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09.11.2016

Manage P5 Archive App Installation and Settings

munki, plist keys and values, logs, database

Archiware's P5 Archive App allows archiving and restoring files from within the macOS Finder, and since version 1.1 it also enables archiving libraries from within Apple's Final Cut Pro X including all media and metadata.

If you don't know the P5 Archive App, yet, please read and watch the article and video at https://moosystems.com/articles/15-p5-archive-app-trial-setup-01.html to see what it does and how it can be set up.

In this article we will look at the advanced admin side of things: how can we deploy the app to our client machines using munki (as an example, other tools work in a very similar way) and how can we manage its settings modifying its plist file.

Importing the P5 Archive App into munki

If you are reading this, I assume you have munki installed in your environment. To import the P5 Archive App into munki, download the P5 Archive App installer image from here and type

munkiimport /Users/andre/Downloads/p5archiveapp.dmg

where /Users/andre/Downloads/ obviously needs to be replaced with your path prefix.

Munki will analyze the image file and then ask for some meta information:

Item name: P5 Archive App Display name: P5 Archive App Description: installs Archiware's P5 Archive App to enable archiving and restoring files from within the Finder Version: 1.1 Category: archive Developer: Archiware Unattended install: False Unattended uninstall: False Catalogs: testing Import this item? [y/n] y Upload item to subdirectory path []: archive Path /munkirepo/pkgs/archive doesn't exist. Create it? [y/n] y No existing product icon found. Attempt to create a product icon? [y/n] y Attempting to extract and upload icon... Created icon: /munkirepo/icons/P5 Archive App.png Copying p5archiveapp.dmg to /munkirepo/pkgs/archive/p5archiveapp-1.1.dmg... Saving pkginfo to /munkirepo/pkgsinfo/archive/P5 Archive App-1.1.plist... Rebuild catalogs? [y/n] y Rebuilding catalogs at /munkirepo...

I decided to add the "archive" category and store the installer in an "archive" directory, which is optional, of course.

Now you can add the application to your manifests using munki web admin or Munki Admin, e.g. and munki will automatically install the app on your client machine(s).

Managing P5 Archive App settings

The P5 Archive App stores its settings in a plist file at ~/Library/Preferences/com.archiware.p5archiveapp.plist

This is a sample how this file looks:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>add_metadata</key> <false/> <key>archive_fcpx_tmp</key> <false/> <key>create_archive_links</key> <true/> <key>p5_archive_plan</key> <string>10007</string> <key>p5_client_name</key> <string>localhost</string> <key>p5_ip</key> <string>localhost</string> <key>p5_port</key> <integer>9001</integer> <key>p5_pwd</key> <string>0b01001110010010010110011100100010011110100110110110001</string> <key>p5_user</key> <string>andre</string> </dict> </plist>

If you compare this file to the Settings panel of the app:

P5 Archive App settings

you will find this mapping (on the left the plist file key, on the right the settings name in the ui):

Now you can go ahead and use Apple's own Profile Manager or any other profile management tool to manage these settings.

Please note that the password is an encoded version of the user's password, so you would need to generate an encoded version using the P5 Archive App first to distribute the encoded version.

As an alternative let the user enter her password when she first boots up the app, as the P5 Archive App will open the Settings panel automatically if it does not have enough information to access the P5 server.

Logs

The P5 Archive App logs its activity to ~/Library/Logs/com.archiware.p5archiveapp.log. The logs can be quite verbose, which I consider a good thing. The app rotates the log once it's larger than 30MB and keeps ten copies of compressed logs.

Database

When you start up the P5 Archive App, it creates an SQlite database at ~/Library/P5 Archive App/p5archiveapp.db. This database holds temporary data describing current jobs only. Once a job has completed, all related data will automatically be deleted from the database. If in any case the database seems corrupt, you'll be safe by stopping the P5 Archive App, deleting the database and restarting the app. Then you would need to redo the jobs which had been in progress while you deleted the database.

I hope this info helps you managing the P5 Archive App in your environment.

Please note that you still need to set up clients inside P5 Archive and distribute the nsdchat library to the /usr/local/aw directory of all P5 Archive App clients.

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