Mac OSX is known to be one of the most secure default installations of any OS. Many people rely on that reputation solely when they use their Mac. But when you are considering to run a Mac as a server, always connected to the internet and always on, you should think twice. Luckily I saw several sources this week talking about a new guide from Corsaire. They have released a guide on Securing Mac OS X Tiger (long pdf) which addresses the new security features introduced through Tiger and presents some security good practice guidelines. Now it is possible to lock the OS down further, in order to securely connect to the internet.
At first I thought that I just needed to install
MySQL on my new Mac mini to get the complete stack for building PHP/MySQL based websites as is this one. But somehow it didn’t just fit together as expected so I started to look around the internet for other sources which might solve my issues now and in the future.
I found 3 sources which were referenced by many others:
After looking around at all three websites the one I liked the most was Server Logistics. Basically I choose them because of the fact they run all their own servers with the package they provide as a download. You could install all the packages seperatly (MAMP has one package) which is helpfull if one item in the stack gets an update. Installing the packages from Server Logistics was as easy as downloading, clicking and installing. No configuration issues or other issues, they even came with Preferences Panels.
I’ve got it running for a couple of days now and it’s running smoothly ever since. I’m migrating all my sites to the Mac mini to see if I run into any problems. If that’s finished and everything keeps working then the next stop will be the firewall and mailserver.
When you are a user of GMail as I am, you would be interested in knowing you now have the GMail notifier application also available in a OS X (1.3.8 and up) version. Just read it on a news site. Haven’t tried it out yet, but will do this evening.
Yes, I know you can have the Mail.app receicing your GMail mail using the pop3 interface but I didn’t want to do that and keep some mail flows seperate.
Update: Found the designer of the icons for this GMail tool: Kenichi Yoshida.
While I was looking around on my disk where to change the default Apache configuration after I found out that it is installed per default on OSX and I just needed to activate it in the System Preferences / Sharing panel. Click on Personal Web Sharing and you’re off.
More information on how this works and how to configure Apache can be found here. That is not what this blog entry was about.
Looking for the httpd.conf file where you configure your Apache webserver I found 2 entries in the filesystem. One was in /etc/httpd/ where you’d expect it as a regular Linux/Unix user but there is also one to be found in /private/etc/httpd/. So which was I to use ?
After some Googling and looking closer at the directory entries, I found out that /etc is a symbolic link to /private/etc and therefore the same directory. So actually there is only one httpd.conf that is used.
It seems that this has been done to provide compatibility between the unix roots and the OSX’s own layout of the filesystem which has its origin in NeXT.
I was used to using Firefox as a browser on my PC, so I installed it directly on my Mac with my favorite plug-ins. But I ran into some strange behaviour when using the scroll ball in my Mighty Mouse. When scrolling horizontal the previous page was loaded. It looked like the forward and backward browser buttons where linked to the horizontal movement of the scroll ball.
This wasn’t what I expected and started looking around to see if this could be fixed. Horizontal scrolling worked like a charm in Safari and it should work in Firefox.
I quickly ran into the solution which was indeed a configuration change in Firefox:
- Go to “about:config” (i.e. type it in FireFox’ address field)
- Set mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.action to 0
If you do this you will notice that you will stay on the same page when scrolling horizontal and even better, the pages moves horizontal when it’s wider than your browser window, just like in Safari.