Mac OS X

Cannot install OS X Server Admin software on Leopard

I'd like to install Apple's Server Administration Tools for OS X 10.4 Tiger Server. But I'm running Leopard. The installer stops with the following helpful message: "You are not allowed to install the software on this disk for an unknown reason."

Apparently if you just copy the apps from a computer running Tiger to one running Leopard, it works fine.


Subversion server on OS X 10.5

Time Machine cannot do a full restore

I've been using Time Machine in OS X 10.5 Leopard on my Mac Pro to do nifty backups. It has come in handy a couple of times now, when I've been chasing problems down a rat hole (like, "why does ImageMagick work from the command line but not from an exec() call in PHP?") and I just want to give up and revert back to a previous state. Very nice.

Yesterday I got a new drive (WD2500YS) that has a nice 16MB cache on it, and I thought I'd swap in that drive as my boot drive. Normally I'd use SuperDuper! for this but it's not yet fully Leopard-compatible. So I thought, now's the time to do a full restore using Time Machine and see how it goes.

I booted from the Leopard DVD and selected Restore from Time Machine Backup. I was a bit nervous because the "time of last backup" shown by Time Machine was two hours earlier than it should have been, but this turned out to be a time zone issue; all my files were restored, including the ones saved just before I shut the machine down.

It took a while (over an hour) and booted up fine. As I've learned from my attempted Tiger-to-Leopard upgrades (do a clean install!) things are not always running smoothly under the hood. Sure enough, the console greeted me with

11/21/07 8:36:41 AM[1] (org.postfix.master) Failed to count the number of files in "/var/spool/postfix/maildrop": No such file or directory

Upon further examination, /var/spool is...empty! Taking a look at my previous drive, there are over 100 entries (some noted here). Why is this? Devin Lane has a nice post listing the exclusions Time Machine makes. Wait, I thought, maybe they are created on demand?

bash-3.2# mail
Subject: Hi

This is a test.
bash-3.2# postdrop: warning: mail_queue_enter: create file maildrop/229433.449: No such file or directory
postdrop: warning: mail_queue_enter: create file maildrop/230063.449: No such file or directory
postdrop: warning: mail_queue_enter: create file maildrop/230821.449: No such file or directory


Conclusion: Time Machine is fine for protecting the mainstream data in your home directory, but is currently not capable of doing a full restore of a boot drive.


Installing Drupal on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

I thought I'd write up the steps I took to get Drupal running on a stock Leopard installation. You may wish to save some time and install MAMP instead. Especially if you need GD support (i.e., you're going to have Drupal do image resizing). Update 17-Dec-2007: In fact, I recommend using MAMP instead.

Step 1: Enable PHP

Uncomment line 114 in /etc/apache2/httpd.conf to enable Leopard's built-in PHP:

LoadModule php5_module        libexec/apache2/

Start Apache 2 by using the Sharing panel in Preferences or at the command line with the following:

sudo apachectl start

(If Apache was already running, use restart instead of start.)

Place a test document into the default htdocs root to see if php is running. I created /Library/WebServer/Documents/phpinfo.php with the following content:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Now going to http://localhost/phpinfo.php shows me the info page for PHP 5.2.4. Yay!

Step 2: Friendly Virtual Hosts in Apache

I don't like keeping my websites in /Library/WebServer/Documents. It's a cumbersome place; I'd much rather keep them in /Users/john/Sites. That's right in my home directory and when I copy or sync my home directory I get the sites I'm working on, too. But using Leopard's built-in URL support for my home directory is verbose, too:


I'd much rather use a nice short URL like http://dev/sitename. So first I assigned the name dev to my computer by adding a line to /etc/hosts:

# Host Database
# localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
# when the system is booting.  Do not change this entry.
## dev localhost broadcasthost

Since Leopard caches DNS queries, we force it to reread /etc/hosts by using dscacheutil which replaces the lookupd utility that was in OS X 10.4.

dscacheutil -flushcache

I changed /etc/apache2/users/john.conf from

<Directory "/Users/john/Sites/">
    Options Indexes MultiViews
    AllowOverride None
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all


<Directory "/Users/john/Sites/">
    Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
    # Allow .htaccess files to override httpd.conf.
    AllowOverride All
    # No access allowed.
    Order deny,allow
    Deny from all
    # Except from this machine.
    Allow from

# Enable virtual hosts.
NameVirtualHost *:80

# Point virtual host to our directory.
<Virtualhost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /Users/john/Sites
    Servername dev

You can test that everything works and you didn't make any typos by using

sudo apachectl configtest

which should tell you that the syntax of your Apache configuration files is OK (it will point you to the line containing the error otherwise). If all is OK, restart Apache to effect the changes:

sudo apachectl restart

Now you should be able to go to http://dev/ in your browser, and the file at /Users/john/Sites/index.html should be displayed.

Installing MySQL

There was no friendly installer for OS X 10.5 so I used the OS X package for 10.4. It ran fine.

It was unclear from my web searches whether the startup item for MySQL is working on Leopard. So I created the following file at /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.mysql.mysqld.plist to autostart MySQL (thanks Joannou Ng):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">

Before I restarted, I wanted to make sure that mysql would be in my PATH environment variable when I restart. So I created a file at /etc/paths.d/mysql containing


For more information on this, type man path_helper.

Then I restarted to make sure that MySQL would launch. Yes, it's running:

ps -ax | grep my
   40 ??         0:00.01 /bin/sh /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqld_safe
   88 ??         0:00.11 /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqld --basedir=/usr/local/mysql --datadir=/usr/local/mysql/data --user=mysql --pid-file=/usr/local/mysql/data/

Now to set it up securely.


This allows you to set a root password, disallow remote root logins, and generally tighten up MySQL security.

It's nice to be able to tweak MySQL parameters, so I created a my.cnf file:

sudo cp /usr/local/mysql/support-files/my-large.cnf /etc/my.cnf

The only thing I tweaked in the my.cnf file was to add one line under the [mysqld] heading to prevent MySQL from listening on port 3306 (I don't like unnecessary open ports):


Now I can create a database for Drupal to use:

mysql -uroot -p
mysql> CREATE DATABASE drupaldb;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

One more thing. PHP and MySQL are confused about which socket to use (/tmp/mysql.sock vs. /var/mysql/mysql.sock). So let's provide a symlink so they can use either one:

sudo mkdir /var/mysql
sudo ln -s /tmp/mysql.sock /var/mysql/mysql.sock

Installing Drupal

Pull down a copy of Drupal 5 from the CVS repository:

cd ~/Sites
cvs -z9 checkout -r DRUPAL-5 drupal

Change permissions on the settings file so the installer can modify it:

chmod o+w drupal/sites/default/settings.php

Run the Drupal installer by going to http://dev/drupal.

Remove the permissions from the settings file:

chmod o-w drupal/sites/default/settings.php

And create Drupal's files directory:

mkdir /Users/john/Sites/drupal/files
sudo chown www /Users/john/Sites/drupal/files


Now I've got an easy setup where I can create my Drupal sites under /Users/john/Sites and refer to them with short names like http://dev/foo. MySQL is running nicely. Public access to my dev sites is disabled by Apache. Life is good.


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