Hello, I’m a web craftsman with a passion for the modern web. I build web applications and play with social services and communities.

February 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm

This post is intended to be a memo for myself on the basics of the linux tool screen, which allows to have several terminal screens opened simultaneously. This comes in very handy when working on a remove server over ssh.

Starts a new screen session with session_name:

screen -S session_name

Detach the current screen session (while being in it):

Cmd + a -> d

List all screen sockets:

screen -ls

Bring a screen session back:

screen -r session_name

May 21, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Visitor Browsers

Visitor Browsers

I just checked the stats from this blog and was positivly surprised how many people visit my blog with Safari. I think it’s quite a rare thing to have a website with Safari as the No. 1 Browser visitors use.

Guess the reason for this is that my over 2 years old article on how to setup a leopard wiki server is still getting many hits. Personally I haven’t used a Leopard wiki server since then because it just sucks (sorry Apple, but your servers are not living up to your standards (yet)!) but the amount of visitors reading this article shows that are still many people out there who try to get a OS X Server to run. But it also proves that even with 10.5.7 many problems exist and the setup of Apple’s server system is not as streamlines as it should be.

November 24, 2007 at 1:59 am

Leopard Wiki Howto Banner

Welcome, due to a request in one of my other Leopard Server posts I will guide you through the setting up of the new Leopard Wiki and iCal Server.
While writing this the current server version is 10.5.1. However, I don’t think the way the basic setup works will change in the future.

Step 1: Log into Server Admin, connect to your server and go to Settings->Services and tick iCal, Open Directory and Web. (Of cause you can have more but those three are the ones you need to run the wiki server)
Leopard Wiki Howto 1 (services)

Step 2: Get you Open Directory to work! This is pretty straight forward and don’t need any special settings unless you want to do more with your server. In my case I just created an Open Directory Master on my FQDN which actually allows to run most of the LDAP related services.

Leopard Wiki Howto 2 (Open Directory)

Step 3: Go into iCal. The settings should be right by default. Important: In case you want to change the Data Store make sure your new destination folder has the right rights! (Check step 5 to take care of that)Start the iCal Service now! (Only if you use the default Data Store. Otherwise finish step 5 before!)

Step 4: Go to “Web”. Here we have to do a little bit more. Go to Settings->Web Services and make sure everything is like you want. In case you want to change the Data Store make sure your new destination folder has the right rights! (Check step 5 to take care of that)

Leopard Wiki Howto 4a (Web)

Then go to “Sites”. Add a new web site (+) or modify the default one. Type your FQDN into “Domain name”. I use “example.com” here. Take care whether you add “www.” in front or not. The Wiki will only be accessible over that exact domain name! (You can modify that later so). In case you want to change the Data Store make sure your new destination folder has the right rights! (Check step 5 to take care of that)

Leopard Wiki Howto 4b (Web)

Inside the web site settings go to “Web Services” and tick “Wiki and blog” and “Web calendar”:

Leopard Wiki Howto 4c (Web)

Save the setting and start “Web”. (Only if you use the default Data Store. Otherwise finish step 5 before!)

Step 5: This step is only needed if you decided to store your iCal, Wiki and/or Web Server files in another location than the default Data Store. This is useful if you have more than one disk to have all the important data separated from the standard OS X data. (In case of 10.5 Server that is very useful because you can reinstall OS X several times without backing up and recovering all the files every single time. I reinstalled 3 times before everything did what it was supposed to do.)

The problem about storing the files in another location is the access permission of the folders. iCal, Wiki and Web server have own users so you have to make sure that these users can access the folders you defined for the services. One way to do so is giving your folders a 777 CHMOD. I don’t recommend that because of security issues. Rather change the owner and group of the folders to the right ones:

  • User & group for Wiki: _teamsserver (read & write for owner/group, none for others)
  • User & group for iCal: _calendar (read & write for owner, read for group, none for others)
  • For the web server folder make sure that “others” can read.

Leopard Wiki Howto 5 (Rights)

Step 6: All right. So far so good. All the needed services are configured and running. Now open “Workgroup Manger” and go into your LDAP Directory (where you should be by default).If you can see the Directory Administrator you defined while setting up the Open Directory you are right.
Now go into the group view and add a new group. I call my group “Publications”. Choose the before created web site from the drop down “Enable to following services for this group on” and tick “wiki and blog” and “Web calendar”. Specify the rights as needed beneath and save the group.

Leopard Wiki Howto 6 (Group)

Create a new user who is part of your new group. (Tick “administer this server” for the user if you want the user to be able to administer the wiki.)

Congratulations, now you are set to use your Wiki!

Navigate your browser to “http://your-FQDN.com/groups/groupname/” and log in with the user you just created.
(http://example.com/groups/publications/ in my case from this tutorial)

Make sure you use exactly the same domain name as defined before.
www.example.com would NOT work in my case because I specified it as example.com without www.!

I hope this helped you. Feel free to post comments about your success or failure.

Good luck!

by Matthias Schmidt (m-schmidt.eu)

November 20, 2007 at 10:39 pm

Mac OS X Leopard Server Disk

This article is related to 24 hours of Mac OS X Leopard Server.

After 72 hours everything is different…

Eventually I got the Web, Wiki and iCal Server to work. The folders to store the content of the services haven’t had the right rights to get accessed by the services.

So far the Wiki and iCal Server look very good! Excellent ajax interface for the wiki server which makes formatting posts and attaching files enjoyable. The same for iCal. Very impressive.

Unfortunately AFP does crash now every time a client tries to connect. Not only that AFP crashes, it also brings the whole server down. I didn’t change any setting for AFP and can’t even look for a fix. Every time I try to connect with Server Admin the server crashes as well. Eventually my only choise:

Reinstall. Damn. Gonna be a long night. I hope 10.5.2 will make things easier.

November 18, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Apple is known for it’s well working hardware+software packages which work from the first moment on without any trouble and just a fast and painless configuration.

Unfortunately that is not the case with Leopard Server. New software is always buggy. So I decided to wait with the Leopard Server installation until Apple released 10.5.1. However, even 10.5.1 makes a lot of problems on a fresh installed system.

System: Apple XServe 2x 3GHz Intel Xeon

The system ran 10.4.10 before very smoothly. Instead of upgrading 10.4 to 10.5 I decided to do a clean install to avoid problems with the upgrade process.

First problem: the remote installation didn’t work, so I had to plug a screen, keyboard & mouse in the server room. Ok not a big deal and the rest of the setup worked well. Approximately one hour later and 10.5.0 was running.

The first thing I did was updating to 10.5.1 with the downloaded update package from the apple page. No problems with the update.

Now I wanted to configure the server as a gateway. Needed services: DHCP, NAT, Firewall.

While NAT and Firewall worked fine after starting, DHCP didn’t work at all. The Service indicator was green but still the clients didn’t get any IP-Addresses. The DHCP log showed:

can’t open /etc/bootptab (I do still get this message)
subnets: create failed, Invalid/missing ‘net_address’ property

the missing net_address property caused the issue.
Adding it by hand to
fixed the problem.

So at least the clients do get IP addresses and can access the internet.

A lot faster and stable is AFP now. One thing that works…wow! But the possibility to use a server disk as time machine destination didn’t want to work either. Have no fix for this so far.

Next problem: Software Update Server. Doesn’t work at all. There are a lot of people in the Apple Forums with the same issue. No fix so far.

Sometimes the Workgroup Manager tells me that my username/passwort are wrong. 5 minutes later it works. Again, don’t know what’s the problem there and can’t reproduce the error. Seems to be totally random!

Eventually I gave the Software Update Server up and stopped the service. It’s not really needed anyway and will get fixed with 10.5.2 hopefully.

So I went over to some more important services: iCal Server and Wiki Server.
Both refuse to work! The Web server crashes with the following message:

Nov 18 21:22:48 peacechild com.apple.wikid[6526]: Removing stale pidfile /var/run/wikid.pid
Nov 18 21:22:48 peacechild com.apple.launchd[1] (com.apple.wikid[6526]): Exited with exit code: 1
Nov 18 21:22:48 peacechild com.apple.launchd[1] (com.apple.wikid): Throttling respawn: Will start in 9 seconds

No fix so far. Didn’t spend a lot of time in this because I was sick of the whole Leopard Server.
Bugs over bugs. Some are ok and normal. But that many major problems with a freshly installed system???
Apple what did you do there? This is not a business-ready product!

Mac OS X Server Box

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