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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

I originally posted this at http://www.318.com/TechJournal

Leopard Server and wiki. It’s cool and it works. But when you’re first looking into it, it might seem a little confusing. So let’s do a simple walkthrough. Here we’re going to enable a wiki in advanced mode for a group called testgroup and we’re going to give a user called testadmin access to edit the wikis and create new ones. To get access to the wiki we’re going to assume a hostname of server.318.com.

First, let’s go into Workgroup Manager and create a new group called testgroup. To do this, open Workgroup Manager, authenticate to Open Directory and click on the New Group icon in the toolbar. Enter a name for the group (testgroup for this example) and check the box for “wiki and blog.” Select the website to publish the wiki to in the Enable the following services for this group on field. Choose who can view and who can write to the wiki and click on the Save button.

Now let’s create a user called testuser. In Workgroup Manager, click on the User list and click on New User. Now enter a name for the user and a password. Then use the Groups tab to put the user into the testgroup group. Now click on Save.

Now that we have a user and group to give access to the wiki let’s go ahead and create a wiki. To do this open Server Admin. If the Web Service has not been enabled yet, click on the server name, click on Settings in the toolbar and then click on the Services tab and place a check in the box for Web. Now click on the web icon and click on the Settings tab. Select a theme for your site and click on Save. Now click on the Sites icon in the toolbar and click on the site you’d like to publish your wiki on. From here click on the Web Services tab and put a checkmark in the Wiki and blog box. Now click on Save. Then Start the web service.

Now you should be able to open up a web browser and go to URL of the server. Remember, do this by host name and not IP. At this point, you’ll see the Groups tab along the top navbar. From here you can click on Groups and then click on the group you want to create the wiki for (testgroup for our test wiki). Now you’ll be asked for a username and password. Enter the testuser you created and the password that you gave to testuser. Now you can click on the + icon to create your first entry into the wiki. Let’s call it testpost.

That’s it. You’ve now created your first wiki article on your new wiki server. Notice that if you enabled calendars and blogs that there will be icons for these in the top nav bar. You can customize everything you see on the screen to give it a more organizational look and feel. For example if you click on the pencil icon you will be able to rename the blog and customize the prebuilt information listed in the Welcome to your Wiki page.

November 26th, 2007

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

Tags: , , , , ,

I originally posted this at http://www.318.com/TechJournal

So you selected Advanced Setup during the wizard while you were installing Mac OS X Server and now you’re looking at this new Server Admin screen that you’ve never seen before. You see the server name but there are no services in the list. This is because Apple has gone the extra step to make Server Admin less confusing and more user friendly than ever before. When you click on the Settings icon at the top of the Server Admin screen you will see the tab for Services. Here, you can enable or disable any service by checking its box and clicking on the Save button.

Once a service has been enabled then it will appear under the server in the Servers list (notice it no longer says Sites and Services). From here, you’ll notice that the old chicklets from the bottom screen are gone. Now they have been replaced with an icon set in the toolbar that changes as you click between the services. For example, the AFP Service shows Overview, Logs, Graphs, Connections and Settings. Clicking through these icons, you’ll notice that they provide the same experience that the chicklets at the bottom of the screen provided. However, by placing them at the top the user interface makes more sense. One thing that is a bit strange is the decision to move the Start and Stop buttons to the bottom of the screen. When you enable a service it will not start by default so if you want to begin using it look to the bottom of the list and click on the Start button for the service.

When you enable and then click on each service you will notice that many have the same options that they’ve had in the past. There are exceptions (like a more granular logging tab for the FTP service), as there are with every version. But for the most part many of the settings have stayed the same through a few versions of the OS because they just make sense in how they are laid out.

New Services added are Radius, Podcast Producer, MySQL (which actually existed in its own stand-alone application before) and iCal. Each of these has a great purpose and will hopefully be explored in detail as time goes on. You might notice that one service, Applications, is gone from the list. Tomcat has now been moved into the Web Service as a checkbox (Enable Tomcat).

So that’s the quick and dirty tour of the new Server Admin application. It’s sleeker and has a (in our opinion) much improved interface over the old Server Admin.

November 16th, 2007

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

Tags: , , , , , ,

I originally posted this at http://www.318.com/TechJournal

If you’re migrating to Leopard and Leopard Server then you’ve likely noticed the welcome addition of a new program in /Applications/Utilities called Directory. Directory allows users bound into an Open Directory environment to update LDAP records provided they have access to do so. Using LDAP ACLs it’s possible to give users access to update their own directory information using an LDAP directory browser such as Directory.

When you open Directory you should see a listing of all of the directory information that has been created. From here you can create Shared Contacts, Groups, Locations and Resources. Each of these can be connected to a calendar. Groups can have multiple members and get a Mailing List, Calendar or Blog connected to them.

Resource types include Automobiles, Conference Phones, Copiers, Digital Cameras, Notebooks, Printers, Projection Screens, Projectors, Scanners and Video Cameras. Resources can be reserved in an iCal Server Calendar and can have a delegate. Delegates are users that are able to manage particular resources.

The fact that there are a lot of objects in the LDAP database that can be managed means that it’s important to have a tool for configuring who can manage them. Workgroup Manager has basic permissioning built it but it isn’t as granular as a lot of organizations will need. To get more granular it might be required to dip into the command line and configure LDAP using the configuration files. To get started with this, see the article from a couple of days ago about LDAP ACLs.

October 27th, 2007

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

Tags: , , , , ,