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Changing default Ethernet connection rate? Network
I have two Macintosh computers at home and I have them interconnected with each other using a router, (Netgear RT 314), my problem is that my newest Mac is a G4 Cube with auto negotiation on the ethernet port. The router also uses auto negotiation and neither computer nor router will talk to each other. This problem was solved using a utility called "Duplexer Tool" which works fine in OS 9.1, and that solved my ethernet problem by setting my G4 cube to 10 Mb/s, and letting the router set itself to the same speed.

I cannot do this in OS X as the Duplexer tool only works in OS 9.1, now in OS X there is a command "ifconfig" which seems to address this problem, but I do not know how to configure this to set my Ethernet port to 10 Mb/s. Can anyone help me, and is this a fairly common problem?

Thank you.
Paul Cooper

[Editor's note: About the only value I can add here is that there's a file called "iftab" in /etc that needs to be edited. It contains this line:
en0     inet    -AUTOMATIC-
which needs to be changed to specify the connect rate, I would imagine. Anyone have any info to help configure an Ethernet card manually?]
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Advanced FTP server setup info Network
A reader is looking for information on some advanced FTP server options in OS X. He's tried the various boards and had no luck, so I'm posting here in case there are any answers out there. He writes:

I've looked near and far and have heard from many other people the same problem. Finding a concise document to set up a FTP server on OS X is hard to find. Basically I am looking for some tips on these few tasks which I can not figure out and I believe would help many other OS X newbies:
  1. I have set up a ftpchroot file to resrict users to their home directories, but how do I provide them a link in their home directory to a community folder for all of them to upload and download from?
  2. How do I limit access to say two logins per user, and limit their bandwidth?
  3. How do I go about setting up groups in user administration say so that all FTP users would be in thier own user group of FTP?
If anyone could shed some light on these relatively simple tasks which are complicated to us newbies please please feel free to provide some answers. Thank you.
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Ethereal packet sniffer available Network
Ethereal is a NetXray-like tool that runs in an X-Window environment. I was most pleased to discover that it has already been successfully ported to OSX!

See http://www.ethereal.com (look under downloads - binary packages)

This was really good work by Peter F. Handel. If you have X-Widows running on OSX (you can do this with either the free XFree86 or Tenon's commercial XTools), this application is worth a look.
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Use SSH for secure AppleShare sessions Network
The incomparable Brad Suinn from Apple has been kind enough to release juicy tidbits about the AppleShare X Client in a unauthorized readme. Amongst other things the end of the file shows how to do an AFP/IP connection using SSH so everything is nice and secure and encrypted. Check out:

http://homepage.mac.com/suinn/AShareXDevNotes.html (search on "SSH" to find the relevant section)

[Editor's note: You may also want to check out Brad's home page for some other interesting items]
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Network Preferences file location Network
The network preferences file is used to store all the user entered information about your TCP-IP/PPPoE/PPP settings. If you are looking to automatically setup these settings for use in an "easy installer", the preferences file can be found at this location:

/var/db/SystemConfiguration/preferences.xml

This file is usually owned by root, in group wheel.
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Changing MAC Address/ifconfig? Network
Anyone know how to change the MAC Address on the ethernet card?
I've been trying ifconfig but I can't seem to get it to work.

My cable provider registers MAC address and I switch back and forth between two machines. I don't want to use a router. Any help would be appreciated.
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Using a 'hosts' file Network
The /etc/hosts file by default is ignored by OS X. Though it is possible to import hosts into the "machines" directory (see tips here on macosxhints), there is also a way to configure lookupd so it consults /etc/hosts directly.

lookupd can use different agents to lookup hosts: e.g. DNSAgent which consults DNS, FFAgent which consults local files like /etc/hosts, and CacheAgent which will keep a local cache. The trick is to tell lookupd which agents to use in which order.

Read the rest of this article if you'd like the details on making OS X use your local hosts file before it uses the DNS servers.
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Improving FTP access security Network
With the release of 10.0.2, Apple has included an upgraded FTP server that makes it easier to control which directories FTP users can utilize. This is done using an 'ftpchroot' file, which makes each listed user's home directory appear as the root of the system via FTP, so there's no way they can move "up" out of their directories.

Implementing 'ftpchroot' is quite simple, but it does require a bit of editing work as root. If you'd like to restrict your FTP users to their own directory, read the rest of this tip.
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Work-around for long delays in SSH connections Network
This is the result of a few hours worth of digging around, chasing after a loooong setup delay on SSH connections with (if I recall correctly) both the 2.3 SSH in 10.0.1 and the 2.5 SSH available from Scott Anguish.

If any of you have been experiencing long (dozens of seconds) waits in starting up SSH connections, it looks like 'arp' is being called with a parameter order that Apple's arp utility isn't handling as expected (Apple's utility wants 'arp -n -a' when SSH is using 'arp -a -n'). [Found this out by running ssh -v -v, after a bit of packet sniffing and DNS experimentation.]

Read the rest of this article if you'd like a workaround to speed up your SSH connections!
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Disable root access via SSH Network
Since the 10.0.1 update has been released, one of the new features is the implementation of SSH/SSHD. First thing I always do after an install of SSHD is edit a few items in the sshd_config file.

- At your terminal, 'su -' to your root account
- 'pico -w /etc/sshd_config'
- Look for the line containing "PermitRootLogin yes"
- Simply change this line to read "PermitRootLogin no"
- Save your changes and exit the editor
- Open your "System Preferences" from the Dock, and choose "Sharing"
- If the check box beside remote access is not selected, turn it on if you wish for SSH access to be enabled. If it is already selected, then just cycle it. Click it off, then back on.

...unless of course you want to allow someone one step closer to controlling your machine remotely. ;)

-J.
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