Farewell macOS Server


Today, Apple published https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208312, which states:

As of April 21, 2022, Apple has discontinued macOS Server. Existing macOS Server customers can continue to download and use the app with macOS Monterey.


As someone that cut my teeth with OSX Server on 10.3 (Panther), I’d like to say farewell old friend.

In addition, Apple have posted a document on choosing and MDM solution and as well have another document advising that:

Apple will discontinue Fleetsmith service on October 21, 2022
As of April 21, 2022, Apple has discontinued new signups for Fleetsmith.


If you’re looking for a replacement for either Profile Manager or Fleetsmith, why not head over to the MacAdmins.org Slack, or reach out to folks like.. oh, I dunno.. dataJAR šŸ™‚

Anyways, farewell macOS Server!

Making the most of the Mac Mini for use with the Casper Suite


With the death of the Xserve & subsequent killing off of the MacMini server many Mac Admins have either sought to remove all Apple branded hardware from the server room or have been forced to.

Myself? I now look after a total of 25 Mac Servers, 21 of which are dedicated to our JSS & are installed across 8 different sites globally, some of the challenges of which are touched upon in the JNUC2014 Panel I was on, titled Thinking Big: Scaling JSS Infrastructures for the Mobile Workforce.

The focus of the post below is the Mac Mini’s which are used onsite for Casper Suite Distribution Points, NetBoot Servers & Caching Servers.

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Apple Software Update Server Not Serving Mavericks Updates After Being Upgraded To Mavericks


After upgrading my Mac servers to 10.9, I found that my 10.9 clients still were not seeing updates served via Apple Software Update Server (read:ASUS).

See below for what the issue was, and the resolution.

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KDIHTTPBackingStore: :readBytes _readBytes() attempt 1 returned 0xe00002c2 (-536870206)


We had an issue where our Macs stopped NetBooting, they would attempt to NetBoot but forever stay at the spinning gear.

On Verbose booting the Macs we saw multiple errors like the below;

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How To Change The Apple Software Update Server Sync Interval


By default Apple Software Update Server’s (READ: ASUS) sync daily with Apple at 3am.

But this can be changed, & the below script can be ran to change the interval. You can change either the time of day the sync runs or change it to once a week.

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Managing Apple Software Update Server Across Multiple Servers 10.8+


Way back in 2011 I wrote the post: Managing Apple Software Update Server Across Multiple Servers 10.5/10.6/10.7. This itself was based off of an Apple KB article that seems to have disappeared, but the method outlined in the post above is alive & well, just needs some tweaking for 10.8+.

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Setup OSX Server as a Time Server


Most of the Macs I support are mobile & it seems that around the with the  release of the “Unibody MacBook Pro” Apple stopped shipping Macs with a battery that would keep the Macs time even when the Macs main battery had died.

This means that if a Macs battery dies during travelling to another office, they’d not be able to login once there as the time would be more than 5 minutes out. Also, we heavily use SSL to secure things like our Wireless & many websites (JSS distribution points included).

So the solution was for me to setup my own NTP, that would both sync with my domains NTP & be externally accessible for those mobile users on the road.

I’ve posted How To: Set a Macs Time ServerHow To: Sync Time With NTP via Script & How To: Check Your Active Directory Domains Time. They all came about when 1st looking at this issue, this last post in the series with use all those posts.

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Error: Could not write to /Library/JSS/Tomcat/webapps/ROOT/WEB-INF/web.xml


When trying to setup a clustered DMZ server as a computer only JSS I received the below error:

Could not write to /Library/JSS/Tomcat/webapps/ROOT/WEB-INF/web.xml

To resolve I needed to enableĀ change management in the JSS. But as the JSS did not have write permission to /var/logs/ I couldn’t enable change management.

So I changed the log location & enabled change management. I could then enable the JSS instance Ā as computer management only version.

Error: The package does not appear to be on the server (400). / line 1: syntax error


Recently we setup a 10.7 Mac Server in our DMZ & clustered this with our main JSS to enable external clients connectivity to our JSS & for them to be able to use Self Service & ASUS when off the network.

However we’ve had some issues getting the distribution point to work over HTTPS, however HTTP & AFP worked fine.

Below are some details on the steps taken to investigate this issue, and resolve.

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Error: Syntax error on line 241 of /etc/swupd/swupd.conf: Port must be specified


This morning one of my Apple Software Servers (ASUS) was not supplying updates. When checking the swupd_err.log in Server Admin I saw the following repeated hundreds of times:

Syntax error on line 241 of /etc/swupd/swupd.conf: Port must be specified

Below can be found more details and the solution. Continue reading