System Preferences – Security & Privacy – 10.8

 

So, the major change in 10.8 is the default restrictions on which applications can be installed, which can prevent installation of apps such as Microsoft Office and some other popular software.

To enable software from all developers, make sure that under ‘Allow applications downloaded from:’ the button next to ‘Anywhere’ is selected

I’d also recommend ticking the box next to ‘Require password after sleep or screen saver begins’ to prevent unauthorised use of your machine

In the FileVault tab you have the option of encrypting your whole system drive, this is great on a laptop as it will prevent access before even booting & will disable Target Disk Mode, make sure you have a note of the Recovery Key that is displayed when enabling this, as this will be the only way you could access the machine if you forgot your password.

The Privacy tab now has info on which apps have requested access to your contacts, location service info, access to Facebook, and the option to send diagnostic data to Apple

Running Windows 7 as the only Operating System on your Mac

Due to the portability & power of the MacBook Air range, lots of people have been buying them to use solely as Windows laptops too, I will run through how you can set one up as a Windows 7 only machine, whilst I have been doing this on MacBook Airs, I don’t see why you couldn’t apply this guide to any of the recent Macs For this you will need the following 1. USB Key (FAT formatted) with 700MB of free space 2. Windows 7 CD/DVD 3. External USB CD/DVD drive First, boot up the Mac, log in & run the Boot Camp Assistant (located at /Applications/Utilities), we only want the Windows drivers, so the only box you want ticked is the one next to ‘Download the latest Windows support software from Apple’, Click Continue, you can use either option for the drivers, but for this I’ll be using the ‘Save a copy to an external drive one, Click Continue and then choose the USB key as the save location, after a short while the drivers will be downloaded and saved into a folder called WindowsSupport on the USB Key. Next, we will need to erase the Mac OS partition and format it as FAT, to do this you need to reboot the Mac, and hold down ALT as it boots up, choose the Recovery HD partition, then choose Disk Utility once thats loaded. Now click on the Macintosh HD partition in the left hand menu, click on the Erase tab, In the format drop down menu choose FAT, you can name the partition anything you want, it doesn’t ultimately matter, and then click Erase Once that is complete, connect your External USB CD/DVD Drive to the Mac and quit Disk Utility, then click on the Apple logo in the top left hand corner of the screen and choose Restart, when prompted to choose a startup disk, choose the Windows CD/DVD You will now be booted into the Windows installation CD/DVD, which is fairly straightforward, you just need to click through until you get to a point where the installer claims it cannot install Windows on the volume, then you choose the volume you formatted as FAT in the earlier step, and click on the format button, this switches it from FAT to NTFS, which should make the Windows installer happy, and you should now be able to proceed with the Windows installation Once this is complete, and the machine reboots, it may boot into the Recovery HD, if it does, just click on the Apple logo in the top left hand corner and choose restart, you will now be able to choose the Windows partition to boot from, so click on this and click restart, from now on, your Mac should boot into the Windows partition by default Finally, you need to install the Windows drivers, to do this, log into Windows, insert your USB Key, and choose the WindowsSupport folder and run the Setup.exe file to install all the drivers, once this is complete, reboot the machine and you are all done, a fully, windowsed mac, with the Recovery partition available in case you need to revert it back to a Mac.

Command Line – System Administration

In this article, I will run through a few commands used to admin your machine.

ps

used to list processes running on the system, examples of usage below

ps

List processes belonging to the current user that are attached to the terminal

ps -x

List processes belonging to the current user, whether or not they are attached to the terminal

ps -ax

List all running processes on the system

ps -aux 

List all the running processes on the system, with additional info about the resources used (most commonly used in trying to find the process causing a system slowdown)

top 

Lists the top CPU consuming processes on the system, this will run continuously though so type q to quit it

top

displays a list of processes, highest process ID (process spawned most recently) first, updates once every second

top -us5

Displays processes sorted by CPU usage, updates once every 5 seconds

kill

Used to kill processes, sometimes essential in restoring control to a hung GUI

kill ###

replace ### with the number of the process you wish to terminate and it should end

kill -1 ###

tells process ### to hang up, which is basically like restarting or reloading the process

kill -9 ###

tells process ### to terminate instantly, like a force quit option in the GUI

ifconfig

Used to view the current network configuration, you can use it to change settings but these may not stick after a reboot, so to enforce changes use the Network preference pane in System Preferences

ifconfig -a

List the computers network ports and their settings

lsof

Used to list open files on the machine

lsof

Lists all files currently open by the you and your processes

sudo lsof

Lists all files currently open by any user on the entire system

sudo lsof -i

Lists all open network connections on the entire system

sudo lsof “/Volumes/External_Drive”

Replace External_Drive with the name of your USB Key or External Hard Drive and it will list all the open files on that volume, useful when a drive won’t eject due to something still using that device.

For more info on the functions listed above just type man followed by their name

man ps

man top

man kill

man ifconfig

Cloned Image Clean Up

If you have created an image of a Mac to deploy onto other Macs then you will need to clean the machine of certain user & machine specific files

To do this, you will need to mount the image on another machine and in Terminal enter the following

sudo rm /Volumes/MacHD/Users/username/Send Registration
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/Users/username/Desktop/*
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/Users/username/Downloads/*
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/Users/username/Library/Caches/*

Replace username with the name of any and all of the user accounts on the image

sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/Documentation/old_*
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/Library/Caches/*
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/System/Library/Caches/*
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/Library/Managed Preferences/*
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/Users/Shared/*
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/private/etc/ssh_host*
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/private/var/db/volinfo.database
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/private/var/vm/swap*
 sudo rm -rf /Volumes/MacHD/private/var/vm/sleepimage

In these examples, my image Volume is named MacHD, always make sure your image Volume is not named the same as your currently booted system volume, otherwise you could end up deleting these files from the wrong volume