MSP RMM Release: Apple Mac Updates, New RC Agents for Mac and Windows

We’re pleased to let you know the latest Dashboard release is now rolling out to the first set of territories, with a set of improvements for Apple Mac, including a new Mac OS RC as well as a new Windows RC Agent.

In the coming days we’ll also be releasing a little UI improvement for LOGICcards, to give the alerting feature a cleaner, crisper feel. Here’s a screenshot with the latest design: 

logiccards new look and feel

 

The Mac enhancements become available with the release of Mac-MSP v2.7. This will be enabled for customers who use the Mac-MSP integration in the next few days. If you don’t currently use Mac-MSP for managing your Apple Macs and would like to explore this option, simply go to Settings > General Settings > Mac-MSP to activate this setting for your account.

 

Feature Enhancements in Mac-MSP 2.7

FEATURE: Scheduled Mode

This is an option to run Mac-MSP tasks on a traditional schedule.

While the adaptive timing feature is a favorite among long time users, it can be confusing to new users who simply want all tasks to run on a predictable schedule (i.e. “every day at 2am”). We now have that ability.  Using any available scheduler (launchd plist, MSP RMM Daily Safety Check, MSP N-Central Mac Script, etc) you can call Mac-MSP to run tasks on demand.

Simply have your script call this command:

sudo /Library/Mac-MSP/Gruntwork/gruntChief.sh rmm

Output will be displayed so if your script is capturing stdout for reporting, you’ll see something like this:

Screen-Shot-2017-05-27-at-1.07.02-PM.png

This output can be captured by the tool you are using for scheduling.  It shows the state of certain settings like tasks that are not allowed to run, or that the computer is set to not reboot when complete.

Before it does anything, Scheduled Mode retrieves settings from the server and will execute any on-demand tasks set there (like Quarantining, Cache Purge, Run Software Updates Now, etc).  It proceeds even if the server is unreachable.  In which case you could set options manually by editing /Library/Mac-MSP/Gruntwork/settings.plist

In this case, you can see that a user is present so the Scheduled Mode is attempting a logout.  This respects the “don’t logout” setting, in which case it will simply perform background tasks and display text to that effect.  If logout is allowed, Scheduled Mode will also use the Aggressive Logout setting, if enabled.

If the computer is in a Stopped state, that will be reported as well and no action will occur.

Upon a successful logout, the computer will perform all tasks, including those typically performed in the background (which may be overdue).

It exits before maintenance tasks are complete, so that your trigger script can complete and exit.  Either look at the logs or use a different script to capture the log output.

Scheduled mode can be used in tandem with traditional adaptive timing, or be used exclusively by disabling adaptive timing by checking the “Only Execute on External Scheduler” option in the web dashboard.

Screen-Shot-2017-05-27-at-12.56.29-PM.png

UPDATE: Brought back permission repair in Sierra with the repair_packages binary from El Cap.  SIP protected items error out but this will repair permissions on items from third-party .pkg installers.  (We’ve already seen this solve a troubleshooting issue.)

FEATURE: New option an on-demand reboot the next time the computer’s agent checks-in with the server.  This issues a “shutdown -r now” command regardless of logged in users.  So as the web dashboard says: WARNING: if enabled, users may lose unsaved work. 

Screen-Shot-2017-05-27-at-12.55.48-PM.png

UPDATE: Miscellaneous help text changes to clarify usage

FEATURE: Aggressive Logout: to assist in situations where a mandatory logout is desired, each computer now has an option to forcibly log out users.  It does so by killing all loginwindow processes.  We will use our typical 6-hour idle logout method to give opportunity for a proper logout with saved work, but if it fails the loginwindow sessions will be killed.  Aggressive logout is also used when attempting logout as part of Scheduled Mode.  Again, as the web dashboard says: WARNING: if enabled, users may lose unsaved work. 

Screen-Shot-2017-05-27-at-12.57.18-PM.png

UPDATE: First run command from server will automatically set memtest and MSP Risk Intelligence scans to delay by about a week so they do not occur on the first run

UPDATE: The first logout after “first run” command from server will perform all tasks including background tasks (to ensure that all software updates are downloaded)

FEATURE: On demand option to purge font caches separate from other caches

Screen-Shot-2017-05-27-at-12.54.47-PM.png

UPDATE: When Mac-MSP successfully completes a MSP Risk Intelligence scan, it now puts a link to the report in a separate field in the computer record

Screen-Shot-2017-05-27-at-12.57.42-PM.png

UPDATE: Added option to change the level of MSP Risk Intelligence scan (or do all of them in sequence)

UPDATE: Log files are now kept indefinitely, timestamped and gzipped into a Logs folder on the local computer

UPDATE: “LockDown Apple Software Update” has been renamed “Install Apple Software Updates” to better reflect its behavior in 10.11 and 10.12.  The functionality has not changed.

BUGFIX: Attempts to resolve issues where loginwindow maintenance does not run when called by launchd.  Issue is very intermittent and seems to self-resolve in the middle of troubleshooting isolated incidents. Many of the techniques used when self-resolve occurred are now automated.

BUGFIX: Eliminated more harmless messages that may have shown up in system logs

BUGFIX: If logout happens while a first run (initiated while user was logged in) is in progress, the loginwindow process will display a progress bar indicating that, and the tasks will wait until the first run is complete

BUGFIX: Solves an issue where background tasks running over loginwindow may be improperly stopped

BUGFIX: Solves an issue where Apple updates would not be installed at logout unless there were also third-party updates present

BUGFIX: If software update process is complete we empty Apple update cache to prevent corrupted downloads from repeatedly trying to install

BUGFIX: Solves an issue where Disk Images would be scanned as part of Secondary Volume Repair under Sierra

BUGFIX: Solves an issue where cache cleaning on demand may not execute

BUGFIX: Remote removal (uninstall/selfdestruct) now leaves a log entry in system logs on successful completion

BUGFIX: When automatic updates fail, server will keep trying to trigger  updates on every other check in

BUGFIX: Solves an issue where clam and other support binaries may not be installed as part of first run

BUGFIX: Fixed grooming the activity log so it doesn’t last indefinitely.  Log prior to 2.7 will be moved into the Logs folder

BUGFIX: Resolves an issue where updates may trigger a reboot even though the option to not reboot is set in the Dashboard

 

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Dashboard v6.44 and the two RC Agents are live in the Asia Pacific region and in selected European territories. The rest of the territories, including the US, UK, Benelux, Germany, France and the Nordic countries will follow in the next few days.

The Mac-MSP upgrade to v2.7 and the UI improvement to LOGICcards are released independently, we’ll let you know as soon as they’re released to all customers.

 

Summary for Service Release
– Dashboard release with Mac-MSP enhancements, new RC Agents for Windows and Mac
– Dashboard v6.44
– Windows Agent v10.5.14 RC, Mac OS Agent v2.2.0 RC

Dashboard v6.44
FEATURE: Upgrade to Mac-MSP to version 2.7 – see details above
BUGFIX: Resolve issue with ‘External Links’ menu so pages open in a regular browser tab
BUGFIX: Resolve issue with Remote Support Agent dialogue

Agent v10.5.14 RC
UPDATE: Added support for Veritas System Recovery 16 to Backup Check
BUGFIX: Resolve issue with Symantec System Recovery 2013 to Backup Check
BUGFIX: Resolve issue where event log check was unable to parse special characters

Mac OS Agent v2.2.0 RC
FEATURE: Upgrade Take Control TeamViewer component to v12
BUGFIX: Resolve issue where deleting checks caused overdue alerts
BUGFIX: Resolve issue where diskspace check failed in error

About Brian J Best

Founder/Chairman, BestMacs Apple Strategist, SolarWinds MSP
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