Thursday, 1 July 2010

Moving from windows to Mac OS X

Since I had problems updating my firmware using iTunes in windows running in VMWare workstation, I've been looking for another solution. I seem to have found one! I bought one of the new Mac Mini's (The server version as to has better spec). I'm now using this for syncing all my gadgets.

Mac OS X works a lot better for me than windows ever did. I've been able to connect it to the ldap server and nfs server on my network. This means and don't have to do much admin work on the sever, everything is controlled from a central location. Most importantly, when I backup my server and backup up all the user data on the mac.

The new Mac's are very nice. I have a older one belowe the TV which serves as a media center and I've been thinking of getting more other TV's at somepoint. Having one which can be used as a desktop computer will help qutie a bit with setting these others up. I don't want to have to admin each of them, I'd much rather come up with a solution where they are all configured on my server.

Reconfiguring Max OS X snow leapord to talk to my LDAP server and authenticated agaist it was pretty tricky. In fact I find OpenSuSE quite a bit easy to configure than the Mac. Most my admin work is done remotely from the command line for variours reasons, this a hell of a lot easier on OpenSuSE. Some think apple should sort out if they are seriours about Server opearting systems. In the end I got things working by changing the mac to use the LDAP profile "RFC 2307".

The automounts are still now working, so that will be a task for another day. It seems that RFC 2307 is not the same as what my linux boxes use. I might be able to tweak the mac to work, otherwise I'll have to add new entries into the ldap for mac's.

The next pain I had was group ID's. The ID's in the mac clashed with the ID's on my linux box. I fixed this by renumbering the ID's on the Mac, then adding them to the ldap server. I then updated the users so that on linux the mac groups were also visible. This was pretty complicated as the groups are stored on the mac in it's directory service as well as flat files. I wrote a perl script to perform the update. The directory service files are stored in these folders :

/private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/groups
/System/Library/DirectoryServices/DefaultLocalDB/Default/groups

Anyway I've spent the last few nights putting all my iTunes conent into place and synced my phone last night. All is working very well. Will have to repeat the user setup for my wife's account. Hopefully firmware upgrade will go smoother this time.
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