Like many Mac Admins out there, my shop uses DeployStudio as a major part of its Mac deployment workflow. It is, clearly, a great tool, and one that, despite being closed source, sees issues and bugs addressed in a...timely manner.

That was a little joke about time. I had this fun little issue this week, apparently stemming from an out of sync clock.

I Netbooted a Macbook to DeployStudioRuntime. After authenticating at the DS Runtime window, I saw this error:

You need to click Continue here to have any change of debugging the issue. The machine reboots automatically after about 30 seconds if not. Click Continue, and you'll be presented with a nice blank screen where your workflows should be. Very zen. I dragged the window aside to inspect the Runtime logs. I could see this in the output:

That is:

mount_smbfs: server rejected the connection: Authentication error
---
Mount failed cleaning local mount point...

Hmmmm. Rebooted and tried again - same result. I then tested on a working machine, and found I could login to DS Runtime, mount the repo and view our workflows successfully. I could mount the DeployStudio repo via Finder and the terminal. Our Netboot set had not recently changed, and no further reports had been received of similar errors.

Server.app on our DeployStudio server showed no errors. Server.app logs also showed my user account authenticating successfully, and nothing I recognised as an obvious error. A swift restart of the SMB services later, and...no change.

Luckily, for the sake of my ability to take a lunch break, I remembered that Nick McSpadden had a similar issue recently. Having physical access to the affected machine, I didn't have to go through quite the same level of pain in order to resolve the problem. The clock appeared to be completely out of whack:

I was attempting this build on a Monday. As I say, our Netboot set hadn't changed. This Netboot set is configured to point at time.euro.apple.com, so...huh.

I started up Terminal from within DS Runtime, and set the time using the date command. I logged out of DS Runtime, and then back in. Runtime authenticated and mounted the repo. Workflows aplenty. How or why this happened, I really don't know. The Netboot set should have set the time correctly. The fact that no one else in my shop has seen this suggests it's an isolated issue.

If you've seen it, and can point out something embarrassingly obvious I've overlooked, get in touch, and go easy on me.