Centralized and unsecure logging with syslogd

Get syslog to do your bidding and send logs to a remote machine.

A quick run-through on how to make syslogd be promiscuous and take logs from strangers.

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MacEnterprise.org Streaming Solutions Webcast

The MacEnterprise.org group will be presenting a Webcast on Enterprise Streaming Solutions on Tuesday, March 15 at 1:00 pm EDT. George Cook, a Consulting Engineer at Apple and Stephen Tonna, QuickTime Streaming Product Manager at Apple, will be presenting.

Streaming video is ideal for sharing rich media content, publishing lectures, and accessing educational programming, and it can make important school events accessible to the community, such as sporting events and commencement. After an update on QuickTime and MPEG-4 from Stephen Tonna, George will delve into specific scenarios for both live streaming and video-on-demand. Tune into this webcast to learn about the latest video streaming tools and techniques.

For more information on how to watch this Webcast, please visit the MacEnterprise.org website:


The broadcast ID needed to view the webcast is ‘macenterprise‘.

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Resetting PCI RAID

If you are having trouble with ‘megaraid -destroyconfig’ run ‘megaraid -showdevices’ first to see drive status – stop rebuild processes with ‘megaraid -rebuild pd -stop’

(This only applies to situations where the RAID has failed so badly that rebuilding (which can take 8 or mor hours) is not an option. Proceed carefully!)

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rsync Backups on OS X

Clones across the network

With a little bit of work you can have rsync cloning a primary server to a backup server. If the primary server ever fails, all you have to do is reboot the backup from the cloned system and away you go.

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Apple Enterprise Backup Solutions

Overview of OS X backup options.

The most frequent question that I am asked is how someone can protect all of the data that they store on their Xserves and Xserve RAIDs. It’s a good question, too!

Most of us may have other platforms on our networks as well, so how are all of these servers and clients going to play together?

Since I was faced with this question myself, I decided to write an extensive article, detailing some of the cross-platform solutions out on the market today, primarily IBM’s TSM, Atempo’s Time Navigator and Tolis Group’s new BRU release.

The document is housed in the Projects section on my site, www.district13computing.com, and on MacEnterprise.org. I hope this helps shed some light on a very important decision that we all must face with Mac OS X Server deployments.

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MacEnterprise.org Backup Solutions Webcast

The MacEnterprise.org group will be presenting a Webcast on Mac OS X Backup Solutions on Tuesday, February 15 at 1:00 pm EDT.

In this webcast, Thomas Weyer, a Senior Consulting Engineer at Apple, will show you how to look at your storage requirements and build a complete storage solution including tiered storage integrated into a SAN using Xsan. The session will also take you through how to size your backup solution.

For more information on how to watch this WebCast, please visit the MacEnterprise.org website:


The broadcast ID needed to view the webcast is ‘macenterprise‘.

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Get Yer Updates!

Today, Apple released version 10.3.8 of its famed Panther platform, for both the Server and Client versions.

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Preventing Login Window burn-in

Keep your monitors happy and ghost free

We have a number of machines here with colour calibrated monitors, and to keep this colour as constant as we can it means that power to the monitor can never be turned off. While modern monitors are certainly better than they used to be in dealing with burn-in, we noticed this was becomming an issue for us, so, here’s a tip on how to run the screensaver over the login window.

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A better fix for the QuickTime Installer Dialog

Ed. Note: This is a rather clever way of defeating the dreaded QuickTime registration dialog. However it does require access to the package before deployment. It also is a good example of some of the things that pre and post-install scripts do within packages.

Here at my University I deploy the QuickTime updates not via SoftwareUpdate but with rsync, cron, and the QuickTime.pkg. You can edit the preflight script inside the package where you find the following text.

"# Marketing (aka Amy Fazio) sez we don't need to bring up the registration dialog anymore
# but let's just comment it out for now in case they change their minds. - duano! 3/16/04
# ... see, QT BRB did change their minds on this. Putting it back until Gibson - duano! 3/17/04
# Putting it back in again for Legal reasons (QT5Pro users need to know they're gonna lose functionality)."

Delete the dialog crap underneath and there you go.


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GeoCenter’s Xserve Cluster Setup Guide

GeoCenter has deployed a new 100 node Xserve G5 cluster that will be used for running distributed processing applications from GeoCenter’s SeisUP� seismic processing system.

We have published information on our website describing the tools and techniques we used to setup and manage the cluster, including Radmind for managing system images, Apple’s Server Assistant for auto-configuring each node, and a number of custom Perl scripts written by GeoCenter developer Michael Beam. We also provide information regarding the differences between Mac OS X and other Unix platforms that we encountered while porting our code to Mac OS X. The techniques we developed allowed us to reduce the deployment process to a short process of booting each system from an external hard disk, which then imaged and auto-configured the system. All of these item have been packaged into one disk image (compressed .dmg) download available on our website.

The website can be found at:


Some of the information is still under development and will be updated soon. Please contact me for more information or any questions.

We are already seeing some pretty impressive results from the cluster and hope to provide some performance numbers in the near future.

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