Posts Tagged ‘xcode’

iOS and Backups

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

If you’re like us, you’re a fan of our modern era, as we are (for the most part) better off than we previously were for managing iOS devices. One such example is bootstrapping, although we’re still a ways away from traditional ‘imaging’. You don’t need Xcode to update the OS in parallel, iPCU to generate configuration profiles, and iTunes for restoring backups anymore. Nowadays in our Apple Configurator world, you don’t interact with iTunes much at all (although it needs to be present for assisting in loading apps and takes a part in activation.)

So what are backups like now, what are the differences between a restore from, say, iCloud versus Apple Configurator? Well, as it was under the previous administration, iTunes has all our stuff, practically our entire base belongs to it. It knows about our Apple ID, it has the ‘firmware’ or OS itself cached, we can rearrange icons with our pointing human interface device… good times. Backups with iTunes are pretty close to imaging, as an IT admin would possibly define it. The new kids on the block(iCloud, Apple Configurator,) however, have a different approach.

iOS devices maintain a heavily structured and segmented environment. Configuration profiles are bolted on top(more on this in a future episode), ‘Userspace’ and many settings are closer to the surface, apps live further down towards the core, and the OS is the nougat-y center. Apple Configurator interacts with all these modularly, and backups take the stage after the OS and apps have been laid down. This means if your backup includes apps that Apple Configurator did not provide for you… the apps(and their corresponding sandboxed data) are no longer with us, the backup it makes cannot restore the apps or their placement on the home screen.

iCloud therefore stands head and shoulders above the rest(even if iTunes might be faster.) It’s proven to be a reliable repository of backups, while managing a cornucopia of other data – mail, contacts, calendars, etc. It’s a pretty sweet deal that all you need is to plug in to power for a backup to kick off, which makes testing devices by wiping them just about as easy as it can get. (Assuming the apps have the right iCloud-compatibility, so the saved games and other sandbox data can be backed up…) Could it be better? Of course. What’s your radar for restoring a single app? (At this point, that can be accomplished with iTunes and manual interaction only.) How about more control over frequency/retention? Never satisfied, these IT folk.

Video on Setting up TheLuggage

Friday, July 13th, 2012

The Luggage is shaping up to be the go-to packaging software for Mac Admins. Getting started can be daunting for some, though, so I’ve narrated a video taking you through the steps required to set it up. Not included:
- Getting a Mac account (while this process can mostly be done for free, it’s the best and easiest way if you do have access)
- Downloading the tools from the Mac Dev Center (Command Line Tools and Auxiliary Tools for Xcode)
- Choosing your favorite text editor (no emacs vs vi wars, thanks)

Setting up The Luggage from Allister Banks on Vimeo.

Happy Packaging! Please find us on Twitter or leave a comment if you have any feedback.

Installing rdesktop

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

For those of you who have Intel Macs and are tired of the sluggish performance of RDC running in Rosetta: download, compile, and use rdesktop. It’s very easy (and works on PPC Macs too):

Requirements: X11 and Xcode (you DID install those, right?)

First, go to the rdesktop download page ( and download the latest source code. Extract the source to ~/Desktop/rdesktop. Then, compile the program. To do this, open Terminal and type cd ~/Desktop/rdesktop, and run the following commands:
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

To invoke the rdesktop app, open the X11 application, type Cmd-N to open a Terminal window, and type the following command:

/usr/local/bin/rdesktop -g 1024×768 -a 16

(if the flags aren’t self-explanatory, just type /usr/local/bin/rdesktop -help)

If you’re like me and want your RDC session to open up whenever you launch X11, do this:

1. In a Terminal window, type:
$ pico ~/.xinitrc

2. In the window that opens, type:
/usr/local/bin/rdesktop -f -u “username” -p “password” -a 24
(replace username and password with your actual username and password, or leave those arguments out if you want to be prompted each time for login).