Tag: Mac OS X

Automatically install any downloaded updates on Mac OS X

Check the recommended answer in this thread on superuser.com. For example, to autoinstall the updates at 8 PM daily, you basically need:

1.) Create /Library/LaunchDaemons/some.meaningful.name.plist

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">

2.) Execute the following in a terminal:

sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/some.meaningful.name.plist

Essential Mac OS X tools: NoSleep extension

macosx-nosleep-extension – The MacOS X kernel extension, preventing sleep when you close the lid. – Google Project Hosting.

Very useful, especially when watching a movie on a projector using HDMI directly, instead of using AirPlay with an Apple TV. Thanks to NoSleep, you can close your MBA’s/MBP’s lid but still stream the movie to the projector.

If I were Apple, I’d be a bit embarrassed that such a setting is not already built-in.

macvim – Vim for the Mac

When using Mac OS X, I used to use the CLI vim by the excellent Homebrew package manager.

Now I’ve just stumbled over macvim, which is kind of a “deluxe vim” for Mac OS X, including adjusted key bindings for the Mac and a GUI menu, supporting Cocoa file dialogs, among others.

It’s highly recommended if you want to have the best of both the CLI and GUI editor worlds.


Mac OS X: Reduce/increase workspace switching delay

Does dragging windows to the adjacent workspace in Mac OS X feel sluggish? Try lowering the according delay, e.g. to 0.1 seconds. For a persistent change, enter the following in a terminal:

defaults write com.apple.dock workspaces-edge-delay -float 0.1; killall Dock

If you’d like to have a longer delay, try setting a value of 1.0 or even 2.0.

How to compile Textual (open source IRC client) on Mac OS X

Textual is a heavily modified fork of LimeChat and looks and feels more native and light-weight than most other IRC clients for Mac OS X. Further, it doesn’t seem to have problems with window refreshing as observed with XChat Aqua/Azure (App Store link) and XChat for X11 (installed/compiled using ‘brew install xchat’).

Though Textual is also available in the App Store for 4.99 USD, I wanted to compile it from sources myself.

Here’s how to build Textual from sources (tested on Mac OS X Mountain Lion):

  1. Download and install Xcode 4 from the App Store.
  2. Download/checkout the latest Textual sources from https://github.com/Codeux/Textual
  3. Open the file Main Project (Textual).xcodeproj in Xcode.
  4. In Xcode’s Preferences -> Downloads -> Components, install the Command Line Tools.
  5. In the opened project in Xcode, disable code signing:
    For the target Textual, navigate to the tab Build Settings. In the “Code Signing” section, set “Don’t Code Sign” for “Debug” and “Release”.
  6. On the top left of the Xcode IDE window, select the scheme Textual (Standard Release) -> My Mac 64-bit
  7. Click on the “Run” button to start building the project
  8. The “Textual” app will be built in the subfolder “./Build Results/Release/” of your Textual source directory

iTerm2 – Mac OS Terminal Replacement

iTerm2, the successor of iTerm, seems to be quite a bit better then the default Mac OS X terminal app:

iTerm2 – Mac OS Terminal Replacement.

If only every Mac OS X app (i.e. Quartz) would also support copy on select, middle button paste and the other X11-like features! [1] Further, I’d love to see a terminal app that disallows pasting (cmd-v) from the keyboard-controlled clipboard completely as this is potentially a very dangerous thing.

[1] Note: It’s possible to emulate X11’s behaviour to some degree using BetterTouchTool. It’s still not the same though as X11 distinguishes between the mouse-controlled buffer and the keyboard-controlled buffer and doesn’t just “paste from the clipboard”. For reference, see:

Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server: Configuring outgoing SMTP authentication for postfix

More and more ISPs require customers to use the ISP’s own SMTP server for sending mail (to effectively block spam coming from hijacked customer workstations). Or you simply might want to send outgoing mail using your own SMTP mail server somewhere in the Internet, which  should only accept encrypted, authenticated connection requests.

If you’re lucky, you can configure postfix on your Snow Leopard Server (and later) using the supplied ‘Server Admin’ GUI tool and enter your authentication credentials and the name of your (or your ISP’s) SMTP server there. This is explained in the following Youtube video: Using Your ISPs Mail Server in Snow Leopard Server.

In my case, this wasn’t sufficient, i.e. didn’t work and hence I had to use the CLI tool instead (which appears to be buggy, see later). The configuration of outgoing SMTP authentication for postfix on Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server is analogous to my quite old post about configuring SMTP auth for postfix on Linux, only the commands slightly differ.

Here are the commands I had to use:

# serveradmin settings mail:postfix:smtp_sasl_mechanism_filter = "plain"

mail:postfix:smtp_sasl_mechanism_filter = “plain”

# serveradmin settings mail:postfix:smtp_sasl_security_options = "noanonymous"

mail:postfix:smtp_sasl_security_options = “noanonymous”

# serveradmin settings mail:postfix:smtp_use_tls = "yes"

mail:postfix:smtp_use_tls = “1”


The last command reveals a bug in the ‘serveradmin’ tool which will prevent postfix from working correctly as the value is set to “1” instead of “yes”! As a workaround, you need to manually set the value to “yes” in /etc/postfix/main.cf:


# vi /etc/postfix/main.cf

smtp_use_tls = yes


# vi /etc/postfix/sasl/passwd

# cat /etc/postfix/sasl/passwd

smtp.mydomain.com login:password

# postmap hash:/etc/postfix/sasl/passwd

# serveradmin stop mail

mail:state = “STOPPED”

# serveradmin start mail

mail:state = “RUNNING”

Done that, you can test the new settings by composing and sending a message using the ‘mail’ command:

# mail -s "a test message" myaddress@mydomain.com

(enter the body text and finish editing the message by entering a dot on an empty line)

Check the mail queue with

# mailq

Requeue messages that couldn’t be delivered using

# postqueue -f

[Edit 20130401: Fixed some typos, clarified the phrasing, anonymized data]