New MunkiReport-php 2

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I may or may have note said clearly in the past that, in my opinion, the Munki project is one of the best open projects in Mac Admin community. It is a great open source project with very capable people.

One thing that extends Munki’s capabilities beyond just a way to manage software is it’s ability to run pre/post-flight scripts. This allows reporting data about the clients and you most likely would want to store that in a web server so that you can review the client status. Much like puppet’s facter.

Back in the day when I rolled out Munki to our client base I used MunkiReport to collect this information. The product was very good but not easy to tweak. It was based on a python .egg which I never dealt with in the past.

Then Arjen ported this to php and created MunkiReport-php. This was much easier to play with and implement features as you needed. I added a feature to report local administrator accounts plus some other reports needed in my company.

Yet Arjen has done it again. He recently launched the second version of his tool MunkiReport-php 2. In this case the project is a (almost?) complete re-write. The idea is to base the tools on modules that collect data as needed and puts it together in a dashboard that you can show you boss and he/she can easily understand. I was on holiday last month eager to come home and start playing with this!

We have not yet put this fully in production (I plan to do this next week) but even during the testing it has helped me to identify some issues in our workstations. We have upgraded the ram for some computers that had few GB, replaced some drives that were reporting SMART failure, chat with some users about freeing space in their drives and even started discussing which updates we should force install thanks to the widgets.

I have put together a demo site on my RedHat’s OpenShift so that you can check out it’s features and decide whether it can fulfill your needs. The project is open and most probably it’s author welcomes your contributions.

PS: A firm competitor of this is MunkiWebadmin, which is also a great project and gives you a chance to administer your Munki server from a web interface. Also Simian and MunkiServer do similar tasks with different approaches. If you want to discuss the differences between them feel free to use the comments below or jump into the ##osx-server IRC channel where you could find me Sun-Th