Archive for category: Tips

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New 10.8 Unix Commands

With OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion came some new Unix commands that are very handy.  Among them is pgrep and pkill, which rolls grep into the ps command so you no longer have to pipe ps to grep in order to find a running process.  pkill does the same thing, […]

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Understanding InstallESD.dmg, Recovery HD, and Lion Internet Recovery

Understanding InstallESD.dmg, Recovery HD, and Lion Internet Recovery

If you’ve done any deployment work with OS X Lion, InstallESD.dmg is probably not a new concept for you. But just in case you haven’t, or just in case you need a quick refresher, with the release of OS X Lion, Apple completely changed its distribution method for Mac OS […]

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Alternate mail stores when upgrading from 10.5 Server to 10.6 Server

I know that this isn't completely tested to see if it is a consistent behavior, but I ran into an issue after upgrading a Leopard server to Snow. The server was running mail services utilizing both the standard spool location and an alternate mail store. 

 After the upgrade all seemed to be well, but we shortly discovered that the users who used the alternate mail store didn't have access to their existing mail. The users in the standard location were just fine.

 After poking around I saw that the alternate store contained two sets of user mail directories within the dovecot directory. One was named with the users shortname, ala Cyrus and the other used a GUID, ala Dovecot. Apparently during the upgrade the existing folders were converted to Dovecot format, yet new folders were also made. By renaming the folders with the shortnames to the GUID, proper functionality was restored to the users mailboxes.

 It was a simple fix, but it took some poking to figure it out. Also being new to Dovecot it took me longer than it probably should have to resolve. Hopefully this will save someone else some time. 

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Using MySQL with PHP on Server 10.6

If you are getting an error "Can't assign requested address" you may have a problem with the mysql port.  I had just moved my server to a MacMini running Mac OS X 10.6 and mysql_connect was giving this error.  Going into the /etc/php.ini file and setting the default port number to 3306 fixed the problem. 

mysql.default_port = 3306

The php.ini file suggests that PHP will select the port by using the $MYSQL_TCP_PORT or the mysql-tcp entry in /etc/services, but in this case it is not so.  /etc/services on my machine has 3306 listed, but it didn't get picked up.

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Application location changes

Apple has moved Directory Utility from /Applications/Utilities/ to /System/Library/CoreServices/ .

It can also be accessed through the Accounts System Preference by going to Login Options and clicking "Edit" next to the network account server at the bottom. There is an "Open Directory Utility…" button there.

 It also appears that Firmware updates have a new location in a folder in CoreServices, which is rather nice. 

Next up, it looks as though the Kerberos application has been renamed "Ticket Viewer".

The 10.5 only application "Directory" seems to be missing in action. I was hoping that its functionality was merged into Address Book, but it does not appear to be the case.

 Please add any others in the comments below. 

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Disable WINS in Leopard

Ed. Note: This is interesting as otherwise you'll always be visible over WINS/NetBIOS whether you're actually sharing via SMB or not. 

Finally I believe I found the magic command to disable WINS on Leopard to stop it from showing on a Windows network.

 sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ RegisterWINSName -bool false 

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iSCSI Test Results

I've been doing some pretty intensive research down here with iSCSI setups of various kinds. This market segment was a little rough a year ago…but it's much better now. Though there are still no "official" OS X Server setups that support it….certainly not Xsan (too bad!)

read on for a few more iSCSI notes…

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Improved AFP support from Novell

Since we haven't seen much about this elsewhere…

Novell have now released Open Enterprise Server 2 SP1 which includes new Novell-engineered protocol support for Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) on the Linux platform.

See for more information.

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NetRestore Retired

After 6 years of development, Mike Bombich is retiring NetRestore, one of the most used and useful tools for OS X mass deployment. Mike cites an aging code base and other tools in the market as reasons for his descision. Read all the details here

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10.5.3 Server: Did they fix it yet?

Today marks the release of 10.5.3 Client and Server. There have been a few nasty bugs in Leopard Server that have given us a headache or two. The primary being being the Directory Services issue with AFP connections. The other one I wrote about awhile ago was in Server Admin and creating DNS records. According to the release notes these bugs and more are eradicated. As well as AD binding issues, DHCP, Software Update Server, Password changes and augment directory records. You can read about it in detail here and download the combo updater to boot:

 Please post comments back to see if you 10.5 Server annoyances are gone. I know I have quite a few things to test this week.

(Ed. Note. One of our favorite additions in 10.5.3 is the ability to create augment records in WGM now. So all you advanced server config users rejoice!)

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