What is the most painless way to get rid of this software?

Shearer
New Contributor

I have sat through hours of training, hours of webex and still this piece of junk fails to work.

For us it will be better to walk around to each machine and manually install software and keep ARD for everything else.

The client thinks I’m an idiot for recommending it and I feel like an idiot for recommending it.

Time to cut our losses I think.

83 REPLIES 83

chris_kemp
Contributor III

First post...you know, there's a lot of experienced admins here that might be able to help you sort through whatever's not working for you.

To answer your question, though:

sudo jamf removeFramework

will remove the client-side binary from any machine you've installed it on.

As for the server, you can delete the /Library/JSS/ folder, which will remove the web files. Then, you can go into mysql & drop the 'jamfsoftware' table.

Honestly, though - Casper has its occasional issues, but this piece of junk has served us incredibly well over the past 4 years, and I would guess that many of my collegues here would concur. Feel free to post about your problems here - you'll get the benefit of many years of hands-on, end user experiences.

Shearer
New Contributor

Yes first post.

Posting here because Tech Support is getting me nowhere and I guess I also need to vent.

All I know is I’ve persuaded the client to spend $$$$ on the software, sat through 3 days of training which the client had to pay me for and we have now have about 18hours of web ex with the support guys (again billable time for the client) and I’ve got nada (technical term).

We would be better of spending the same amount of money for me to walk around to each machine and install stuff manually and tick each machine off as its done.

This doesn’t even run Software Update Server, ARD at least does that painlessly.

Add to that blundering around what five applications and a web interface to get anything done and its just been a PITA for us.

typeusernameher
New Contributor

What specific things are you having problems with? Management? Software deployment?

If software deployment, which software? Some software, in particular certain 3rd party applications can be tricky. But somebody here has probably already deployed it, and chances are, ran into the same problem as you are seeing.

Whats your environment? Such as File share types, user account types (network or local), deployment methods, etc?

Theres a lot of things that can come into play with software deployment. Existing files, running process, etc.

Shearer
New Contributor

All I wanted was basically an improved version of ARD to help with the management and software deployment on a small (25-30 machine) network of identical machines.

Simple stuff like pushing out software updates in the background, tracking inventory, etc.

The list to date.

SUS script works randomly (for some not others).

Office 2011 update policies work randomly.

Flash update policies work randomly

Acrobat update policies work randomly.

Acrobat policy that did work for some no longer works for others when duplicated and new pkg file put in place of previous one.

Have to spend way too much time in Console and Terminal fixing this stuff.

Tracking machine inventories fail randomly.

Haven’t touched self service or mobiles because I only want to risk breaking stuff on desktops at the moment under my control.

I have absolutely no confidence in any policy I push out because it will work on the first four test machines and then fail on the next identical production one.

JSS web page times out far too quickly, can’t configure it to just stay connected.

Moving between packages / features requires use of multiple applications / utilities / web page - why not a one stop shop.

Packages need to be rebuilt every time Office, Adobe, etc. bring out new software (and of course they remain flakey).

Why can’t I have a policy that just says check the Adobe web site once a week and download any update to Reader that is posted there? I.e. one policy that runs many times instead of creating a new policy EVERY time.

The list goes on ...

chris_kemp
Contributor III

That's a lot of stuff to cover.

Have you checked the logs for your policies to see why they're failing? Policies can be a bit tricky to get a handle on, because it's easy to shoot yourself in the foot if you construct them wrong. I use Policies on a daily basis, however, and have no problems with the mechanism itself. If you go to the Policy & click Show Plan, it gives a synopsis of the policy. Could you maybe copy one or two here, for examples of what you're doing?

Adobe stuff is famous for being difficult - but it's not so much a fault of Casper as it is of Adobe, and the unique way they build their installers. There are many workarounds here for various Adobe issues.

The thing about putting a new pkg. in place of an old one - do you mean uploading a different pkg with the same name? Not sure, but I can see how that might fail. Did you try editing the policy, and actually removing the old pkg & choosing the new one?

I'm curious about what you're fixing in the Terminal?

Re: the JSS web page timeout - I hear you there, it was a pain for me spending all day in the JSS and having to log in all the time. (It's a security feature.) My solution is a plugin for Firefox called Session Keeper - you select a web page (in this case the JSS page), and set a keep-alive interval, and it will ping the page and keep it open. I have mine set to 9 minutes, which is enough to subvert the 10-minute logout. :)

I understand your feelings about the applications, they seem a bit confusing (I have to train our staff on them here). I break it down like this, in order of usage:

Casper Remote: client interaction, this is the main day-to-day app for managing things.

Casper Admin: repository maintenance & image configuration, i.e. server interaction. A lot of this functionality is in the web app, and they are working towards adding more (as I understand).

Composer: package building. The built-in manifests for known applications usually work very well; that said, I most often use either the "New and Modified" method, or a drag & drop approach, i.e. put an app in /Applications, then drag that to Composer to make the deployment file. The latter is great if you have custom preference settings - this is one thing that I push daily with Policies to keep certain application settings from getting out of whack.

Recon: I almost never use this, other than creating a new QuickAdd.pkg when upgrading. QuickAdd does everything I need. Of course, if I needed to scan a LAN then I would go to Recon, but that's also more of a one-off thing.

Casper Imaging: lives on your NetBoot image. Only time I touch it is updating to a new version.

So really, Remote & Admin are the heavily-used apps. The others are fairly occasional, once you get up & running.

Shearer
New Contributor

Responses underlined after each of your comments:

Have you checked the logs for your policies to see why they're failing? Policies can be a bit tricky to get a handle on, because it's easy to shoot yourself in the foot if you construct them wrong. I use Policies on a daily basis, however, and have no problems with the mechanism itself. If you go to the Policy & click Show Plan, it gives a synopsis of the policy. Could you maybe copy one or two here, for examples of what you're doing?

Well most of the WEB EX sessions with the support people consist of just that. I see little point of burdening “free support” here when I need to be getting value for money somewhere in this mess

Adobe stuff is famous for being difficult - but it's not so much a fault of Casper as it is of Adobe, and the unique way they build their installers. There are many workarounds here for various Adobe issues.

Well again the WEB EX guys don’t mention that, ...

The thing about putting a new pkg. in place of an old one - do you mean uploading a different pkg with the same name? Not sure, but I can see how that might fail. Did you try editing the policy, and actually removing the old pkg & choosing the new one?

I mean duplicate a policy and rename. Go throught the bazillion steps in Admin to up load the new pkg file with a new name. Then use JSS to edit the duplicate policy to delete the old pkg file and replace it with the new one. I had hoped that duplicating and amending working policies was the least labour intensive option, but of course that assumes that a policy actually consistently works and can be used as a baseline.

I'm curious about what you're fixing in the Terminal?

The other big time suck in the WEB EXs, deleting frameworks, doing command line verbose installs to find out where / why a policy fails. Of course there is no standard so say the Office 2011-1436 policy works on 10 machines but fails on another 15. Same policy, imaged machines, go figure.

Re: the JSS web page timeout - I hear you there, it was a pain for me spending all day in the JSS and having to log in all the time. (It's a security feature.) My solution is a plugin for Firefox called Session Keeper - you select a web page (in this case the JSS page), and set a keep-alive interval, and it will ping the page and keep it open. I have mine set to 9 minutes, which is enough to subvert the 10-minute logout. :)

Well I paid for the software, let me work out the security policy.

bentoms
Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Margaret,

As Chris said there is a lot to cover in your post.

I'd advise posting here separate threads with some of the policy errors your seeing.

I know of no software that automagically will download the latest vendor pkg & then automagically deploys it. So you do need to go through some of the policy re-writing you mentioned.

For me I,

  1. Upload the new pkg to Casper
  2. Create/amend a smart group to deploy the pkg to
  3. amend the policy to hit the new smart group

This works as long as you follow the vendors pkg logic.

Things to check;

  • Often pkg's fail to install when from a network share. So cache them 1st
  • some pkg's fail when certain processes are running (office might need the suite to not be running & Safari as there is a safari plugin).
  • some fail when no one is logged in (adobe pkg's suffer from thing).
  • some like the flash plugin do not have a standard pkg & so need to be installed from a script that runs the update app.
  • there may also be issues where DP's have not been replicated & so the policy fails to install due to a pkg not being replicated.
  • if using https some clients may fail to install pkg's due to not having the root ca cert installed for the SSL cert on the DP

Post here we're all here to help.

I started using the Casper Suite around 6 years ago & only had used ARD & WGM when started.

The people here have helped me immensely.

I took my last role on the proviso we would get Casper.

I now manage 200 macs across 10 offices, across 3 continents & split amongst 14 brands.

No way could I manage the macs as well as I do without Casper.

chris_kemp
Contributor III
Well most of the WEB EX sessions with the support people consist of just that. I see little point of burdening “free support” here when I need to be getting value for money somewhere in this mess

Well, the point is that there are a lot of people here who have probably faced & solved the problems you have. I'm surprised they didn't suggest coming here, I've heard the recommendation often. Part of what you're paying for is this forum.

Well again the WEB EX guys don’t mention that, ...(about Adobe)

There are a lot of whitepapers about dealing with Adobe here; it's weird enough to have it's own special category (Adobe Installs) in the software. Again, there are a LOT of us who have had to deal with Adobe, who has not been real enterprise deployment-savvy until recently.

I mean duplicate a policy and rename. Go throught the bazillion steps in Admin to up load the new pkg file with a new name. Then use JSS to edit the duplicate policy to delete the old pkg file and replace it with the new one. I had hoped that duplicating and amending working policies was the least labour intensive option, but of course that assumes that a policy actually consistently works and can be used as a baseline.

I haven't duplicated a policy in awhile, so it's possible that there could be an issue with that. Do you have any better luck simply re-creating the policy?

The other big time suck in the WEB EXs, deleting frameworks, doing command line verbose installs to find out where / why a policy fails. Of course there is no standard so say the Office 2011-1436 policy works on 10 machines but fails on another 15. Same policy, imaged machines, go figure.

OK, that sounds like support's usual debugging procedures. So are they not turning up any answers? What happens when you push the package manually using Casper Remote? Does it still fail? Is it the same set of computers, by any chance?

Well I paid for the software, let me work out the security policy.

Agreed. Time for a feature request. :) Still, the plugin works for me so I don't worry about it too much.

jdziat
Contributor

Shearer, I'm not going to say I was completely happy with my jumpstart. Or some of the results immediately thereafter. But this was in no way JAMF's fault. It's a largely different way on handling management at least for us it was. If you are a traditional windows admin I would strongly recommend you spend some quality time with the casper admin manual. Are you new to OS X administration? If so take a look at:

What industry are you in? Do you have anyone nearby that have also implemented Casper Suite? Maybe with better results? Reach out to them for some best practices. Have you tried spinning up a new instance of jss? Did you experience the same results? Have you tried using composer's package manifests to capture your package?

JAMF support has always been on hand and helpful when presented with any problem. From my point of view you're frustrated and professionally embarrassed about a project you're undertaking and lashing out. Now may be the time when you bring in a casper certified admin and have him take over. I guarantee they'll be able to find and correct the problem. This is coming from a sys admin that supports upwards of 2000 OS X clients with the help of one other tech. We couldn't do it without Casper Suite.

Shearer
New Contributor

Well for starters, I’m Mark (the guy who persuaded Margaret to buy the software and the Tech Support contact).

Its a legal firm.

I’ve been with Macs since 1986 (Mac OS System 4.2 - OS, Software and Files on a floppy) and am happy with products like Filewave, ARD, etc.

I’m not, and never will be, a Windows Admin :)

I’m trying to make the “system“ work in exchange for the huge amount of money we paid for this. (Margaret wants to bin it and start litigation to recover their funds).

To be honest with our small site it will be FAR easier to just use a combination of visiting every machine and ARD.

The amount of billable time I’ve spent /wasted on Casper would equate to say, three rounds of once a month manual visits and the users would be actually getting something for their money.

I’m rapidly getting to the point where I can not longer defend the purchase that I recommended.

rtrouton
Valued Contributor III

If Casper's software distribution is not working out for your client, there's other tools that you can use for software distribution. One free open source tool is Munki:

http://code.google.com/p/munki/

There's an accompanying project that helps automate adding software to your Munki software repository:

AutoPKG - https://github.com/autopkg

You can use Munki in combination with Casper, with Munki handling software distribution and Casper handling your inventory and other tasks not related to software distribution.

If Munki's not your preference, there's another free software distribution tool called StarDeploy that may meet your needs:

StarDeploy - http://www.stardeploy.com

dpertschi
Valued Contributor

@Shearer-- Your experience is extremely atypical. This is the most mature and most successful commercial Mac OS systems management solution available, for what, a decade now. The sales and support staff are top notch. Something else is wrong in the environment; and with as much dissatisfaction as your expressing, it's going to be even more difficult for you to smooth out.

Given your relatively small environment, and soured outlook on Casper; you might very well be better served with OSX Server, DeployStudio, ARD and Munki.

chris_kemp
Contributor III

Question: Did you actually get a JumpStart, or did you go to the CCA training class? Big difference between the two - a JumpStart should have gotten you up & running. CCA training should honestly not be done until you've used the system for awhile, otherwise it's just information overload.

To be honest, I'm also a bit curious why you'd recommend a system that you don't have any experience with? There's a definite learning curve here, it's not something you can just jump into without some planning, and some trial and error.

However, that's not really relevant to getting you up and running, assuming you are still interested in doing so.

If you are, then you should try to address one issue at a time, maybe in separate threads. Perhaps you could tell us what your most pressing task at-hand is: You have software that needs to be pushed right away? You want to get all the machines into inventory? You want to troubleshoot a policy that's not working?

Fire away. :)

Shearer
New Contributor

I sat through three days of JumpStart, even when I specifically said we didn’t want to know about some of the features.

Yes the policies worked when we just sent them to “a” test machine. But fail when I send them to the real group.

I recommended it because of reviews / opinions like those expressed by “dpertschi” above and because we had issues with ARD when run from a server with two bound Ethernet connections (works fine off my MacBook Pro). I also had a happy experience with FileWave and was hoping to replicate that.

I’m not going to post every issue here in discrete threads (thanks anyway). That is what we paid the Support guys to provide as part of the purchase price and I intend to hold their feet to the fire until it works or they admit its broken and we get our money back.

jhenkel
New Contributor

Hi Mark,

Client Management is always a complex task. And it doesn't matter if you plan to manage 5, 50 or 500 Clients - you always need to go through some learning and initial Setup, Package-Creation and so on. Adobe is always a bit tricky.

We install the CasperSuite in many Customer-Situations and they are all running the way we want it. Of course there is no software without a bug, but so far everything worked in one way or the other. So - keeping this in mind I am convinced that your problems can be solved. But it will take some days/weeks to get everything to work.

First make sure your Network is ok, DNS, DHCP, Firewall, Ports for required Services are open (APNs), Certificates are installed, and so on. After thats all set - start creating packages, test imaging.
If you get stuck - ask JAMF Support or hire another Consultant to help setting up the initial Environment.

PS: My personal opinion - if you have less that 50 Devices to manage - just stick to manual / ARD. This Level of Client Management needs some more time for the Setup, which only makes sense and is in the End timesaving if you manage a larger number of Devices.

Shearer
New Contributor

“If you get stuck - ask JAMF Support“

Well that’s what I’ve been doing and will continue to but we a burning lots of time and gaining little headway.

jhenkel
New Contributor

Sure.

Its always a bit time consuming in the beginning - but you will get it running, i am sure. :)
Very often the JAMF Support helps in situations where it is not a JAMF Issue - its an OS X or Application-Issue. Pretty often maybe a Network or some other issue. Not really their Problem - but they still help. Also because sometimes it is difficult to say where the Problem really is until it is solved.
Considering the small amount that you pay for that, i am always very grateful for their help.

So, last but not least (as chris.kemp wrote before): If we, the people here in jamfnation, can help you in any way .... please let us know.

chris_kemp
Contributor III

Look, Mark - I think we all understand how frustrated you feel right now. The question now is do you want to find solutions or not?

It's fine to keep going to JAMF Support, but you're choosing to ignore a valuable resource right here. The simple fact is that WE are the ones who use this system day in and day out. Not to slight JAMF Support, but the guys on the phone probably don't have the same experiences that we do.

I started about 4 years ago managing 60 Macs, and that number has almost tripled. I doubt that JAMF had the resources to keep a stable of several hundred Macs sitting around in a testbed, just to train their Support guys on. And, my group is quite a bit smaller than several of the folks here, who have to manage thousands of clients. Frankly, if it didn't work then we wouldn't be here.

If you're not happy with the level of support you're getting, tell your Account Manager that you want to escalate past first-tier support. I'm sure that someone there can sort out whatever is wrong with your system & get you back on track. Then, maybe you'll feel more like availing yourself of the help being offered here.

donmontalvo
Esteemed Contributor II

@Shearer wrote:

...and I intend to hold their feet to the fire until it works or they admit its broken....

They won't, because it's not. :)

Having read through this thread, this looks like a training issue. There are currently 1,069 Casper Certified Administrators listed here. Have you thought about bringing in a local CCA who can help get Casper set up the way you guys want?

https://jamfnation.jamfsoftware.com/cca.html

Casper is a great product, and I'd hate to see someone under pressure brush it away, rather than dig in and learn it. There's no shame in asking for some hand holding, we all do it every so often, might even save your client some money.

Don

--
https://donmontalvo.com

Chris_Hafner
Valued Contributor II

Yes... you seem to be having enough issues that I would strongly recommend double checking to make sure that the clients network is healthy. Secondly, relax. If you want to get rid of Casper great, you've got the info. If you want to fix it stay here in the forums. However, could you describe your setup/plan in detail? Obviously you need to get a baseline of things working first and then the various other issues can be addresses or else, will fall in line. You're having enough issues to suggest that there is either a network issue or possible issues with the fileshare... which admittedly still leaves plenty of adobe installer issue. In any event, once you can get pushing policies reliably everything else should be easily sorted out.

SeanA
Contributor III

@shearer... like "too many cooks in the kitchen", I do not want to try to fix your situation when able Casper admins have added their thoughts already, however, I would like to assure you that I find your experience quite uncommon. Casper Suite is a good-to-excellent product that does make life better for Mac OS X sysadmins.

I do agree with chris.kemp's suggestion:

If you're not happy with the level of support you're getting, tell your Account Manager that you want to escalate past first-tier support. I'm sure that someone there can sort out whatever is wrong with your system & get you back on track. Then, maybe you'll feel more like availing yourself of the help being offered here.

vadanx
Contributor

As mentioned before I heavily recommend you open a new post for each issue you have, that way the whole JAMF Nation community can address each problem in bite-sized chunks, will be much easily to resolve that way.

I for one swear by this product.

Andrew

Matt
Valued Contributor

Not to be a jerk but it sounds like you are in over your head. Nothing to do with JAMF. I have seen this a lot lately. New former PC guy or just Mac savvy guys trying to get into the Client Management piece and finding out its not point and click like everything else on a Mac. Experience is key, a lot of us have been doing this for a long time. When I first started here I was lost, but I'd never call something a piece of junk especially when its managing over 4 billion dollars worth of assets and is outperforming our PC team (1 mac guy vs 45 PC guys and we have had an uptime that quadruples the PC guys.) Casper is SOLID.

bentoms
Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

I'd echo the local CCA suggestion, maybe see if one would allow you onsite?

I'm in London, I'm sure my boss would ok some knowledge sharing.

Another thing that might help is you listing why you purchased the Casper Suite. Maybe there are some things that are misaligned?

Shearer
New Contributor

Well part of JumpStart was to pay the JAMF guy to check we had set everything up “correctly”.

We bought new operating systems for the server, added hard drives, SSL certificates all so he could say “yes its good to go”.

If the JAMF guy says then they can fix it when it doesn’t work.

As for talking to our Account Manager, I have - I’m not a total noob. ;)

I’m glad you are having a great time with it, we just seem to be the 1% that don’t.

Anyway I’ve spent days on this with JAMF and despite you offers I’m not going to spend days more here posting all the logs and other stuff I’ve already sent them.

Anyone interested in some cheap licenses. :)

mm2270
Legendary Contributor III

Edit: Looks like maybe you did have a trial running based on the post right before mine here, so the following may not be relevant, not sure.

I'm not going to really repeat what's already been said by the experts here on JAMFNation, but did want to mention one thing here. JAMF is totally OK with people trialing their product in full for about 30 days prior to any purchase and it sounds to me like you simply looked at some online information and just recommended it without actually kicking the tires. Is that the case here? If so, for something that doesn't just cost a few bucks, this doesn't sound like the wisest decision. And not to be rude, but it sounds like you're trying to shift some blame for a rash decision process onto JAMF. Maybe its partly their fault if they didn't recommend that you trial it first, but that isn't really their place to tell you what to do before a purchase.

Recommending a trial period isn't to say that the product doesn't work, because it does. The thousands of clients JAMF has, many of them very large companies and school districts by the way can attest to that. Where I am now, we are a global technology company with Mac clients in just about avery major country in the world, managing close to 6000 Macs (and growing daily!) with the product. I won't say its perfect because no piece of software ever made has been perfect or ever will be, but we would have moved on long ago if it wasn't doing what we wanted for the most part.

Anyway, a trial would have given you a good base to work from and actually helped both you and your client with the decision of yay or nay before laying out any money. That's how I started with the product in another company and eventually made the recommendation to IT management that it was the way to go to manage our Mac environment. A trial would have shown you that its not ARD, it does use several local applications in conjunction with the web app, and requires a bit of upfront planning and has a learning curve. Incidentally, JAMF wants new customers to go through the JumpStart specifically because there is a learning curve. They aren't being jerks about it; they want to make sure you have a baseline of knowledge. Maybe your JumpStart wasn't really sufficient for your needs - that's possible. Do you know if the JumpStart was done by a JAMF employee or by a certified partner of theirs?
I will say that I do wish JAMF and their JumpStart partners were a little more flexible in what materials actually get covered in the JS based on a customers needs. I have seen many times that the curriculum is too rigid and you end up going over stuff that isn't all that important to get you started. I think they can do better here personally, so in that respect I can understand some of your frustration there.

All that said, if you do actually want to solve your issues and get Casper Suite running for you and Margaret, you've come to the right place. It would have been better if you came here earlier rather than near the point of dumping it altogether, but I think your situation is salvageable. BUT, it will take effort on your part to work through this and not expect an overnight miracle solution.

vadanx
Contributor

Then I also echo the local CCA suggestion, where abouts in the world are you based? Like bentoms I'm also London based and in the same situation about knowledge sharing. It sounds like you need an experienced Casper admin to have a look at what's going on, you may find yourself enjoying the product after all...

rockpapergoat
Contributor III

to me, it sounds like you've done a disservice to your client by not testing this setup first. as a professional consultant, i would hope you'd do your homework before saddling the client with a big purchase.

i wouldn't have recommended purchasing casper for managing 25 - 30 macs. it's not worth it. then again, i'm not really a casper fan and also don't manage macs any more.

if you haven't used casper (or similar suite) before, there's a learning curve. there are a bunch of hoops to jump, and far too much manual work to "make it go," but that's the reality. often you'll hear the "just use this script" or "write a simple script to do x y z" or "create a policy to run a script that blah, blah." at its core, casper is an inventory/policy database and a web frontend to manage it. clients communicate with the server via ssh to query the database for polices, etc. you should have done your homework and realized this before deciding to purchase and use the system.

note: i want my 5 minutes back after typing this reply.

mpermann
Valued Contributor II

@Shearer, our JumpStart left us with things that weren't working quite right as well. So I can appreciate the position you are in. I spent some time working with my account manager, but I quickly realized this forum is the best place to get help. If you describe your JSS setup and explain the problem your having there is someone willing to help. Often times there are multiple people that will help resolve your issue. It doesn't sound to me like you are interested in the help the forum members are willing to provide and that you just want the JAMF support people to fix "it" for you. You're probably better off cutting your losses and going back to the old way you were doing things. But, I am curious why you recommended Casper to your client if you've not actually used it before. That's not something I'd be willing to do. If you've used FileWave in the past, why you didn't recommend that product instead? Good luck, and if you change your mind on wanting the nations help post some specifics that people can dig into and help you with.

stevewood
Honored Contributor II
Honored Contributor II

@shearer since you think it is a waste to list out each incident in a separate email, let's try to address a few of the ones that you did mention above:

- Office 2011 update policies work randomly.

How are you adding the update to Casper? I simply drag and drop the PKG file from the downloaded DMG file into Casper Admin and then use that for my policy.

Are you installing at login/logout or using the Every15 or Any triggers? If you are using anything but login/logout, you may be running into an issue of a user having an Office app open during the policy run. Anytime I do an Office update, or an Adobe update for that matter, I use the login or logout trigger. I find I have far fewer failures if I use these triggers. Have you tried that?

Have you verified that you are applying the correct Office update to the correct Office version? I found recently that I could not apply 14.3.6 to a 14.2.5 update without first patching to 14.3.0. Even though the Office for Mac web site states that 14.3.6 should be able to apply to anything SP 1 and up. I would verify that the machines that are failing have the minimum version for the patch.

What do the logs say on one of the failed machines? I know you said you didn't want to post all of the log files you've sent up to JAMF, but can you supply something to show?

- Flash update policies work randomly

This one is an issue for 99% of the admins on this site, and it's due to Adobe's crappy installer and process. Just run back through some of the older JAMF Nation posts and you'll feel the hatred most of us have for Adobe's installers. Granted, Jody Rodgers and team did a wonderful job of getting Adobe to move forward for Enterprise support, there's still some holes.

That being said, again, how are you triggering the patch? Login and logout seem to be the most successful for me.

I have also found that Todd Ness' (@nessts) Perl script method for installing Flash updates has been near flawless for me. I've had close to a 100% success rate using this method, as a login policy.

- Acrobat update policies work randomly.

Again, how are you adding them to Casper? Are you dropping the PKG file from the DMG directly into Casper Admin? This is how I add them into Casper.

Trigger, again....Login/Logout seem to be the methods that work the best for these.

As many have already echoed, the JAMF Nation is a wonderful resource to use. I personally have been administering a Casper site for over 5 years now with about 160 machines or so in our inventory. I did not have the luxury of a Jump Start, as Casper was already installed before I got here. I had to learn it from scratch on my own, but with the help of the then Casper Mailing List. The guys on that list were a wonderful help for me, and I learned a lot from asking questions and from just reading how others were handling things. Reach out to the Nation, we're here to help, and often times have answers faster than the JAMF guys do.

One more thing. I used to own my own consulting company back in Los Angeles. It's been many moons since then, but I know how I would handle this situation if it were me. If it were me, and I had made a recommendation for a client to purchase a piece of software, or hardware, and they were not satisfied, I would try very hard to make it work. Yes, I know this is what you've already done. However, if I were in your position, and my name were on the line, I would also consider giving up some hours, or billing at a reduced rate, so that my name was not damaged. A little goodwill can go a very long way to solidifying a relationship with your client. Just my 2 pennies.

stevewood
Honored Contributor II
Honored Contributor II

I forgot to add a link to Todd's Perl script and the discussion we all had:

https://jamfnation.jamfsoftware.com/discussion.html?id=5713

nessts
Valued Contributor II

Office 2011 updates for me outside of casper with version 14.3.5 and 14.3.6 have started having some random weirdness where they hang in the middle of the update and send the processor and fans off to working very hard, so I think it might not be a Casper problem since we use Altiris at that customer and it happens with command line installs of the package vs. using the GUI by hand.

I would suggest installing all your updates at login, so nothing else is running, that will could solve your Adobe suite install issues. And really it sounds like you might be better off running around justifying your existence visiting each computer separately. Then you can address all of the issues as they come up or prevent them from happening altogether by controlling the environment that the installs happen in. Casper is a Mac product that supports Mac with the UNIX back end that finally made Apple have a great operating system.

IMO Casper Suite is so powerful if you have any useful scripting skills that you can pretty much make it do anything you want it to do. And yes you have to augment what JAMF supplies, there are millions of use cases, they attack the biggest most common problems and make it easy for the rest of them to be handled with patience and practice.

Throw your money away, please quit telling us how bad it is and move on if you don't want the help so my inbox will quit filling up with people trying to help you. However, if you take one thing at a time and ask patiently and learn from what people are telling you here, you will probably become quite happy with the Casper Suite.

acdesigntech
Contributor II

i think we all need to stop feeding the troll. He obviously doesn't want our help and would rather lambast JAMF for his shortcomings. Shame on you, sir, for recommending a product you know nothing about to your client. In no universe is recommending a management suite designed to handle THOUSANDS of machines to an environment with less than 50 OK. To top that, you have multiple people on this thread beseeching you to allow them to help if you would just calmly post each issue you are having, and yet you refuse them, making some nonsensical comment about litigating against JAMFSoftware. Wow a legal firm wanting to litigate, let me go think about that one.

I see this every day with our support techs. If it doesn't "just work," or the answer to a problem doesn't jump into their outstretched arms, or our engineering team does not spoon-feed them every bit of information they might need to solve a problem they moan and cry like pre-schoolers and somehow try to justify their incompetence by displacing blame. Heaven forbid they take 10 minutes and look it up - that might force them to learn something.

There's nothing wrong with Casper. If there was, I seriously doubt there'd be thousands of admins using it. Something is wrong with your environment, and that's no one's fault but your own. Stop wasting everyone elses time and do the right thing by your client - refund their money and then recommend a different consulting firm to support them.

donmontalvo
Esteemed Contributor II

@acdesigntech wrote:

Shame on you, sir, for recommending a product you know nothing about to your client.

and

...refund their money and then recommend a different consulting firm to support them.

+1

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https://donmontalvo.com

Matt
Valued Contributor

I've done 4 JAMF cleanups now (I do consulting on the side) and it was all started by Former Mac Geniuses who think they are Apple Gods. Fixing your grandmas iWork and managing an Infrastructure to Corporate and SOX standards is like playing Football on the XBOX and being in the NFL. May sound jerkish but maybe you should stick to the XBOX and leave the NFL for the Pros so people like me don't have to waste my time and clients money fixing mistakes. JAMF makes a great product and has hands down the BEST customer service I have ever dealt with. Most companies we deal with will give you the good ole Heisman if you need help. Nothing like a stiff arm to the face when your company is down.

mm2270
Legendary Contributor III

Yeah, y'know, the more I read through, wasting my time, the more I'm inclined to wonder if this isn't actually some kind of trolling going on. If not, then just the typical disgruntled individual who wants to blame the whole world for their troubles. Either way, I agree with @acdesigntech, @nessts and others that, if you keep claiming you're too far gone to help, them just delete the software, cut your losses and go back to your sneaker-net approach. With only 30 or so Macs I would agree that the full Casper Suite is total overkill anyway. I'm almost surprised JAMF even sold it to you. I've seen them discourage clients with such a small # of Macs to manage from making a purchase b/c they know its not cost effective and sometimes leads to unhappy customers.

I have to think that the folks at JAMF aren't too thrilled about this thread. This kind of crap gets picked up by Google's web crawlers so it will invariably show up in some search on the product later. Not good publicity for a fantastic product that stands head and shoulders above any of the competitors out there. As mentioned JAMF has customers that number in the many thousands. Total # of managed Macs is well past the million + mark. Not too shabby for a product that doesn't actually work according to you, huh?

So I'm with acdesigntech; maybe we should stop responding unless Mark, or Margaret or whoever they are responds back and asks for sincere help. I know we all like to bend over backwards to help our fellow Mac admins, but in this case, we may be pissing in the wind.

justinworkman
Contributor

This thread is better than any reality TV I've watched lately! :)

Matt
Valued Contributor

I think this thread though shows something really important, our communities ability to support where JAMF maybe can't (its inevitable of course for any company thats why we have jobs!) and the camaraderie we all have. If anything it shows we have a good solid community of people who are willing to help and defend the product that helps us make a living.

donmontalvo
Esteemed Contributor II

It appears Mark is the tech for:

http://www.bhf.com.au/Margaret%20Shearer.html

To be frank, I hope Margaret Shearer gives Mark an opportunity to get up to speed. He proposed the right solution, however given the circumstances, maybe he's expecting too much too soon?

I'll withold my comments regarding Mark learning the proposed solution on the client's dime...however, I will say that despite Mark's frustration, he can't say JAMF Nation isn't the best community in the Mac management business. :)

Don

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https://donmontalvo.com