until October 2020. If you have already transitioned to Office 2019 this means that MAUCacheAdmin will continue to download almost 6 GB of installers and updaters every month that you don’t need.

Thankfully it is easy to customize this behavior so read on if you’d like the details.

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Registering DetectX Swift with a Munki NoPkg

During a discussion in the #detectx channel of the MacAdmins Slack yesterday AP Orlebeke pointed out that when registering a DetectX Swift (DTXS) Pro or Management license via the command line it is only applied for users that already exist on the system. DetectX Swift will be in an unregistered state for any users created later.

In the ensuing discussion I opined that: “It would be trivial to whip up a Munki on-demand NoPkg that triggers the command line registration as root if the user ever got in a situation where they were using the DetectX GUI and were unregistered.”

DetectX developer Phil Stokes asked if I’d be willing to create an example so I did just that. Read on for the details.

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Dear Adobe: version numbers should go up!

When Adobe released their November 19 update to InDesign CC 2019 last week, they broke the most important rule of version numbering: the version should go up!

This wasn’t immediately obvious until today however due to an almost two week delay in the update becoming available to package in the Adobe Admin Console. This alone is a topic for another post…

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Upgrade from Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac 8 to 10 using Munki

Microsoft Remote Desktop 10

The upgrade of Microsoft Remote Desktop (MRD) from version 8 to version 10 also involves a change in delivery for many MacAdmins from the Mac App Store (MAS) to a standard package installer.

Since a few extra considerations are involved I decided to share how I accomplished it using Munki. Read on if you are interested in the details.

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On Demand DetectX Swift scanning with a Munki NoPkg

Another component to my DetectX Swift (DTXS) Management License rollout this week is the ability for users to run a scan and have the results be sent to MunkiReport immediately. This could be useful anytime I don’t have easy access to a user’s computer and am having to walk them through things over the phone or via Slack and I want to verify the results of the scan remotely.

I accomplished this with an on demand Munki NoPkg that any standard user can easily run via Managed Software Center. Read on for the details.

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Hourly DetectX Swift scans and MunkiReport

This week I began rolling out DetectX Swift (DTXS) with a Management License across our fleet. I first learned of DTXS earlier this year thanks to Zack McCauley and his DetectX Module for MunkiReport.

McCauley covers one option for automatic scans in his excellent Deploying DetectX Swift with Munki article using Outset and a boot-every script. He also helpfully included a sample LaunchDaemon in the module repo, however neither scans as frequently as I’d like. Read on for how I decided to handle automatic hourly scans and reporting.

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A hybrid approach to managing Microsoft Office updates

Most MacAdmins take an either/or approach to managing updates for Microsoft Office on macOS, utilizing either Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) or Munki. However I’ve found that a hybrid approach using both works best for us.

I’ve shared my setup severals times on the MacAdmins Slack, most recently in a direct message, so I wanted to provide more details here. Read on if you are interested in how I’m keeping Office up-to-date and providing for new installs.

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Automating installation and configuration of SSD Fan Control

This year we started seeing a problem with the hard drives failing inside our 2009, 2010 and 2011 iMacs here at the newspaper. The computers still work fine otherwise and since it is pretty easy to replace them (it can easily be accomplished in under ten minutes without removing the display) that is what we’ve been doing.

The only downside is that the OEM hard drives ship with specific Apple firmware that ties into the thermal management system. Installing a new hard drive or SSD results in the fans running at full blast. Thankfully software exists to work around this and I automated the installation and configuration with Munki, read on to see how.

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Microsoft AutoUpdate Caching Server Options & Behavior

I’ve been using an internal Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) Caching Server here at the newspaper since shortly after it was announced by Paul Bowden last year. I helped explain the various configuration options available last night in the #microsoft-office channel of the MacAdmins Slack and wanted to expand on them with a more detailed article.

There are three different ways the MAU Caching Server can be configured. If you are interested in learning the differences of those options please read on.

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Installing Drobo Dashboard with iSCSI on Mac OS X

A year after my article detailing the removal of the iSCSI initiator from the Drobo Dashboard software, the time finally arrived that I needed to setup a Drobo B800i on a clean install of Mac OS X El Capitan.

Despite being prepared for what I was getting into it still didn’t go smoothly. Read on for how I finally got it going.

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