Troubleshooting AutoPkgr

While awaiting my awesome Part.2 of how to set up Munki we will look at quick fix I made recently to troubleshoot AutoPkgr issues I was having.

I have AutoPkgr set up with several sites as a quick and easy way to get updates of free and licensed software into Munki. Strangely, I ran into an error on my test box, and not on my deployments with clients. So it was something I had done, but what did I do?

AutoPkgr python error

AutoPkgr python error

At first I thought that one of the recent updates to AutoPkgr had broken the application. But since it was running correctly elsewhere I had to quickly rule that out. Running the recipes, which looks for new updates of certain applications, kept giving me a python error. How do you troubleshoot this? Re-install Python? De-compile AutoPkgr? Rant on the MacEnterprise maillist? No, that won’t help. ūüôā

AutoPkgr is a very nice GUI front end to the excellent AutoPkg project. AutoPkgr installs Git and AutoPkg which are needed. AutoPkgr makes much of the set up much quicker and faster. It’s a great tool. Thanks to the Linde group.

AutoPkgr update dialog

AutoPkgr update dialog

The best way to troubleshoot this issue with AutoPkgr is to see if it is an issue with AutoPkgr. Let’s see if AutoPkg runs at all, and with the same errors. Now there’s an idea. So how do we run AutoPkg? Terminal. Open Terminal.app, and run AutoPkg directly. I always start with a basic “where is the app binary I want?” and then run the app with no options¬†to see if there’s a help menu with an explanation of the switches.

AutoPkg in Terminal

AutoPkg in Terminal

Looking at what Terminal says we now know that AutoPkg is installed in the path /usr/local/bin which is a very accepted place for non-standard (extra, or optional) binaries to live. We also know that “autopkg run all” is not the correct command to run, but it was enough to elicit a better error message. In fact, the problem seems to be a “plist error” with the TextWrangler override recipe. What’s that you might be asking? AutoPkg allows the use of “overrides” which adjust a recipe. In my use of AutoPkg I set an override to add information to a recipe, specifically developer and category information so that Munki’s Managed Software Update app correctly displays the information and the user has a more logically sorted software self-serve portal. In any case, we know from this error that something is wrong with the override. I can run xmllint and clean it, I can open and find the error, or I can just delete this override and re-run AutoPkg to see if we can get somewhere.

AutoPkg transmit

AutoPkg transmit

In this example I run AutoPkg with the Transmit recipe and all runs well. Everything is good now. So what’s the lesson here? Be careful with your plist files. When you make your override, and add useful keys, double-check your work to avoid a broken AutoPkg.

Using Munki and AutoPkg to automate Mac software deployment (Part 1)

Recently Munki v2.01 was released and now more than ever with the help of other apps it is easier to automate software deployment. With help with AutoPkg (and AutoPkgr) you can quickly set up a Munki server to deliver software to all your Macs. In the time it takes to download one new app and update each of your client workstations you could instead put it in your Munki repo and have it ready to deploy to everyone.

Munki allows you to automate software deployment. When you have more than one or two Macs to ensure that they are up to date with security, Flash, Java or other app updates you being to realize that an automated system can save you time and maybe even your sanity. You don’t backup manually, of course, you automate it. When it’s important and you want it done right, then some planning ahead of time and automation will make your life much easier.

If you have not yet set up a Munki server then follow along as I walk you through setting Munki 2.01 with AutoPkgr 1.1 in part 1 of this blog post of Munki and AutoPkg. In part 2 I will go into further detail of how to use MunkiAdmin (Mac app) and Mandrill (a node.js web server) to edit and maintain your Munki set up. Pros and cons of each method will be touched upon. Using the command line in the past was required but I will show you how some really good apps and web services can help you maintain your automated software deployment workflow.

Note: Munki requires only a web server to deploy software, while traditionally the munki tools ran on a Mac. You can put your software repo on any web server. I will show you the set up on a Mac for the purposes of this blog post.

Steps to a basic Munki server set up on a Mac running 10.8, 10.9, or 10.10:
1. Install latest Munki tools (v.2.01 at the time I write this), restart
muni tools 2.01 pkg

muni tools 2.01 pkg

2. Install AutoPKGr (v.1.1 at the time I write this)

AutoPkgr icon

Install AutoPkg, and Git using AutoPkgr.
Install autopkg and git using autopkgr

Install autopkg and git using autopkgr

3. Set your Munki repo to some folder (for example, /Users/Shared/munki_repo)
Munki repo

Munki repo

4. Set up web services on OS X by manually editing httpd.conf document root to your Munki repo or with Server.app, setting your munki_repo as where you store your site files.
Server.app Website document root munki repo

Server.app Website document root munki repo

6. Add recipes to AutoPKGr and choose apps. Set a schedule for AutoPkgr.
Configure AutoPkgr

Configure AutoPkgr

7. Check for apps manually the first time, and let AutoPKG download them to your repo
Configure AutoPkgr schedule

Configure AutoPkgr schedule

8. Check your repo for a manifests folder, and if it is not there, create it
Munki repo manifests

Munki repo manifests

9. Download icon importer, move to /usr/local/munki folder, run against your repo
mv iconimporter /usr/local/munki/iconimporter.py
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/munki/iconimporter.py
cd /usr/local/munki ; sudo ./iconimporter.py /Users/Shared/munki_repo/
iconimporter munki repo

iconimporter munki repo

Next, go to the icons folder in your repo,¬†pick a fav icon and rename if necessary (some have more than one icon with name with¬†‚Äú_1, _2, etc‚ÄĚ).
10. Open MunkiAdmin and add packages to catalogs as needed, edit package info (add developer and category info, descriptions etc as needed), then create a client manifest.
11. Choose apps to install for clients (choose from installs, optional installs, uninstalls)
12. Set client id and repoURL on actual clients.

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ManagedInstalls ClientIdentifier “test-client”

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ManagedInstalls SoftwareRepoURL “http://ip.addr.ess‚ÄĚ

Done. Your munki server is set up and ready for clients to connect. Next up, in part 2, we will look at Munki’s client facing app, the Managed Software Center. We¬†will also look at¬†how to use¬†Munki Admin¬†(Mac app) and¬†Mandrill¬†(a node.js web server) to edit and maintain your Munki set up. Pros and cons of each method will be touched upon.¬†Using the command line with Munki was required in the past but the Munki ecosystem has grown and there are some really good apps and web services can help you maintain your automated software deployment workflow.
Further Reading:
1.¬†What’s new in Munki 2¬† (Links to apps in the Munki ecosystem)
2. Munki 2 Demonstations setup (basic walkthrough setup)