Jamf School and custom (macOS) profiles


We use Jamf School (formally known as Zuludesk) in combination with Munki to manage our macOS devices. We were already using Munki (To install profiles) before it was kinda mandatory to use a MDM for macOS deployments (DEP, PPPC, approving kernel extensions etc.). Zuludesk had a lot of experience for iPad deployments in classrooms and macOS deployment was a relative new platform for them. Working in education and in search for a simple MDM solution to add to our Munki workflows this seemed a logical choice for us approximately 2 years ago. 

Sometimes I stumble upon some strange issues that I forward to their support, but not all issues are being resolved or seen as a problem. Managing custom profiles is one for example. And now that Big Sur is coming you can’t install profiles with the /usr/bin/profiles command anymore (which Munki uses) it’s time to move all your profiles to your mdm!

Custom profiles workflow

I use a lot of custom made profiles to manage some sort of setting. Jamf School has issues with updating/replacing a custom profile or maybe I’m just used using Munki to install a profile with just one setting changed. To keep things simple I use a profile setting to place the Dock on the left or the right side for the example below.

How it’s supposed to work 

I create 1 Dock profile in the Jamf School management environment. This is just a standard “non” custom profile. The Dock is managed to appear on the “left” side of the screen. This profile is scoped to my demo laptop. When the scope is applied the Dock appears on the “left” side. When I change the position of the Dock to the right in the profile pane and click “Save” the Dock appears on the right side after a couple seconds. Magic!

Same Dock setting with a custom Profile 

Let’s create a custom profile using “ProfileCreator” (https://github.com/ProfileCreator/ProfileCreator)

Same settings as the example above. I create a profile with the Dock in the left side. Upload this profile as a “Custom” profile via the Jamf School interface. When applied to my demo machine, the Dock moves to the left side.

When I choose to replace the profile (after I edited the profile locally with a text editor) the change is not noticed bij Jamf School management. The version hasn’t changed either.

To get it working you need to perform these steps:

  • Change all! UUID’s in the .mobileconfig file. Generate those using Terminal.app: /usr/bin/uuidgen
  • Change the PayloadDisplayName. I put version numbers at the end. Jamf School does the same for the standard built in profiles.

In the following screenshot you can see the changes made to the profile using Kaleidoscope.

This replaced profile isn’t being pushed to all clients automatically. Tell Jamf School to “Refresh Details” for the scope of your profile,  as you can see in the below screenshots.

Go to your “Devices” tab, choose “Filter” and search for the appropriate computer group:

This presents you a list with computer records. Select all and choose “Refresh details”

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