Scripting: Your need to know basics

Scripting: Your need to know basics

If you’re looking to take a more hands-off approach to your device management processes, scripting is a great way to automate day-to-day tasks such as update rollouts, security policy deployments, remote wipes, troubleshooting and everything in between.

For those that don’t know, a computer script is a list of commands that are executed by a certain programme or engine. Scripts are used to automate the execution of tasks that would normally be carried out one by one by a human operator, thus removing the tedium of repetitive processes.

There are lots of different scripting languages, but as we’re talking about device management, lets take a look at the languages a popular Mac management tool like Jamf Pro supports:

– Perl (.pl)

– Bash (.sh)

– Shell (.sh)

– Non-compiled AppleScript (.applescript)

– C Shell (.csh)

– Zsh (.zsh)

– Korn Shell (.ksh)

– Tool Command Language (.tcl)

– Hypertext Preprocessor (.php)

– Ruby (.rb)

– Python (.py)

LaunchDaemons are system processes that start up every time your device is booted. Essentially, they form part of the nuts and bolts of scripted operations, and whether you use the features they provide doesn’t matter – they’re always chugging away in the background consuming RAM. LaunchDaemons run as part of a unified framework known as launchd, which starts, stops and manages daemons, applications, processes and scripts.

Similarly, LaunchAgents are file locations that house scripts and automatically manage system processes. Unlike LaunchDaemons, they load when an individual users logs in, rather than when the device is booted. Simply put, LaunchDaemons and LaunchAgents are essential for triggering scripts and applications, as well as automating device management procedures. They can also be programmed to operate as and when you see fit – whether that’s every so often, at set intervals and so on.

With MDM (mobile device management) solutions, users can run, manage, deploy and add scripts to package sources. Package sources allow you to view and edit the attributes of a package, including files, scripts, privileges and localisations. This makes it easier to deploy devices at scale and automate processes associated with device management.

If you’re looking to effectively manage and deploy package sources, it’s essential to consider a third party solution such as Jamf Pro. Not only that, but a trusted partner (like Jigsaw24) can help you skip the steep learning curve. We can write and deploy scripts for you, and handle all the tough technical stuff to ensure your management solution and other processes are running at maximum efficiency.

If you’d like to find out more, you can download our Mac Management white paper here. Alternatively, if you need a hand with script writing give us a call on 03332 409 365 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Highlights from JAMF Software’s JNUC 2015 event

Highlights from JAMF Software’s JNUC 2015 event
Our team headed to the JAMF Nation User Conference in Minneapolis last week to catch the latest news in Mac management. Hundreds of Apple IT admins packed into the Guthrie Theater for the annual event based on freely sharing IT information and best practices.
 
Over three days and dozens of sessions, there was insight from a wide range of organisations – from large and small schools to global companies – all with the common thread of enabling scalable Apple technologies at scale through creative practices, from security to deployment and management. Just a few of our highlights included:
System Integrity Protection (SIP)

here was a lot of chat at the show about System Integrity Protection (SIP), which is part of OS X El Capitan 10.11, which was interesting to hear as it’s a new direction from Apple and affects Mac admins. csrutil, NetBoot and any old packages and software that install into protected directories will no longer run, however JAMF binary is on the white list so will continue to work.

Rich Trouton, an Apple veteran with over 18 years of experience supporting Macs, provided an overview: “All malware tries to get root access,” Trouton mentioned as he explained why SIP became important for Apple to implement. SIP disables root access to certain system files and kernel extensions. “SIP is a big change, but still a work in progress. I expect Apple to update this in the future.”

He also warned against disabling SIP and suggested that If you are using software that requires SIP to be disabled, “demand more from those vendors or leave them.” You can check out his full presentation here.

A new CEO at JAMF Software

JNUC 2015 was also the first JNUC with Dean Hager as JAMF Software’s Chief Executive Officer. Hager has more than 20 years of experience in leadership positions at high-growth software and technology companies including Kroll Ontrack and Lawson Software.

On his appointment, he said: “Businesses and schools love Apple products, and are continuing to adopt Mac, iPad, and iPhone devices in droves. This creates an enormous opportunity for JAMF by providing an easy way to manage these devices, helping organisations both large and small succeed with Apple. I am thrilled to be a part of it and to be leading JAMF in its next stage of growth.”

The JNUC 5k

The event wasn’t all Apple IT admin (and posh dinners) though – there was also the small matter of a 5k run open to all delegates. One of our heroic Solutions Architects, Thomas Holbrook, took it upon himself to dash around Minneapolis in the October cold, so well done, Tom!

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Want to find out more about JAMF Software Casper Suite and our partnership with them? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook