Peeling the Layers of the Casper Suite ‘AND’ Philosophy

This session provided a plethora of helpful tools to use in conjunction with the Casper Suite. 

October 21 2014 by

JAMF Nation User Conference 2014 - Peeling the Layers of the Casper Suite AND Philosophy

JAMF Software has advocated the Casper Suite ‘AND’ approach for quite some time.  But what are the ‘ANDs’ and how can I use them? Gerard Allen, Cork-native, Mac admin veteran with more than 20 years of experience, took the JNUC crowd on a journey through the different ‘ANDs’ and how to layer them with the Casper Suite.

What is an “AND”? The ANDs are the additional tools that can be used in conjunction with the Casper Suite. Gerard took us through a few of his favorites: GUI tools, not so-GUI tools, and community support.

GUI Tools:

1. MacTracker

What ‘s the max RAM? Officially and unofficially (what can it really take?) What OS did it come with? What expansion ports does it have?

This tool helps you get more out of your Macs, and could help extend their lifecycle.

2. WiFi Explorer

This is a free tool. You can look up the networks in a given area, and troubleshoot why you might be getting drop offs. A clean and visual tool, it’s very user friendly.

3. AngryIP:

An open-source and cross-platform network scanner. Take the guesswork out of figuring out which IPs are in use and which are free.

4. AutoCasperNBI:

Created by JAMF Nation Dean, Ben Toms AKA MacMule.

Ben will be hosting a session on Thursday introducing his new baby, so we suggest you check that out to hear about it in more detail.

5. DeployStudio

In certain environments, this tool set can be very useful for imaging when you don't need the full-on Casper Suite experience.

6. Apple Remote Desktop

Gerard states he can use this tool with “one hand behind his back and blindfolded.” We’d like to see that some day, but until that day, we'll take his word for it. He says this tool is perfect if you want to oversee what’s happening on your network.

7. AutoDMG:

Written by Per Olofsson. Create deployable system images from OS X installer in a jiffy.

8. WinClone:

From the team at TwoCanoes; this tool makes cloning Boot Camp easy and works beautifully with Casper Suite.

Take a prepped Windows hard disk and pull an image from that, package it, drop it into JSS and create a NetBoot image.

Top Tip! Always make sure you have enough space on the drive you are cloning to.

9. Automator

An often-overlooked part of OS X and under appreciated in the Mac admins community, but if you want a repetitive task done this is the ticket.

10. CreateUserPkg:

Courtesy of MagerValp, this tool creates packages to quickly deploy Mac User accounts. 

11. Lingon:

Fat fingered when writing code? Forgotten a semi colon? Or just don’t know what you’re doing? Lingon is a powerful utility that lets you run things automatically on your Mac. Simple.

12. Sublime text

Everyone has their own flavor of text editor. This is Gerard’s.

If you’re not a coder, this gives you a great user experience, with a nice looking GUI. The tabs feature is particularly user-friendly, plus it understands what you’re writing as you’re writing it so the color of the code changes giving you immediate feedback.

13. GeekTool

Create Geeklets – small scripts that display messages on the desktop. Ever find yourself asking “What’s the IP/Mac Address/hostname? This makes it really easy. Write your own or copy and paste from ones already written by members of the community.

14. Prey:

With discussion and consent of your users, this tool can help you track Macs from your estate.

Gerard encouraged attendees to use the tools that they can, including each other, to take their productivity to new heights.

Watch the full video of this session now.

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