I've been trying for quite some time to fix this problem one software vendor at a time, but then thought the Mac OS X Hints would probably be a good way to get the attention of many software developers all at once.
When I download a .dmg file from someone's web site, about 25% of the time my browser loads the binary file as text to a window instead of saving the file to disk. The reason this happens is that their web server is not configured properly. The problem has persisted for a long time because the two biggest Mac browser (Safari and IE) disregard the server settings and download the file anyway. You may have experienced a similar problem (even with Safari or IE) when downloading .gz or .sitx files.
So, if you manage a web site, please add the following to your site's .htaccess or httpd.conf file:
The other way to fix it is to change your server's default type, which would mean all unknown file types would be downloaded (and wouldn't that make a whole lot of sense?).
Applying one of these fixes avoids the annoying occurrence of having your users' browsers get hung for 5 minutes while they try to render 20MB of binary data as text (and would thus help to improve the overall Mac experience)!
[robg adds: I've put this in the OS X Server category, but it obviously applies to anyone running a server on any platform...]
This tip can be nice for those that doesen't have remote GUI control over their computer. Add this line to your .profile file, in your home directory:
When you log in, you'll see:
Welcome to Darwin!
Software Update Tool
Copyright 2002-2003 Apple Computer, Inc.
Your software is up to date.
To install an update if softwareupdate finds out-of-date packages, type softwareupdate -install packagename
The only drawback is that it will run each time you open the terminal, locally or remotely. Alternatively you can just run the command in the shell if it gets too annoying. Works on both 10.3 server and client. For further description of this tool, type man softwareupdate.
[robg adds: We covered the basic softwareupdate command in an earlier hint ... this hint works just fine on non-server, too. i ]
I run Mac OS X Server on my desktop, and wanted to install iLife 04. Well, the installer checks to see what version of OS X you are running, and if it finds OS X Server, it refuses to install. After digging in the install package, I found that renaming /System -> Library -> CoreServices -> ServerVersion.plist will allow the installer to run successfully.
Type the following in a Terminal window to rename the file -- don't forget to change it back after installation, or Software Update may break (among other things)!
Panther Server has a new feature entitled "Mobile Accounts" whereby a user's account information is copied to the hard drive for access when they aren't wired into the network. While it sounds promising, I was a little disappointed with the results. By Apple's own admission this feature does not sync any files or preferences for the user; it merely caches some login data. Worse, once I had set it up, it refused to revert to the former (Network) Home folder.
For anyone else out there wanting to disable a "Mobile Account," you need to open NetInfo Utility, authenticate (if necessary) and delete the "user" record for the user in question. You should then be able to log out and back in and be back to a Network Home folder.
Surprisingly enough, the NetInfo record DOES need to be removed ... simply turning off NetInfo in the Directory Access Utility didn't fix the problem on our G4 PowerBook.
I noticed that after upgrading my server to 10.3 I lost FTP services. Apparently I am not alone in this problem. It seems that Jacin Ferreira on the Apple Discussion boards found a solution that I am reprinting here to aid others:
Please look in /Library/FTPServer/Configuration/Messages/ and look for a file named shutdown.txt inside that directory. If it is there, trash it and restart your FTP server.
Just a quickie. All the Apple documents on NetInfo explain how to set up OS X Server to provide NetInfo information as part of the DHCP response/service. But if you already have a DHCP service on your network, the DHCP options to set are 112 (NetInfo IP address) and 113 (NetInfo tag). See www.iana.org for more info...
I found several hints that mentioned how to modify apache using /etc/httpd/httpd.conf or /etc/httpd/users/user_name.conf, but no mention of how to make changes to Mac OS X Server.
System wide changes can be made in Server Admin or in the httpd.conf file (Apple has even added extra comments relevant to Panther Server telling you what you should and shouldn't touch). However, I quickly found that the information for my site couldn't be found in httpd.conf.
It turns out 10.3 Server has a "sites" folder in /etc/httpd, much like the "users" folder on 10.3 Client, and that every site on your server (even if you only have one) is set up as a virtual host. Within the sites folder will be at least one (probably two or more) .conf files: virtual_host_global.conf, plus a conf file for each site you have set up (named using a serial number plus the port and host name of your site).
I just moved FileMaker Server from a MacOS 9 box, to a new server (XServe... very nice), and was surprized that there was no provision for automatically starting the FMP Server at boot-up, so I rolled my own using a StartupItem.
How to add a picture to the login window for networked accounts:
Create an AFP share that appears in the /Network folder. I used /Network/Library. The 10.3 user documentation describes how to create a share using Workgroup Manager (WGM). In that share, I have a folder called User Pictures where I put images of the users who log into the network.
In WGM, enable the Inspector in the Preferences.
In WGM, go to Accounts, click on the button that has a rectangle in it, and then click on New Computer List. Then add the MAC address of your computers. After that, go to the Preferences and select that computer list. Click on Login and then Login Options, and select Once or Always. Then clik on "List of Users able to use these computers."
Navigate to the LDAP domain that hosts the users.
Click on Accounts and then click on the Bulls Eye target (Inspector). Make sure the drop down menu is on Users.
Click on a user's name; for example: testuser, in the pane on the left and then click on New Attribute... in the pane on the right.
Select Picture from the Attribute drop down menu.
Type in the path to the picture in the text field: in my case it would be:
By the way, a similar process works for Netinfo in 10.2 server.
Note: Do not delete the info in the hex field; Workgroup Manager crashed when I did. That field apparently automatically updates when you change the information in the text field.