Mac Desktop Management

To help ensure security, stability, and ease of remote support, all university-owned Mac and Windows computers have several components installed and managed by OTS. Jamf software manages university Macs.

Please Note

Casper Suite is now called Jamf!

Required Components on University-Owned Macs

University-owned Macs must be:

  • Joined to the TowsonU domain on the campus network

  • Running campus antivirus software

  • Running a working Jamf client

Jamf software provides desktop management tools for Macs (not iPads, iPod Touch or iPhones). Jamf is installed automatically on all university Macs configured by OTS staff and offers enhanced services to Mac clients including:

  • Installation and deployment of a standard university Mac configuration to university-owned Macs that is tested to work with the university network, products and services.

  • Automatic installation of Apple software updates for Mac OS.

  • Distribution of standard software to university Macs for on-demand installation with the Jamf "Self Service"app.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Self Service?
    The Jamf Self Service app provides an internal on-demand app store that hosts standard university Mac software that anyone can use to install advertised software without having administrator rights on the Mac.

  2.  How do I know if  Self Service is installed on my Mac?
    To determine if Self Service is installed, open Applications and scroll down to the Self Service.app. If Self Service does not appear in Applications, contact OTS at 410-704-5151 and follow the faculty/staff menu options to report that "Jamf is not installed on your university Mac and you need OTS staff to enroll your Mac in Jamf." 

  3. What computer policies does Jamf deploy to university Macs?
    The following policies only apply to faculty/staff Macs. Jamf deploys the following policies to Mac faculty and staff Macs. For classroom and computer labs see question 6 below.

    Critical Mac Operating System (OS) Updates
    Jamf checks for and installs all Apple Mac OS critical updates every day between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. and restarts the Mac, if required. When a restart is required, a message will pop up informing you that the computer will restart in 60 minutes or you can restart the computer manually after saving any documents you're working on. You can resume work on your computer after it has restarted.

    Other Software Updates
    Apple iLife and iWork updates and third party updates such as Flash are installed between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

    System Preferences> Energy Saver is set to put the computer to sleep after 3 hrs. inactivity; put the Display to sleep after 1 hr. inactivity; and wakes (powers on) Mac desktops (not laptops) at 6:00 a.m. each day so that computer receives necessary updates but does not disrupt standard work or class schedules.

  4. Microsoft Office and Antivirus Updates
    Jamf does not install Microsoft Office or antivirus updates.  

    Microsoft Office updates are configured to check weekly and prompt you if there is an update to install. You should install these updates; they provide security and fixes for the apps.

    Antivirus definition updates are performed automatically by the System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) antivirus software.  
  5. Will Jamf interfere or replace Apple Remote Desktop (ARD)?
    If local IT staff are running ARD to manage Macs in classrooms or computer labs, they can use it in addition to Jamf. Jamf is required on all Macs and will not interfere with ARD.
  6. Does Jamf run off-campus?
    Jamf checks in with the Jamf server whenever your Mac is connected to the Internet with a wired or wireless network connection from anywhere and performs any critical Mac OS updates released by Apple.

    Not all software available in Self Service can be installed off-campus. Each software package includes a description that informs you whether you need a wired (on-campus) or wireless (off-campus) network connection.
  7. How are classroom and computer lab Macs managed?
    The Critical Mac OS Updates listed in question 3 above are deployed to all Macs including classrooms and labs.

    Classroom and computer lab Macs are managed by college and department staff. Self Service is available to faculty/staff Macs but limited on classroom and lab computers. Contact the college or department staff with questions about these Macs.