Monday, September 30, 2013

mac os command line tricks

various command line tricks for macos

cpu type

sysctl -n machdep.cpu.brand_string
system_profiler | grep Processor

disk info / mount umount

diskutil list
diskutil unmount /dev/disk1s2
diskutil mount /dev/disk1s2

user control

pkill -u username
ps -u username   

Mountain Lion X system XQuartz

Time machine backup (use on ssh to remote

tmutil startbackup
tmutil stopbackup

shell history incantation

history | awk '{a[$2]++}END{for(i in a){print a[i] " " i}}' | sort -rn | head -15

ruby installs utilities / packages


sudo gem install terminal-notifier

use case

terminal-notifier -message "Hello, this is my message" -title "Message Title"

flags changing

chflags nohidden /path/to/hide/file.txt

download history:

sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/* 'select LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent'

sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/* 'select LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent' | sort

force time update

sudo ntpdate -u


Sunday, September 29, 2013

vmware usb mount esxi5

here is a note on how to mount a usb key or get it recognized by the hypervisor system (esxi system) and not use it to passthru to a guest on the system.

bad news, it only works with FAT16 file systems.

only USB storage devices formatted with FAT16 can be accessed in the ESXi shell and is applicable to both ESXi 4.1 and 5.0. 

Step 1 - Login to ESXi Shell via SSH and disable the USB Arbitrator service (this is automatically enabled by default to allow pass-through of USB devices to your VMs) using the following command: /etc/init.d/usbarbitrator stop
Step 2 - Plug-in your USB device to your ESXi host and you can verify by using the two ESXCLI commands: verifying the storage device using the command: esxcli storage core device list | grep -i usb or viewing the mounted filesystems using the command: esxcli storage filesystem list
Step 3 - Lastly, after you verify the USB device can be seen by the ESXi host, you can of course browse and access your USB device by looking under /vmfs/volumes/

Te re-enable pass-through of USB devices to your VMs, you just need to start the usbarbitrator service. - See more at:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

expired certifications on mac os packages

Apparently Apple leaves up packages with fairly early cert expirations hanging around, and you get mysterious crap problems trying to load them.

I found two approaches. 

One is to set the time on your system to a date when the cert has not expired.  this will be okay if the certs created during install do not also expire.  That approach worked fine for this problem, installing xcode 3.6.2 on 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.

A second approach is to fix the certs.  Two postings from "manageingosx" are copied explaining the problem and a fix.

stackoverflow   fix

11 down vote accepted
I also had the problem installing the downloaded version of XCode 3.2.6 from Apple, checked the log and got the "untrusted" error and found my way here to discover the Package Signature issues. Some of those tools only work on Lion though, and much of this is catch 22 for people as we are using 10.6 and so have to use Xcode 3.2.6...
Anyway, to cut a long story short, change the system date back to Feb 2012 (before the certs expired in March 2012) and then install.... worked fine for me, such a simple solution - far too long to get there though...
EDIT : Sorry, only just clicked though to see your link about the date/time, I went straight to the repackager. If it's okay, I'll leave this here as it gives a direct answer to the question for people like me who have just found this on Google etc


Package Apocalypse

Earlier this week a certificate Apple had used to sign flat packages over the last couple of years or so expired. This caused Apple to have to reissue a lot of update packages. This greatly affected sites running an Apple software update server, either Apple’s flavor, or the open-source Reposado replacement. See for more info on how this affects Software Update.
This also affects some update packages you might have downloaded from If they are flat packages, it’s possible they may also be signed with an expired certificate. Such packages can be manually installed – will display a warning, but you can choose to ignore the warning and proceed.
But if you have a mechanism that uses Apple’s command-line installer tool, these packages will fail to install. This will affect popular tools like InstaDMG, DeployStudio, Apple’s System Image Utility, and any software distribution mechanism that makes use of the command-line installer tool. Some examples include Munki, Casper, and AbsoluteManage.
Worse, this problem affects at least one software package originally distributed on DVD: iLife ’11. If you’ve imported the packages for iLife ’11 into your software distribution mechanism, they may now fail to install because of the expired certificate.
I am working on a tool to fix affected packages. (UPDATE: see this post.) But in the meantime, if you want to get an idea of how many packages you have that are affected by this issue, you might want to make use of a tool I wrote. It will scan a directory of packages or disk images containing packages and print information on any packages with bad or expired certificates.
Get it here.
The tool relies on a pkgutil option introduced in Lion, so you’ll need to run this on Lion!
An example of in use:

./ /Volumes/LaCie/InstaDMG/pkgs-10.6.8/

/Volumes/LaCie/SIU/Snow Leopard/pkgs-10.6.8/Install iTunes.pkg:
Package "Install iTunes":
Status: signed by a certificate that has since expired
/Volumes/LaCie/SIU/Snow Leopard/pkgs-10.6.8/JavaForMacOSX10.6Update4.pkg:
Package "JavaForMacOSX10.6Update4.pkg":
Status: signed by a certificate that has since expired
/Volumes/LaCie/SIU/Snow Leopard/pkgs-10.6.8/MacOSXUpdCombo10.6.8.pkg:
Package "MacOSXUpdCombo10.6.8.pkg":
Status: signed by a certificate that has since expired

Use this tool to scan any collection of packages you have to see which are affected by this issue. If a replacement package is available from Apple, you should replace it. If there is no replacement, there is hope. Keep checking back here for an update soon.


Fixing packages with expired signatures

In my previous post, I provided a tool to enable you to check your collection(s) of packages to determine if any are affected by the Package Apocalypse.
But what to do once you’ve found packages with expired signatures? If Apple has provided an updated replacement package at, it’s probably best to replace the package with the expired signature with the updated one.
But that might not always be possible — Apple has not provided replacements for every package that has been affected, or the replacement might not be practical to use.

For example, the packages included in the iLife ’11 Install DVD have expired signatures. The only “replacement” available would be the Mac App Store versions of the iLife 11 apps. Not all iLife ’11 apps from the DVD have App Store equivalents, and distributing the App Store versions is a whole different set of issues.
So the ideal solution here is to somehow fix the packages with expired signatures so they will work with your software distribution mechanism. It turns out that you can do this with an Apple-provided tool — pkgutil.

pkgutil --expand SomeFlat.pkg /tmp/SomeFlat.pkg
pkgutil --flatten /tmp/SomeFlat.pkg SomeFlatFixed.pkg

Expanding and reflattening a flat package has a side-effect of removing the package signing. the command-line installer tool will happily (at least as of this writing) install unsigned flat packages.
So there you have it — a way to fix packages broken by the Package Apocalypse. But it’s a tedious process. To help, I offer yet another tool —
This tool will remove package signing either from a single flat package:

./ /path/to/expired.pkg /path/to/new_fixed.pkg

or can fix up an entire disk image containing packages:

./ /path/to/iLife11.dmg /path/to/iLife11_fixed.dmg

This tool is brand new, and could very well have bugs, but I hope it’s useful to some!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Answer about the tape drive on Voyager from NASAJPL AMA on Reddit

Monday, September 9, 2013

centos 6.4 on a macbook pro a1150

adding in openvpn

adding remmina (mixed success)

main problem with remmina so far is need for freerdp.  looks like it will take some search to find that dependency if need to use rdp

Russian addons:



Monday, September 2, 2013

copying audio track from mp4, flv, etc. to mp3 on ubuntu 12.04

Using command line

  1. First install the tools
    sudo apt-get install ffmpeg libavcodec-extra-53 libav-tools
  2. Use this simple command to extract the audio file
    avconv -i /input-file-name-with-path output-filename.mp3
    For example to convert the "How fast.ogg" video file into how-fast.mp3 use this command:
    avconv -i /usr/share/example-content/Ubuntu_Free_Culture_Showcase/How\ fast.ogg how-fast.mp3