Ask AFP548 September 22, 2005 at 9:01 pm

Workgroup Maintenance Schedules?

Not exactly an OS X Server issue, but still a question for the admins here: I admin a smallish design studio (15 or so users) and am working to put together a schedule for regular maintenance. As it is, backups and a few things happen automatically, but tasks like permissions repair, clearing caches, directory repairs and optimisation – the stuff that requires I kick someone off their machine – tend to happen only sporadically, when a user goes on vacation, or on nights and weekends when I’d rather be doing other things. I’ve also got several laptop users that take their machines with them every night, so it’s hard for me to get anything done on them without disrupting their work. Are there any suggestions from the peanut gallery for a realistic maintenance schedule – how often should I really be running these things? – as well as a realistic way of keeping up with it? i.e. do folks set iCal reminders, cron tasks, sticky notes?

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  • Of the things you’re mentioning, it seems to me that a lot of this can be
    done over SSH… A lot of this stuff I do sitting at my own desk, SSH’d
    into my users machines – they never even know anything’s happening.

    If you have a set of tasks that you want to do, write your own script,
    and think about sending that out with pdsh, or something similar, and
    that makes all this work a matter of one line in the terminal for you…
    See the HPC article for details on setting up

  • I would love to hear what other people have in mind on this, but I instruct my clients to run Permission Repair and Disk Warrior every two weeks for preventive maintenance. I have always suggested DW every two weeks dating back to when it first came out (and Norton in its place prior to that).

    I do not have a schedule to perform other maintenance routines but am open if anyone views certain procedures as critical to routine care.

    • Utilities like Macaroni are helpful just to do regular permissions repair. You’d need a logout script for cache cleaning.

  • I am currently developing a System (Workgroup) Maintenance Utility and it’s planned that the release version will include a feature to schedule those maintenance tasks using cron/launchd. You can try it out here: BTW, it’s also an ASR Multicast Server šŸ˜‰

    • I manage a smaller workgroup, but we have lots of sensitive data. My users
      tend to be fairly illiterate or can’t be bothered to take preventive measures.
      With cron being deprecated under Tiger, I would love to do this (these types
      of tasks) with launchd.
      Has anyone been able to cobble something together that works? I have
      something that I thought should work, here’s my hack at permissions repair:

      <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://"&gt;
      <plist version="1.0">

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