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Question: Cannot approve kernel extension via Screen Sharing

I discovered tonight that it’s impossible to approve a kernel extension when using Screen Sharing.

I have a headless Mac Mini and was attempting to install VirtualBox on it (via Screen Sharing). The installation failed at the point where the kernel driver needs approval. Clicking on the “Allow” button did nothing; in particular, it did not enable the driver, nor did the text about a driver needing approval go away.

A bit of searching brought up Ward Vuillemot’s message (Re: unable to unblock developer in security & privacy preferences pane) which described a similar issue using a Logitech mouse. I realized after reading the error message mentioned (also found in my logs) that this was a security feature. Since my Mac Mini is in my house, I was able to connect a mouse to it and click the button using the mouse.

This feature makes a lot of sense from a security standpoint — preventing programmatic “fake clicks” on the button — but does not appear to be documented anywhere, and it’s particularly annoying that there is no feedback. I’m also unsure how I would have dealt with this if the Mac Mini were at my office (many miles away) or in a data center.

Just posting in the hopes (a) this might help someone else, and (b) someone from Apple will think about alternatives. It’s very difficult, I suspect, since we really don’t want a malicious program to be able to “fake” a click on the button. Perhaps requiring both a click and re-entry of an administrator’s password might suffice?

Mac mini, macOS High Sierra (10.13.1)

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User profile for user: Anton Rang

Question: Cannot approve kernel extension via Screen Sharing