Approaching Escape Velocity with launchd

Speakers: Joseph Chilcote

Level: Fundamental, Lecture

Excerpt: This session will give an overview of the history of process initialization services on OS X, from inetd to launchd, ending with a demo of Outset, a launchd wrapper tool with which Mac admins can manage their environments.

Description: From inetd/xinetd to SystemStarter to launchd, OS X has gone through an evolution in process initialization services. This session will detail these changes and will cover the various options currently available with launchd. We will look at existing launchd configurations from open source projects, as well as commercial vendors, and will try out a few configurations of our own. We will consider some launchd tools that have been written by the Mac admin community to manage their fleets. Finally, we will demo Outset, a tool created to provide Mac admins an easier way to utilize launchd in their environments.


About the speakers

Joseph Chilcote – Sr Systems Engineer – Splunk (Twitter: chilcote)

Sr. Systems Engineer at Splunk.

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Managing User Settings

Speakers: Katie English

Level: Intermediate, Lecture

Excerpt: What is the best way to manage settings? The one that works! Explore property lists in depth and learn all the different potential strategies to deliver them.

Description: Working with Managed Preferences, the User Template, Configuration Profiles, and scripts, this session will dive deep into managed user and computer settings, and the myriad ways to deliver them. Come ready with your favorite XML editor and some regex.


About the speakers

Katie English – Professional Services Engineer – JAMF Software

Katie English was a Mac admin in higher education for 14 years prior to joining JAMF Software as a Professional Services Engineer. Since then she has traveled a few hundred thousand miles and helped hundreds of admins build thousands of solutions.

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Implementing Configuration Profiles for OS X management

Speakers: Jeremy Reichman Sergio Aviles

Level: Intermediate, Lecture

Excerpt: Configuration profiles are Apple’s supported method of changing the default settings in OS X to support educational, corporate, and organizational needs. Savvy system administrators can take advantage of their capabilities to manage settings faster and better. We will discuss the how and why of configuration profiles, provide guidelines for successful migration and deployment, and show real-world examples in JAMF Casper and Munki.

Description: Configuration profiles are Apple’s supported method of changing the default settings in OS X to support educational, corporate, and organizational needs. Savvy system administrators can take advantage of their capabilities to manage settings faster and better. We will discuss the how and why of configuration profiles, provide guidelines for successful migration and deployment, and show real-world examples in JAMF Casper and Munki.

In this session we will cover:

– A brief overview of methods that can be used to configure settings and services on OS X, including — but not limited to — configuration profiles.
– Benefits and drawbacks of configuration profiles on OS X.
– Deploying profiles in popular management systems like JAMF Casper and Munki, with and without MDM.
– Migrating to, creating, and customizing configuration profiles.
– Managing one or many configuration profiles — and why to use more than one.
– Handling enforcement, exceptions, removal, expiration, and more advanced security.


About the speakers

Jeremy Reichman – Macintosh Systems Engineer – Tamman Technologies, Inc. (Twitter: @jaharmi)

Jeremy Reichman is a Lead Macintosh Systems Engineer with Tamman Technologies in Philadelphia and a resident of Southeastern Pennsylvania. He presented or co-presented at Penn State MacAdmins Conferences in 2012, 2013, and 2014 on topics such as packaging, scripting/automation, and Python. He has spent twenty years supporting Apple devices between university and corporate environments. Jeremy has worked on Mac enterprise integration projects with Munki, JAMF Casper Suite, DeployStudio, Radmind, Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, Acronis Access Connect (aka ExtremeZ-IP), OS X Server, Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), VPNs, 802.1X, and McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO). He is a JAMF Certified Mobile Administrator (CMA), Certified Casper Administrator (CCA), and Certified Casper Expert (CCE).


Sergio Aviles – Systems Engineer – Comcast Corporation (Twitter: https://twitter.com/chalcahuite)

Sergio is a Systems Engineer for Comcast Corporation responsible for managing Comcast’s Mac fleet and developing and maintain the systems to support it. Prior to working for Comcast, Sergio worked as the Systems Engineer for a small Apple Reseller in the Philadelphia area, where he learned everything from break/fix to how design Mac specific networks. Sergio is also the primary organizer for Greater Philadelphia Mac Admins group that provides Mac admins in the Delaware Valley a place to meet up with and learn from their fellow admins.

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Statistical Monitoring with Cacti – Tracking Problems Before They Happen

Speakers: Devon Merner

Level: Advanced, Lecture

Excerpt: Use Cacti and RRDTool to analyze data gathered from your Macs and more.

Description: Many of us manage environments where we can’t be everywhere at once. When a lab is in a state of disrepair and no one notices until it is too late, this becomes troublesome.

Cacti provides a simple to use, web based platform that can be used to track data from many different places and allows that data to be viewed on easily embedded RRDTool graphs. When public use machines are tampered with due to malicious users, this data becomes invaluable for not only response time, but for long term budgeting and planning.

This platform is not only limited to Mac use, but can also be used to monitor anything that can respond via SNMP. This includes but is not limited to; machine usage, server load and environmental monitoring. The graphs generated can be placed anywhere that a picture can be embedded for the creation of easy monitoring dashboards.

We will go over the process of setting up a Cacti server, creating devices or graphs and how to easily extend SNMP on your devices to provide more data.

You’ll thank yourself later when you propose an idea to management and have the data to back it up.

Attendees should have a general understanding of Simple Network Monitoring Protocol (SNMP).


About the speakers

Devon Merner – IT Support Assistant – University of Waterloo (Twitter: devonmerner)

I began working with the University of Waterloo’s Computer Science Computing Facility department during my 3rd year in high school as part of my cooperative education program in 2012 with my responsibilities being geared towards Research Support. Today, I now work with our department’s Infrastructure Support group while helping out with Mac support in various areas. A few of the areas that I work in include, but are not limited to; server management, network service monitoring, statistical monitoring and Mac image deployments.

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Munki & Docker (And why you’d want to-)

Speakers: Lucas Hall

Level: Fundamental, Lecture

Excerpt: I know what Munki is- and everyone keeps talking about Docker but why ever should the two meet? And other MacAdmin tricks.

Description: Okay, okay, I know what Munki is- and everyone keeps talking about Docker. But Munki and Docker? Why? How? Huh? This will be a bird’s eye view of getting Munki in Docker with SSL (and the security implications there-in), and why or why not you may want to spend the time even trying, the benefits and drawbacks. Starting with a brief examination of Docker and how it functions. We will then journey into the basic building blocks of Munki, and how we can adapt that to a Docker server. Building upon that by adding on other building blocks and tie-ins such as Munki Report, Munki Admin and possibly even SAL. This session will assume you have little to no experience with Docker, and light experience administering a Munki environment. Time permissible the exploration of using such a setup across multiple sites.


About the speakers

Lucas Hall – Apple Systems Administrator – Saturna Capital (Twitter: twitter.com/thelukanator)

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