Ventura, Safari and Dock Master

Apple don’t like Mac admins tinkering with the dock. For Apple, the dock is a space for the user to customise and tweak to their heart’s desire, not for some technical overlord to control.

But in a school setting, setting the contents of the dock is actually really handy. If people are moving around the school and could potentially log into any given Mac, having all the dock items in the same place makes it more familiar for staff.

Unfortunately, Jamf Pro doesn’t really offer quite the right tools for doing this. It is possible to add and remove dock items using ‘policies’, but this is prone to error and still allows users to move things around however they like. Or you can create a ‘profile’ for the dock, but only if it includes default apps and not things like Keynote, Word or Slack.

Thankfully, Michael Page has created ‘Dock Master’, an online tool that allows for the creation of customisable dock profiles with whichever apps your heart desires. Just set it up as you want, download the profile and then upload that to your MDM of choice.

When Ventura was released, I started upgrading some Macs to it and then noticed that Safari would have a little alias arrow in the left corner of the app icon in the dock. Very strange!

After a little bit of digging, I discovered that this was because Safari actually now lives in


and not in the Applications folder at all. So once I put in the correct path in Dock Master, it all worked fine. Yay!

Flash vs. Safari

Upon arriving at school today, teachers started telling me that they couldn’t view their Flash content because Safari was saying that the plugin was out of date and therefore blocked. Some had the initiative and had download and install the update because they knew the admin credentials, but it wasn’t looking good for everyone else.

Thankfully, Munki was there to the rescue! I managed to quickly download the Flash installer (using the volume distribution link on Adobe’s website – long story) and then uploaded it to our Munki repository. Our Macs are set to update every morning using Munki, but that was no good in this situation as everyone was already logged in. Instead I had to post some instructions for staff on how to use the ‘Managed Software Update’ app which comes with Munki to manually activate the installation.

Simples. Kinda.

The reason this is all happening is because of Apple’s XProtect software, which downloads a list of software to watch out for and then proceeds to block it as it comes across it. Which includes any out-of-date versions of Flash.

I guess the annoying part of this is that there is no automatic way of downloading and installing Flash updates, particularly on a network and particularly because Adobe specialise in inventing their own balmy and non-standard installer files.

Maybe Safari should join Chrome and offer automatic updates of plugins (particularly Flash). Or maybe Flash should just hurry up and be replaced by HTML5.