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Compiling using the 'autoconf' configure script UNIX
When running the autoconf configure script, it will likely fail to identify the host type using its config.guess info. The error message it will produce is the following:
configure: error: can not guess host type; you must specify one
To get past this error, run the script with the host argument:
./configure -host powerpc-apple-bsd
This should allow the configuration script to complete, and when cc (the one that Apple ships, based on gcc) runs, it should compile.
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Postgresql with readline support UNIX
I've been trying for 2 days to compile the latest postgresql after having installed "readline-4.0.2" (if you use the psql utility you'd know why I want the readline support). Anyway, after having installed readline-4.0.2 postgresql could never complete the 'make' process, all sorts of errors. On a last ditch effort, I downgraded readline to 4.0, and postgresql compiled just fine, and I'm one happy camper now.

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Open hidden UNIX files in the GUI UNIX
This tip allows for easy editing of files such as ~/.tcshrc or ~/.bashrc, so you can click an icon in the dock, and the file will open in TextEdit. Read the rest of the article if you'd like the step-by-step instructions.
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FSF GCC now has native Darwin/OS X support UNIX
For those of you fortran heads, here's good news. FSF GCC now officially supports Darwin/OS X, meaning that you can grab latest source at and build a version of gcc, including fortran (g77), on your OS X box.

Although I don't personally use fortran, this would be a breakthrough for scientists and engineers who use Macs and have *a lot* of fortran libraries. Read yourself Stan Shebs' comment at darwin dev list.

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Command line FTP basics UNIX
If you're new to UNIX in general, and have only used programs like Fetch or Transmit as FTP tools in the past, you may find the command-line version of FTP quite daunting. There are times when you might want to use this, though, such as when remotely connected to your Mac, and you'd like to download some files locally.

Over in this MacFixit Forums thread, 'JohnBaxter' posted a nice overview of key commands to use when running FTP in a terminal session.
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Open directory windows from the Terminal UNIX
It's been fairly well covered that you can drag a file or directory into a terminal window to auto-type its path, but I haven't seen the corollary mentioned:

You can open a Finder window for the current working directory by entering open .
You can also open a window for the containing directory with
open ..

It's a very handy way to get at hidden files and paths without making them visible in the GUI.
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Launch mySQL at system startup UNIX
The following tutorial explains how to get mySQL (via safe_mysqld) started at system boot. "It took some time, but it's working now."

Read the rest of this article if you'd like your mySQL server to launch when you start your machine.

[Editor's note: I haven't installed this yet myself, but I will, and I'll comment back if I have any problems]
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Finding UNIX commands using 'apropos' UNIX
As you get more adventurous in terminal mode, you may wish to explore UNIX commands to get your work done. There's a command called "apropos" that searches all the man(ual) pages for keywords, and voila, a list of appropriate commands appear.

BUT - OS X's "apropos" doesn't work until you establish a "whatis" database. How? Simple:

1) Start a terminal session and get into su mode (root).

2) Type the follow line exactly:

3) Wait several seconds for the root prompt to appear, and quit the terminal session.

Now, you can start a terminal session as yourself, and the "apropos" command will work. For more information about apropos, type "man apropos".

[Editor's note: I published a related tip quite a while back, but I'm sure not everyone has dug through all the pages, so I thought this was a good chance to bring it up again. Note that the makewhatis will also run if you leave your machine on regularly; it's part of a scheduled task that runs (if I recall correctly) weekly.]
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Boot into Aqua from single user mode UNIX
If you boot into single user mode [Editor: command-S at startup; this is the mode from which you can run a file system check, fsck] you can boot into Aqua/Finder by typing:


This appears not to work if you've mounted the drive with write access. It also works if you've entered single user from Aqua by typing the following in the Terminal:

sudo shutdown now
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Fix for PHP bug reporting error UNIX
If you create a PHP page in Dreamweaver or similar Macintosh application, any bugs will be reported as being on line 1, no matter where they are. This is because the PHP parser is expecting Unix style line breaks. Since it doesn't find them, it thinks the entire page is all one line. This doesn't hurt the running of the PHP code, but it does make it very hard to find any typos or other bugs in the code.

The easiest way to fix this is to open the PHP document in BBEdit and Save As. Click on the OPTIONS button, and select Unix line breaks.

Also, if you are looking for a good SQL tutorial, with a live SQL server, check the following URLS:
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