Server Admin Tools 10.6

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When I installed Snow Leopard on my MacBook the first thing I noticed was that my Server Admin Tools were missing (I keep them as a Stack in my Dock). I quickly searched the Apple site for a download to the new 10.6 Tools but was unable to find the proper download. I keep getting links to the 10.5 Tools which don’t work on Snow Leopard or with Snow Leopard Server.

Fortunately today Morgan was able to dig up the correct link. With Server Admin Tools 10.6 you can administer both OS X Leopard Server 10.5 and OS X Snow Leopard Server 10.6!

Server Preferences and Server Status widget
The Server Preferences application and Server Status widget are for remote administration and monitoring of your server and key services including file sharing, address books, calendaring, instant messaging, mail, web, and virtual private networking.

Server Admin
The Server Admin application is for remote administration of one or more servers. It can be used to install and setup Mac OS X Server on a remote computer, manage file share points, configure service settings, monitor server activity, and provide detailed logging information for each of the running services.

Server Monitor
Server Monitor is for the remote monitoring and management of one or more Xserve systems.

Workgroup Manager
Use Workgroup Manager to remotely manage users, groups, and computer accounts in advanced server deployments. Workgroup Manager is also used to set and manage preferences for Mac OS X users.

Podcast Composer
Podcast Composer provides a visual step-by-step approach to easily build powerful workflows for Podcast Producer.

System Image Utility
The System Image Utility application is for the creation and customization of NetBoot, NetInstall, and NetRestore images.

Xgrid Admin
The Xgrid Admin application allows administrators to remotely manage clusters and monitor the activity of controllers, agents, and the status of jobs on the grid.

QuickTime Broadcaster
Use QuickTime Broadcaster along with QuickTime Streaming Server to produce professional-quality live events. The QuickTime Broadcaster application can be used to capture live audio and video streams and transmit them to QuickTime Streaming Server for redistribution.

Download Server Admin Tools 10.6.

SSH To Your Server From Your iPhone/iPod touch

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There’s a neat application on the iPhone App Store called TouchTerm which allows you to SSH in to your servers while on the go! I’ve personally found that this application has come in handy multiple times when a client needs a quick edit on one of their websites or if there’s a configuration error that needs a quick fix. I’ve also found it handy when the MySQL service or any of the services for that matter needs to be restarted. For 99 cents you really can’t go wrong!

The normal version of the application allows you to create server profiles so you can just tap them to connect rather then needing to input connection details every time you wish to connect to a server. I find this to be a really great time-saving feature. A new recent and much appreciated feature is the ability to use the application in landscape mode. This allows for the keyboard to be a bit bigger over the portrait mode.

The application support VT100 Terminal Emulation so that means you can run anything from top, to screen – really any console application!

There is a Pro version of this application includes all the same features as the normal version but also includes:

  • Extensive Configurability: Customize almost any aspect of the TT Pro interface, and manage configuration profiles to provide different settings for different servers.
  • Configuration Import/Export (Version 1.1): Import and export configuration settings, saved configurations, and keypads. This makes it easy to install “add-ons”, backup configuration data, share / download TT Pro ideas with the user community, and manually setup complicated or repetitive configurations using a text editor.
  • Command Library: You can “re-program” the interface functionality to suit your needs by referring to actions you do frequently. Nearly every user-accessible action is available in TT Pro as a custom command. This includes sending characters or commands to the remote host, changing font size and color, launching interface elements, and sending e-mails. Over 50 commands in all! These commands (individually, or in sequence) can easily be associated with gestures, custom keypads, and even application events. This provides you with complete control over the TT Pro interface!
  • Gesture Engine: TT Pro currently supports 94 different touch gestures, with more on the way. Each gesture can be customized to perform any of the available interface actions using the command library. Gesture Feedback also gives you instant, graphical feedback when a gesture is recognized, and “Practice Mode” allows you to quickly acclimate to the Gesture Engine. Finally, all aspects of the Gesture Engine are configurable. So you can now tailor settings for things like double-tap speed, swipe straightness, corner size, etc., in the way that is most comfortable for your usage in a particular context.
  • Copy and Paste: Easily place and adjust selection markers by dragging them within the terminal view. Popup zoom windows around the cursor make character-by-character adjustments easy, even when using a tiny font.
  • Auto-Completion: TT Pro includes the ability to index and remember everything you have typed or seen as output, and provide a popup list of available completions. Auto-Completion can be configured to launch whenever completions are available, or only when explicitly requested.
  • Graphical Filesystem Navigation: Never type “cd” on your iPhone again! FS Navigation Mode presents a graphical, table-based interface for quickly navigating directories with a single tap.
  • E-mail Integration: Mail the contents of the clipboard, the current terminal screen, or even the entire buffered contents.
  • Custom Keypads: Create and use any number of custom keypads. These keypads can be overlaid on the terminal view and used in conjunction with, or instead of, the standard iPhone keyboard. You have complete control over all the labels and actions associated with these keypads.
  • Integrated Help: TT Pro is a complex program, with powerful configuration tools and hundreds of ways to customize the interface just for your needs. To assist you along the way, integrated help is available through all stages of the customization process. Our online (iPhone-accessible!) guides and tutorials also help you quickly become familiarized with TT Pro.
  • Advanced Features: TT Pro includes several advanced features and options, such as control over SSH compression and encryption settings, and the ability to import private DSA/RSA authentication keys.

I haven’t got the Pro version myself, but I am thinking about getting it just for the ability to use the private DSA/RSA keys, and the graphical filesystem navigation abilities.

Check out the TouchTerm home page here and check out the normal and Pro versions of the applications on iTunes!

Leopard Server 10.5.8 Duplicate Serial Number Errors

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There were reports of Server Admin complaining of invalid serial numbers after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5.8 Server, most of which were from servers with multiple different physical ethernet ports with IP addresses on the same subnet. A few people were reporting that this was happening to them with ports on different subnets and even when using Link Aggregation, but it sounded like heeding Apple’s note that multiple physical network interfaces on the same subnet may cause routing issues solved the issue for most.

Well, Apple has since released Mac OS X Leopard Server 10.5.8 v1.1 and Network Registration Update 1.0 (for Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server 10.6) which resolve the issue, so there was definitely a bug there. I’ll put together a separate post regarding multiple physical network interfaces on the same subnet.

[Via AFP548]

Installing ‘unrar’ on Mac OS X Server

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I’ve been having a lot of trouble unraring several larger (5+GB) files with TheUnarchiver and RARExpander GUI applications so I generally always just moved the rar’d files over to my Linux machine and run unrar on there and then move it back over, obviously one step to many!

Fortunately you can easily install the unrar application on your server or even just normal OS X client. Visit the RARLab website and go into their downloads section. There is one download which is Command Line Only and made for Mac OS X. Download that and then uncompress it. You should have a new folder called ‘rar’. While in command line navigate into that folder and run:

sudo install -c -o yourusername unrar /bin

This will install the binaries needed into the correct places. Now since my normal everyday account isn’t an account with administrator privileges I first had switch to one that was and then ran that command. Once completed (the install should take a few seconds if that) you can test it out by running:


If you’re shown a list of options then it worked!

I’m not really sure as to why GUI applications have trouble unraring large sized files, but unrar seems to be able to handle them just fine!

Restore a Subversion Dump

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Here’s a quick and easy way to restore a Subversion backup you may have made. Quickly, this is how you make the dump:

sudo svnadmin dump /path/to/reponame > /tmp/reponame.dump

if you want to restore that backup, type in:

sudo svnadmin load /path/to/reponame < /tmp/repo1.dump

SuperDuper! 2.6 Released

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Shirt Pocket has released version 2.6 of SuperDuper!, probably the most robust and simplest Mac application for creating bootable backups, bringing full Snow Leopard support to the table. Additional new features include:

  • Backup on connect
  • Eject after copy
  • Sparse bundle support

I’ve personally been waiting for “backup on connect” & “eject after copy” for a while. If you’re going to try Snow Leopard Server anytime soon, I highly suggest using SuperDuper! to create a fully bootable backup of your Leopard Server installation before doing so.

Installing Trac in Mac OS X Leopard Server

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Recently I’ve decided to dedicate one of my Mac OS X Server boxes to be a Subversion server. Now Subversion itself is great and there’s already a few GUI applications for OS X ( and Coda for example) that can help you view your Subversion repository quite easily. But what if you don’t have a wonderful application like Versions or Coda, or you’re on Windows or Linux for that matter?

Trac is an excellent answer and solution to that question. Trac is a web based front-end to subversion and much more (I only use it for viewing and comparing code changes visually). Straight from the Trac website:

Trac is an enhanced wiki and issue tracking system for software development projects. Trac uses a minimalistic approach to web-based software project management. Our mission is to help developers write great software while staying out of the way. Trac should impose as little as possible on a team’s established development process and policies.

It provides an interface to Subversion (or other version control systems), an integrated Wiki and convenient reporting facilities. Trac allows wiki markup in issue descriptions and commit messages, creating links and seamless references between bugs, tasks, changesets, files and wiki pages. A timeline shows all current and past project events in order, making the acquisition of an overview of the project and tracking progress very easy. The roadmap shows the road ahead, listing the upcoming milestones.

So how about getting it installed in OS X? It’s really really simple!

First, check to see which version of Python you have installed. You can do this by:

python --version

You should be okay, but just make sure you have at least version 2.3. I had version 2.5 which most people will have.

Next, download a copy of setuptools. You can visit this page:

and snag ‘setuptools-0.6c9-py2.5.egg’. Although depending on which version of Python you get, make sure you get the right setuptool installer. Now, mine downloaded as, I just removed the ‘.sh’ bit so it was just ‘setuptools-0.6c9-py2.5.egg’. Now, run this script as you would a shell script:

sudo sh ./setuptools-0.6c9-py2.5.egg

This will install a really fantastic thing called ‘easy_install’. Now, to actually install Trac, type in:

sudo easy_install Trac

BAM! You’re pretty much done if no error messages come up. A really good thing to see is installed tracd to /usr/local/bin/. Make sure you run the command with sudo since it’ll be install some pieces into areas normally restricted to non-admin accounts.

Once completed you can make yourself a Trac environment by typing in:

sudo trac_admin /path/to/trac/project initenv
ex. sudo trac_admin /usr/local/trac/myproject initenv

This will add a new Trac project to your server. To start up the Trac server use:

sudo tracd -p 81 /usr/local/trac/myproject

You can now open a web browser and browse to and you should see your project listed!

Now let me breakdown that command to startup tracd. ‘tracd’ is the server binary, so you obviously need that, the -p 81 means it’ll run on port 81, I chose 81 since my webserver is using port 80 already and then I give the path to the project I want hosted. Do note, you can list multiple project paths, I have about 7-8 listed in my startup command.

By default tracd will only listen on your local loopback IP address ( which is nice if you only need to access it locally but I am 2000 miles from my server so I need to access it externally. This can easily be accomplished by using the ‘–hostname=’ parameter.

This should pretty much cover a basic Trac install on OS X Server. Beyond this, you can create a LaunchDaemon for tracd so that it starts when your server starts and something very important is authentication and permissions. I haven’t gone into detail on either of those items in this article, but if anyone is interested, I’d be more then willing to share that information! I highly recommend checking out the Trac website as well!

mailbfr 1.0.6 Released

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I’m surprised that Mac OS X 10.3 Panther support lasted this long in’s mailbfr (Mail Backup/Fix/Restore) utility, but version 1.0.6 is now out and will be the last to support it. Changes include:

  • Minor bug fix and clean up
  • This is the last release supporting Mac OS X Server 10.3 Panther

Also of interest: version 1.1 will be the first to support Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, so keep your eyes open for that.

[Via Topicdesk Newsletters]

Apple Remote Desktop 3.3 & 3.3.1 Client Released

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I missed that Apple Remote Desktop had been updated to admin version 3.3 and client version 3.3.1 last Thursday, August 20th. Changes for this version include:

  • Improves support for accessing client computers and task servers behind NAT (Network Address Translation) routers.
  • Includes Task Server and Directory Server scanners, for finding client computers known by your task server and clients in computer groups on a directory server.
  • New “Reporting” tab in client computer Info window, to set a single reporting policy for the client computer, shared by all Remote Desktop administrator computers.
  • New “Administrators” tab in client computer Info window, to display and control which admin computers and task servers are associated with each client computer.
  • Client settings configurable by Managed Preferences in Workgroup Manager.
  • Support for finding and adding client computers via wide-area Bonjour.
  • Resolves an issue using Lock Screen or Curtain mode on a client computer that’s at the login window.
  • Improves stability when running Remote Desktop Admin on a Task Server.
  • Resolves an issue that could cause build_hd_index files to become very large.
  • Improves compatibility with the Application Firewall.
  • Change Client Settings task now works when the Remote Desktop administrator has an Active Directory account.
  • Improves client stability when Sharing Screen.
  • Scheduled UNIX Commands stay scheduled.
  • When controlling a remote client, function keys and key combinations for actions such as Force Quit, Log Out, and the Application Switcher are now all sent to the remote computer.
  • Improves screen sharing performance with RealVNC.
  • Improves performance of encrypted file copies.
  • Improves performance of encrypted screen sharing connections

I’ll be rolling the update out shortly and am looking forward to the compatibility improvements with regard to the firewall as I’m constantly plagued by issues in that area. Let us know how the update has worked out for you.

Snow Leopard Server Arriving Friday

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It’s official, Apple has announced that Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Snow Leopard Server will be available this Friday, August 28th. Pricing on Unlimited-Client is now $499 and 10-Client appears to have gone the way of the Dodo.

Now that the ship-date has been set, you won’t be able to get it free with a new enrollment to the Apple Maintenance Program for Mac OS X Server, as mentioned regarding pre-ordering, but if you already have an AMP enrollment then you should get the upgrade shipped to you. Of course, if you purchased a qualifying Xserve on or after June 8th then you can get it for $9.95 via the Up-to-Date Program.