How does one successfully move Apple Configurator from one Mac to another?

IconDaemon's picture

IconDaemon

Joined: Dec 9, 2015
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Following the uncharacteristically brief information found in this Support document, I have had no luck at all.

I've been trying to successfully move Apple Configurator and all its data from an old, slow Mac Mini to a much faster Mac Mini with more RAM, a more robust processor, etc. Using Migration Assistant, I've restored everything from a Time Machine backup - all user accounts, applications, etc. I verified that all the required directories & whatnot were copied over.

Nothing worked from the very beginning. I first continually got the "Unable to attach device to Apple Configurator" while running Configurator, and "iTunes could not connect to this iPad. Could not allocate a resource" when attaching a new iPad.

Doing some investigating, I came across tidbits of information which lead me to the /var/db/lockdown folder, which seems to contain a plist file for every supervised iPad connected to the Mac. This folder was correctly transferred with Migration Assistant.

But another file, /var/db/lockdown/SystemConfiguration.plist, contains only the UUID of the old Mac. When I changed the contents of this file to hold the UUID of the new Mac, I was finally able to get the 'Trust this computer?' message on the iPad, which then allowed it to be visible in Configurator.

In the long run, the most essential feature - loading up and removing paid apps from supervised iPads - does not work.

Every other Configurator task works as expected, from installing profiles to updating iOS. It correctly shows all the apps in our catalog, free and paid, but it fails when attempting to use a paid code, indicating that I must login to the VPP-linked AppleID in iTunes. Naturally, that does not fix anything.

Has anybody here @ enterpriseiOS successfully moved configurator from one Mac to another?

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Aaron Freimark's picture

Aaron Freimark

Joined: Nov 6, 2010
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1 file and 1 folder?

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I haven't tested as much as you have, specifically paid apps. But I think for cloning supervision capability between Macs only one file and one folder need to be moved.

  • ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.configurator/ - this is the sandbox that holds Configurator's preferences prefs, database, downloaded firmwares, etc.
  • ~/Library/Keychains/login.keychain - this is where your Mac holds the unique private key that is the foundation of supervision.

As far as the paid apps are concerned, have you authorized the new Mac using iTunes?

--
Aaron Freimark, Enterprise iOS founder & GroundControl CEO

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fuglett's picture

fuglett

Joined: May 13, 2014

1 file and 2 folders!

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Apple Configurator: Backing up and restoring data (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5194) gives three locations that should be restored for Apple Configurator. Containers and Keychains will be transferred with Migration Assistant, but the '/var/db/lockdown' folder would not. the lockdown folder is what lets the computer recognize your iOS devices when they are plugged in, and there's definitely gonna be an issue if that's not there.

Your best bet would be to update the old machine as far as possible, then do a full Time Machine backup, then do a full restore to the new system, following OS X Mountain Lion: Recover your entire system (http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11192)

If that's not workable, you would want to manually restore those three locations using time machine, but it's important that they are all restored from the same time to keep things in sync. As in, don't just restore /var/db/lockdown cause who knows whats changed in the com.apple.configurator container

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IconDaemon's picture

IconDaemon

Joined: Sep 1, 2013
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A careful reading of my original post ...

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... will show that I have tried all the suggestions mentioned in the previous posts. I queried Apple about the same problem, and I must call an Apple support number to talk with a live person. I will report back with my findings, positive and negative, when I have a little more time on my hands. The end of the school year madness is ramping up and I have less time at present to work on this. Thanks, Aaron and fuglett, for your help.

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fuglett's picture

fuglett

Joined: May 13, 2014

You're right...

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... I absolutely should have read more than the first line.

Based on the errors you're getting, I expect there's some hodgepodge of data in the /var/db/lockdown so it's not able to link these devices as expected. If there's not much done so far on the new machine, The absolute best option would be to do that full time machine restore and then apply any software updates as this will be the best way to make sure those three locations are in sync.

i have seen a manual restore of those three locations to the SAME computer work, but never as a transfer to a new machine. if the full time machine restore does not work or you can't try it, I would erase and reinstall MacOS, then migrate from the other machine, then manually restore /var/db/lockdown without ever having plugged in any iOS devices or opening Apple Configurator.

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jlock's picture

jlock

Joined: Nov 12, 2013

I have done this by copying

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I have done this by copying the following folders to a backup source

~/Library/Containers/com.apple.configurator
~/Library/Keychains
/var/db/lockdown

Then on the target machine I create a user account that is identical to the source (username and password - this allows the Keychain to access your configurator stuff without a password prompt each time you open AC). I install and open Configurator once, then close it. Then I copy all the folders from my backup media to the new machine in their respective locations. I have done this about 6 times this year. We have a pretty big deployment with 4 macbooks at 4 schools and I was able to back them all up to one machine under separate user accounts so that I could administer the devices if they come to me for whatever reason. The important thing when consolidating more than one instance to a single machine like that is to not overwrite the /var/db/lockdown folder but just to add the data since it is shared for all user accounts.

Of course the databases between our onsite stations and my macbook are not in sync but as long as you have redeemed all your VPP codes you shouldn't run into too much trouble using either to update or reset a device in a pinch.

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Uroshnor's picture

Uroshnor

Joined: Nov 5, 2012

Time Machine is your friend

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I've always done it as a backup/restore with Time Machine.

(Although I tend to set up a single user account just for Apple Configurator management on the management host that has everything tweaked)

I've used this approach to clone an Apple Configurator host to dozens of machines IOT to do a big deployment quickly (say 5,000 iPads in a day).

Note that I very rarely deploy Apps via Configurator - if they are on a network at all, an MDM is far easier (even if its just Profile Manager).

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superballsdeep's picture

superballsdeep

Joined: May 31, 2014
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Moving configurator

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If you moved the folders listed in that article, including /var/db/lockdown (and its properly owned by _USBMUXD of course), then you have moved configurator. The issue you are having with installing paid apps is one of two things. Here ish ow you resolve it

1. Quit Configurator
2. Launch itunes
3. Go to store> sign out
4. Go to store> de-authorize iTunes
5. Go to store> authorize iTunes and authiroze for the apple ID tied to the apps used in configurator
6. YOURE NOT DONE YET!
7. Go to the Mac app store, go to store > sign out
8. Go to mac app store, go to store > sign in
9. Launch configurator
10. Go to app section, hit the plus sign and re-add an existing paid app (or new one, download in itunes if needed)
11. Now try to install paid apps
12. SUCCESS!!

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Jacob Pointon's picture

Jacob Pointon

Joined: Jun 11, 2014

Configurator migration issues

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Hi guys,

I've tried to migrate my Configurator database from a machine running OSX Mavericks 10.9.3, to a machine running OSX 10.8.5. The reason I needed to do this was because we needed to install a remote backup agent to ensure the database is regularly backed up. The clincher is that this backup agent is only compatible with OSX 10.8, a fact I we only realized after we'd upgraded the thing to 10.9.

Anyway, I've migrated the three folders as instructed above to the 'new' OSX 10.8 host ie;

~/Library/Containers/com.apple.configurator
~/Library/Keychains
/var/db/lockdown

When I open Configurator on the new Mac the database is present, but when I try to plug in a supervised iPad I get the 'unable to attach device to Configurator' message. The trust prompt pops up on the iPad in question but selecting 'trust' makes absolutely no difference. Obviously this is problematic.

If I try to open iTunes on this same Mac it also tells me that 'iTunes could not connect to this iPad. Could not allocate a resource'.

If I take this same iPad back to the original OSX 10.9 machine I'm able to connect it to Configurator and iTunes without a hitch, no problem. All of these issues are introduced in the migration. Is anyone able to offer any ideas or assistance, or is migrating across such a huge gulf in OSX versions a fools errand?

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fuglett's picture

fuglett

Joined: May 13, 2014

if these iOS devices arent

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if these iOS devices arent showing up in Apple Configurator OR in iTunes, i blame the computer. Maybe try an SMC reset?

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964

Maybe try another USB cable or port?

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Jacob Pointon's picture

Jacob Pointon

Joined: Jun 11, 2014

Tried the SMC reset just now,

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Tried the SMC reset just now, but no cigar.

I've tried a different USB cable, though this same USB works fine on the original 10.9.3 machine and Configurator and iTunes see and accept the device. On the 'new' 10.8.5 machine it registers the device has connected to the Mac, but simply refuses to accept it. Have tried different USB ports also.

I too blame the computer to some degree, or atleast the manner in which I've conducted the migration. It's hard to tell though as there's no clear indicator as to the root cause of the problems. I'm making a completely uneducated assumption and thinking it's something to do with the variance in OSX versions between machines. That seems to be the only major thing standing out to me. As such, I'm going to try installing Mavericks on it up to the same point as the original Configurator machine, then re-migrating the data. But it's a huge pain in the ass regardless.

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Aaron Freimark's picture

Aaron Freimark

Joined: Nov 6, 2010
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/var/db/lockdown is the

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/var/db/lockdown is the answer to all sorts of problems.

--
Aaron Freimark, Enterprise iOS founder & GroundControl CEO

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fuglett's picture

fuglett

Joined: May 13, 2014

Contains: Cigar

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Do you have a fresh device to test with? I'm wondering if you restore a device in iTunes, then connect it to the new machine, will it be able to prepare it? if so, we know it's something with the migrated database.

If a new device works, I agree that something in /var/db/lockdown is likely the issue. if that's the case, you'd want to drag those three locations (quoted) to the trash, reboot, then recopy from the backup without ever connecting USB, opening itunes or opening Apple Configurator

~/Library/Containers/com.apple.configurator
~/Library/Keychains
/var/db/lockdown

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IconDaemon's picture

IconDaemon

Joined: Sep 1, 2013
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Update: Attempt on a newer device worked!

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The Configurator Mini I was using was on its last legs and I had to try again.

Using Time Machine, I successfully transferred the configurator account to a relatively recent MBAir 11", and all is working without any problems. I have successfully Configurated hundreds of iPads with the MBAir and I'm very satisfied. It is also portable, which means I can now take Configurator to the iPad carts instead of collecting and hauling the iPads to my office.

I have no special gems to impart. It just worked.

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JS73's picture

JS73

Joined: Nov 24, 2014

Moved Configurator Database to a Different Computer & User

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The key to successfully doing this was use to Time Machine Backup from the old computer.

MUST DO---ON THE DIFFERENT COMPUTER REMOVE:

~/Library/Containers/com.apple.configurator
~/Library/Keychains
/var/db/lockdown

Copy from Time Machine Backup same files and folders into desired user account that will manage Configurator.

except copy /var/db/lockdown to the root

Attempted to copy this without Time Machine and, as stated above, caused problems.

Did run into another problem though. After doing the above steps I connected an existing device in the database. Apple Configurator recognized the device and I was able to update it. However when I unsupervised the device the Mac said I did not have permission to access the device. I assume lockdown file was the issue. I even tried a reboot/restore via itunes and it didn't help.

How I worked around this was luckily I had not upgraded to yosemite. Upgrading I think gave me a clean lockdown. After the upgrade I updated apple configurator and everything works smoothly. There may be another way to fix this, but I think this might be the easiest solution.

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cathvan's picture

cathvan

Joined: May 17, 2016

Staff from 20four7va which I

Your rating: None (1 vote)

Staff from 20four7va which I work has knowledge on this as well. I might share this for additional reference.

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