Apple Software Update Server – Client configuration

To switch a Mac client from collecting its updates from Apple to your Software Update Server then you will need to apply the following to the client machines

Open Terminal and paste the following text into it

For 10.7

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL http://YOURSERVERNAMEHERE:8088/index-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog

if running from Apple Remote Desktop then you can send the following UNIX command as root user

defaults write /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL http://YOURSERVERNAMEHERE:8088/index-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog

For 10.6

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL http://YOURSERVERNAMEHERE:8088/index-leopard-snowleopard.merged-1.sucatalog

or if running from ARD then you can send the following as root user

defaults write /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL http://YOURSERVERNAMEHERE:8088/index-leopard-snowleopard.merged-1.sucatalog

For 10.5

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL http://YOURSERVERNAMEHERE:8088/

again if running from ARD then you can send the following as root user

defaults write /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL http://YOURSERVERNAMEHERE:8088/

To confirm that this has worked, run Software Update on the client and it should add your servers name to the window during the check for updates.

To remove a machine from a local ASUS and collect updates from Apple again then type the following into the Terminal

sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL

or if running from ARD then do the following as root user

defaults delete /Library/Preferences/ CatalogURL

Create a bootable Lion USB key

To make a bootable Lion USB key, you will need the following

1. A USB Key, minimum 8GB, I use these
2. The Install Mac OS X Lion App

Ok, so first, you need to start up your Mac

Now plug the USB key into your Mac

Next you will need to open Disk Utility, this is located in /Applications/Utilities

Format the USB Key so that it is Mac OS X Journaled and make sure you choose the ‘GUID Partition Table’ option, otherwise you will not be able to boot a Mac from it.

Then you need to locate ‘Install Mac OS X’ which should be in /Applications

If you have deleted it since installing then you can redownload it by opening the App Store, then hold down ALT and click on Purchases, this will enable you to redownload it by clicking Install

Click on the ‘Install Mac OS X’ to run it, click on ‘Continue’ then Agree to the license and you will be shown your main hard disk, under that there is an option to ‘Show All Disks’ click on that and choose your USB key, click on ‘Install’ and the process will begin, you will then have to restart the machine so the installation can complete, this usually takes around 40 minutes

After this has finished you will be able to boot from your USB key into a full Mac OS Environment, and providing you keep this OS fully updated then you should be able to use it to boot up any Mac.

Once it is fully patched, you can install any additional tools that you use for troubleshooting machines.

My iOS device is talking to me

If you have recently set up an iOS device then you may have encountered an issue where the device will keep talking to you, telling you what you are pressing etc.

To disable this, you will need to do the following

Go into Settings

Then go into General

Then Accessibility

You should find that VoiceOver is currently enabled, so switch this off

Problem solved

Disable Bonjour advertising

As a security precaution I always disable Bonjour advertising on all macs on my network, please note that this will not stop Bonjour from working, but it will stop your macs from advertising their presence on your network.

Here is how to do it

Open a Terminal window

If you are logged in as an administrator then type the following:

sudo nano /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

you need to look for the following section


now add the following string to the array


so the array should now look like this


To save the file press CTRL-X

This will ask you if you wish to save, press Y for yes, and N for no

If you chose to save it then you will get a prompt about the save location, this will more than likely be the same place you opened the file from, in this example we want the file to stay in the same location, so just press ENTER to complete the save process

Reboot your machine and see if it shows up in Finder (on a different machine), if it does then you may have a spelling mistake in the additional line, reopen the file using the instructions above and check it over

As I said this will not disable Bonjour, so you will still be able to connect to Bonjour printers etc.

Hide a volume

To hide a volume in Mac OS X 10.6 you will need to do the following

First, Install the Developer Tools (You can find these on the Mac OS X Installation Disc that came with your machine, or you can download Xcode from the Mac App Store).

Once you have done this Open a Terminal Window and type the following

sudo SetFile -a V /Volumes/VolumeName

replace VolumeName with the name of the volume you wish to hide

then type

sudo reboot

when the machine has rebooted you will notice that the volume no longer appears either on the desktop, or in a Finder window

to reveal a previously hidden volume just type the same command but use a lower case v


sudo SetFile -a v /Volumes/VolumeName

A common use for this would be to hide a volume with sensitive data on, although this will not encrypt any data so is not the best method for confidential items.