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Saturday
Oct292016

macOS Sierra Got This WRONG

Unlike Windows, when you connect your Mac to a network share there’s no checkbox that says “Reconnect at logon”. When I got my first Mac over ten years ago I created an Automator app to connect to shared folders on my home network and placed it in my “Login Items”. I’ve been using that same app ever since. It’s a simple enough app requiring only to blocks. The first block, “Get Specified Servers”, defines the connect strings for each network share. It uses a standard UNIX command to define the URI: smb://<user>:<password>@<server>/<share> (in this case it tells the OS to use samba to connect).  This command has been around since UNIX itself. The second Automator block does the actual connecting.

Since upgrading to Sierra, the OS started doing something irritating. Every time the Automator app runs and tries to connect to any network share, Sierra prompts for my user credentials:

I have to manually click the “Connect” button every time, even though I click the “Remember this password in my keychain” checkbox every time. The connection is made like always, but not without my intervention. After a little investigation, I found I’m not the only one to experience this. The macOS forums at Apple are full of complaints about this new behavior. The sad part is, the Apple engineers are saying this behavior is by design. Riiiiiiiight…

I thought I’d be clever and use a different method to connect my network shares, the  good ol’ command-line. Instead of using Automator’s built-in blocks, I’ll just create a shell script…

…I thought. It turns out that won’t work anymore either:

 

According to Apple engineers, this “feature” is part of Sierra’s new security model. I gotta call “bullshit” on that claim. It doesn’t make any sense. After all, Sierra remembers and fills in my credentials. It just won’t connect. I think this “feature” must be an unintended consequence of something else Apple engineers did. I sure hope they find a way to undo it soon.

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