DeployStudio Runtime for End Users

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We use DeployStudio Server to deploy packages and system images in our environment. The current method is to have staff, whom are standard accounts (non-admin), NetBoot to DeployStudio and log in using their AD credentials. Since they do not have admin rights, they are not able to install their own software or updates. I want to leverage the DeployStudio (Runtime) application on clients computers and allow staff to install a predefined set of software, without them having to NetBoot. They would also be able to request additional software to be served through the Runtime application.

The basic idea is giving power to the users to install their own software and patches.

Make Me Sudo[edit]

In order to allow non-admin (standard) users to run Runtime, they have to have a way to launch it as root. Enter /etc/sudoers...

The /etc/sudoers (sudoers) file allows us to give a specific user or group sudo rights to run single or multiple commands. In this instance, we want the users to run the Runtime app as sudo, but to make it easy it has to be started from a script. To make it really easy, we will wrap it into an app later.

First, in /etc/sudoers file we give the group “DOMAIN\domain users” a user alias:

This line give the domain users group an alias of “STAFF”.

User_Alias      STAFF=%DOMAIN\\domain\ users

Next, we need to tell the sudoers file what the STAFF group can run:

This line says the STAFF alias can run the script at /usr/sbin/ using sudo, as root, WITHOUT prompting for a password. Understand? NO PASSWORD REQUIRED!

STAFF   ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/

Ok, thats cool, but whats that you ask? We don’t have a script to run at /usr/sbin/

Let Me Run[edit]

We want to create a script that will open the Runtime application as root. Create the file at /usr/sbin/ with these contents:

 #Open DeployStudio with Sudo
 cd /Applications/Utilities/DeployStudio\
 sudo ./Runtime

Give it permissions to run:

sudo chown root:wheel && sudo chmod 500

This script changes into the directory and opens the binary as root using sudo. Since we have edited the sudoers file to run the script file as root, the commands inside of it run as root. Don’t believe me? Add

say `whoami`

to the end of the script and run it from the terminal. Make sure your volume is up, what does it say?

So now we can open the Runtime app from the terminal using the command:

 sudo bash /usr/sbin/

It’s a little too much to ask a user to do, although most could, so lets make it easier for them.

Make Me Pretty[edit]

Create another script called on your desktop. Enter these as the contents:

 sudo /usr/sbin/ &

Download and install Platypus:

Open Platypus and drag the script from your desktop to the “Script Path:” field. Change your identifier and author, and whatever other settings you’d like. This is what I’m using:

Create your new app and double click it! You should see it for a second and then see DeployStudio open without needing a password!

Share The Fun[edit]

Coming soon... Package and deploy!

UPDATE: The DeployStudio group has built in this function to the current release of DeployStudio! rc123 now adds a line to /etc/sudoers to allow runtime admin access. The line they use in /etc/sudoers is, no doubt, more secure than what I used:

 %everyone       ALL=NOPASSWD: /Applications/Utilities/DeployStudio\


Packages Task Empty[edit]

I was trying to run a install of a package, so I opened the package task. It was empty for some reason. Other machines were fine, and it worked on the server with Runtime, NetBoot too. After checking the logs, I noticed that the repository said it had mounted at /tmp/DSNetworkRepository/Packages/ When I navigated to the folder, it was repository! No other folders were in there either. They were just empty folders left over from some error. I deleted the /tmp/DSNetworkRepository folder:

rm -R /tmp/DSNetworkRepository

Then I was able to mount the repository and install a package!