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Automatically start FileMaker Pro Server (5.5) OS X Server

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.

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Add pictures to the login window for networked user accounts OS X Server
How to add a picture to the login window for networked accounts:
  1. 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.
  2. In WGM, enable the Inspector in the Preferences.
  3. 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."
  4. Navigate to the LDAP domain that hosts the users.
  5. Click on Accounts and then click on the Bulls Eye target (Inspector). Make sure the drop down menu is on Users.
  6. 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.
  7. Select Picture from the Attribute drop down menu.
  8. Type in the path to the picture in the text field: in my case it would be: /Network/Library/Users Pictures/testuser.jpg
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.
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A script to add multiple SMB users with Windows access OS X Server
Sometimes it can be hard to add 140 users to the command line. So you write scripts for that. It's even more pesky to allow them all to login from Windows.

I ran accross a script which would generate the hash files, however, on OS X 10.2 Server, it would not let me log in from Windows still. The following script fixes that.

Read the rest of the article for the script...
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10.3 Server: Enable internet sharing via AirPort OS X Server
To share your Ethernet connection through AirPort under 10.3 Server, do the following:
  1. Ethernet card must have a static IP.
  2. In Server Admin, under NAT, share your Built-in Ethernet.
  3. Under DHCP, create a new subnet with the following settings:
    • Subnet mask:
    • Network Interface: en1
    • Router: Ethernet card's IP.
    Also make sure you have the correct DNS entered.
  4. Create a Computer to Computer Network with the AirPort menu item.
All internet traffic will now be routed through this connection to connected users. A point to note is that if I enabled WEP on my computer-computer network, I could not obtain an IP address from my DHCP server. Instead I made my DHCP IP range only 1 IP long.
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Setting up MovableType with MySQL on Server OS X Server
If you install Panther Server and attempt to set up MovableType with MySQL, it will fail and corrupt some of your data. The problem lies in the datetime fields in the MovableType tables in mysql. To solve this problem:
  1. Archive your existing mysql data (if any) from /var/mysql (I changed to the /var directory and used tar cvpf /tmp/mysql-data.tar ./mysql)
  2. Install the downloadable MySQL install from the download page (detailed install instructions can be found at the excellent Entropy site).
  3. Go to the new directory (/usr/local/mysql) and move the data subdirectory to one side (mv data data.standard)
  4. Extract the backup and rename it (tar xvpf /tmp/mysql-data.tar; mv mysql data).
  5. Install the startup script (part of the MySQL distribution) and start restoring your MovableType data.
The main reason that the two versions can be installed stems from the fact that the startup scripts use different flags in /etc/hostconfig. The Apple version uses MYSQL which will be set to -NO- by the MySQL installer. The MySQL version uses MYSQLCOM which will be set to -YES-.

When Apple releases a patch for the problem, you can reverse the settings in /etc/hostconfig and move the data files from /usr/local/mysql/data back into /var/mysql.
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10.3 Server: Create a postfix catch-all email account OS X Server
In Jaguar server, the GUI admin tool had a section to add an account for all email to be sent if the user did not exist. This feature is not part of Panther Server. After much trial and error, and many readings of many forums, I figured out a simple, if annoying way to do this.
  1. As root, vi /etc/postfix/ and include the following line (I put mine at the bottom of the file):
    virtual_alias_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/virtual
  2. As root, vi /etc/postfix/virtual and add the following:
    # local users 
    ###########       localUser1      localUser2      localUser3      localUser4
    # catch-all 
    ##########               catch-all
    I put this at the top above the comments. You must include all local users or the catch-all account will get all mail. localUser# is used in place of the actual user account name for local users. catch-all is used in place of the account you designate as the catch-all. is used in place of your domain name. There are tabs between the entries on each line. There is a caveat -- if you create an alias, that email will go to the catch-all account as well as to the aliased accounts.

  3. As root, run postmap /etc/postfix/virtual

  4. As root, run postfix reload
That is it!

[robg adds: I don't have Server, so I can't attest to the workability of this fix...]
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Partitioning mirrored disks under Mac OS X / Server OS X Server
Yes it's possible! (although Disk Utility says it's not!
  1. Become root (or put sudo before the commands)
  2. Make the RAID:

    diskutil createRAID mirror MyRAIDSet HFS+ disk1 disk2
    Or via the GUI, using Disk if you like. A new HFS+ filesystem will be created there and will attach as a new disk, like /dev/disk3. Yes its nice, but this is what we don't need.
  3. Unmount the new disk with diskutil unmount disk3. Do not eject it!
  4. Partition the disk as you like:
    diskutil partitionDisk disk3 2 HFS+ Part1 10G HFS+ Part2 10G
    See diskutil's partitionDisk output for examples. There's no GUI way, that's why you reading this! A partition map and yours partitions will be created and will have a new fs created and mounted (as /dev/disk3s2 and /dev/disk3s3 in my example).
Yes! That's it! Easy?

I'v tried this on PMG4 using two 6GB HDD's and running Mac OS X Server (10.2 & 10.2.8). Then on an XServe with two 180GB IBM's (why Apple is still using these?) Works great. Disk sees the RAID, can check it, but it has no clue about the volumes on it. So you have to fsck manually. When journaling is turned on, this is probably not needed. Turn on journaling using diskutil enableJournal /Volumes/Part1. Thats all for now. Have fun!

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Fixing custom permissions for OS X Server shares OS X Server
I have a client who I set up with an OS X Server. In addition to Users' home directories, there is a shared folder where my users save files that need to be read and written to by all users. OS X Server has default permissions set so that the owner of a file has read/write access and everyone in the group has only read-only access (standard UNIX behavior). I needed (as do many others, I have found out) to let the group have read and write access, as well.

Although Apple's KnowledgeBase article number 107623 claims that OS X 10.2.6 server can be set to inherit permissions or set with custom permissions, this ability seems to be less of a feature and more of a phantom. After searching the Apple Discussions, I have found many other users with similar problems, and the only solution seems to be to give up with Workgroup Manager and embrace cron. Until tonight I had never used cron, but I now understand its use. I wanted to pass on my solution to this problem to anyone else with this or a similar problem (I also posted on the Apple Discussions).

You will need a basic understanding of how to execute commands via the Terminal (specifically pico) and have a basic understanding of permissions (owner, group, others, chmod, etc...).
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Start SNMP on non-XServe OS X Server OS X Server
This hint is just ment to instruct a user on how to turn SNMP (a brief overview of SNMP is at the end of the hint) on with basic setup info. How to use the CLI to get info is not dealt with ... or you can buy a graphical interface to monitor your Mac. By no standard am I an expert on this; I have been forced to use this method to monitor my server since Apple does not support "Server Monitor" (a great monitoring app) on the G4 on which I installed my server software (I should have bought an XServe; if you want to remote monitor your Mac, read on). So anyway, I had to learn a new thing, not so bad.

Basic setup of SNMP on OS X server:
[client is not the same; Server only in 10.2]
  1. Log in as Root. This is easier so you can edit the hidden files you need to. If you know how to use the sudo command and a unix text editor, feel free.
  2. Use the Go -> Go to Folder command and enter /etc.
  3. In the list of files, find hostconfig and open it.
  4. Under the header # Services, add SNMPSERVER=-YES- below the list of other services, and save the file.
  5. Now open Terminal window and type or paste snmpconf -g basic_setup (you must be root user or use sudo command). Enter man snmpconf first to read about this command if you wish.
  6. Follow the instructions onscreen to set up the basics. This can get very detailed and you can run it again after you read more on SNMP and understand what to enter better.
  7. When you finish, I would restart ... but if you know how to use the CLI to start the process or restart the SNMP process, you can do that instead.
Now you can use SNMP commands from a UNIX terminal on any Mac and get info about the Mac you just set up.

For the Newbie, SNMP is Simple Network Management Protocol, which is used in some cases to manage a PC and more so on the Mac-end to monitor machines. You can get a verity of information like running processes, CPU usage, temperatures and lots more. The information you get depends on two things. Your hardware can supply the information to the system and the MIB (Management Information Base) files installed in your system. All Mac OS X installs include some form of SNMP; you just have to turn it on and use it. For more information, go to and

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one, and I'm not sure if it's even possible on Client as opposed to Server -- anyone know for sure?]
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Flush mcx_cache to resolve Server login issues OS X Server
What is more annoying than mcx_cache when dealing with clients in a Mac OS X Server lab? Have you recieved a window saying that you are not permitted to log in? And you are 100% sure that everything is set up correctly; login might even have worked for days until this shows up!

In most cases (atleast here), this is because of this annoying cache file, storing information about your Mac OS X Server. Destroying this directory from NetInfo has been 100% painless in all ways here, as it is re-created again at next log in.

For some time, I did this manually by destroying it from the NetInfo Manager app, but as my school got more and more X clients, and it was taking up a lot of time, I had to find a better solution to this. The solution was to create a cron script to run a command that did this automatically. I use the great app CronniX to make the cron script. From this app, choose to manage the System User's crons. Add a new one, and choose run time yourself; I set mine to run one time each hour. The command to execute is this:
sudo niutil -destroy . /mcx_cache
[robg adds: I can't vouch for this one, having no access to nor experience with Server...]
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