ruby-jss: Working with the Jamf Pro APIs in Ruby

Gem Version

Version 2.0.0 has been released

Version 2.0.0 has major changes! While we've strived for mostly being backward compatible, and have done lots of testing, YMMV. Please report any issues.

NOTE: ruby-jss 2.0 is not completely backward compatible, please see for more info


  • Support for Ruby 3.x
    • tested in 3.0 and 3.1
  • Combined access to both the Classic and Jamf Pro APIs
    • A single namespace module
    • Connection objects talk to both APIs & automatically handle details like bearer tokens
  • Auto-generated code for Jamf Pro API objects
  • Autoloading of code using Zeitwerk

For details about the changes, the document

IMPORTANT: Known Security Issue in v1.5.3 and below

Versions of ruby-jss prior to 1.6.0 contain a known security issue due to how we were using the 'plist' gem.

This has been resolved in 1.6.0, which now uses the CFProperlyList gem.

Please update all installations of ruby-jss to at least v1.6.0.

Many many thanks to actae0n of Blacksun Hackers Club for reporting this issue and providing examples of how it could be exploited.

Table of contents


ruby-jss defines a Ruby module called Jamf, which is used for accessing the 'Classic' and 'Jamf Pro' APIs of a Jamf Pro server. Jamf Pro is an enterprise-level management tool for Apple devices from ruby-jss is available as a ruby gem, and the source is on github.

The Jamf module maintains connections to both APIs simultaneously, and uses which ever is appropriate as needed. Details like authentication tokens, token refreshing, JSON and XML parsing, and even knowing which resources use which API are all handled under-the-hood.

The Jamf module abstracts many API resources as Ruby objects, and provides methods for interacting with those resources. It also provides some features that aren't a part of the API itself, but come with other Jamf-related tools, such as uploading Jamf::Package files to the primary fileshare distribution point, and the installation of those objects on client machines. (See BEYOND THE API)

The Jamf module is not a complete implementation of the Jamf Pro APIs. Only some objects are modeled, some only minimally. Of those, some are read-only, some partially writable, some fully read-write. We've implemented the things we need in our environment, and as our needs grow, we'll add more. Hopefully others will find it useful, and add more to it as well.

Full technical documentation can be found here.


Here are some simple examples of using ruby-jss

require 'ruby-jss'

# Connect to the API
Jamf.cnx.connect "https://#{jamf_user}:#{jamf_pw}"

# get an array of basic data about all Jamf::Package objects in Jamf Pro:
pkgs = Jamf::Package.all

# get an array of names of all Jamf::Package objects in the Jamf Pro:
pkg_names = Jamf::Package.all_names

# Get a static computer group. This creates a new Ruby object
# representing the existing Jamf computer group.
mac_group = Jamf::ComputerGroup.fetch name: "Macs of interest"

# Add a computer to the group
mac_group.add_member "pricklepants"

# save changes back to the server

# Create a new network segment to store on the server.
# This makes a new Ruby Object that doesn't yet exist in Jamf Pro.
ns = Jamf::NetworkSegment.create(
  name: 'Private Class C',
  starting_address: '',
  ending_address: ''

# Associate this network segment with a specific building,
# which must exist in Jamf Pro, and be listed in Jamf::Building.all_names
ns.building = "Main Office"

# Associate this network segment with a specific software update server,
# which must exist in Jamf Pro, and be listed in Jamf::SoftwareUpdateServer.all_names
ns.swu_server = "Main SWU Server"

# save the new network segment to the server


Connecting to the Server

Before you can work with Jamf Pros Objects via the APIs, you have to connect to the server.

The method Jamf.cnx returns the 'default' connection object (an instance of a Jamf::APIConnection, q.v.). A connection object holds all the data needed to communicate with the server to which it's connected, as well as any data cached from that server. The default connection object is used for all communication unless a different one is explicitly passed to methods that can accept one. See 'Using multiple connections' below.

When the Jamf Module is first loaded, the default connection isn't connected a server. To remedy that, use Jamf.cnx.connect, passing it parameters for the connection. In this example, those parameters are stored in the local variables jss_user, jss_user_pw, and jss_server_hostname, and others are left as default.

Jamf.cnx.connect user: jss_user, pw: jss_user_pw, server: jss_server_hostname

You can also provide a URL, optionally including the credentials, and port number. Any value not available in the URL can be passed as a normal parameter.

Jamf.cnx.connect "https://#{jamf_user}", pw: jamf_user_pw, port: 8443

Make sure the user has privileges in the Jamf to do things with desired objects. Note that these might be more than you think, since some objects refer to other objects, like Sites and Categories.

If the server name given ends with '' the port number will default to 443 via SSL. Otherwise, it defaults to 8443 with SSL (the default port for on-prem. servers). In other situations, you can specify it with the port: and use_ssl: parameters.

The connect method also accepts the symbols :stdin and :prompt as values for pw:, which will cause it to read the password from stdin, or prompt for it in the shell. See the Jamf::Connection class for more connection options and details about its methods.

Also see Jamf::Configuration, and the CONFIGURATION section below, for how to store server connection parameters in a simple config file.

Using multiple connections

Most of the time, you'll only need a single connection to a single server, and the default connection will be sufficient. However you can also create multiple Connection objects, to different servers, or perhaps the same server with different credentials and access, and pass those connection objects into methods using the cnx: parameter as appropriate.

# Make connections to 2 different Jamf servers.
# The .new class method accepts the same parameters as the #connect instance method,
# and will automatically pass them to the #connect method when instantiating
# the new connection object.
connection_1 = user: jss_user, pw: jss_user_pw, server: jss_server_hostname
connection_2 = user: jss_user2, pw: jss_user_pw2, server: jss_server_hostname2

# Get an array of the serialNumbers from all InventoryPreloadRecords in server 1
ipr_sns_1 = Jamf::InventoryPreloadRecord.all_serialNumbers cnx: connection_1

# Get an array of the serialNumbers from all InventoryPreloadRecords in server 2
ipr_sns_2 = Jamf::InventoryPreloadRecord.all_serialNumbers cnx: connection_2

# Find the SNs that appear in both
common_ipr_sns = ipr_sns_1 & ipr_sns_2

Working with Jamf Objects

All of the ruby classes representing objects in Jamf Pro have common methods for creating, listing, retrieving, updating, and deleting via the API. All supported objects can be listed, retrieved and deleted, but only some can be updated or created, mostly becase we haven't needed to do that ourselves yet and haven't implemented that functionality. If you need additional features implemented, please get in touch (see 'Contact' above) or feel free to try implementing it yourself and send us a merge request.

Some of the implemented objects also provide access to more 'functional' API resources. For example, the API resources for sending MDM commands to computers and mobile devices are available as class and instance methods of Jamf::Computer and Jamf::MobileDevice, as are the API resources for accessing management history.

Listing Objects

To get an Array with a summary of every object in the Jamf of some Class, call that Class's .all method:

Jamf::Computer.all # => [{:name=>"cephei", :id=>1122},{:name=>"peterparker", :id=>1218}, {:name=>"rowdy", :id=>931}, ...]

The Array will contain a Hash for each item, with at least a :name and an :id. Some classes provide more summary data for each item. To get just the names or just the ids in an Array, use the .all_names or .all_ids Class method

Jamf::Computer.all_names # =>  ["cephei", "peterparker", "rowdy", ...]
Jamf::Computer.all_ids # =>  [1122, 1218, 931, ...]

Some Classes provide other ways to list objects, or subsets of them, depending on the data available, e.g. Jamf::MobileDevice.all_udids or Jamf::Computer.all_laptops

You can also perform simple searches for Jamf::Computer, Jamf::MobileDevice and Jamf::User with the .match class method. This is the API equivalent of using the simple search field at the top of the Computers, Devices, or Users pages in the Jamf Pro Web interface. This method will return an Array of Hashes for the matching items. Each Hash is a summary of info about a matching item, similar to the summaries returned by the .all methods for those items.

To create, modify, or perform advanced searches, use the classes Jamf::AdvancedComputerSearch, Jamf::AdvancedMobileDeviceSearch, and Jamf::AdvancedUserSearch.

Retrieving Objects

To retrieve a single object call the class's .fetch method and provide a name:, id:, or other valid identifier.

a_dept = Jamf::Department.fetch name: 'Payroll'# =>  #<Jamf::Department:0x10b4c0818...

Some classes can use more than just the :id and name: keys for lookups, e.g. computers can be looked up with udid:, serial_number:, or mac_address:.

You can even fetch objects without specifying the kind of identifier, e.g. Jamf::Computer.fetch 'VM3X9483HD78', but this will be slower, since ruby-jss searches by matching the given value with all available identifiers, returning the first match.

Creating Objects

Some Objects can be created anew in the Jamf via ruby. To do so, first make a Ruby object using the class's .create method and providing a unique :name:, e.g.

new_pkg = Jamf::Package.create name: "transmogrifier-2.3-1.pkg"

NOTE: some classes require more data than just a name: when created with .create

Then set the attributes of the new object as needed

new_pkg.reboot_required = false
new_pkg.category = "CoolTools"
# etc..

Then use the #save method to send the data to the API, creating it in Jamf Pro. # returns 453, the id number of the object just created

Updating Objects

Some objects can be modified.

existing_script = Jamf::Script.fetch id: 321 = ""

After changing any attributes, use the #save method to push the changes to the sever. #  => returns the id number of the object just saved

Deleting Objects

To delete an object, just call its #delete method

existing_script = Jamf::Script.fetch id: 321
existing_script.delete # => true # the delete was successful

To delete an object without fetching it, use the class's .delete method and provide the id, or an array of ids.

Jamf::Script.delete [321, 543, 374]

For more details see the docs for:

See the individual subclasses for any details specific to them.


While the API itself supports nearly full CRUD (Create,Read,Update,Delete) for all objects, ruby-jss doesn't yet do so. Why? Because implementing the data validation and other parts needed for creating & updating can be time-consuming and we've focused on what we needed. As we keep developing ruby-jss, this list changes. If you'd like to help implement some of these objects more fully, please fork the github project and reach out to us at [email protected].

Here's some of what we've implemented so far. See each Class's [documentation(] for details.

NOTE Most Computer and MobileDevice data gathered by an Inventory Upate (a.k.a. 'recon') is not editable.

Other useful classes & modules:

These modules either provide stand-alone methods, or are mixed in to other classes to extend their functionality. See their documentation for details

  • Jamf::Client - An object representing the local machine as a Jamf-managed client, and provifing Jamf-related info and methods

  • Jamf::ManagementHistory - a module for handing the management history for Computers and Mobile Devices. It defines many read-only classes representing events in a machine's history. It is accessed via the Computer and MobileDevice classes and their instances.

  • Jamf::Scopable - a module that handles Scope for those objects that can be scoped. It defines the Scope class used in those objects. Instances of Scope are where you change targets, limitations, and exclusions.

  • Jamf::MDM - a module that handles sending MDM commands. It is accessed via the Computer and MobileDevice classes and their instances.

The classic API provides many endpoints not just for objects stored in Jamf Pro, but also for accessing data about those objects or interacting with the machines they represent. ruby-jss embeds access to those endpoints into their related classes.

For example:

  • /computerapplications, /computerapplicationusage, /computerhardwaresoftwarereports, /computerhistory, etc.
    • The data provided by these endpoints are accessible via class and instance methods for Jamf::Computer
  • /computercheckin, /computerinventorycollection
    • These endpoints deal with server-wide settings regarding computer management, and are available via Jamf::Computer class methods
  • /computercommands, /mobiledevicecommands, /commandflush, etc.


The Jamf::Configuration singleton class is used to read, write, and use site-specific defaults for the Jamf module. When ruby-jss is required, the single instance of Jamf::Configuration is created and accessible via the Jamf.config method. At that time the system-wide file /etc/ruby-jss.conf is examined if it exists, and the items in it are loaded into the attributes of Configuration instance. The user-specific file ~/.ruby-jss.conf then is examined if it exists, and any items defined there will override those values from the system-wide file.

The values defined in those files are used as defaults throughout the module. Currently, those values are only related to establishing the API connection. For example, if a server name is defined, then a server: does not have to be specified when calling Jamf::Connection::Connect#connect. Values provided explicitly when calling Jamf::Connection#connect will override the config values.

While the Jamf::Configuration class provides methods for changing the values, saving the files, and re-reading them, or reading an arbitrary file, the files are text files with a simple format, and can be created by any means desired. The file format is one attribute per line, thus:

attr_name: value

Lines that don’t start with a known attribute name followed by a colon are ignored. If an attribute is defined more than once, the last one wins.

The currently known attributes are:

  • api_server_name [String] the hostname of the Jamf API server
  • api_server_port [Integer] the port number for the API connection
  • api_verify_cert [Boolean] 'true' or 'false' - if SSL is used, should the certificate be verified? (usually false for a self-signed cert)
  • api_username [String] the Jamf username for connecting to the API
  • api_timeout_open [Integer] the number of seconds for the open-connection timeout
  • api_timeout [Integer] the number of seconds for the response timeout

To put a standard server & username on all client machines, and auto-accept the Jamf's self-signed https certificate, create the file /etc/ruby-jss.conf containing three lines like this:

api_username: readonly-api-user
api_timeout: 90

and then any calls to Jamf.cnx.connect will assume that server and username, and use a timeout of 90 seconds.


The config files don't store passwords and the Jamf::Configuration instance doesn't work with them. You'll have to use your own methods for acquiring the password for the Jamf.cnx.connect call.

The Jamf::Connection.connect method also accepts the symbols :stdin# and :prompt as values for the :pw argument, which will cause it to read the password from a line of stdin, or prompt for it in the shell.

If you must store a password in a file, or retrieve it from the network, make sure it's stored securely, and that the Jamf user has limited permissions.

Here's an example of how to use a password stored in a file:

password = "/path/to/secure/password/file" # read the password from a file
Jamf.cnx.connect pw: password   # other arguments used from the config settings

And here's an example of how to read a password from a web server and use it.

require 'open-uri'
password =  URI.parse('').read
Jamf.cnx.connect pw: password   # other arguments used from the config settings


While the Jamf Pro APIs provide access to object data in the Jamf, ruby-jss tries to use that data to provide more than just information exchange. Here are some examples of how ruby-jss uses the API to provide functionality found in various Jamf tools:

  • Client Machine Access
    • The Jamf::Client module provides the ability to run jamf binary commands, and access the local cache of package receipts
  • Package Installation
    • Jamf::Package objects can be installed on the local machine, from the appropriate distribution point
  • Script Execution
  • Package Creation
    • The Jamf::Composer module provides creation of very simple .pkg and .dmg packages
    • Jamf::Package objects can upload their .pkg or .dmg files to the master distribution point
  • Reporting/AdvancedSearch exporting
  • MDM Commands
  • Extension Attributes


In general, you can install ruby-jss with this command:

gem install ruby-jss


ruby-jss 2.0.0 requires:

  • Ruby 2.6.3 or higher (the OS-installed ruby version for macOS 10.15 Catalina)
  • Jamf Pro server version 10.35 or higher

It also requires other ruby gems, which will be installed automatically if you install with gem install ruby-jss See the .gemspec file for details


Full documentation is available at

There's a wiki on the github page, feel free to contribute examples and tidbits.

If you have questions or feedback about ruby-jss, please reach out to us via:


Copyright 2023 Pixar

Licensed under a modified Apache License, Version 2.0. See LICENSE.txt for details