Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

Installing OS X has never been easier than it got in Yosemite, when the installers were moved to the App Store. And since then it’s just gotten easier, and easier. In this article, we’ll upgrade a Mac from OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) to macOS Sierra (10.12), the latest and greatest. The first thing you should do is clone your system (especially if you’re upgrading a server). The second thing you should do is make sure you have a good backup. The third thing you should do is make sure you can swap back to the clone should you need to do so and that your data will remain functional on the backup. The fourth thing you should do is test that clone again…

Once you’re sure that you have a fallback plan, let’s get started by downloading “Install macOS Sierra” from the App Store. Once downloaded, you’ll see Install macOS Sierra sitting in LaunchPad, as well as in the /Applications folder.


Open the app and click Continue (provided of course that you are ready to restart the computer and install Sierra).


At the licensing agreement, click Agree (or don’t and there will be no Sierra for you).


At the pop-up click Agree again, unless you’ve changed your mind about the license agreement in the past couple of seconds (I’m sure it happens).


At the Install screen, click Install and the computer will reboot.


And you’re done. Now for the fun stuff!

September 28th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment

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The first thing you’ll want to do on any server is get all software updates installed on the server (done using the App Store app). Then setup the networking for the computer so you’re not changing IP addresses and stuff like that, once the server is installed. To do so, open System Preferences (aka the Settings app, some day) and click on the Network System Preference pane. You will almost always want to use a wired Ethernet connection on a server, but in this case we’ll be using Wi-Fi. Here, click on the Wi-Fi interface and then click on the Advanced… button.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 10.03.11 PM

At the setup screen for the interface, provide a good static IP address. Your network administrator can provide this fairly easily. Here, make sure you have an IP address and a subnet mask. Since we need to install the Server app from the Mac App Store, and that’s on the Internet, you’ll also need to include a gateway, which provides access to the Internet and using the DNS tab, the name servers for your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 10.05.40 PM

Once you have provided a static IP address, verify that you can route to the Internet (e.g. open Safari and visit a website). Provided you can, the first step to installing OS X Server is to download the Server app from the Mac App Store. Open the App Store app and search for Server. In the available apps, you’ll see the Server app from Apple. Here, click on Buy and/or Get (if you already own the Server app) and then let the app download. That was pretty easy, right. Well, the fun has just gotten started. Next, open the app.

When you first open the Server app, you’ll see the OS X Server screen. Here, you can click on the following options:

  • This Mac: Installs the server on the Mac you’re using.
  • Other Mac: Shows a list of Macs with the Server app that can be remotely configured. Choosing another system does not complete the setup process on the system you’re working on at the moment.
  • Cancel: Stops the Server app setup assistant and closes the Server App.
  • Continue: Continues installing the Server app on the computer you are using.
  • Help: Brings up the OS X Server manual.


Click Continue to setup OS X Server on the machine you’re currently using. You’ll then be prompted for the licensing agreement from Apple. Here, check the box to “Use Apple services to determine this server’s Internet reachability” and click on Agree (assuming of course that you agree to Apple’s terms in the license agreement).


Installing OS X Server must be done with elevated privileges. At the prompt, enter the credentials for an account with administrative access and click on the Allow button.


The services are then configured as needed and the command line tools are made accessible. This can take some time, so be patient.


When the app is finished with the automation portion of the configuration, you will be placed into the Server app for the first time. Your first order of business is to make sure that the host names are good on the computer. Here, first check the Host Name. If the name doesn’t resolve properly (forward and reverse) then you will likely have problems with the server at some point. Therefore, go ahead and click on Edit Host Name… Here, enter the fully qualified address that the server should have. In the DNS article, we’ll look at configuring a good DNS server, but for now, keep in mind that you’ll want your DNS record that points to the server to match what you enter here. And users will use this address to access your server, so use something that is easy to communicate verbally, when needed.


At the Change Host Name screen, click Next. At the “Accessing your Server” screen, click on Internet and then click on the Next button.


At the “Connecting to your Server” screen, provide the Computer Name and the Host Name. The Computer Name is what you will see when you connect to the server over Bonjour and what will be listed in the Sharing System Preference pane. The Host Name is the fully qualified host name (fqdn) of the computer. I usually like to take the computer name and put it in front of the domain name. For example, in the following screen, I have osxserver as the name of the computer and as the host name.


Once you have entered the names, click on the Finish button. You are then prompted to Change Host Name. Click on Change Host Name at this screen.

Next, let’s open Terminal and run changeip with the -checkhostname option, to verify that the IP and hostname match:

sudo changeip -checkhostname

Provided that the IP address and hostname match, you’ll see the following response.

sudirserv:success = “success”

If the IP address and hostname do not match, then you might want to consider enabling the DNS server and configuring a record for the server. But at this point, you’ve finished setting up the initial server and are ready to start configuring whatever options you will need on the server.

September 26th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

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Thanks to Mr. Worley for dropping this into HipChat on Friday! <3

March 13th, 2016

Posted In: personal

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Installing MySQL on Linux is pretty easy. You can use yum (or your favorite package manager for most installs. Here, we’ll pull a list of packages from yum using repolist:

yum repolist enabled | grep "mysql.*-community.*"

You’ll then get a list of community edition MySQL packages that are available. Then let’s say you’re installing on RHEL 6, we’ll pull a string from the repolist of an appropriate package and then do a localinstall of it:

sudo yum localinstall mysql57-community-release-el6-157.noarch.rpm

We could also grab mysql and all the other stuffs we want to have with it:

yum install mysql mysql-server mysql-libs mysql-server

And then start it up:

service mysql start

March 3rd, 2016

Posted In: SQL

Tags: , ,

OS X might be the easiest platform to install MySQL on. To do so, simply download the MySQL installation package from the MySQL Download site. I like to use the third link (the DMG).

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Once downloaded, run the package. The package will ask you a few questions and you can easily just select the default choice during the installation process.

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Once installed, you’ll be prompted that a temporary password has been used for your MySQL instance.

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The password will get you in the first time, so you can change it. Once you have documented the password, open System Preferences and click on MySQL in the bottom row of System Preference Panes.

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Click Start MySQL Server and then when prompted, authenticate to the system. If you’d like to do this programmatically and don’t need the System Preference pane, you can do so with homebrew. If you have homebrew installed, simply run the brew command with the install verb and mysql as the package:

brew install mysql

Whichever way you install SQL, once installed, you’ll want to set the root password to something other than the intuitionally difficult to remember password provided at install time. To do so, first connect to the mysql instance now running on your computer. As the tools are installed in /usr/local/mysql/bin, run the following:

/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql -u root

Then, set the password using the ALTER statement along with the USER option and then the username followed by IDENTIFIED BY and ultimately the password, as follows:

ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'mysupersecretpassword';

Once done, you’ll then be able to connect to mysql normally.

February 18th, 2016

Posted In: SQL

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Xcode and other tools can be used to view logs on iOS devices. One of those other tools is libimobiledevice. I usually install libimobiledevice using homebrew, as there are a few dependencies that can be a little annoying. To install homebrew if you haven’t already, run the following command:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Once run, follow the prompts to complete the installation. Once homebrew is installed, run the following brew command to download the required components and then libimobiledevice:

brew install -v --devel --fresh automake autoconf libtool wget libimobiledevice

Then run ideviceinstaller:

brew install -v --HEAD --fresh --build-from-source ideviceinstaller

Once these are installed, you can plug in a paired device, unlock it and use the following command to view the logs on the screen:


This is akin to running a tail against the device. Again, the device must be paired. You can use the command line (e.g. if you’re running this on Linux) to view the logs, but if you’re not paired you’ll need to use idevicepair to pair your device, followed by the pair verb (which is very different from the pear verb):

idevicepair pair

You can also unpair using the unpair verb:

idevicepair unpair

When pairing and unpairing, you should see the appropriate entries in /var/db/lockdown. The final option I’m going to cover in this article is the date (very useful when scripting unit tests using this suite. To obtain this, use the idevicedate command, no operators or verbs required:


November 14th, 2014

Posted In: iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, MobileMe, Network Infrastructure

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Installing OS X has never been easier than in Yosemite. In this article, we’ll look at upgrading a Mac from OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) to OS X 10.10 (Yosemite). The first thing you should do is clone your system. The second thing you should do is make sure you have a good backup. The third thing you should do is make sure you can swap back to the clone should you need to do so and that your data will remain functional on the backup. Once you’re sure that you have a fallback plan, let’s get started by downloading OS X Yosemite from the App Store. Once downloaded, you’ll see Install OS X Yosemite sitting in LaunchPad, as well as in the /Applications folder.

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 5.09.18 PM

Open the app and click Continue (provided of course that you are ready to restart the computer and install OS X Yosemite).


At the licensing agreement, click Agree (or don’t and there will be no Mavericks for you).


At the pop-up click Agree again, unless you’ve changed your mind about the license agreement in the past couple of seconds.


At the Install screen, click Install and the computer will reboot.


And you’re done. Now for the fun stuff!


November 5th, 2014

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mass Deployment

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Out of the box a Windows Server 2012 isn’t really that helpful. But luckily, it has these things called Roles. Roles are things like Hyper-V, File Sharing, Windows Update Services, Web Server, etc. Each role then has a collection of services that it can run as well, within the Role. Roles include (borrowing from Microsoft here):

  • Active Directory Certificate Services Overview
    This content provides an overview of Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) in Windows Server 2012. AD CS is the server role that allows you to build a public key infrastructure (PKI) and provide public key cryptography, digital certificates, and digital signature capabilities for your organization.
  • Active Directory Domain Services Overview
    By using the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) server role, you can create a scalable, secure, and manageable infrastructure for user and resource management, and provide support for directory-enabled applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server.
  • Active Directory Federation Services Overview
    This topic provides an overview of Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) in Windows Server 2012.
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Overview
    Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) is a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory service that provides flexible support for directory-enabled applications, without the dependencies and domain-related restrictions of AD DS.
  • Active Directory Rights Management Services Overview
    This document provides an overview of Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) in Windows Server 2012. AD RMS is the server role that provides you with management and development tools that work with industry security technologies—including encryption, certificates, and authentication—to help organizations create reliable information protection solutions.
  • Application Server Overview
    Application Server provides an integrated environment for deploying and running custom, server-based business applications.
  • Failover Clustering Overview
    This topic describes the Failover Clustering feature and provides links to additional guidance about creating, configuring, and managing failover clusters on up to 4,000 virtual machines or up to 64 physical nodes.
  • File and Storage Services Overview
    This topic discusses the File and Storage Services server role in Windows Server 2012, including what’s new, a list of role services, and where to find evaluation and deployment information.
  • Group Policy Overview
    This topic describes the Group Policy feature in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. Use this topic to find the documentation resources and other technical information you need to accomplish key Group Policy tasks, new or updated functionality in this version compared to previous versions of Group Policy, and ways to automate common Group Policy tasks using Windows PowerShell.
  • Hyper-V Overview
    This topic describes the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2012—practical uses for the role, the most significant new or updated functionality in this version compared to previous versions of Hyper-V, hardware requirements, and a list of operating systems (known as guest operating systems) supported for use in a Hyper-V virtual machine.
  • Networking Overview
    This section contains detailed information about networking products and features for the IT professional to design, deploy, and maintain Windows Server 2012.
  • Network Load Balancing Overview
    By managing two or more servers as a single virtual cluster, Network Load Balancing (NLB) enhances the availability and scalability of Internet server applications such as those used on web, FTP, firewall, proxy, virtual private network (VPN), and other mission-critical servers. This topic describes the NLB feature and provides links to additional guidance about creating, configuring, and managing NLB clusters.
  • Network Policy and Access Services Overview
    This topic provides an overview of Network Policy and Access Services in Windows Server 2012, including the specific role services of Network Policy Server (NPS), Health Registration Authority (HRA), and Host Credential Authorization Protocol (HCAP). Use the Network Policy and Access Services server role to deploy and configure Network Access Protection (NAP), secure wired and wireless access points, and RADIUS servers and proxies.
  • Print and Document Services Overview
    This is an overview of Print and Document Services, including Print Server, Distributed Scan Server, and Fax Server in Windows Server 2012.
  • Remote Desktop Services Overview
    Remote Desktop Services accelerates and extends desktop and application deployments to any device, improving remote worker efficiency, while helping to keep critical intellectual property secure and simplify regulatory compliance. Remote Desktop Services enables both a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and session-based desktops, allowing users to work anywhere.
  • Security and Protection Overview
    The table on this page provides links to available information for the IT pro about security technologies and features for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.
  • Telemetry Overview
    Find out about Windows Feedback Forwarder—a service that enables you to automatically send feedback to Microsoft by deploying a Group Policy setting to one or more organizational units. Windows Feedback Forwarder is available on all editions of Windows Server 2012.
  • Volume Activation Overview
    This technical overview for the IT pro describes the volume activation technologies in Windows Server 2012 and how your organization can benefit from using these technologies to deploy and manage volume licenses for a medium to large number of computers.
  • Web Server (IIS) Overview
    This document introduces the Web Server (IIS) role of Windows Server 2012, describes new IIS 8 features, and links to additional Microsoft and community information about IIS.
  • Windows Deployment Services Overview
    Windows Deployment Services enables you to deploy Windows operating systems over the network, which means that you do not have to install each operating system directly from a CD or DVD.
  • Windows Server Backup Feature Overview
    This section provides an overview of the Windows Server Backup feature and lists the new features in Windows Server 2012.
  • Windows Server Update Services Overview
    Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) enables information technology administrators to deploy the latest Microsoft product updates. By using WSUS, administrators can fully manage the distribution of updates that are released through Microsoft Update to computers in their network. In Windows Server 2012, this feature is integrated with the operating system as a server role. This topic provides an overview of this server role and more information about how to deploy and maintain WSUS.
  • Windows System Resource Manager Overview
    With Windows System Resource Manager for the Windows Server 2012 operating system, you can manage server processor and memory usage with standard or custom resource policies. Managing your resources can help ensure that all the services provided by a single server are available on an equal basis or that your resources will always be available to high-priority applications, services, or users.

To add a Role is a pretty straight forward process. To get started, open Server Manager and click on the Dashboard. From the Dashboard, click on the Manage menu and click on Add Roles and Features.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.17.44 PM

At the Add Roles and Features Wizard click on Next at the Before You Begin Screen.

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At the Installation Type screen, click on Role-based or Feature-based Installation, unless you are installing Remote Desktop Services (formerly called Terminal Services), then click on that radio button instead.

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At the Server Selection screen, click on the server you’d like to install the role on and then click on Next.

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At the Add Roles or Features screen, choose the role you’d like to install.

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If there are any requirements to use the service, you’ll then be notified that those requirements exist. I usually leave the Include management tools (if applicable) box checked the first time I install a role and click on Add Features.

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If any issues are encountered, you’ll then be alerted that there was a problem. If you’d like to correct the issue, click cancel, correct the issue and then rerun the tool. Or if you’d like to proceed anyway, click Continue.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.27.07 PM

Back at the Server Roles screen, the box will then be checked. Click on Next. At the Features screen, you can add a feature, although in this case we won’t be doing so. Then, click Next.

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At the screen for the role you just selected, read the information, then click Next.

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At the Confirmation screen, click Install. Optionally, you can also choose whether to reboot the server when the service is finished installing.

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Once installed, click Close. Also, at this screen, you can export the configuration settings for the service for future use.

That’s it. You’ve now installed DNS services in Windows Server (or whatever service you are setting up). The services still need to be configured, but the initial install should now be complete!

June 6th, 2013

Posted In: Windows Server

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Mountain Lion Server is now available on the OS X App Store and as with the last few updates there are some things missing that you might be expecting and depending on. First up, three major services are gone: Podcast Producer, RADIUS and dhcp. You can still do dhcp as you always did with OS X client as those features work on OS X Server, but the more granular controls available in OS X Server are now gone. The biggest impact of dhcp is probably in testing NetBoot services when there are network issues and you need to prove to network admins that it’s the network and not your server…

I had written an article before about FTP still being in OS X Server from the command line, but now it’s back in the GUI, which should make many an administrator happy. NAT is also gone from the GUI, but natd and natutil are still available from the command line. Might as well just use the Sharing System Preference pane for such things though… Server Admin is now gone (long live Server Admin!) and Workgroup Manager is now a download to be performed and installed following installation. Support for Managed Preferences is gone, even though most manifests technically still work.

Many services also got some pretty nice updates. These include:

  • Calendar – There are a few updates on the client side, but not on the server side. Most notably, the option to publish calendars is now gone. If you used that, it’s time to get used to manually exporting, copying to a share and then distributing links. This is going to likely cause more use of the Calendar server itself, to some degree. Also, it’s not iCal or iCal Server, it’s now Calendar and Calendar server. Seems to me that this isn’t obviously an Apple-centric naming structure as with most other things they do, but sometimes you’re gonna’ have that…
  • Contacts – Nope, it’s not called Address Book server, it’s the Contacts service. Same with the client side application.
  • DNS – DNS management is moved into the Server application. You can also now restrict who you do lookups for in the GUI. Under the hood very little changes.
  • File Sharing – Nothing really changes with file sharing, except the wiki integration described in the Wiki section in a little bit.
  • Firewall – The firewall option is gone, as is the ipfilter at the command line, but pf is easy to configure from the command line.
  • FTP – It’s a quick and easy single share solution from the GUI. Using the sharing command there’s still tons available to administrators.
  • Mail – Authentication mechanisms and domains are in the GUI, but very little changes otherwise.
  • Messages – The service name has changed from iChat to Messages in the GUI but is still jabber from the command line. The big change with this service is that the client side is now able to leverage iCloud to instant message mobile devices as well. Therefore, the text messaging component is client-side and has no impact on the jabber service itself.
  • NetInstall – The “NetInstall” service is NetBoot. It can host NetRestore or NetInstall images, but the heavy lifting for that stuff is done in System Image Utility. And the output of the SIU commands are now more scriptable through the automator command line interface. The NetInstall screen is now in Server app and is a good port from Server Admin in that it’s similar in look and feel to the NetBoot screen in Server Admin. A feature that isn’t in the GUI is diskless NetBoot, which is fine because I documented how to do it when I realized it would be an issue for a few customers.
  • Open Directory – Given that Server Admin is gone, something had to happen with Open Directory. The Open Directory screens have been moved to Server app where it’s fast to setup and tear down Open Directory. Open Directory based Users and Groups are also created through the Server App, although Workgroup Manager can be downloaded and used still. Immediately following upgrades, the add and remove users buttons are gone for previously stand-alone hosts. Also the Manage Network Accounts option is now gone from Server app, replaced with the traditional ON button supplied by Apple for other services.
  • Profile Manager – This deserves its own post, which is in the queue, but suffice it to say that while you can’t tell when looking in Server app, there are a number of upgrades to Profile Manager.
  • Software Update – Management of the service is moved from Server Admin to Server app. There are now fewer options in the GUI, but the same in the command line. Cascading is a little different.
  • Time Machine – Time Machine server is the same… The versions option from the Time Machine Server preference pane is gone and the layout is a little changed, but the server component is identical in functionality as well as look and feel.
  • VPN – Unless you add another supported VPN protocol there’s not much to do after fixing most issues in 10.7.4. Except fixing the last issue with search bases, seemingly resolved as it’s working for me pretty well.
  • Websites – There are more options in the GUI for new sites. The default site appears twice (once for 80 and once for 443), but there are more options, such as the Web App functionality that comes with a default Python “Hello World” app. Also the server is still called web from the serveradmin command line, but is now called Websites through the GUI.
  • Wiki – The wiki has themes again, although they’re just color schemes. And you can create your own custom banners and upload, which brings back two of the most common feature requests from people that hack the look and feel of the wiki in versions previous to Lion. But the most substantial aspect of the Wiki to change to me is the document management options, available to users in WebDAV or through the portal. This allows for a very mobile-friendly file management tool. Blogs and wikis for the most part stay the same and have a very clean upgrade process from Lion. The command line tools also feature some new options for indexing, etc., which many will find helpful.
  • Xsan – cvadmin, cvlabel, cvversions, etc are now stored in /System/Library/Filesystems/acfs.fs/Contents/bin/ and Xsan has its own entry in the Server app. Despite hearing people question its future, I’ve never seen as many questions flying around about how to do things with Xsan than I do now. Storage sales are up, monkey chatter on the web is up, deployments are being booked and Xsan looks here to stay. The Server app only really shows you a status of things, but the Xsan Admin app is now embedded in the Server app and available through the Server app Tools directory.

Configuring Websites in Server app

The Alerts options are much more robust in Mountain Lion than they were previously. You  can now get alerts on a myriad of things, incuding certs, disks, space, storage quotas, virus detection, network changes and software updates.

Configuring Alerts in Mountain Lion Server

The Server commands also moved and in fact the whole file and folder structure mostly fit nicely inside of the Server app. There are certain things that haven’t been dealt with in this regard such as NetBoot’s library, but for the most part Apple is getting Server to the point where it’s very self-contained. The ramification of which is that upgrades for future releases (and from Lion to Mountain Lion for that matter) are much simpler. Simply downloading a new version informs administrators that the app has been replaced and is good to go, service data in tact. In real world, this has been a little hit or miss but should prove to make our lives much easier in the future.

Reducing scope, aligning with better development practices and all the work to merge all of the remaining services into Server app are huge undertakings. I would fully expect no further support or updates to Workgroup Manager, no more testing of managed preferences in deference to profiles and a few other culture shifts that still need to shake themselves out. Most of us are going to seem underwhelmed (if that’s a word, no it’s not ’cause I looked it up -> awesome video below –> ’cause affection has 2 fs, especially when you’re dealin’ with me). But here’s the thing, with an incremental update, you’re not going to get massive changes. Instead we will get slow and steady updates hopefully continuing to build faster towards a better end goal. What’s important is that the foundation is actually better now, given changes to other parts of OS X and so Server is likely now better positioned than ever for great new features in subsequent releases.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that Xgrid is gone. I guess no one really noticed anyway…

July 26th, 2012

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

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The wget command is used to download files from the web and is one of the most useful commands around. But while it comes included with most distributions of Linux, it is not built into Mac OS X by default. Therefore, let’s look at installing wget.

To get started, install the developer tools for Mac OS X so that you can get a working copy of a compiler (gcc). Once the developer tools have been installed, you’ll want to download the latest version of wget from gnu. To do so, either download it manually from or use the ftp command to do so for you:


Next, extract the tar file using the tar command:

tar -xvzf wget-latest.tar.gz

You will then have a directory called wget- followed by the version of wget you just downloaded (currently 1.12). Let’s cd into that directory:

cd wget-1.12

Then run the configure script:


Then make the installer:


Then run the installer (with elevated privileges:

make install

You will then have the wget command located in /usr/local/bin/wget. To use it, simply use wget, followed by the path to the file you’d like to download using the –tries option:

wget –tries=10

There are a lot of options for wget, but some that I use more than others include –user= and –password=, which allows you to authenticate to a host by specifying a username and a password (respectively of course) and –limit-rate, which funny enough, let’s you throttle the speeds of transfers so as not to saturate your bandwidth. I also frequently need to use the -r operator, which allows for recursive downloads and the -o operator which outputs to a log file. Overall wget is one of the most useful commands around, and hopefully after reading this you’ll download it and get used to using it (if you weren’t already).

November 29th, 2010

Posted In: Mac OS X

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