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  • Jay Versluis 8:57 am on June 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mavericks,   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to kill the “accept incoming connections” dialogue on your Mac forever 

    Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 08.28.12Have you ever come across the above dialogue, asking if you’d like to “accept incoming network connections” on your Mac? It’s caused by the Firewall and it’s meant to be helpful. Because if you have an app that needs incoming network connections all the time, you can just add them to the Firewall rules (under System Preferences – Security – Firewall).

    But of course, it doesn’t always work. Some apps get updated and this message starts appearing out of the blue, no matter if it hasn’t happened before or if you’ve manually added said app to the Firewall rules a thousand times already. God only knows whatever is upsetting our precious operating system, but it’s driving us all nuts.

    Help is at hand: turns out these messages are caused by some certificate issue I genuinely do not care to know about – nor should I have to. Here’s a “relatively easy” way to fix it once and for all. There are other ways which involve more typing, or switching off the Firewall altogether, but the following is by far the quickest option in my opinion:

    • open a Finder window and navigate to the app in question (usually in Applications, potentially in a subfolder)
    • open a Terminal Session (under Applications – Utilities – Terminal)
    • type cd followed by a space
    • from the Finder window, drag the folder in which your app resides into the Terminal window
    • hit return (this will put you into the same directory as your app)
    • type the following scary line of code:
    sudo codesign --force --deep --sign - ./YourApp.app

    Replace “YourApp.app” with the actual name of the app, including the .app extension. You will be prompted for your password and in a few moments you should see a message such as “replacing existing signature”. With this code your Mac will have created a self-signed ad-hoc certificate, re-signing the app.

    Don’t worry if this doesn’t sound English, all it means is that we’re telling the operating system (or rather, Keychain Access) that “the Administrator says it’s OK to trust this app”.

    Now launch your app again. Don’t be dismayed when you see that annoying “accept incoming connections” dialogue again – it’ll be the last time. Select “allow” and you’re done with this – hopefully for good. Try it out by closing your app and restart it again. Celebrate about not seeing that message again.

    Should this trick not work, leave out the –deep switch, and make sure your file does not have a trailing slash. Oh, and preface any spaces in the file name with a backslash.

    Kudos to ahall over on Stack Exchange for this tip! It’s made me a much happier person again 🙂

  • Jay Versluis 9:57 am on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mavericks,   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to disable the ultra annoying Startup Sound on Mac OS X 


    I passionately *H*A*T*E* the startup chime that my Mac makes when I switch it on. At least on my MacBook, if the volume is turned down before I shutdown, the system restarts silently. I guess it’s somehow linked to the internal speakers.

    Sadly on my Mac Mini this approach doesn’t work: due to the lack of “real” internal speakers , the Mini always wakes up with that horrible eighties K-DONNNNNNNNG noise, waking up my wife and large parts of the neighbourhood.

    But there’s good news: thanks to the nvram command we can set a firmware value to suppress this sound. Here’s how:

    sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=%80

    This will write a value of 128 (or 80 in hex) to the BIOS. Make sure to shutdown your system and then power back on to “hear” the effect on a Mac Mini: simply restarting it will not suppress the sound, but a full shutdown and restart will do the trick from now on. Result!

    As much as I dislike the sound, it is there for a reason: it signals the successful completion of a quick self test. I appreciate this – so I may not want to switch K-DONNNNNNNNG off forever.

    It’s easy to remove that value again from the BIOS, using the -d parameter of the same command:

    sudo nvram -d SystemAudioVolume

    There. Now the horror chime is enabled again, ready to annoy more neighbours at 3am.

    Kudos to the following sources:

  • Jay Versluis 5:08 pm on February 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mavericks,   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to copy a CentOS ISO to USB on Mac OS X 

    CentOS-LogoWindows users have a great free tool called ISO2USB which efficiently transfers ISO images to a USB stick. Mac users don’t have such a luxury – at least I haven’t found one yet.

    Instead we can make use of a command line tool named dd which can do this for us. It needs a few parameters though, and in this article we’ll look at what those are. The following will work in both Mavericks and Yosemite, with ISOs from CentOS 6.5 and above. Our operation will result in a bootable USB stick.

    First, head over to a CentOS Mirror and download your favourite ISO image. Next, have a USB stick handy and insert it into your Mac. Now open Terminal – it’s under Applications – Utilities, or do a Spotlight search to find it.

    For this example I’m assuming that the image file is called centos.iso and that it’s in your Downloads directory. Let’s enter that directory by issuing the following command:

    cd ~/Downloads

    The second command lists all files, and your ISO image should be one of them.

    Find out what device your USB stick is

    So far so good, we’re in the right location. The dd command needs to know which file you want to copy (see above), and the device corresponding to your USB stick. It’s easy to get confused at this point. Let me explain this:

    Devices are things attached to the system, such as hard disk, memory cards and USB sticks. Each device can hold a number of partitions which is where your data is stored. Depending on how many storage devices are attached to your system, you’ll get a specific address for each device. For example, /dev/disk0 is your internal Mac hard disk in which you’ll find three partitions.

    Since our ISO image will overwrite all partitions on the USB stick, we need to know what the system knows our USB stick as. Type the following to get a list of what’s attached where:

    diskutil list
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk0
       1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            999.3 GB   disk0s2
       3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *512.1 GB   disk1
       1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk1s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh SSD           511.3 GB   disk1s2
       3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk1s3
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk2
       1:                  Apple_HFS VM Drive               1.0 TB     disk2s1
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.5 TB     disk3
       1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk3s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS Black Time Machine      1.5 TB     disk3s2
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *4.0 GB     disk4
       1:                 DOS_FAT_32 C64

    Looks like I’ve got 5 storage devices on my system. The one at the bottom is my USB stick, an old 4GB model currently formatted with FAT32. Your layout will be different, so keep an eye on the SIZE parameter. If your currently formatted stick is named you can identify it that way too (mine is called C64).

    The device I want to use here is /dev/disk4. Note that when we get to work, everything on your USB stick will be erased when we copy the ISO over. The dd command will not warn you before this happens.

    Unmount your USB stick

    Before we can continue we need to make sure your USB stick isn’t mounted to OS X. If it was formatted with a filesystem that your Mac can read, then you’ll see your stick as an orange icon on the desktop. But since the dd command will do a low level format with a different filesystem, OS X needs to let go of our stick. If we don’t do this, you’ll get a “Resource busy” message in the next step.

    To unmount your stick, type the following:

    diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk4
    Unmount of all volumes on disk4 was successful

    That orange icon should disappear from the desktop, and you will no longer see your USB stick in the Finder either. Leave it attached though – do not eject it.

    Copy the ISO image over

    Now let’s give the dd command something to do. Since we’re in the correct directory already, type the following (you will be prompted for your password):

    sudo dd if=centos.iso of=/dev/disk4
    // time passes...
    694272+0 records in
    694272+0 records out
    355467264 bytes transferred in 249.100402 secs (1427004 bytes/sec)

    Amend /dev/disk4 with your own device. Feel free to specify the direct path to your image file in place of centos.iso (no wildcards I’m afraid).

    This step can take a long time, during which you won’t get any feedback whatsoever. That’s normal, even though it looks like your session hangs. It’s all good. As long as you leave the Terminal window open, feel free to do other things with your Mac and leave it running.

    In the above example I was copying a 190MB image and it took just over four minutes. I had an abysmally slow USB stick mind you – something to keep in mind when you want to transfer a large “everything ISO” image onto a stick from 10 years ago: you’re not doing yourself a favour, it’ll take hours to copy, and just as long to boot from later.

    Should you want to terminate your dd session during this time (and use a faster USB stick for example), simply hit CTRL+C and you’ll be returned to the command line.

    If all went well you’ll receive a summary message at the end. Now you’re ready to boot from your stick into the wonderful world of CentOS.

    • Jonathan S 10:19 pm on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Use a larger block size with dd to significantly increase your transfer rate.

      Even older, slow USB devices have a much higher supported transfer rate than the default dd block size 1byte. Reading and writing 1byte at a time has enormous OS overhead. change the block size to something around 1 megabyte and you’ll get the same task accomplished much more quickly.

      In your example:

      sudo dd bs=1m if=centos.iso of=/dev/disk4

    • Jay Versluis 4:38 pm on November 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Jonathan, very good call!

    • Steve Mc 4:10 pm on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This is not working for me to create a bootable Centos 6.7 to install on a new Dell R730xd. I get a “boot failure : make sure you have a compatible media device installed” .. when I insert the USB Stick and choose it as the boot device. Going nuts here! 🙁

      • Jay Versluis 4:28 pm on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Steve, if it would be easy, everybody would be running CentOS 🙂

        I never had that problem myself. Here’s what I can suggest:

        • Did you try a different stick?
        • Did you try booting from the stick on different hardware (that’s safe, just make sure you don’t go through with the full installation of course…).
        • Last resort: if you have access to a Windows machine you can use ISO2USB: http://iso2usb.sourceforge.net
        • Steve Mc 4:30 pm on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

          I have tried 3 different sticks — same issue. No other Dell type H/W available.

          However, I just made a break through — if I change the BIOS from “UEFI” to “BIOS” — it DOES boot .. but I need UEFI because I have 12TB of disk. So not sure what that means.. or what to do

          • Jay Versluis 4:41 pm on November 9, 2015 Permalink

            That’s a huge disk! I’d probably leave the BIOS value at BIOS and see how CentOS likes the disk. As long as it’s formatted as EXT4, it should be able to deal with it.


    • Dave 9:46 am on January 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This is a really well written, and very helpful tutorial. Thank you.

    • Sam 9:43 am on June 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      One quick tip, and thank you for the article, when the Terminal screen is open and running the dd process, press control-t to se progress. That will show you the current byte-level progress of the transfer of the ISO.

      • Jay Versluis 5:54 pm on June 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Sam – that’s a great tip!

  • Jay Versluis 3:12 pm on February 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Gatekeeper, Mavericks,   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to fix “This file is damaged and can’t be opened” in Mac OS X 

    Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 12.01.36

    Yesterday I was trying to open an installer which was offered as a .dmg file. That’s a disk image which mounted itself fine, but when I ran the installer contained in the disk image, all I got was an error message: “ZBrush to Keyshot Content Installer is damaged and could not be opened”.

    At first I thought perhaps the download had a problem, or perhaps the source file was corrupt. But in such cases the .dmg usually doesn’t even mount – which mine did. Perplexed, I raised a support ticket with the provider of the software.

    Thanks to Matthew at Pixologic support I received a very quick solution to this puzzle: there’s nothing wrong with my download, nor with the source file – it’s OS X’s Security Settings that flag up an inappropriate error.

    Thank you, Gatekeeper!

    Here’s how to fix it:

    • head over to System Preferences – Security and Privacy
    • select the General Tab
    • click the little Lock Icon and enter your password
    • now select Allow apps downloaded from anywhere

    Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 14.52.19

    I would have never made the connection between the “corrupt file” error message and Gatekeeper preventing the file from opening properly. Usually when Gatekeeper gets involved it’s very clear that OS X is preventing something from being opened, with a hint of where to tweak those settings. But not in this case.

    As soon as you select “Allow from anywhere” a modal window pops up asking you if you’re really sure. It also explains a new Yosemite behaviour that if you decide to go ahead, the setting will revert back in 30 days. So if you think “hey, I’ve tweaked this setting recently”, don’t doubt your sanity.

    There’s no need to download the file again either. Now my download opens fine, mounts fine, and most importantly installs fine too.

  • Jay Versluis 12:21 pm on February 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mavericks,   

    Categories: Mac OS X ( 30 )

    How to enable the root user in Mac OS X (Mavericks and Yosemite) 

    root is the most powerful user in Linux and UNIX systems, from which OS X is derived. The root user can read, write and delete every file on the system and – when placed in the wrong hands – destroy the entire system in a flash. Even power users on a Mac have very little reason to use root – which is why it’s disabled by default.

    To enable it, head over to System Preferences – Users and Groups and select Login Options at the bottom left. If any of the following options are greyed out, simply click that little lock icon (and type in your computer password):

    Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 11.07.04 PM

    Now select Network Account Server – Join… and another scary window appears. Thankfully we won’t have to worry about what it says:

    Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 11.13.10 PM

    All we’re interested in is the standard menu bar at the top of the screen: select Edit – Enable Root User and hike it out of here. If ever you want to disable root, select Edit – Disable Root User (or change its password). Speaking of which, you’ll have to give the root user a password when prompted. Remember it.

    Now click the little Apple Icon at the top left and log yourself out.

    When your computer comes back you’ll be able to login as root, using the password you’ve specified. OS X will now start as if you’ve never setup your computer.

    Remember to disable the root user again for your own safety when you no longer need it.

  • Jay Versluis 7:09 am on January 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mavericks, Mountain Lion   

    Categories: Bookmarks ( 17 )

    How to install Mac OS X onto an external drive

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