Archive for the ‘Mac OS X’ Category

How to colorize your Mac OS X Terminal – Beautify your Mac OS terminal and proper Page Up / Page Down and Home / End bindings

Thursday, March 19th, 2015


If you're a sysadmin (like me) or a programmer and love working on console most of the time on a recently bought Apple (Mac) PC, probably not like that by default Terminal App lacks nice color highlighting, color highlighly is already standard on Ubuntu / Debian / Mint and many of the streamline Linux distros for years, so it's weird that the shiny Mac lacks that in console 🙂
 I'm not blaming Mac OS developers for shipping by default Mac's console so much greyish as most Mac userbase almost never use terminals, however adding some appearance candy makes my boring digital life much more entertaining.

beautify-add-colors-to-Mac-OSX-default-app-program-add-shiny-clolors-improve-mac-os-x-terminal-screenshot.png

Put in your home directory $HOME/.profile or in .bash_profile file below code:

 

vim ~/.profile
PS1='\[\e[0;33m\]\u\[\e[0m\]@\[\e[0;32m\]\h\[\e[0m\]:\[\e[0;34m\]\w\[\e[0m\]\$ '
export PATH="/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH"
export CLICOLOR=1
export LSCOLORS=ExFxBxDxCxegedabagacad
alias ls='ls -GFh'

 

echo "PS1='\[\e[0;33m\]\u\[\e[0m\]@\[\e[0;32m\]\h\[\e[0m\]:\[\e[0;34m\]\w\[\e[0m\]\$ '
export PATH="/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH"" >> ~/.profile

echo "export CLICOLOR=1" >> ~/.profile
echo "export LSCOLORS=ExFxBxDxCxegedabagacad" >> ~/.profile
echo "alias ls='ls -GFh'"  >> ~/.profile

 


PS1 with above string do colorize Terminal's default “username@hostname:cwd $” following alias makes by default ls (dir) command to have colors enabled (show files and folders in shiny colors like on GNU / Linux). As you see the ls command perameter -G which actually adds colors is the same like in FreeBSD (since very big part of Mac OS is based on BSD UNIX utils), -F makes directories to be marked with / and -h (stands for human readable).
If you want to enable terminal ls colors for all existing Mac computer users open /etc/profile and (uncomment) / include:

 

export CLICOLOR=1
export LSCOLORS=GxFxCxDxBxegedabagaced

 


If you want to customize further Mac OS's default Terminal App (add different Colorize Theme), change default shell, change default Title, add Transparency, Change Term Encoding etc.  go and check settings in:
 

Terminal -> Settings


Mac-OS-default-Terminal-shell-settings-interface-change-theme-mountain-lion-screenshot
One really annoying thing about Mac OS X terminal for being users is that by default Command + D which is like CTRL + D on a non-Mac PC sends Split Window command, splitting the screen by two,  if you're a new Mac user like me you will have to get used to Command + Shift + D which is the Mac equivalent of regular PC keyboard CTRL + D. Note that it is not possible to move between Splitted screens but instead the upper part of the split screen is just like a buffer where old output from terminal is put and can be used to keep an eye constantly on old content displayed on terminal …
If you're too lazy to edit files and stuff and just want to receive already well configured Terminal which has many of the features of gnome-terminal / konsole which are not there in  Mac's default Terminal App, just download and use iTerm2 (OS X Terminal Replacement)

iterm2-mac-osx-mounta-lion-10.8.5-best-terminal-application-for-mac-OSX-screenshot

Once over with Terminal customizations if you happen to use VI Improved (VIM) text editor as an editor of choice on Mac create at least following .vimrc in your HOME directory
 

$ vim ~/.vimrc

" End
map <C-E> <End>
imap <C-E> <C-O><End>

" Home
map <C-A> <Home>
map <C-A> <C-O><Home>

 


This maps Command + A / Command + E to (emulate) act like normal PC Home / End Keyboard key button, to emulate Page Up / Page Down keys on Mac OS keyboard inside Terminal app use Fn (key) + Up / Down arrows.
To make HOME / END buttons answer to Control + A / E on a Terminal App level:

 

Inside Terminal.app
Open the Preferences window (CMD+,)
Click the Settings tab
Select your current Settings theme, and click on the Keyboard tab
Edit (or Add) the entry for Home
Set Action: to send string to shell:
Set the string to \001 (or press Ctrl+a)
Edit (or Add) the entry for End
Set Action: to send string to shell:
Set the string to \005 (or press Ctrl+e)
Edit (or Add) the entry for Page Up
Set Action: to send string to shell:
Set the string to \033[5~ (copy and paste this in)
Edit (or Add) the entry for Page Down
Set Action: to send string to shell:
Set the string to \033[6~ (copy and paste this in)
Close the settings window.

Free Software Remote Desktop for Mac OS X – CoRD simple RDP remote desktop for Mac

Monday, August 4th, 2014

free-software-remote-desktop-client-to-connect-to-windows-rdp-for-MAC-OSX-CoRD-logo
If you're admin using Mac OS X Desktop or casually on a place where you have no access to a Windows / Linux PC (only have access to your girlfriend of wife MAC OS notebook) and you need to administrate Windows hosts remotely out of office hours (from home), you will need some remote desktop client for Mac OS X.

I was just recently in that situation as we were guests to a friend in Shabla village nearby Sea coast and the only near PC, I had was my wife's MacBook Air running Mac OS X.

I looked in google to see if there is some default RDP (remote desktop protocol) client like MS Windows remote desktop command line client, i.e. (yes there is way to invoke remote desktop on Windows from command line 🙂 ):

mstsc [] [/v:] [/admin] [/f[ullscreen]] [/w:] [/h:] [/public] | [/span] [/edit “connection file”] [/migrate] [/?]

remote-desktop-run-from-windows-command-line-rdp-command-line-ms-windows-screenshot

I also looked if there is Mac OS X version ofLinux's rdesktop (command) or RDP Linux GUI remmina 
however  I didn't find direct port of em, neither there is default integrated RDP Client on Mac OS X, thus after researching a bit further I tried installing the first returned result in Google which was leading to Apple's AppStore – Apple – Remote Desktop.

I tried installing the clicking it but it seemed my wife, didn't know her AppStore as it was her cousin which earlier configured her Mac OS PC on laptop initial install time. Contacting her cousin to ask for the password was a time eater as well as I was lazy to create new appstore account (plus I always prefer to use free software alternative when possible) …  did a quick search in Google whether there is some Open Source / Free Software Remote Desktop Client for Mac OS X and I found CoRD – Mac OS X remote desktop client for Microsoft Windows computers using the RDP protocol.
CoRD was originally ported from UNIX program rdesktop.
To have CoRD working you will need as a minimum requirement Mac OS X version 10.5 or later.

CoRD-Free-Software-Open_Source-remote-desktop-client-for-mac-osx
Here is CoRD's description quoted from its SourceForge website:

CoRD: Simple RDP Remote Desktop

Macs interact well with Windows, and with CoRD the experience is a bit smoother. Great for working on the office terminal server, administrating servers or any other time you'd like your PC to be a bit closer without leaving your Mac. CoRD allows you to view each session in its own window, or save space with all sessions in one window. Scale session windows to whatever size fits you—the screen is resized automatically. Enter full screen mode and feel like you're actually at the computer. The clipboard is automatically synchronized between CoRD and the server. For system administrators, CoRD creates a simpler workflow by allowing you to save server information, then quickly connect to that server by using HotKeys or the server drawer. This makes quickly connecting to a specific server easy, even when managing many servers.

Installing CoRD is pretty, straight forward, just download unzip the archive and run it:

cord-remote-desktop-free-software-client-mac-osx-install-warning-screenshot

cord-remote-desktop-free-software-client-mac-osx-install-warning-screenshot.png

cord-open-source-rdp-client-mac-osx

To later run Cord either look it up in Finder or if you prefer like me to access it from command line, you will need to export CoRD PATH in Mac Terminal $PATH variable:

add-cord-remote-desktop-lcient-command-to-default-path-mac-osx

As you see in above screenshot to find out which directory is CoRD located, I've grepped through the processes with

ps ax | grep cord

and then added it to PATH with:

export PATH=$PATH:/Users/svetlana/Application/CoRD.app/Contents/MacOS/

Remembering CoRD to type it each time is annoying, thus to make CorD be accessed like on Linux with rdesktop (easy to remember command), I've used alias:

alias rdesktop='CoRD'

To make the new PATH and alias permanent for the user, I've added it to (/Users/svetlana) – ~/.profile

echo "export PATH=$PATH:/Users/svetlana/Application/CoRD.app/Contents/MacOS/" >> ~/.profile
echo "alias rdesktop='CoRD'" >> ~/.profile


Current CoRD MacOSX version is 0.5.7, for personal ease if I need to install it in future time, I've made my own mirror of cord here.

There is also Microsoft Remote Desktop client for Mac OS 2.1.1 however this version was released back in 2011 and is outdated (not supported for use with Mac OS X v10.7 (Lion) or later).

Run 2 and more Skypes simultaneously on Mac OS X – Run multiple Skype acccounts on same Mac

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

run-2-and-more-skypes-simultaneously-on-mac-os-x-multiple-skype-account-login-on-mac
For people running Mac OS X, the question of 
how is it possible to use 2 skype accounts in parallel on Mac probably makes good sense?

I don't own a Mac notebook and thefore I'm a Mac newbie, however, I'm into situation where I and my wife Svetlana went (for 3 days) to my hometown Dobrich and we have with us only her Mac OS X powered Mac Book air.

 

One user is already logged in Skype, (my wife) is expecting some relatives and friends to contact us and  same time I had to login to check few servers via ssh and discuss some server downtime issues from yesterday in Skype .
Thus we
need 2 skype instances to run separately on her Macbook air powered PC with Mac OS X Leopard
 

Earlier I've blogged how to make 2 and more Skype accounts work simultaneously on one Windows PC because I had to set it up for a company, in this short article I will explain how is possible to run many skype clients on Mac OS X.

 

1. Open Mac Terminal from Finder

finder-terminal-screenshot-mac-os-x-leopard-run-many-skypes-mac-os

2. In Terminal run the first Skype Instance

Type in Terminal:

open /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype

3. Run Second Skype instance

In older Skype Mac OS versions, I read the

/secondary

Skype command option was there and could be used to run a second parallel skype instance on Mac, however in newer releases this option was removed and if you try to invoke it warning window pops up saying an instance is already running.

mac-os-x-you-have-another-copy-of-skype-running-screenshot

To get around the issue and run the second Skype, quickest way is to run another Skype client under privileged user through sudo command (this is unsecure – but anyways as Mac OS is proprietary and we don't have access to code and probably there are tons of spy and report software integrated into the OS, it doesn't really matter.)

mac-os-x-skype-run-screenshot-pic

To get around the issue and run the second Skype, quickest way is to run another Skype client under privileged user through sudo command (this is unsecure – but anyways as Mac OS is proprietary and we don't have access to code and probably there are tons of spy and report software integrated into the OS, it doesn't really matter.)

4. Script it into 2nd_skype.sh for later use

To run and use two parallel skypes regularly it might be useful to make shell script out of it and place it somewhere, 2nd_skype.sh script should be something like:


#!/bin/bash
open /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype
sudo /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype

Then make the script executable with:

chmod a+x 2nd_skype.sh

5. Run more than 2 Skypes (Run multiple Skypes on same Mac PC hack)

There is another "hack" method with deleting the Skype.pid (Process ID). Skype recognize where it is running by checking its Skype.pid on start up.

Deleting the pid after each next Skype client launch,  allow the user to run as many Skypes as you want on Mac OS X but it is not clear for how long it time it will work.

rm -f ~/Library/Application Support/Skype/Skype.pid

Then launch again Skype in background from Mac Terminal

open -nW '/Application/Skype.app' &

In case if you wonder why the open command is used, since above line could be run also directly and Skype will pop-up, by using open command you instruct the program to detach itself from Terminal from which it run, so later if Terminal is closed Skype app. will not terminate.

Another approach is to create, a many users lets say 5 users and use the Skype sudo run method each client with a separate user.

sudo user1 /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype
sudo user2 /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype
sudo user3 /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype
sudo user4 /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype

sudo user5 /Applications/Skype.app/Contents/MacOS/Skype

I enclose the script with the custom icon (Skype) ready to be launched and Voila, on script launch Skype multiple login prompts pops up.

For the lazy ones who don't want to tamper with writting scripts or doing hacks to run Skype multiple times on Mac there is even a Multi Skype Launcher app for Mac.

 


 

Restart hung Mac OS application – How to kill programs in Mac OS – alternative of Windows CTRL + ALT + DEL

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

mac-kill-hung-application-killing-freezed-application-on-mac-osx
If you happen to have the rare case of having a hung MAC OS X application and you're coming from a Linux / Windows background you will be certainly wonderhing how to kill Mac OS X hung application.
In Mac OS the 3 golden buttons to kill crashed application are:

 

COMMAND + OPTION + ESCAPE

Command + Option + Escape

while pressed simultaneously is the Mac Computer equivalent of Windows CTRL + ALT + DEL

mac-os-force-kill-hung-application-force-program-exit-mac-OSX

Holding together COMMAND  + OPTION + ESCAPE on MAC OS brings up the Force Quit Window showing and letting you choose between the list of open applications. To close freezed MAC application, choose it and Press the Force Quit Button this will kill immediately that application.  

To directly end application without invoking the choose Force Quit Window menu, to force a hanging app quit right click on its icon in Dock (CTRL + Click) and choose "Force Quit” from context menu.

A little bit more on why applications hung in MAC OS. Each application in MAC OS has its event queue. Event queue is created on initial application launch, event queue is buffer that accepts input from system (could be user input from kbd or mouse, messages passed from other programs etc.). Program is hanging when system detects queued events are not being used.

macOSX-EventQueue-reason-for-application-hung-in-macs
Other reasons for Mac OS hanging program is whether you're attaching detaching new hardware peripherals (i.e. problems caused by improper mount / unmounts), same hang issues are often observed on BSD and Linux. Sometimes just re-connecting (mouse, external hdd etc.) resolves it.
Program hungs due to buggy software are much rarer in Macs just like in IPhones and Ipads due to fact mac applications are very well tested until published in appstore.

Issues with program hungs in Mac sometimes happen after "sleep mode" during "system wake" function – closing, opening macbook. If a crashed program is of critical importance and you don't want to "Force Quit" with COMMAND + OPTION + ESC. Try send PC to sleep mode for a minute or 2 by pressing together OPTION + COMMAND + EJECT.

An alternative approach to solve hanging app issue is to Force-quit Finder and Dock to try that, launch Terminal

And type there:

# killall Dock

Other useful to know Mac OS keyboard combination is COMMAND + OPTION + POWERHold together Command and Option and after a while press Power – This is a shortcut to instruct your Mac PC to reboot.

How to fix problem with Skype No Video on MacBook Air with Mac OS X 10.8.6 / Mac OS X Repair OS file permissions with Disk Utility

Monday, December 9th, 2013

mac os x utilities disk utility reset Mac OSX file permissions to default
My girlfriend Svetlana has MacBook Air and just recently her skype Video calls stopped working once again after Mac OS X offered her to apply some update. Her notebook as of time of writting this post is running Mac OS X version 10.8.6. About 1 month and a halfago she was facing same Skype No VIdeo on Mac BookAri issues for how I fixed her No Video Skype issues back then check here. Initially I thought again the problem will be identical and to test if Web Camera hardware is detected on a hardware level by OS, I tried to check if it is displaying videoi FaceTime application. Last time there was no Video in Skype on her Mac Book Air  I remember clearly camera was detected on OS level and displaying well in Facetime, however this time even in facetime I couldn't see a capture of myself … As obviously problem was not in Skype Mac OS previous time fix of substituting AppleCamera.plugin with older version would not fix it. After some evaluation on problem and reading large number of posts on Apple support forums, I've came to the conclusion that it is possible the whole issues are faced by improper permissions applied by latest applied Mac OS update. In such cases people were recommending to Repair Mac OS Standard OS Files Permissions using an OS embedded tool called Disk Utility.
Disk Utility is an application that's built into OS X that can perform lots of useful and even scary actions.Sysadmins and advanced users seem to find frequent need of this handy tool but those newer to the Mac OS it is better to only use it after reading the docs and well realizing what exactly doing.

To Find / Open Disk Utility on Mac OS;

Launch Applications folder -> Utilities (folder), click the name of your startup disk, and select Repair Disk Permissions.

mac-oSX-applications-utilitilities-diskutility


Mac OS X 10.8.6 Disk Utility Repair Disk Permissions screenshot
As I can understand from other ports reverting Mac OS File permissions to their default can solve a number of strange issues with Mac OS.
After repairing Mac OS X basis OS file permissions and testing in FaceTime and Skype, Camera god detected and Video was working fine 🙂
Hope this little article helps someone to fix same issues, if so please drop a thank you comment 😉

How to change between languages in Mac OS X (Switch between input languages with key combination)

Monday, October 7th, 2013
Ever wondered how to change between set input languages in Mac OS X? If you're coming from Windows background you already are used to keyboard switch mapping Alt + Shift or CTRL + Shift. 

So how to do switch keyboard language setting in Mac OS X ?
Navigate to:

Apple Icon (upper left on screen) -> System Preferences->Language & Text -> Input Sources -> (Tick on Keyboard and Character View) -> Keyboard Shortcuts -> (Select the previous input source).

mac-osX-system-preferences

mac-OSX-system-preferences-keyboard-and-text

keyboard-and-character-viewer-not-selected

By default Mac OS X is set to open SpotLight with same key language switch combination as for switch between languages (key binded are CMD + Space), thus CMD + Space will not work to switch languages.

mac-osx-keyboard-and-character-viewer

select-the-previous-input-source MAC OS X change languages set screenshot

Click on Select the previous input source and rebind it to something else (something very close is cmd + z or alt + z). Onwards you can switch between languages with whatever key binded. Unfortunately there is no default way to make Mac OS X change languages with Windows classical Alt + Shift. 

There is however external app KeyRemap4macbook capable to customize Keyboard mapping to familiar Alt + Shift
I don't like installing it, prefer using default OS features and bind language switch to Alt+Z.

Rename files in Mac OS X keyboard shortcut and how to get extended file info in Mac OS X

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

rename file-or folder in mac os X howto

I'm very new user of MAC OS X and starting to learn from the very basics. I don't own MacBook myself and I use temporary a friend's one til recently I was very anti-MAC OS minded. But after spending some time working on Mac I can admit in terms of design and simplicity MAC is not bad at all.
After some use a very logical question was raised in my head today, i.e.;

How to rename a file in MAC OS X using a keyboard shortcut?


In Linux and Linux I do it by pressing F2, I guessed same should work on MAC OS but cmd (command) + 2 doesn't do anything in MAC).

After quick check in Google I figured it out and I was deeply shocked by the way this is done!
 

  • To rename on MAC OS I had to click over file which want to rename once, then presses Enter and type in the new file name.

In both Linux and Windows pressing over the file with Enter with open it with Internet Explorer or if a binary .EXE will launch it … honestly this keyboard configuration is one of the weirdest things I've seen so far.

Whether you need to rename a Folder instead of file is done again by clicking over Folder and pressing Enter.

Other useful keyboard shortcut for MAC OS users, I've just found is CMD + I – opens file information window with various useful info.
Below is output from CMD + I on one of images stored on Desktop

mac OS X extended file information by pressing Command + I screenshot

Of course there are other methods to rename file using Mouse. To rename via mouse its necessary do;

  • Delay Click over file name to rename

Other method for console maniacs is to just use mv (move command) via Terminal, just like in UNIX, i.e.:

# mv file-name1 new-file-name

 

How to fix Skype no (built in) web camera on MacBook Air with (Mac OS X 10.8.5) resolve Skype issue of Aug 2013

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Resolve fix issue with no camera in MacBookAir

My dear fiance girlfriend Svetlana, has a MacBookAir from 2013 since a month time. We speak quite regularly in Skype since right now she is in Belarus and I'm in Bulgaria. So it was a big surprise for me today her brand new shiny MacBookAir camera stopped working. She is completely new to Mac OS X so she didn't have idea if something automatically updated on the notebook, probably some update poped up and she proceeded to update. Well no matter how the issue happened … I instructed her how to install TeamViewer (for Mac OS X – just download the .DMG double click it and install) and logged in to the PC to check what's happening. In FaceTime video was showing fine so obviously on OS level webcamera was detected. I saw some threads suggesting sometimes built in webcam is not working due to some other application which uses the camera (Safari instrance using flash to open webcam, FacePalm or whatever) …
I checked the version release of Mac OS X and it showed Mac OS X 10.8.5. I checked whether some updates are available but there were none. After browsing a bit figured out the web camera not detected Skype error is experienced by hundreds of MacBook air users online. Thanksfully there is a quick and simple fix by just substituting a file called AppleCamera.plugin.

Below are instructions on how to fix I followed from Skype's Community Website: 
———————

This is a very simple fix that works! There are lots of ways to do it, but to put it very simply ,

Download  the AppleCamera.plugin provided.
 

Click on go in the finder menu, select go to golder and paste in  /Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/ ,

 

move that item, AppleCamera.plugin, to the trash

 

Go to your downloads folder and copy the new  AppleCamera.plugin, then paste it in the folder where the old one was. 

 

It works

After following literally instructions Skype camera worked out like a charm 😉

Improve night sleep with F.lex on Mac OS X, iPhone and iPad

Monday, February 25th, 2013

f.lux application change screen color gamma to sleep better when using computer late at night macOSX and iphone
Recently I blogged about how to reduce night sleep problems and diminish insomnia on Linux with little command line tool – redshift. Now I'm in a friend who is a Mac user and since he had lately problems with sleeping. I remembered about redshift and one other tool which I read about called F.lex. We give it a try and installed it on his Mac OS X Lion – ver (10.7.5). Installation is like other standard Mac OS X applications, download f.lux version for Mac OS then click  .DMG binary and you're asked if you want to install the program in Mac active Applications. That's all the program is installed and you don't even need to configure it as the program automatically determines Time Zone / Geographic Location  configured for OS X. Once installed you will notice the F.lux switching screen gamma icon on left of Mac panel:

sleep better when using Mac laptop at night with F.lux

In F.lux configuration, by using Search button the program can automatically determine Geographic Location, however if you it fails to determine proper location and improperly sets the screen color gamma, you can manually set location coordinates. F.lux tunes screen color gamma accordingly to day or night and time in day. If it is night it makes the screen reddish, so eyes our eyes relax strain (stress) and our organism prepares to get to bed so once you're in bed it is easier for your brain to get asleep.

F.lux screenshot on Mac OS X Lion improve night sleep insomnia

Now here it is 23:37 at Night and F.lux smartly changed the color gamma accordingly to night mode (reddish) gamma. I've noticed on F.lux's website there is version for iPhone and iPad