Apple MDM Troubleshooting

This Knowledge base article will help you troubleshoot mdm with FileWave.

Before going deep into troubleshooting, make sure that you have got these steps correct:

  1. Your FileWave server should have a fully qualified DNS name (this dns name is the one entered in the Admin Preferences->Mobile)

  2. If for some reason you changed the Server DNS Name in Admin Preferences->Mobile, did you re-generate the certificate?
    If you did, then you have to trust the new certificate from the enrollment page ( https://dns:20443/ios)

  3. If the APN cert upload fails from Admin Preferences, make sure you followed the exact steps from step 1, as this can be caused of password-protected certificate

  4. If all of the above are set and still have problems, you need to create an admin user account for debugging django:
    a. go to the FileWave server and type this command: "sudo fwcontrol mdm addadminuser" and follow the instructions

  5. Another important log file is "/usr/local/filewave/log/filewave_django.log"

  6. Make sure that your FileWave Admin displays "iOS/MDM Service OK" in the left lower corner in order to be able to manage your devices.

The following are some of the problems encountered before:

Enrolment Error (FileWave MDM Configuration is invalid):

The profile "Filewave MDM Configuration" is invalid. The MDM payload
"Mobile Device Management" contains an invalid topic

This is usually solved by re-generating the APN certificates because you have not generated them correctly.


There are cases where ios devices fail to enroll and you get an error similar to this from sentry:

(61, 'Connection refused')
Request Method: PUT
Request URL:
Exception Type: error
Exception Value: 
(61, 'Connection refused')
Exception Location: /usr/local/filewave/python/lib/python2.7/ in meth, line 222

This error is associated with a port "2195" being closed, you can verify by :

telnet 2195
telnet: connect to address Connection refused

the issue will be solved if the IT Admin opens port 2195 for FileWave.

5223 : IOS to apn server port:

port 5223 should be open for IOS clients to reach out to the APN server and receive push notifications.

For a list of all ports used, check this man-

Backup Procedures for FileWave Hosted Servers


This article details the backup procedures and policies for FileWave Hosted Servers. Understanding how and what data is backed up is essential for effectively managing and safeguarding your organization's devices and information.


Backups are automatically performed daily for all FileWave Hosted Servers. This routine is crucial for disaster recovery, maintaining data integrity, and ensuring minimal downtime in unexpected data loss situations. The retention period for these backups is 30 days, ensuring a sufficient window for recovery if needed.


Backups are executed daily and stored securely in highly available AWS S3 buckets. The following paths are included in the backups, ensuring comprehensive coverage of both configuration and operational data:

It is important to note that while FileWave ensures the security and availability of backups, direct access to these backups by customers is not provided. Going to a backup would generally be based on scenarios such as database or file corruption or the loss of an AWS datacenter due to a disaster.

Digging Deeper

Backups are a critical aspect of data management and recovery strategies. They ensure that in the event of data loss, corruption, or disaster, operations can be restored with minimal impact. FileWave's Hosted Server backups are designed to provide a robust and secure safety net for your organization's device management infrastructure.

FileWave Error Codes


Error Context Explanation Solution
-8 During Database Verification There are some orphaned objects in the database The first thing to do is to run a DB compact. You can run it from Xserver
monitor which is in /Applications/FileWave.
This should solve the issue.

If the compact is not fixing it, then we must be missing a certain type of
cleanup in that operation. Generally, this doesn't pose a problem. If you'd
like, you can stop the server and zip up the /fwxserver/Data Folder/*dat
and*idx files and post them to our ftp site.
-1 While doing a Model Update you see a blank window error creating Fileset File: XXXXXX, folderID: YYYYYYY not found, database damaged, call FileWave Tech Support
889|0xb0513000|FATAL|Error: -1 when updating filesets during model update
This issue is fixed in FileWave version 4.1.1.

If you are hitting this issue please upgrade Filewave Admin to 4.1.1.
14 Error 14 on file, found process: fwxserver/XXXXX exiting due to database error: 14 (Only Applicable to Server 3.7.4) This is a soft database failure caused by a hard restart of the FileWave Server, it doesn't actually reflect a serious issue, but will cause the server to stop. Upgrade to 3.7.5 to 4.0.X
<br>fwxserver conflicts with fw-mdm-server-10.1.1-1.0.x86_64<br> upgrading to FileWave 11.x from a previous version This is normally caused by upgrading from a system that originally installed filewave with two packages:


As of version 11, FileWave installs both servers with just the single fwxserver installer.
To fix this simply remove the mdm component before updating the server.
This will not remove any of your MDM data

<br>sudo yum remove -y fw-mdm-server<br>

Client / Admin

Error Context Explanation Solution
-150   the file size downloaded to disk does not match the file size stored in the database of the FileWave Server Delete this file from the Fileset and add a fresh copy from the Admin's hard disk
-125 Client downloading fileset Booster does not have the file to serve to the client yet and so the client will try again later Please wait
-13 fwgui is not running On the client fwgui process is not running Restart the filewave client from terminal :

macOS / Linux

<br>sudo fwcontrol client restart<br>
-3 During Admin File Upload On slow networks an upload may timeout.  
-1 Not in inventory That comes from a client attempting to activate a fileset before it has downloaded it. After the model update, it adds the activation action back into the queue Please wait for sometime as the client is still downloading the fileset and once it has finished downloading it will activate
2 reading file from disk This error is due to a wrong offset request Upgrade to 3.7.5 or 4.0.4 will solve this issue
15   This could happen if there is no or very less disk space left on the booster that the client is downloading the filesets from Please check if the booster has enough free disk space. If the disk space is enough and still you are seeing this error contact support
32 while trying to send file data XXXXXD (Where XXXXX is the file ID) Error 32 means broken pipe in the network. Generally this error should
 resolve by itself if everything in the network is fine.

Troubleshooting : check to ping from the booster/server to client and vice versa
and check if the problem doesn't exist in the network 1. If you see this error for long time try to remove the association of this
fileset with the client and than associate again. This should solve the
2. Update to latest Filewave 3.7.X or 4.0.X
Failed CRC Validation   A CRC check is a form of a checksum which is used to make sure data in files is the same on the client as on the server. The error "failed CRC validation" means that files on the client for whatever reason are being altered compared to what is on the server. Please send the client log file from the client exhibiting this issue to support
Kiosk Errors   See: VPP Kiosk Errors  


Error Context Explanation Solution
Failed CRC Validation   A CRC check is a form of a checksum which is used to make sure data in files is the same on the client as on the server. The error "failed CRC validation" means that files on the client for whatever reason are being altered compared to what is on the server Please send the booster log file from the booster exhibiting this issue to

FileWave Log File Locations

The following lists the locations of log files, as well as some additional files used by FileWave across the FileWave family of products

FileWave Admin

FileWave Admin Logs

Details File Location
FileWave Admin Log

Logs all FileWave Admin Connection Activity
FileWaveAdmin.log, FileWaveAdmin.log.* macOS

~/Library/Application Support/FileWave/FileWaveAdmin.log


Client Logs

Retrieved Client Logs
ClientLog_$IP_$Port_$date.log macOS

~/Library/Application Support/FileWave/Client Logs/


C:\ProgramData\FileWave\Client Logs\
Server Logs

Retrieved Server Logs

FileWave Admin > Server > Get Logfile
fwxserver_$timestamp.log macOS

~/Library/Application Support/FileWave/Server Logs/


C:\ProgramData\FileWave\Server Logs\

FileWave Admin Files

Details File Location
FileWave Admin Settings

Settings for the local FileWave Admin App


  • com.filewave.FileWaveAdmin.plist
  • com.filewave.admin.plist


  • Registry



HKCU\Software\FileWave\FileWave Admin
Exported Views

Views saved from FileWave Admin:

* Views > Export Current View
Filesets Export ($date).txt macOS

~/Library/Application Support/FileWave/Exports



FileWave Booster

Booster Logs

Details File Location
Booster Log

Global Booster activity
fwbooster.log macOS/Linux




NATS Booster Logs


  • nats-booster.err.log
  • nats-booster.out.log


  • nats-booster.log



Discovery Log

Only exists when discovery configured and run


  • fwdiscovery.log


FileWave Client

FileWave Client Logs

Details File Location
Client Logs

Global Client activity
fwcld.log macOS



Kiosk Logs

Kiosk application activity
FWGUI.log macOS

~/Library/Application\ Support/FileWave/FWGUI.log


Fileset Script Logs

Logs generated by Fileset scripts






Custom Field Logs

Logs generated by Custom Fields


  • custom_field_script.ps1.log



Fileset Blocker Script Logs

Logs generated by Blocker Scripts


  • blocker_script.bat.log



Installer (PKG / MSI) Logs

Logs generated from PKG/MSI Filesets
$Fileset_ID.log macOS




FileWave Client Files

Details File Location
FileWave Client Settings

Settings for the FileWave Client


  • fwcld.plist


  • Registry



FileWave Client Preferences

Preference file containing unique client details


  • com.filewave.Client.plist


  • client.ini



FileWave Client Certificate

Unique certificate & key per client
  • client.crt
  • client.key



Trust Store

Store for self-signed certificates
*.crt macOS




Cells highlighted in blue indicate files that are unique per client. These files should not be included when copying or migrating clients from one machine to another. To de-personalise a device, without removing the FileWave Client, some files would require editing, whilst others would need to be removed. If it was felt this was a requirement, consider contacting support to assist with this process.

FileWave Imaging Server (IVS)

IVS Logs

Details File Location
Django Imaging Server Logs

Django logs for requests regarding Serial numbers, names etc. made by netbooted clients
filewave_imaging_server*.log /imaging/logs/
Windows Image Upload Logs

Captured Windows image uploads
fwadmin.log /imaging/logs/fwadmin.log
Windows Image Upload Logs

Captured Windows image uploads
fwadmin-dlog.log /var/log/fwadmin-dlog.log
Messages Logs

Netboot/PXE Queries & Responses,TFTP transfers, NFS Mounts
dnsmasq Log








Apache Imaging Server Logs

Apache logs for requests regarding Serial numbers, names etc. made by netbooted clients
netboot_*.log /imaging/logs/
Client Imaging Logs

Client logs - indicating progress of imaging operation of netbooted clients
$Serial/$Mac-$Date /imaging/logs/
FileWave Client Log

IVS FileWave Client Log
fwcld.log /var/log/fwcld.log

FileWave Server

FileWave Server Logs

Details File Location
Apache Logs

Server Apache logs
  • access_log, access_log.*
  • error_log, error_log.*
  • forensic_log
Apache Exporter Logs

Server Apache Exporter Logs
  • apache_exporter.out.log
  • apache_exporter.err.log
Alert Manager Logs

Server Alert Manager logs
  • alertmanager.out.log
  • alertmanager.err.log
FileWave Admin Audit Logs

Audit logs from FileWave Admin
audit.log /usr/local/filewave/log/audit.log

FileWave Admin Audit Logs

Audit logs from FileWave Admin


/private/var/log/FWAdmin Audit/

FileWave Dotenv file


Environment variable like configs across services.

*.env /usr/local/etc/filewave/.env
Django Logs

Server Django logs
  • filewave_django.log, filewave_django.log.*
  • filewave_django_vpp.log
  • filewave_django_classroom.log

Logs from LDAP
fwldap.log, fwldap.log.* /private/var/log/
Software Update Logs

Software Update logs
fwsu.log /private/var/log/fwsu.log
FWX Process Logs

Various fwx process logs
  • fwxadmin.log
  • fwxother.log
  • fwxserver.log
Migration Logs

Server migration logs
fwxserver-migration-* /var/log/fwxserver-migration-*
Grafana Logs
  • grafana.log
  • grafana.out.log
Installer Logs

Linux installer logs
install.log /private/var/log/install.log
mtail Logs

Server mtail logs
  • mtail.out.log
  • mtail.err.log

NATS logs
  • nats-server.out.log
  • nats-server.err.log
  • nats-server-jwt.out.log
  • nats-server-jwt.err.log
Web Admin Logs
  • node_exporter.out.log
  • node_exporter.err.log
  • task_executor.log
Postgres Exporter Logs
  • postgres_exporter.out.log
  • postgres_exporter.err.log
Postgres Database Logs postgresql-$day.log /usr/local/filewave/fwxserver/DB/pg_data/pg_log/*.log
Prometheus Logs
  • prometheus_pushprox.out.log
  • prometheus_pushprox.err.log
  • prometheus.out.log
  • prometheus.err.log
  • redis_exporter.out.log
  • redis_exporter.err.log
  • redis.out.log
  • redis.err.log
  • redis.log
FileWave Server Logs request_errors.log /usr/local/filewave/log/
SQL Logs sql.log /usr/local/filewave/log/
Update Controller Logs

Removed in FileWave 14.10
  • update_controller_access.log
  • update_controller.log
Client Monitor client-monitor.log /usr/local/filewave/log/
FileWave Log Messages task_executor.log /usr/local/filewave/log/
Scheduler Log Messages huey.log /usr/local/filewave/log/

Additional Logging

All of the above will default to standard log level. There are 3 levels of logging available:

The level of logging may be set as per our guide:

How to set FileWave Server components to debug mode

How to Restart FileWave Components

There may be times where you will need to restart all components within the FileWave server, or just a single component (postgres or apache). From your macOS or Linux server you can type "fwcontrol", which should give examples of fwcontrol usage.

macOS or Linux Server

You need to prefix commands with sudo to run them with elevated privileges.

At a command prompt:

sudo fwcontrol server stop
sudo fwcontrol server start

You can also accomplish the same end goal by performing a single command:

sudo fwcontrol server restart

It is a matter of preference, but some admins will prefer to execute a stop, then a manual start so that they can see all processes are indeed stopped. 

Subcomponents can be individually stopped as follows:

sudo fwcontrol apache start|stop|restart

sudo fwcontrol postgres start|stop|restart

sudo fwcontrol scheduler start|stop|restart

sudo fwcontrol client start|stop|restart

sudo fwcontrol booster start|stop|restart


If you find that the fwcontrol control command is not found, you re-create the alias by inputting this command and then try the fwcontrol commands again:

alias fwcontrol='/usr/local/bin/fwcontrol'

Resolving Network Issues with FileWave Server or Boosters on macOS when using Carbon Black EDR Extension


FileWave has observed network issues when the Carbon Black EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) extension is installed on a FileWave server or booster running on macOS. The issues can manifest as Boosters stopping to answer or respond, leading to disruption in device management workflows.


The issue occurs when there is a high volume of network traffic and the Carbon Black EDR extension is inserted into the network stack. The extension's presence in the network stack seems to cause performance issues, which can result in network connectivity and communication problems.


If you experience network issues with FileWave when the Carbon Black EDR extension is installed, you can resolve the problem by removing the extension from the FileWave server or booster. This solution has been proven to resolve the issue in multiple cases. On a macOS system, you can use the following command in to list all kernel extensions:

systemextensionsctl list

The output will appear like this:

enabled    active    teamID    bundleID (version)    name    [state]
*    *    7AGZNQ2S2T (3.7.2fc81/3.7.2fc81)    [activated enabled]

You should check the output of this command to determine if the Carbon Black EDR extension is present on your system. If you have concerns about the performance of the Carbon Black EDR extension in high-volume network traffic environments, it may be worth contacting Carbon Black's support team to discuss the issue further.

Digging Deeper

Kernel extensions (KEXTs) are software modules that can be inserted into the macOS kernel to extend its functionality. They can be used to add new features, support new hardware, or modify the behavior of existing drivers. KEXTs run in kernel mode, which means they have the highest level of privilege and can access system resources directly.

However, KEXTs can also introduce stability and performance issues. Since they run in kernel mode, they can crash the system or cause conflicts with other KEXTs. In addition, they can potentially introduce security vulnerabilities if they're not properly designed or implemented.

The Carbon Black EDR extension is an example of a kernel extension that inserts itself into the macOS network stack. By doing so, it's able to monitor network traffic and detect security threats. However, in high-volume network traffic environments, the extension can cause performance issues, which can lead to disruptions in FileWave's device management workflows.

To manage kernel extensions on macOS, Apple provides the systemextensionsctl command. This command allows you to list, enable, disable, and uninstall extensions. If you're experiencing issues with a KEXT, you can use this command to disable or uninstall it to see if that resolves the issue.

In general, it's important to use kernel extensions with caution and only install those from trusted sources. If you're unsure whether a particular KEXT is necessary or safe to use, you should consult with the vendor or seek advice from a subject matter expert.

What is Compatibility Mode?

13.1 introduced new security options and a mode to allow older clients to connect.


I don't know what compatibility mode is and what enable and disable do for me.



FileWave 13.1 introduces a new method of certificate-based security for communication between components (client, booster, server and IVS). Only 13.1 and greater components are able to generate and properly use certificates to communicate with other components using the new method. Therefore, if your server is running 13.1 but you have components that are older than 13.1 they can not generate the needed certificates to have the highest level of security, and will not be able to communicate together.


Compatibility Mode Enabled

The server allows older clients, boosters, and IVS to communicate with the server with or without valid certificates

Compatibility Mode Disabled

The server will not allow any client, booster, or IVS to communicate with the server unless it has a valid and unique certificate. Boosters and clients are also checking peer certificates and will only communicate if the peer certificate is valid.

Additional Information

When you disable compatibility mode (uncheck the box in preferences) you will receive a warning of clients, boosters, and imaging appliances (AKA IVS), that may potentially be disconnected by you enabling this mode. If you get this warning, it is recommended that you cancel, and resolve the issue before compatibility mode is disabled.


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