macOS onboarding disappointing

BCPeteo
Contributor II

We currently use DEPnotify to deploy apps and settings when a user logs in for the first time on a new/newly wiped computer. Works great but its no longer being updated so when Jamf announced macOS Onboarding at JNUC we were really excited. Looking at Jamf 11.1 and the onboarding feature and its pretty disappointing. First you need self server enabled (which we do not).

When you enable macOS onboarding this fun event happens:

"Important: When you enable macOS Onboarding and add the items to be deployed, the onboarding workflow initiates for all computers in your environment. This includes newly enrolled computers and those that were previously enrolled." So does this mean already enrolled and in-use computers will get these applications/config profiles installed?

Also there does not seem to be a built in way to ask users questions like what they want the computer name to be, what the asset tag is, what department etc..

If find it odd that the company that wrote DEPNotify which is still widely used can not incorporate its featured set into its main product. I appreciate the effort but it currently falls flat.

19 REPLIES 19

jamf-42
Valued Contributor II

not used ( no time!! ) but.. check this.. its some very good work! https://snelson.us/2023/11/sym-under-the-hood/

 

yes, they had a session a JNUC I believe. Really would like this built in the MDM I am using. Its a Major feature for deployment, zero touch and i think it should be built in and supported by the MDM vender. 

bwoods
Valued Contributor

Jamf didn't create DEPNotify, Joel Rennich did. When Joel worked for Jamf they incorporated it into Jamf Connect. Unfortunately, Joel and Jamf no longer seem to have an amicable relationship.

I would advise using Jamf Connect Notify or learning to use Swift Dialog (Most people in the mac admin community have switched to this). I saw what Jamf was offering at JNUC, and it's nothing compared to Swift Dialog.

Keeping up with the latest open-source projects and contributing to them is probably the best way to move forward as a mac admin. The MDM providers and Apple are often too slow to provide the features that we need. It's harder, but you end up learning much more.

 

Thanks for the info. We do not have Jamf connect. Swift dialog looks interesting, the thing that is great about DEPNotify is the script calls the policies so they only run on systems that run the script. Also the ability for user to select from a drop down and enter information is important for our use case.

bwoods
Valued Contributor

Swift dialog has those abilities as well. You can use Dan Snelson's Setup Your Mac to make your experience with Swift dialog easier. 

Dan is using a script with custom Jamf triggers to proceed through the installation below. It's very similar to DEPNotify. It just takes a little testing. Dan even has a full guide explaining all of this in the link above.

bwoods_0-1700674513632.png

 

JRodgers17
New Contributor III

I have to echo @bwoods on this one. We use Swift dialog with Setup Your Mac and it is awesome. I personally like the json formatting and the community support for swift dialogue is awesome - a lot of knowledgeable and helpful people. You can also pack a lot of information/text into the swift dialogue UI compared to others. 

howie_isaacks
Valued Contributor II

I haven't used DEPNotify for a while so I don't know for sure if it works with macOS Sonoma. My understanding was that it should still work. That question came up at a recent Apple admin meetup that I attend monthly. The consensus was that it still works. I think Setup Your Mac from @dan-snelson is really great. It's not hard to implement. It's driven entirely by a script with Swift Dialog as the front-end, similar to how DEPNotify works. Once you attach the script to a policy with an enrollment trigger, it definitely won't run on systems that are currently enrolled and in use.

I'm currently testing on Sonoma and DEPNotify fails to install due to still being a dual installer for Intel and sillion but it fails with:

Installation failed. The installer reported: installer: This package requires Rosetta 2 to be installed.
                Please install Rosetta 2 and then try again.
                    `sudo softwareupdate --install-rosetta`

 I was able to get it to install once by installing the Intel version of VLC, launching VLC, it prompted to install Rosetta 2 and was successful it reports and then DEPNotify installed. I since have not been able to repeat that process. The terminal command fails to install Rosetta 2. So someone needs to recompile to run exclusively on silicon at this point. I can't get it to install consistently. Frustrating too because we are about to deploy another round of staff MacBook Airs. I've informed my boss but not sure if he gets what I mean was he was like "What is DEPNotify?" UGH! Not sure if I have time to implement a new solution either but I might have to just get r done!

I did not seem to have this issue. The DEPNotify app installed fine using Jamf on Sonoma

You could try running a script first to install Rosetta 2 on arm systems

sudo /usr/sbin/softwareupdate --install-rosetta --agree-to-license

 

but again the DEPNotify app seems to install fine on Sonoma

 

 

TechGuy77
New Contributor II

Sadly mine fails and the logs say because Rosetta is required. When I try to run the terminal command the logs show it fails but gives a successful message. Trying to run an Intel architecture app prompts to install rosetta but it doesn't install and keeps prompting to install over and over again. I've wiped, re-installed Sonoma multiple times, it auto enrolls into JAMF but that first login I can't get DEPNotify auto installed with their installer. So what else is an IT Admin to do other than dust off my developer hat and recompile DEPNotify as an arm64 app only. Guess what, now it installs because it no longer requires rosetta. So I guess I solved the issue myself. LOL! Seeing as JAMF is more than likely not going to update DEPNotify I plan to upload my source, DEPNotify.app and generic pkg file to my github fork. 

Odd. What version of Sonoma? I just ran it on 14.0 worked fine

sdagley
Esteemed Contributor II

<ignore/>

AJPinto
Honored Contributor III

My thoughts, if you are managing a device why are you asking the user what the device name and asset tag should be?

  • The Device Name should follow your naming standards.
  • The Asset Tag is for console use only, generally a user has no idea there is an Asset Tag much less what it is.

JAMF did not make DEP notify, it's just an application that someone made. Nothing is stopping you from making an application todo the same thing or using other tools like Swift Dialog.

We are more liberal with computer names on macs. Our asset tags are on the same place on every mac & windows system and easy for the user to see. When requesting help they are asked for the asset tag. Jamf was at one point supporting DEPnotify for professional services clients. 

# Version 2.0.6

####################################################################################### License information
#######################################################################################
# Copyright 2018 Jamf Professional Services"

 

The new macOS onboarding leaves a lot these features out and seems clunky 

greatkemo
Contributor II

I highly recommend reaching out to Jamf and trying out their Jamf Setup Manager.  At the moment it is in a private beta on GitHub, but it looks promising.  I have tested it, and it works nicely.

Where can I find more information about setup manager? Never heard of it

sdagley
Esteemed Contributor II

Take a look at this video from last year's MacSysAdmin Conference 2023: https://docs.macsysadmin.se/2023/video_h265/Day4Session3.mp4 The whole session is interesting, but the Jamf Setup Manager discussion starts at 46:35

wow, this looks great. Why is Jamf hiding this? Are this still going to release this because it looks way better than macOS onboarding

Like I said, it's still in Beta. 

If you are interested in joining and testing it out for yourself, you can email the team at setupmanager@jamf.com