Tiger Vittles
 

Tiger-Ready Applications: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Posted by Ward Mundy on June 10th, 2005

April 29 was the big day, and there are a million good reasons to upgrade to Tiger. Apple could think of only 200. But, that’s a little premature in our book. What pioneers and early adopters really need to know is this: What Works and What Won’t With Tiger. If there is an application that you cannot live without, then you need to know that before you make the leap to Tiger. And be sure to prep your Mac before upgrading.

Our goal in preparing this article was to keep it simple by building an alphabetized database to which everyone could post information about OS X applications and drivers running with Tiger as you try them out. We’ve seeded the list with several hundred applications that were mentioned by those that accidentally got their copies of Tiger early, but the real work begins now. So once you install Tiger, take a minute and tell us about how the applications you use work. There’s no need to repeat an application that’s already listed unless your results are different.

What we’re looking for are “The Good” — applications that work reliably after installing Tiger, “The Bad” — applications or device drivers that don’t work quite right with Tiger, and “The Ugly” — applications that don’t look quite right with Tiger. To get everyone started, we’ve scoured the Internet and the newsgroups so you won’t have to. If a version number is not shown with a product, you should probably assume that only the current shipping version works.

Before we get to the results, let’s briefly talk about what we’ve built and how you can help everyone else. Using open source tools, we’ve built a MySQL database table and PHP application that stores the name of an application or driver with the version number, the web site address to get updates from the application developer, a brief description of what the application does, and the results of testing the application: Good, Bad, or Ugly. Building it for me to use was pretty easy. I’m not going to screw things up too badly. And that’s not to suggest that you will. But then we have to think about the dear Viagra merchants and our good friends that always want us to play poker. So keep reading and we’ll explain the process for actually adding new applications to the database. And finally, our special thanks to Priyadi Iman Nurcahyo for his WordPress plugin, PHP Exec, which made integration of database results into this blog a piece of cake.

Winity VPS Hosting

Your Job. If you have tested a product with Tiger which is not on our list or which tested differently than the results shown on our list, please post your results here, and the Tiger-Ready Lists will automatically get updated for future visitors to this page. We’re primarily interested in applications that don’t work or look bad because VersionTracker already is a terrific resource for information on what does work with Tiger. That’s their full-time job. This isn’t ours. For the reasons already discussed, you must come to this page and click on this link to add new applications to the database. And you’ll need to provide your real email address. We won’t share it with anybody. In fact, it will be discarded as soon as your post is approved. Within a minute or so after you post an entry for the database, you’ll receive an email asking you to click on a web link to confirm your posting. Once you do, your entry will be sent to our inbox and posted to the database within a few hours. The process may sound harder than it actually is. You can add a half dozen applications in less than three minutes! For future reference, here’s the link to this page which you can bookmark and access directly. Also note that, if you or your ISP use spam-blockers, please add us to your authorized sender list: NoReply@TigerVittles.com.

Disclaimer: The information in this column has not been independently verified. Your mileage may vary. Make a backup! Don’t believe everything you read … totally. Good luck. Thanks for visiting. And tell your friends about us. We’re the new kid on the block.


“The Good” - Software Which Works With Tiger

 


“The Bad” - Software or Drivers Having Problems

 


“The Ugly” - Software Which Doesn’t Look Quite Right

  • Apple Airport, network adapter
    Serious wake-from-sleep issues: crashes or manual reconnect required
  • Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, wireless keyboard
  • Carbon Copy Cloner 2.3, backup utility
    Still works only if you run application from Terminal window
  • Doom 3 (played full sreen), The game
  • DropDMG, disk image utility
  • Folders 2.0.2, folder comparison utility
  • Internet Explorer 5, web browser (completely gone; hooray!)
  • Kinesis Advantage MPC USB Keyboard, Hardware
    Requires a keyboard set-up monkey each time the system wakes up or is rebooted.
  • MSN Messenger 4 v3, instant messaging app
    crashes when quitting
  • psync, command-line backup utility
    Disk backup works but you can’t boot from the backup:
    sudo psync -d / /Volumes/Backup/ where Backup is backup volume name.
  • Quickbooks Pro 6.0, accounting
    Record buttons dimmed in registers. Clicking Edit in menu bar apparently restores functionality.
  • Radeon X800XT (ATI), graphics card
  • Sonica (M-Audio), usb surround sound theater
  • Toast Titanium 6.1, disk duplication software (now with less features)
    Fixes a few minor bugs with Tiger BUT “following discussions with Apple, this version will no longer allow customers to create audio CDs, audio DVDs, or export audio to their hard drive using purchased iTunes music store content.”
  • Virtual PC, Windows Emulation
    Microsoft says that VPC does not work with Tiger, and that they are worknig on a fix.
  • Wacom Intuos 2, graphics tablet
  • WindowShade X 3.6, window minimization utility

 



Special thanks to the following sites for important leads or contributions to this column:

 

 

The Motherload. For future reference, the very best source for up-to-date information on Tiger-compatible applications is and always will be —

 

 

Creative Commons License. This article is released under a Creative Commons License.

ISP-In-A-Box: Upgrading Server Apps to Tiger, Part II

Posted by Ward Mundy on May 20th, 2005

If you have been following our ISP-In-A-Box series on Nerd Vittles, we’re going to address another batch of server applications for use with Tiger today. On Nerd Vittles a couple weeks ago, we upgraded the original Mac mini to Tiger. Then, in Part I of this series, we reworked the first ten ISP-In-A-Box server applications that we built at Nerd Vittles earlier this year so they would work with Tiger. The applications included the Apache web server, the Postfix SMTP mail server with optional POP3 and IMAP servers, MySQL, PHP, PhpMyAdmin, WebMin, Web Calendars, The Webalizer, CronniX, and WordPress 1.5. It took us a little more than an hour to upgrade Panther to Tiger, and it took another hour or so to upgrade the ten applications.

Today, we’re going to tackle some more applications to make them Tiger-ready. It should be noted that Tiger 10.4.1 was released by Apple this week, and everything is still running fine with the exception of our POP3 and IMAP mail servers. An upgrade of PostFix Enabler for Tiger (1.1.5) also was released this week. It restores your mail servers to full operation. Be sure to read the installation notes. Finally a reminder that our ISP-In-A-Box tutorials work with virtually any Mac running Panther or Tiger … but you knew that.

Mac mini

Prerequisites. For purposes of this article, we’re assuming you’ve already upgraded your Mac to Tiger and are running the current build, 10.4.1. If not, visit Apple and our Nerd Vittles site before proceeding. You also already should have installed whichever applications above that you want to use. This tutorial won’t help you if you’ve already installed Tiger and now want to install some of the applications above. We’ll do that in the coming weeks. So, if there are still some apps you want and you’re still running Panther, click on the appropriate links above, and do the installs before upgrading to Tiger. Also make certain that any of the applications you’ve installed actually work under Panther. Don’t upgrade to Tiger until they do.

We’re taking things a little quicker here than we did at Nerd Vittles. If you get confused or forgot how to do something, just go back and read the original article about the application we’re upgrading. So here we go.

Remote Access. Even after applying the 10.4.1 upgrade, there still appear to be some issues with wireless remote access between Macs running Tiger and other Macs. This includes connection hangs with SSH and SFTP. Rebooting a Tiger machine often solves the problem. Connections to Linux machines work reliably in both directions. Luckily, there are other alternatives between Macs. VNC server and client applications including ChickenOfTheVNC work reliably with Tiger for connections to other Macs as well as to Linux systems. WebDAV and network links between Macs running Tiger and Panther work reliably. And PCs have no problems making SSH, SFTP, VNC, and network connections to Macs running Tiger. Cisco has just released a new VPN client which reportedly works with Tiger on single-processor Macs only. Just be aware that, if there is a weak link in Tiger at the moment, this is probably it.

Skype. Current Skype software works reliably for incoming and outgoing calls with Tiger Macs. In addition, problems with bluetooth headset audio quality when using Skype with Panther have completely disappeared with Tiger. In fact, the Plantronics M3000 bluetooth headset (which we cautioned against in our initial Tiger article on Skype) now has audio quality which is virtually indistinguishable from a USB headset.

Tiger Backups. Backup software was another problematic category when Tiger was first released. Because it is such a critical component for any computer system, we have dedicated our feature article on Nerd Vittles today to Tiger Backup Software: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Data-Driven Web Sites. The sample web site (http://localhost/nerd/) which we constructed in our tutorial using PHP, PhpMyAdmin, and MySQL to build web site content on the fly works reliably with Tiger once Apache, PHP, and MySQL are running.

Nicecast Streaming Audio Server. Rogue Amoeba released an update to Nicecast on April 18 which is compatible with Tiger including the Tiger 10.4.1 update. You can download Nicecast here. Anything else you’d like to know about streaming audio servers is covered in our original two articles on the subject.

PureFTP Server. The PureFTPd Manager, which was our recommended solution for implementing an FTP server with Mac OS X, has been updated for Tiger. You can download the update here. Once you install the update, follow the instructions in our original article to get things working again.

Home Automation Server. The key component in building our home automation system was Perceptive Automation’s Indigo. Version 1.5.5 still works reliably with Tiger with no updates required.

Computer Telephony Server. We built our computer telephony server using Ovolab Phlink. It has been customized for Tiger. Version 2.1 now adds support for Tiger’s Spotlight, Dashboard Widgets, and Automator and is a must-have update.

ISP-In-A-Box: Building a WebDAV Server for Remote Access

Posted by Ward Mundy on May 13th, 2005

Got DAV?Ever wished you had several gigs of off-site disk storage so you could safely back up all your most important data and use it for remote access or collaboration. One option, of course, is a .Mac account which gives you 125MB of iDisk storage space and other goodies for $99 a year. You can increase your iDisk to a gigabyte for an additional $49.95 a year, a bargain compared to some commercial sites. Here’s another approach that’ll save you hundreds of dollars a year. Find a friend with a Mac and an Internet connection and swap several gigs of storage space on your friend’s Mac for several gigs of storage space on yours. Then follow along here, and we’ll show both of you how to build and use WebDAV servers to do exactly what the commercial firms are doing. And you can use the Apache software that’s already installed with Mac OS X Tiger. If you haven’t already read our Nerd Vittles article today on how to use WebDAV clients and Web Folders, then start there.

As you now know, WebDAV stands for Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning. Simply put, it is an HTTP protocol extension that allows people anywhere on the Internet to collaboratively edit and manage documents and other files using the same protocol and port used for surfing the web. In the Mac world, WebDAV provides a Disk Volume on your Desktop that “looks and feels” like any other networked hard disk. In the Windows world, WebDAV is called Web Folders. They can be used like any other mapped drive in Network Neighborhood. If you’re still a little fuzzy about the WebDAV concept, think of how you link to another drive on your local area network. WebDAV gives you the same functionality across the entire Internet with virtually the same ease of use. Depending upon user privileges, of course, you can copy files to and from a WebDAV volume, and the protocol imposes versioning control through file locking to assure that multiple people don’t change the same file at the same time. Panther and Tiger versions of Mac OS X provide both a WebDAV client and server. Nerd Vittles walked you through configuring and using the WebDAV clients. So let’s tackle the WebDAV server setup now. This works with Tiger or Panther by the way.

In a nutshell, the WebDAV server setup goes like this. We’ll create a new subdirectory in the web server’s storage folder which we’ll use for WebDAV read and write access. Then we’ll set up a username and password system to support WebDAV access. Next we’ll activate the WebDAV mods in Apache which already are installed on your Mac. We’ll then reconfigure Apache a bit to support WebDAV formatting. And finally we’ll restart our web server and presto, WebDAV. You don’t need to be a Rocket Scientist to do this, but you do have to get your hands dirty with a command-line editor, Pico. If you’ve followed other Nerd Vittles tutorials, then this one will be a breeze. Just be sure you edit carefully and, if something does go wrong, copy your backup Apache config file back over the edited one and try again. Apache errors don’t get reported in System Preferences->Sharing when you activate your personal web server. If you have problems and want to see what’s going on, activate and then run WebMin (which we previously covered at Nerd Vittles and upgraded here last week for Tiger). Using your browser, access WebMin and choose Servers->Apache Webserver. Then start and stop the web server from there. Errors will be reported with the line number in the config file that’s causing the problem. Ctrl-C in Pico will tell you what line number you’re on in the config file. If this sounds like I’ve had recent experience, you’d be correct. But you won’t have to pull your hair out. I’ve already done that with mine.

Creating a WebDAV Folder. Open a Terminal window, and switch to root access: sudo su. Then navigate to the root of your web server folders: cd /Library/WebServer/Documents. Create a new WebDAV folder: mkdir dav. Change the permissions of the folder’s group to match the Apache group: chgrp -R www dav. If you want to provide write access to users who connect to your WebDAV folder, then change the permissions to allow it: chmod 775 dav.

Building a Password File. We already built a password file in the Web Sites 101 tutorial on Nerd Vittles. We used that password file to manage web site access to various web directories. You probably don’t want to use the same password file for WebDAV unless you are building this just for yourself. The only trick to password files is you want to put the file where Apache can read it but your web visitors cannot. And you want to be careful not to insert blank lines in the file with just a colon. That basically lets everyone in. The format for the file is username:password, each on a separate line. And the passwords are encrypted. Here’s how to do it. Open a Terminal window and switch to root access: sudo su. Now move to the directory where we’ll put the password file: cd /usr/local. We’re going to name this password file dav.pw so we can remember what it’s for. To create the file and erase any existing file without warning type: htpasswd -c dav.pw admin. Think up a password you can remember, and you’ll be prompted to type it twice. Now let’s verify that the file was created: cat dav.pw. You should see the word admin, then a colon, and then your encrypted password. To add additional users to the file, just type: htpasswd -m dav.pw username where username is your next user. You’ll be prompted for the password. Remember, if you accidentally use the htpasswd -c syntax a second time, you will overwrite your existing file and all of its entries. So be careful. Finally, remember to make duplicate entries using full email syntax for the username to assure that Windows users can access your DAV resources: htpasswd -m dav.pw joe@schmo.com.

Reconfiguring Apache to Support WebDAV. Open a Terminal window, and switch to root access: sudo su. Then navigate to the folder with Apache’s configuration file: cd /etc/httpd. First, let’s make a backup copy of the config file in case something goes wrong: cp httpd.conf httpd.conf.dav.save. Now let’s carefully edit the config file: pico httpd.conf. Uncomment the headers_module line by searching for headers (Ctrl-W, headers, enter) and then pressing Ctrl-D while positioned over the # sign at the beginning of the line. Now search for mod_headers (Ctrl-W, mod_headers, enter) and uncomment that line (Ctrl-D while positioned over beginning # sign). Now search for dav_module (Ctrl-W, dav_module, enter) and uncomment the line (Ctrl-D while positioned over beginning # sign). Now search for mod_dav (Ctrl-W, mod_dav, enter) and uncomment the line (Ctrl-D while positioned over beginning # sign). Now press Ctrl-V repeatedly until you get to the bottom of the file. Switch to your web browser and download this WebDav snippet. When the code snippet displays in your web browser, press Command-A then Command-C to copy all of the code to your clipboard. Then switch back to Pico, click at the bottom of the config file, and paste the code snippet into the config file by pressing Command-V. Use the down arrow to move to the BrowserMatch section of the code we just pasted and be sure “redirect-carefully” didn’t end up on a line by itself. If it did, position the cursor over the first letter “r” and press the backspace key to move it back up to the end of the previous line of code. Don’t worry if a dollar sign displays at the end of the line after you move it. This just indicates that additional text is off the screen… the price we pay for using a free editor. Now we should be all set. Save the config file: Ctrl-X, Y, enter. And restart Apache by deselecting and then reselecting Personal Web Sharing from System Preferences->Sharing. Close the Terminal window by typing exit, pressing enter, and then pressing Command-Q.

Testing Your WebDAV Server. To test whether WebDAV is working, switch to your Desktop and, using Finder, press Command-K. When prompted for the server address, type http://localhost/dav and then click the Connect button. Enter your username and password that you created in the dav.pw password file, and a blank dav folder should appear on your Desktop. Drag a file from your Desktop to the folder to be sure everything is working as it should. If you’ve enabled web access through your Mac and router firewalls (which we have previously covered here), then you should be able to access your WebDAV folder from the Internet with your IP address or domain name using the syntax: http://mydomain.com/dav. Enjoy your new WebDAV server. Now all you need is a friend to share it with.

Another View: Mac mini Eye for the Linux-Windows Guy

Posted by Ward Mundy on May 9th, 2005

Mac miniMacDevCenter has a thought-provoking article by Todd Ogasawara about trying a Mac after a career using Windows and Linux PCs. I encourage you to read it before continuing here. For IT professionals, I have no beef with the article or its contents. But, for those that aren’t making computers their profession, I think the article gives a distorted view of the Mac platform.

In a nutshell, Mr. Ogasawara has broad experience with Windows and Linux desktops and was just curious about all the Mac hype and wanted to try one. So he bought a Mac mini and began the quest. $499 wasn’t the ultimate price of the Mac mini as we all know, and a good bit of the article is devoted to detailing how that number increases geometrically as you add more RAM, and a wireless card, and bluetooth, and a monitor, and a keyboard, and Microsoft Office, and on and on. I don’t quibble with the numbers, but I do think Apple is damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Folks complained about the high price of an entry-level Mac so Apple introduced a stripped down model to let people get their feet in the door if they wanted a stripped down model. Mr. Ogasawara obviously didn’t want that because he really wanted a machine that could handle everything that he was currrently doing on both his Windows machines and his Linux machines.

I’m an IT guy with eyes, too, and my advice to Mr. Ogasawara would have been different. Don’t buy a Mac mini if you’re really looking for an all-purpose desktop and server. Can you do it on a Mac mini? Absolutely. Can you do it for $499. Not really. Mr. Ogasawara found that out, too. Now he has bought an iBook as well. That would have been a better choice to begin with. And an even better one would be an iMac G5. With a 17″ monitor included, the first-generation iMac G5s are selling at CompUSA right now for $999 including a Tiger DVD in the box. Adding a 512MB stick of RAM bumps the price up about $50. A wireless network card adds another $70, and a dLink DBT-120 bluetooth adapter adds another $30. But, when you’re finished at $1149, you have a 1.8 Ghz G5 processor, 768MB of RAM, Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and 10/100 network support, a 56K modem, a gorgeous monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and microphone. Better yet, you have a power cord, mouse cord, and keyboard cord instead of the cabling mess pictured in Mr. Ogasawara’s article. If you have a kid in school, you can add Microsoft Office on up to three Macs for about $130. I wouldn’t waste my time on Microsoft Virtual PC 7. If you want a PC, buy a PC. Virtual PC just brings the whole virus, Trojan, adware nightmare to your Mac. Why?

My real beef with Mr. Ogasawara has to do with his carping about the number of patches (100MB) he had to download to get his Mac mini up to date. My first question would be “Have you updated a Windows XP machine that didn’t already include Service Pack 2?” What wasn’t mentioned was that the Mac mini obviously came with Panther which now is close to two years old. I would hope there would be some patches for an operating system that is nearing its end of life. My Microsoft XP machines have averaged a patch a week for as long as I can remember. Apple has patches, too, but nothing which even approaches the Microsoft scenario. And the same goes for Linux except you have to scratch around to find all of them. If Mr. Ogasawara bought a Mac mini today, it would come with Tiger, and the number of downloads to bring it current would have been exactly zero.

In conclusion, I’m glad Mr. Ogasawara is enjoying his Mac mini and his iBook. If he had talked with a few Mac users before making the leap, it probably would have saved him a good bit of aggravation … and money. And he would have had a much more robust platform for what he was trying to accomplish. And we’d like to think that our Spring Break Projects for the Mac mini would give just about anyone a collection of server applications that will rival the best that Microsoft and Linux have to offer. We updated the Top 10 for use with Tiger in less than an hour just last week.

ISP-In-A-Box: Upgrading Server Apps to Tiger, Part I

Posted by Ward Mundy on May 6th, 2005

For those of you who have been following our ISP-In-A-Box series on Nerd Vittles, today is a big day. On Nerd Vittles this morning we upgraded the original Mac mini to Tiger. Now let’s rework the Top 10 ISP-In-A-Box server applications that we built at Nerd Vittles earlier this year so they’ll all work with Tiger. It took us a little more than an hour to upgrade Panther to Tiger, and it’ll take about one more hour for you to read this article and get all of the applications below upgraded. Incidentally, the ISP-In-A-Box tutorials work for virtually any Mac … but you knew that.

Mac mini

Prerequisites. For purposes of this article, we’re assuming you’ve already upgraded your Mac to Tiger. If not, visit our Nerd Vittles site first. You also already should have installed whichever applications above that you want to use. This tutorial won’t help you if you’ve already installed Tiger and now want to install some of the applications above. We’ll do that in the coming weeks. So, if there are still some apps you want and you’re still running Panther, click on the appropriate links above, and do the installs before upgrading to Tiger. Also make certain that any of the applications you’ve installed actually work under Panther. Don’t upgrade to Tiger until they do. Finally, you’ll need $9.95 if you want to enable any or all of the email servers using PostFix Enabler for Tiger. You only really need the SMTP mail server if you’re planning to use the Email Reminders or the WordPress blog application.

We’re going to take things a little quicker here than we did at Nerd Vittles. If you get confused or forgot how to do something, just go back and read the original article about the application we’re upgrading. So let’s get started.

Configuring the Apache Web Server for Tiger. Before enabling Apache on your Mac running Tiger, let’s make a couple of quick changes in the Apache config file. Open a Terminal window and switch to root user access: sudo su. Now change to the directory with the Apache config file: cd /etc/httpd. Make a copy of the config file for safekeeping: cp httpd.conf httpd.conf.tiger.save. Open the config file for careful editing: pico httpd.conf. Search for php: Ctrl-W,php,enter. Delete the pound sign (#) at the beginning of the line which reads “LoadModule php4_module …” by placing the cursor over # and pressing Ctrl-D. While you’re there, delete the pound sign on the line above for Perl. We’ll be needing Perl for WebMin. Now search for the third occurrence of php: Ctrl-W,enter,Ctrl-W,enter. You should be positioned on “AddModule mod_php4.c.” If not, keep searching until you find it. Put the cursor over the pound sign (#) at the beginning of the line and press Ctrl-D. Do the same thing for the AddModule mod_perl.c line above it. Now save the file: Ctrl-X,y,enter. Close the Terminal window: Command-Q.

Enabling Apache Web Server for Tiger. To start up the Apache web server under Tiger, open SystemPreferences->Sharing and place a check mark beside Personal Web Sharing. That was hard, wasn’t it. If you previously enabled Apache before starting here today, then disable it and then restart it to assure that the configuration changes take effect. You now should be able to access all of the web sites we built in the ISP-In-A-Box series.

Enabling Mail Servers for Tiger. There was a great little application called PostFix Enabler that we used to get the SMTP, POP, and IMAP mail servers running with Panther on your Mac mini. Well, it no longer works, but there’s a new version. Be sure to download 1.1.5 which now works with Tiger 10.4.1 since 10.4.1 broke the original release for Tiger. It used to be donation-ware. Now you have to donate … $9.95. Whoopee! If you want mail servers with no hassles, skip lunch and pay the piper using PayPal. The download site is here. Download the software and run it once. Leave the defaults and click Enable Postfix if it’s not already selected. I had to actually Disable Postfix, exit the program, restart the program, and then Enable Postfix again to get everything working. Send a test message using localhost as your SMTP server. You’re done. If you want POP3 and IMAP servers, read the notes in our Panther article about where to look for configuration info.

Enabling MySQL Database Server for Tiger. If you installed MySQL with Panther following our Panther tutorial and if you chose the Tiger Upgrade option, then MySQL still is running and hasn’t missed a beat. How’s that for an upgrade?

Enabling PHP and phpMyAdmin for Tiger. If you performed the Apache configuration steps above, then PHP and phpMyAdmin are fully operational now that you have enabled Apache. You can verify that everything is working by recreating the test4u.php file which we covered in the Panther tutorial. For security reasons, don’t forget to delete it once everything checks out. You also should be able to access your phpMyAdmin application from your server: http://localhost/php/. Is this hard enough yet?

Enabling WebMin for Tiger. WebMin is a little more difficult to get running. We’ll need to download the latest version and reinstall it. Go to this site and scroll to the bottom of the list. Download the latest version, webmin-1.180.tar.gz, in the tar format. Choose a mirror close to you and download the file to your desktop. Since StuffIt is no longer included with Tiger, you’ll end up with webmin-1.200.tar on your desktop. Now drag this file to your Applications folder. Open a Terminal window and move to the Applications folder: cd /Applications. Now switch to root user access: sudo su. Decompress the tar ball: tar -xf webmin-1.200.tar. This will create a new webmin-1.200 subfolder in your Applications folder. Move to the WebMin installation folder: cd webmin-1.200. Start the installation script by typing ./setup.sh and press enter. Don’t forget the leading period! You’re now going to be prompted for the location for Webmin. LEAVE THE DEFAULT and it will upgrade your existing copy of Webmin from Panther. Listed below is the question (in bold) followed by the corrrect answer (in italics) for you to provide:

  • Config file directory /etc/webminpress enter

The installation script then will whirrr away upgrading WebMin for less than a minute. Be patient! Don’t touch anything. WebMin will then tell you it’s finished. Here’s the information that you will need for future reference:

  • To uninstall WebMin, open a Terminal window, sudo su, provide admin password, and run this script: /etc/webmin/uninstall.sh
  • To manually stop WebMin, open a Terminal window, sudo su, provide admin password, and run this program: /etc/webmin/stop
  • To manually start WebMin, open a Terminal window, sudo su, provide admin password, and run this program: /etc/webmin/start
  • To access WebMin with a web browser, go to http://localhost:10000 or http://127.0.0.1:10000 or http://nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn:10000 where nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn is your Mac’s IP address

Now we’re ready to see if things are working properly. Open a web browser and go to one of the addresses above. You should be prompted for a username and password. Type admin for your username and type your admin password. Don’t save it … but you knew that! You should see the WebMin opening page. Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

WebMin WARNING: WebMin has a deceptively simple user interface, and you may be tempted to muck around and improve things. Don’t … until you first RTFM (read the manual)! Or go to your favorite bookstore and thumb through a few of the many great books on WebMin. Pick one that best suits your reading style. They all pretty much cover the territory.

WebMin Housekeeping. WebMin updates are released periodically. You can get on the mailing list at webmin.com. Once you know of an update, here’s the process to get it and install it. Nothing could be simpler. Open WebMin with your web browser. Go to Webmin, Webmin Configuration, Upgrade Webmin. Move to the third form on the page which is labeled Update Modules Now. Run the test to see what you’re missing by leaving the defaults and clicking the Update Modules button. WebMin will then check for updates and tell you what you’re missing. Go back to the Update Modules section again, uncheck the “Only show …” option and check the “Install Modules …” option. Then click the Update Modules button again. The new modules will be installed. You’ll need to do this once after this install because there is at least one update available. If you don’t get on the mailing list, then you need to go through this drill about once a month. I would not turn on the automatic updates. If the WebMin update server gets compromised, you are toast!

Finally, a word about whether to run WebMin all the time. If you have a gig of RAM, it won’t hurt. With anything less, I would turn it off until I needed it. That means you probably don’t want it to start up when you boot your machine. You then can manually start it with the command shown above. Here’s how to enable or disable the automatic boot of Webmin. Open WebMin in your browser. Go to System, Bootup and Shutdown, and click on WebMin in the alphabetical list. Change the startup setting to either -YES- or -NO- and click the Save button. That should get you started with WebMin.

It’s now safe to delete your old Tiger installation folder for WebMin. Just open your Applications folder from the Desktop and drag the webmin-1.180 folder to the Trash.

Enabling The Webalizer for Tiger. Things get a little smoother here on out. Webalizer that was installed under Tiger is still working except we’ll have to manually make the correction to the Apache web log format again. Here’s how.

Open a Terminal window by going to your Applications/Utilities folder and clicking Terminal. Switch to root user access: sudo su. Provide your admin password if prompted. Now move to the directory where the Apache configuration file is stored: cd /etc/httpd. Make a copy of the existing config file just in case something goes wrong: cp httpd.conf httpd.conf.tiger.save2. Then you could copy it back if you need to. Now edit the config file: pico httpd.conf. Be careful here! Let’s first find where we need to make our logfile format change: Ctrl-W, logformat, and then enter. Now press the down-arrow key exactly 12 times. You should be at the beginning of a line which reads: CustomLog “/private/var/log/httpd/access_log” common. Insert a pound sign at the beginning of this line by pressing #. Now press the down-arrow key exactly 13 times. You should be at the beginning of a line which reads: #CustomLog “/private/var/log/httpd/access_log” combined. Delete the pound sign at the beginning of this line by pressing Ctrl-D. The # sign should disappear. Now save your changes: Ctrl-X, Y, and press enter.

We’ve configured Apache to generate log entries in the new format, but we still have the original Tiger log file in the old format. So let’s rename it. Move to the Apache log file directory: cd /var/log/httpd. Now rename the log file: mv access_log access_log.save. To generate a new empty log file in the new format, we need to restart Apache: Click on the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your screen, choose System Preferences, and click on the Sharing folder. Uncheck the check box beside Personal Web Sharing and wait for your web server to shut down. Now check the check box beside Personal Web Sharing to restart Apache. Command-Q closes System Preferences.

Apple didn’t mess with our crontab file during the Tiger upgrade so our cron job will kick off daily to update your Webalizer statistics. You can look at your Webalizer charts any time you like by going to the following site with your web browser: localhost/webalizer/.

Enabling Web Calendars for Tiger. Guess what. Your web calendars still work at localhost/ical/. You don’t have to touch a thing, and the crontab job will update your web calendar information from your iCal data every day.

Enabling Email Reminders with Tiger. Must be your lucky day. Your email reminders still work at localhost/emrem/. And the hourly cron job to email you notices is still running as well.

Crontab and CronniX for Tiger. Yep. Crontab and CronniX still work, too. And all of your cron jobs have been left just as they were with Panther. In fact, nothing has changed except CronniX now appears in your Applications folder as CronniX.app.

Enabling WordPress 1.5 Blog for Tiger. And, last but not least, your WordPress blog is still alive and well at localhost/blog/. Incidentally, Tiger Vittles is a WordPress 1.5 blog, too. And, if you haven’t looked since our Panther article on WordPress, there now are more than a hundred new themes available here for WordPress 1.5. So … Keep on Bloggin’.

That takes care of upgrading the first ten ISP-In-A-Box projects for Tiger. We’ll tackle some more next week. Enjoy!

Late Delivery of Tiger?

Posted by Ward Mundy on April 29th, 2005

If you’re one of the unfortunate souls that ordered Tiger directly from Apple and didn’t get it last Friday, you need to call 1-800-676-2775 and complain nicely. In return, Apple gave me my choice of a $30 credit on my next order or a copy of iWork or iLife, both of which sell for $79. Not bad for a two-minute phone call. And the Class Act Award goes to … Apple. Finally, read this news flash for the latest word on file sharing. Now aren’t you glad you read this column today.