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UNIX GUI admin utility - The Moose's Apprentice Apps
i think i saw a link here about this--cant remember [Editor: I thought I remembered it, too, but can't find it anywhere!]. anyways, here's a really cool UNIX admin application i just downloaded. go to: The Moose's Apprentice page and check it out.

i haven't had time to "battle test" it yet, but the documentation is *excellent.* I'll use it tonight to restrict ftp users to their home app like this is precisely what ive been looking for. hope it lives up to its potential.

[Editor's note: Based on a quick five-minute look, this looks like a very impressive application. It gives you a GUI tool to manage many of the low-level UNIX tasks, such as cron jobs, FTP user access, allowed shells, and authorizing services by user and address. Worth a look-see if you're looking for a way of handling some of the UNIX stuff without diving into the terminal. A note of caution, though - this app will let you change things that you may not fully understand! Make sure you have some concept of what you're changing before you start tweaking the settings...]
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X Window installation tip UNIX
I would have never really pushed to get this to work, but I needed to have xwindow working for a class that I am taking... After all the work I put in I figured I would give a few pointers that took many hours to figure out (mostly because of my unix ignorance). First of all download the files from xfree86 download. I put all the files into a folder called xfree86 and stashed it onto my harddrive. I then fired up the terminal and got to the xfree86 directory. Next I entered
sudo perl
I tried it the first 2 times with out sudo and it did not work very well. After this runs go to and download the newer XDarwin. This runs rootless (this means that OS X is still visible in the back ground). It takes a little while for the whole thing to load, but it seems to work. Granted I do not know much about this whole thing... but it may be nice to know if you are like me, that using Sudo makes the install actually work!
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Enabling a volume for Classic Classic
I recently bought a new hard drive, and wanted to install another copy of OS X on it. I figured I would just take my "Classic OS 9" and copy it from my current drive to the new drive. I did this while booted in OS X, and it copied over just fine. When I went to the "Classic" system prefs panel, however, I could not select the OS 9 I had just created - the volume was greyed out, as though there were no allowable system on that drive.

I could have rebooted into OS 9 on that disk and then back into OS X, but that seemed like too much work. Instead, I switched to the Startup Disk prefs panel. When I did that, the panel started the drive scan it always does to find bootable volumes ... and it noticed my new OS 9 folder on the new drive, and listed it as an avaialble startup disk.

I then went back to the Classic panel and was able to pick that same OS 9 as my Classic volume. Somehow running the Startup Disk panel 'blessed' the new OS folder I had copied, saving me a couple of restarts.
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Find duplicate files using the terminal UNIX
[Submitted by victory]

The following will search the current dir (and subdirs) for any files that contain identical content and are of identical size, regardless if they are named differently. Open a terminal shell, and 'cd' to the dir you want to search, then type:
find . -size 20 \! -type d -exec cksum {} \; | sort | tee /tmp/f.tmp | 
cut -f 1,2 -d ' ' | uniq -d | grep -hif - /tmp/f.tmp > dup.txt
[Editor's note: I inserted a carriage return for readability -- type the command on one line when entering it!]

This will produce a list of duplicate files (if any) in dup.txt. True there are some nicely written apps that will do the same thing, but ain't it great that you can do this right from within your OS?

  • This will ignore files that are smaller than 10k. (remove/alter the '+size 20' to change this). But a warning: really small files may produced identical CRCs. i.e. show up as duplicates even if they really aren't.
  • If you want to search a filesystem you don't own (i.e. /) you'll need to sudo or su or 'find' will complain.
  • The built-in cksum cmd only uses CRC32. MD5 would be better. Anyone know why it's not enabled under OSX?
  • If you're gonna write a script to delete the duplicates from the produced dup.txt list, just remember that it contains ALL instances of the duplicate files.

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Version info from the command line System
In this MacWorld forum thread, JohnKFisher asked about getting OS X version info when connecting via SSH to another OS X box. After some back and forth, PaulM contributed the easy way to get this info:
[11:13am robg ~]% sw_vers
ProductName: Mac OS X
ProductVersion: 10.0.4
BuildVersion: 4Q12
Just type 'sw_vers' and you'll get the info on what version of OS X you've connected to. PaulM also points out that the traditional UNIX command is 'uname -a', and that this returns Darwin information on OS X:
[11:13am robg ~]% uname -a
Darwin localhost 1.3.7 Darwin Kernel Version 1.3.7: Sat Jun 9 11:12:48 PDT 2001;
root:xnu/xnu-124.13.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC Power Macintosh powerpc
[Carriage return added for easier readability]
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Numerical computation tools Apps
Gaurav Khanna sent me a pointer pointer to his page of heavy-duty numerical computation tools for OS X, including gcc, g77, MPI, and OpenMP. Check out Gaurav's ports here:

This stuff is way over my head, but if this is your field of interest, check out Gaurav's page. If you have feedback for him, just use the email link at the bottom of his page.
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Backing up OS X System
Many people have asked about creating bootable backup of OS X. Over in the MacFixIt forums, there was an interesting conversation about this a while ago. In this thread, "Sparky the Wonderpig" gave a fairly simple solution to the problem ... more interesting are comments from other posters concerning how it may be addressed by a future update from Apple.

If you're interested in backing up your OS X volume now, check out Sparky's method ... and let's hope we see an official tool from Apple soon!
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Use Sherlock to arrange your files Desktop
[Sumbitted by brodie]

If, like me, you have loads of mp3's, or .sit(s) .bin(s) all downloaded into one folder, or several diferent folders, you can throw them all together in one clean move without having to find them all and drag them painstakingly one at a time.

Just open up your destination folder, open Sherlock and search for their common property (ie their name or .sit suffix). Select them all and drag them into the desitination folder. You can then, if you need to, delete all your partially downloaded mp3's by opening the folder in list view, select size to arrange and delete ...etc.

[Editor's note: Not specific to OS X, of course, but a good organization speed-up tip in general]
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Execute shell scripts in the Finder UNIX
[Submitted by smhaunch]

I'm not sure if this has been reported before, but there is a simple (and quite slick) way of running shell scripts from the finder.

Simply append '.command' to the script name,e.g. test.command, when the script is double clicked from the Finder a terminal window will open and the script is excuted.

The script will of course need execute permissions (chmod ug+x will do the trick) in order to run.

Tip courtesy of Peter Fraterdeus at the O'Reilly Mac DevCenter.
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Make OS X re-run the initial setup assistant System
Over on Macintouch's Mac OS X Reader Reports (well worth reading, as there's a ton of good info collected there!), Paul Christensen posted some information he received from Apple's tech support group regarding the initial setup assistant (which configures your primary user account, among other things).

According to Apple, to re-run the assistant, you need to:
  1. Boot into single-user mode (command-S during startup)
  2. Once the command-line prompt appears, type the following:
    mount -uw /
    cd /private/var/db/netinfo
    mv local.nidb local.old
    rm ../.AppleSetupDone
When you hit RETURN after typing exit, OS X will restart and the setup assistant will launch automatically. So if you've somehow messed up your primary OS X user, this is a good fix that may get you up and running again, even if re-running the OS X installer does not.
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