In the past fifteen years, I have used Macs and macOS became my operating system of choice. The first mac I got was a Mac Mini G4 and in the following years it was exchanged by a multitude of other devices. There are many things to love about the Mac, including the asthetics, silent operation, the fact that it all works out-of-the-box, alongside a neat UNIX-based operating system that can run both most proprietary applications alongside open source UNIX apps.
I’m working on an application where I use Docker and docker-compose to orchestrate a NodeJS container running my backend and a MongoDB container for my database. Using Docker for Mac, I’ve seen drastic slowdowns when initially establishing the database connection. When I used a Linux host, everything was extremely smooth. Since Docker for Mac creates a xhyve-based virtual machine running a Linux with the Docker daemon inside, I initially thought that this is just the usual slow in-VM performance compared to running Docker natively on the host system.
I recently started to convert all of my movies from MKV to MP4. The main reason for this is that I want to be able to play back videos from all my Apple devices without the need for additional software, like VLC or IINA.
For many people not that deep into video file formats I want to explain what the supported formats for video on macOS are and how to get there from almost any source material.
For a project I was working on, I had a folder structure full of images and wanted to compress them to a specific maximum resolution in-place while retaining the aspect ratio using ImageMagick. The crucial point, as so often, were spaces and special characters in the folder names, making it really hard to use bash loops etc. to make this work. With the NULL character trick, luckily this works pretty well.
I maintain an archive of videos, especially documentaries from public media libraries from tv channels etc. on my NAS. Whilst I can use youtube-dl for the most part, it’s rather difficult for sites that use HTTP live streaming (HLS) to stream their content. In the most cases this is even AES-128 encrypted, which makes it difficult to download it. But since there’s players that support playback, it’s obviously possible to decode the stream on the client side.
Even though there are like one million guides on how to secure macOS properly, I decided to throw in my 5c on this topic. In contrast to many other guides, I’d just like to provide you with the best practices that I also use. This one is about the essential things that I always do when getting a new Mac to provide better security while preserving almost all macOS features like iCloud document saving or Time Machine usage.
As it turns out, the Apple Time Capsule only uses SMB protocol version 1 and NTLM for authentication. While this works with macOS without any changes, it often creates problem when trying to mount the the Time Capsule’s SMB share on a Linux system. With this parameters, mounting should work out of the box, given you have the cifs-utils (Debian/Ubuntu) installed:
sudo mount.cifs //10.0.0.1/Data /mnt/timecapsule/ -o password='yourpw',sec=ntlm,uid=<local user>,vers=1.0 If you have any problems or further insights, feel free to leave a comment.
Current macOS versions are weird… Often when I connect my MacBook Pro to the two screens on my desk, the wallpaper on one of that guys is either gone or changed to a different one.
After many attempts to search them in my bunch of 2k wallpapers, I eventually gave up and wrote a script that sets the wallpaper on all my screens like this:
osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to set picture of every desktop to ("/some/path/wallpaper.
Just as a short update: Starting from the newest AirPods update, they also finally work as a headset on the Mac. Before there was a issue that caused audio quality to drop when using the AirPods both as headphones and microphones at the same time.
macOS has the osascript command line tool that allows you to run embedded AppleScript right from within shell scripts. As AppleScript also has capabilities to show notifications, you can utilize this to show messages in the macOS Notification Center.
Here is an example:
osascript -e 'display notification "Something happened" with title "Test"' If you have any further tips that will help people supercharge their shell scripts on macOS, feel free to leave them as a comment.
After finishing with the hardware and software parts of my new NAS, I decided to append another little project which is aimed to provide a simplified control panel for macOS in the menu bar on the upper right of the screen.
Objective What I wanted to achieve is a possibility to mount my various shares with one click as well as having controls for power on/off and SSH. Additionally the control should indicate whether the NAS is currently powered on or not.
UPDATE 2018-06-02: I’ve created a new version of this article called “Securing macOS” available here: https://www.davd.io/securing-macos/
While building my new NAS, I came across the question how to provide a Time Machine backup solution for my OS X clients.
As I run OS X on all my machines I want to back up all data to my NAS.
netatalk allows to create file shares for OS X
to provide a simple solution for system backups.