RSSCategory: Mavericks

OSX Server Revisited

Finally I have a decent broadband connection and my desire to roll my own iCloud type server has worked it’s way to the top of my to-do list once more. I’m not going to host any websites I just want to have my own private cloud. Now why make life difficult for myself and not just use ownCloud or similar? It’s a simple answer, that would be too easy. It’s about the challenge of doing it myself.

I obviosly can’t takle this project in one post so I’ll try to break it down in to smaller parts and deal with one service at a time. This will of course be running on my MacMini Server which at this moment is running Mavericks 10.9.3 & Server App. I have a clean install running and the Server App is not configured. My plan is to follow a simple workflow setting up each service one at a time and I will start with the Server configuration.

A note here and one to spend some time checking is the remote access to the Server and checking which ports are required and are open. Currently I have all the ports open from my ISP that I need and I hope that these stay open. But as always it’s purely at the discretion of my ISP and could change at any point. Generating a ton of web traffic will alert your ISP so be warned.

The steps I want to take and the order in which I will post about how I set them up will loosely follow

  • Server Setup
  • DNS
  • DHCP
  • Open Directory

Then moving on to

  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • Messages

It may take me someting to get all these posts written and planned. So stay tunned while I get my post planned a written.

August 24, 2014 | By | Reply More

Timemachine on ReadyNAS

Currently my ReadyNAS is running firmware version 4 and so will not bind to my MAC OS X mavericks Server. I am planning to upgrade to version 6 of the ReadyNAS firmware when I have confirmed that the binding will function as expected. So for now the steps below enable me to have a user share which contains the TimeMachine Backup which I can control with quotas’ on the ReadyNAS.

The steps below assume that Time Machine support is already enabled on the ReadyNAS.

Go into FrontView. Under Security > User Accounts I added a user account for each computer with a quota. Aa I have 9TB of storage so I tend to allocate at least 1.5x the computer’s hard drive space for backups and for each user, only two files needed to be created. I am working on a bash script that will automate this process. Please not that the quota you set is counted against all the users files and not just the TimeMachine Backup. I do understand but I have yet to test this, that the .AppleVolumes file created below can contain volsizelimit:size in MiB option. This would be helpful to set the 1.5 times HDD size but set the quota on the ReadyNAS to a larger size.

Repeat the following steps for each user you create:

Open a Finder window and open the AFP (or CIFS) representation of your ReadyNAS in the sidebar or Network folder.

You’ll probably be connected as “Guest” and might see any shares that are publicly accessible. Click the “Connect As” button at the top of the window and connect using one of the user accounts you created earlier.

A folder should show up with the name of the user that you logged on as. That’s the user’s home folder.

Using your favorite plain-text editor create a new plain-text file with a single line containing: (I have added the volsizelimit as I mentioned above. If you don’t need it the remove volsizelimit:500000 from below.)

/c/home/USERNAME ReadyNAS cnidscheme:dbd allow:USERNAME volsizelimit:500000 options:tm 

Note: Replace USERNAME with the exact spelling of the user you’re connected as. (It should match the folder name in case and spelling.) Save this file as .AppleVolumes in the user’s home folder.

Create an empty file called and save it in the user’s home folder.

Note: both the files start with a . which won’t show up in the Finder normally. Eject the ReadyNAS share when you’re done creating those two files and connect as the next user if necessary. I found I didn’t have to reboot the system to make the changes work for the next step. But it doesn’t hurt.

On your Mac, go into the Time Machine preferences. If Time Machine was already setup, go to Select Disk and choose “Do Not Backup” (this makes it forget the previous username/password that was saved). Then do Select Disk again and choose your ReadyNAS like usual. When asked for a username and password, connect using the user and password you setup for that particular user on the ReadyNAS.

July 8, 2014 | By | Reply More

Making a 10.9 Installer

There is now bundled with the 10.9 installer app a command line tool for creating the installation media. Browse to /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ and you will notice a file called createinstallmedia. This is the command line tool needed to create the media and its basic output with no options is…

admin$ /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

Usage: createinstallmedia –volume –applicationpath [–force]

Arguments–volume, A path to a volume that can be unmounted and erased to create the install media.

–applicationpath, A path to copy of the OS installer application to create the bootable media from.

–nointeraction, Erase the disk pointed to by volume without prompting for confirmation.

Example: createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install OS X

This tool must be run as root.

Great. So now I have partioned an external with a small 10Gb disk called installer. The name doesn’t really matter as after the tool creates the media the disk is renamed.

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –volume /Volumes/Installer –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

After a small wait I have a 10.9 USB installer I can take around in my pocket and complete my upgrades.

November 9, 2013 | By | Reply More