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Wireless Installer – The Next Generation August 27, 2009

Posted by bigmaconcampus in Mac Tech.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ok, after originally posting the code for my wireless installer, I’ve updated the code earlier in the summer and keep promising to post an update. Without further adieu, here it finally is.

*NOTE* 9/29/09
There were some errors in the applescript sections of the original post. These should be correct now. Oops.

*NOTE* 12/21/09
Gave up fighting wordpress to display the code correctly so that it would compile correctly if someone copy/pasted it. Now have a direct link to download the working files at the bottom of this post. Sorry for the delay/problems.

Since I couldn’t remember specifically what I changed (several bug fixes, some major, some minor), I’ll re-post the entire thing here. It has been tested on over 1700 Macs since the beginning of June 2009, so I consider it fairly solid at this point.

There was an entire section redone in C code since there were certain APIs that could only be addressed that way. This was also the ONLY piece that was a reminant of a GUI based version I’d made a year beforehand. Now, all command line, YEAH. (Thanks Kim!) Also, now moves the newly added wireless network to the top of the preferred list so connection time is quicker (noticed that with users that had 20+ wireless networks, adding it to the end of the list resulted in several minute long connection times).

The only issues I’ve run into is that on occasional runs, the installer will not pickup the wireless username correctly (the main script thinks that the wireless username is blank). I haven’t been able to narrow down what causes it directly (I think it has to do with running the installer partially and quitting at a certain spot, which must be leaving some clutter behind, but haven’t directly proved this yet), but have added code to recognize the problem and exit with an error. Most times, running the installer a second time will work fine. (If anyone happens to figure it out, please let me know in the comments)

The other small issue shows about one in a hundred runs and I consider it an applescript bug. Sometimes the portion that is applescript won’t allow the user to type in the dialog box. A reboot solves this behavior.

This installer basically works the same as before, it is crammed into a PackageMaker .pkg file and runs as a postscript to perfom the setup. The beauty of this is that it can be posted on a website for the user’s to run themselves and doesn’t require a tech to setup their wireless for them. (Makes our lines MUCH shorter). If you are confused by any of the details, refer to the previous post for a deeper description of some portions.

It’s in several scripts in several different languages (Four in all I think, we almost had some perl in it, but I’m a Bash junkie and got it to work in less lines in Bash :P )

Change Log

July 2009
Version 3.6
Fixed bug that caused a blank wireless username in certain situations
Fixed bug with a ‘space’ in the Mac password
Wireless network is now added in the top location of preferred networks to enable faster connection
Added more error codes
Added better error descriptions
Added ‘retry counter’ to dialogs
Lowered number of retries from five to three

April 2009
Version 3.5
Rebuilt Keychain creation mechanism in C to solve several bugs centering around creation of ACL of Keychain and Assistive Devices settings.
Added Mac OS X 10.6 enhancements
Increased speed of installer
Added second wireless password test in case of system outage

March 2009
Version 3.1
Made compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
Added several exceptions for MacBook Air hardware types due to lack of ethernet port
Streamlined method of fixing certain symbol characters in passwords
Fixed bug with toggling Assistive Devices settings
Modified handling of certain preference files and previous Enterprise level network setups
Added steps to handle a blank Mac Password
Added error code for a corrupt login.keychain that cannot be unlocked

Final Important Info
After wrestling with WordPress attempting to get the code posted correctly, I’ve given up and decided to instead post a link to download the working files so that anyone interested can just download the pieces and package it themselves.

There are three applescripts, used to obtain and test usernames and passwords, and cleanup Keychain Items, that are called by the Main Script. These feed back the variables for username and password to the parent script.

The Mac password cannot be blank (I wouldn’t recommend a user have a blank password anyway) nor can it contain a space (causes problems with the script).

Some items in remove_keychain_items.scpt need to be edited manually (Names of keychain items). Also, if the keychain is locked with a different password than the main user account password, the script will error at this step.

C Programming Section:
This section replaced the part that would actually set the access level for the wireless to get to the keychain item. Before it used GUI Applescript and relied on Assistive Devices to be able to click a single ‘OK’ button. Using C to create the keychain item and set the ACL to allow the eapolclient to access the keychain fixes the issues with doing it the previous way.

This C code should be compiled for both Intel and PowerPC separately and the resulting files should be named:

The parent script determines the processor type and will run the appropriate version of the executable.

You would need to do a find/replace in this section of code for wirelessnetworkname and put in the name of your particular wireless network.

Download working files
Wireless Installer

Hopefully the new and improved version (which is still not 100% complete, but getting closer) will help someone out there. If so, drop a comment.