Thursday, October 15, 2009

Joys and frustrations of OS X

So this week, after coming back rested from a week in Bali I've attacked a few problems that need to be handled before I build next years image.

My first was to get one of my test boxes up as a 10.6 OS X Server. I not only got it up in quick order I managed to get one of the network guys to give me a static IP, a bunch of aliases for it and punch a hole or to in the firewall ready for some of the services.

It's important to get DNS aliases for your test server. It makes it trivial when you decide to shift out of test into production - no changes required on your clients, just a change in your corporate DNS.

My next task was to get Puppet up and running. I'm planning on using Puppet to look after some configuration details. At first in the student labs but then on the staff machines.

The only complication was that when the Puppet server (or puppetmasterd for those that know the details) comes up it wants to use the definitive name for your host and I wwanted to use one of those aliases. This means that puppetmasterd wants to hand out a security certificate for one name while the client expects a certificate with another. Luckily one line in the puppetconfig file (certname = "") and puppetmasterd gives out the right certificate.

My next task was to get managed preferences (or MCX) working with the dslocal domain. I managed that on my other test box, I even got puppet running on it and getting the MCX preferences from the puppet server.

That was a fair amount of success for the week. Then I started running into trouble.

I managed to use dscl to add a computer to /Local/Default under 10.5, I failed under 10.6 and couldn't get a computer into a group in either. I may have to do some deep exploration to get these things working. If you have any working shell for any of these I'd really appreciate a hint or two.

Once I have those done I'm going to set out to explore nodes and such under puppet. Lots of learning in the next month or two.