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One for all. All for one.

Now a single workstation or server can access Xsan volumes simultaneously. MultiSAN is ideal for users who need to access multiple Xsan volumes from the same workstation or server, such as newsrooms with separate SAN volumes for production and broadcast.

DrivesMultiSAN allows a single workstation or server to access Xsan volumes hosted by separate Xsan metadata controllers. Hosting volumes on separate Xsan controllers can improve the performance, reliability, and sustainability of critical volumes. Each volume is independently hosted, so a failure of any one volume does not affect another.

ProductionUsers can copy data between Xsan volumes directly over Fibre Channel. Prior to Xsan 2 and MultiSAN, data had to be moved over a slower Ethernet connection to copy data from one independent Xsan volume to another. With Fibre Channel, production workflows are significantly more efficient, and greater collaboration can be achieved.

MultiSAN Diagram


Written by montanaflynn

March 11, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Full Review of OSX Leopard Server

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If you don’t belong to the cult of Mac, you might ignore the release of Apple’s new OS X Server 10.5, codenamed Leopard. That would be a shame, particularly for small and midsize enterprises, including those with mixed Apple and Windows clients, or even all-Microsoft shops.

Server Admin
Stop snickering. Apple produces a pretty decent server operating system and server hardware. We chased Leopard around our Real-World lab and came away pleased on most fronts. This new server OS is ready for work. The e-mail platform connects to Active Directory and bundles AV and anti-spam software without pesky client access licenses. A spiffed-up calendar application can serve as a group scheduler. VPN services can host 500 users per Intel Xserve. In a first for Apple, IP failover provides high availability, and TimeMachine enables easily deployed server-based client backup. Leopard Server can even mimic an NT domain controller.

Everyone knows Mac is great for creating multimedia. Leopard maintains that reputation, and also makes it easier to distribute content online, including audio, video and photos. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by montanaflynn

February 21, 2008 at 5:45 pm

W3C HTML Validator on OS X

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Installing the W3C HTML Validator on Mac OS X

Building a website is a complicated process, and testing your finished product on every possible browser can be even more daunting. However, because modern browsers such as Safari, Mozilla, and Internet Explorer 6 are compliant with the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) standards, testing your pages with the W3C Validation Tool is a great way to ensure that your pages work with modern browsers. The W3C Validator provides a line-by-line level of feedback, such as error information with references to the standards, on any URL you submit or HTML file you upload.

But what if your pages are accessible only within your firewall? Or what if your organization is reluctant to have their pages submitted to any external site for validation—even if it’s fully automated? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by montanaflynn

January 30, 2008 at 6:06 pm

Installing MySQL on on Mac OS X

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MySQL on Mac OS X

MySQL has become one of the most popular databases for Web applications. The database is well suited for common Web-related tasks like content management, and for implementing Web features like discussion boards and guestbooks. For a time, some developers avoided MySQL for commercial applications because it did not implement certain features, such as transactions. But this is no longer the case, and MySQL is a great choice for just about any Web-based application. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by montanaflynn

January 30, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Setting up an OS X development server

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Okay, so this was very much a case of fumbling around in the dark until stuff worked, lot’s of Googling and breaking stuff. The end result is a dev server on OS X that is running Textpattern with clean URLs and a copy of WordPress for good measure. These notes are primarily so I don’t forget how I did it, if they are useful to someone else, great! Be warned, though, I have no idea how secure this set up is and what flaws it has, so you follow these instructions at your own risk! Also, I am using OS 10.3.9 so I don’t know if this would work on Tiger. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by montanaflynn

January 29, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Mac OSX Server FTP Server Administration

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FTP Only Accounts Under Mac OS X

The following howto describes how to set up ftp only accounts using Apple Mac’s built in ftp server (lukemftpd).

This outline requires you to use the terminal, NetInfo Manager and have admin privileges on the machine in question.

Warning: You can muck things up quite seriously using NetInfo Manager. At the very least make sure you have a recent, full back-up of the machine you’re planning to setup before going any further.

To create ftp only accounts we need to:

  1. Create an ftp login shell
  2. Restrict our prospective ftp user to their folder
  3. Create the user account
  4. Create a folder for the new user
  5. Give the user a password

Create An FTP Login Shell

To create an ftp login shell we need to copy or link /sbin/nologin to /sbin/ftplogin. We’ll create a symbolic link from /sbin/nologin to /sbin/ftplogin. To do this:

  1. Fire up Terminal
  2. Type “sudo ln -s /sbin/nologin /sbin/ftplogin” (without the quotes)
  3. Hit return
  4. Type in your admin user’s password when prompted

Now we need to add the new “shell” to the list of shells available to the system. To do this we need to add “/sbin/ftplogin” to the list of shells given in the file found at /etc/shells. In Terminal:

  1. Type “sudo pico /etc/shells”. This’ll open up the file “shells” in a simple text editor in Terminal
  2. Hit return
  3. Type in your admin user’s password if prompted
  4. Add the string “/sbin/ftplogin” (without the quotes) on a new line at the end of the list of shells available. This’ll give you a final list similar to:


  5. Type ctl + “o”. That’s the letter “o” while holding down the control key
  6. Hit return
  7. Type ctl + “x” to eXit Pico

Restrict User To Their Folder

We’re setting this up now so that as soon as the user we’re creating gains access to our machine, they’re restricted to their log-in or root folder. All we have to do is create the file /etc/ftpchroot if it doesn’t exist and then add the prospective user’s username to the file.

  1. In Terminal, type “cd /etc” (without the quotes. From here on in, I’ll assume you’re ignoring the quotes)
  2. Check to see whether the file “ftpchroot” exists. If it doesn’t, type “sudo touch ./ftpchroot” and give you admin password if prompted for it

Now we need to add the username to the created file. Using pico:

  1. In Terminal type “sudo pico ./ftpchroot”. This’ll open up the file “ftpchroot” in a simple text editor in Terminal
  2. Type in your prospective ftp user’s username. Ours is “fred”. For safety, make the username all lowercase letters only – although we’ll let you have the underscore (“_”) too.
  3. Type ctl + “o”. That’s the letter “o” while holding down the control key
  4. Hit return
  5. Type ctl + “x” to eXit Pico

Create User Account

We do this in NetInfo Manager. I’m going to talk you through doing this the long winded way – but once you’ve got one account set-up, I’d suggest you duplicate an existing account and modify it as appropriate.

  1. Fire up NetInfo Manager
  2. At the bottom of the pane, click the little lock symbol and supply your admin username and password to unlock NetInfo Manager
  3. In the lefthand column, select “/”
  4. In the middle column select “users”
  5. Click the “New” icon at the top of the pane. This will create a new user called “new_directory”.

Now we need to modify this user account to give it the properties we’re after. Some of these properties will depend on your setup and how you want to administer your machine. We’ll use some reasonable settings but you may want to change these.

Before we go further, we do need to check what the next available user id (uid) is. To do this, click through your users in NetInfo Manager (ignoring the system users if you know what these are) making a note of the highest uid. In my case it’s 503. This means that my next user is going to be 504. Alternatively, start a new series for ftp users starting at 601.

Having done this, with the user “new_directory” selected in NetInfo Manager:

  1. Select the “name” property in the bottom half of the pane. Double click on the Value “new_directory” to select it and type in your username. In our example our username, as added to the ftpchroot file is “fred” – so that’s what we’ll type here.
  2. Create a new property by clicking in the “New” icon at the top of the pane. This will create a new property called “new_property”. Change the property value to “uid”. Now change its value “new_value” to the next available uid – or, if you’re starting a new series, 601.
  3. Add a new property for the group id – “gid”. We’ll set this to “20”. i.e. Create the new property, select “new_property” and type “gid”. Select “new_value” and type “20”.
  4. Follow this procedure to add:
    Property Value(s)
    expire   0
    change   0
    shell   /sbin/ftplogin
    home   /Users/<username>

    Where the text “<username>” in the last property (“home”) is the username of the user you’re adding. In our example “fred”. So the value for the property “home” would be “/Users/fred”. This means the bottom of your NetInfo Manager pane should end up looking something like:

    Property Value(s)
    home   /Users/fred
    shell   /sbin/ftplogin
    change   0
    expire   0
    gid   20
    uid   504
    name   fred

    2006-04-18: We’ve been contacted by Esben Sørensen and Antoine Durr over the weekend, both of whom make the observation that “realname” needs to be added to the properties listed here. i.e. we should end up with:

    Property Value(s)
    home   /Users/fred
    shell   /sbin/ftplogin
    change   0
    expire   0
    gid   20
    uid   504
    name   fred
    realname   Fred

    So, add the “realname” property “else the account’s system preference pane will henceforth come up blank due to an incorrect/invalid realname” (Antoine Durr).

    Thanks to Esben and Antoine.

  5. Make sure you remember the uid as you’ll need it in a sec.
  6. Close NetInfo Manager saving and confirming the save as you go.

Create A User Folder

We need to create a user folder and then change its ownership (and permissions) to reflect those of the newly created user.

  1. In Terminal, type “cd /Users”. Typing “ls” will give you a list of all the users on your machine
  2. Type “mkdir <username>” where <username> is the new user’s username. We’ll be typing “mkdir fred”
  3. Change the owner of this file by typing “sudo chown <uid>:20 ./<username>. Where <uid> is the uid for the user you added (and made a mental note of) and <username> is the username…. OK. You’ve got the idea. Oh. If your prompted for a password, give your admin password.
  4. Change the permissions of this file so that we can all access it (if you know what you’re doing here, set the permissions as you see fit). “sudo chmod 777 ./<username>”

Now we’re on the home stretch.

Give The User A Password

The next step is to give the newly created user a password. To do this, in Terminal:

  1. Type “sudo passwd <username>”. (So we’ll be typing “sudo passwd fred”).
  2. Type in the new password at the prompt.
  3. Retype it as prompted.


If you’re behind a router or firewall which does Network Address Translation (NAT), there’s one more thing. Passive FTP requires the machine offering the FTP service to return its IP address and a port on which it’ll be listening. If you’re on a NATed network, it’s likely that the FTP server is going to return its internal IP number rather than the external address you’d prefer it to give. To get around this:

Create the file /etc/ftpd.conf

Add the line “advertise all <host>” where <host> is either the host name or external IP address for the FTP server.


Restart the FTP server to ensure that all the caches are flushed and then see whether you can log-in via ftp as the new user. The easiest way of doing this is to turn FTP off and then on again in System Preferences -> Sharing.

Written by montanaflynn

January 29, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Mac OSX Server 10.4

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Darwin: Kernel and BSD

Mac OS X Server starts with Darwin, the same open source foundation used in Mac OS X, Apples operating system for desktop and mobile computers. Darwin is built around the Mach 3.0 microkernel, which provides features critical to server operations, such as fine-grained multi-threading, symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), protected memory, a unified buffer cache (UBC), 64-bit kernel services and system notifications. Darwin also includes the latest innovations from the open source BSD community, particularly the FreeBSD development community.

Next-Generation Computing Power

Mac OS X Server v10.4 brings the power of 64-bit computing to mainstream servers opening up opportunities to process exponentially larger problems. Now with 64-bit addressing, Mac OS X Server can access massive amounts of memory, transcending the 4GB memory limitation of 32-bit systems. Its high-performance 64-bit file system enables you to create very large, exabyte-sized volumes for enormous databases and media storage. And its 64-bit optimized math libraries enable extremely accurate mathematical calculations. While Mac OS X Server is the ideal platform for next-generation networking applications and services, it also runs todays 32-bit applications natively no modification required.

Advanced BSD Networking

To increase the performance and security of your server deployments, Mac OS X Server incorporates industry-standard protocols and the latest in security standards such as multilink multihoming, IPv6, IPSec, IP over FireWire and 802.1X network authentication. New in Mac OS X Server v10.4 is Ethernet link aggregation and network interface failover (IEEE 802.3ad) for higher aggregated throughput and increased server availability. And with Mac OS X Server on Xserve G5, you also get support for Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) tags and Ethernet Jumbo Frames. Using the time-tested BSD sockets and TCP/IP stack, these advanced networking features ensure compatibility and integration with IP-based networks.

Secure from the Start

Thanks to its UNIX foundation, Mac OS X Server contains robust security features in its core. To protect your server, your network and your organizations data, it also includes state-of-the-art technologies such as a built-in firewall with stateful packet analysis, strong encryption and authentication services, data security architectures and support for access control lists (ACLs) for fine-grained control of file system permissions. Simple interfaces and configuration tools allow you to set up systems easily and securely. In fact, when you take an Apple server out of the box, its already configured with the most secure settings.

Standards-Based Directory Services Architecture

Mac OS X Server features Open Directory, Apples directory and authentication services architecture. Open Directory allows you to integrate your server with any LDAP directory, leveraging the infrastructure you already have in place. It even integrates with proprietary services such as Microsofts Active Directory or Novell eDirectory. Also integrated is MITs Kerberos tcehnology, enabling single sign-on support in both Open Directory and Active Directory environments.

Optimized for Business-Critical Server Deployments

While Mac OS X Server has the same robust core as Mac OS X, it adds industrial-strength features required for server deployments. Designed for headless operation, Mac OS X Server enables you to install and configure services without connecting a monitor to the server. Powerful remote management tools allow you to securely manage services from anywhere on the network, and support for SSH2 provides secure access from the UNIX command line. To keep your systems up and running, Mac OS X Server has built-in tools for system monitoring, preventing accidental shutdown and recovering services quickly in case of network or power failure.

Written by montanaflynn

January 24, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Leopard, OSX, Servers, Software, Xserve

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