Category Archives: Mac OS

Virtualbox hidden gems, VBoxManage

Virtual box has this little secret, the Command Line interface (CLI), this is very useful for users who wants to manage their virtual boxes on headless servers.

Question is why using command line while you have a nice easy to use GUI, the answer is POWER. you can do anything with the virtual box command line, you can create virtual machines, modify their settings, take snapshots, start and shutdown them.

VBoxManage supports everything the graphical user interface does, and much more.

VBoxManage has its share of Virtual Box documentation, you can find it here

Backup / Increase the Guest OS Drive on VirtualBox

Tried to search online for a way to increase the size of a vdi image, and there was no solution available online to do so.
I had windows XP installed on a virtual machine for mail, and testing purposes on the most hated IE6, and the drive ran out of a space, no solution or work around helped me increase it, all the solutions to modify the partition table, etc didn’t work for me.
Here is the simple steps i followed :

  • Add Another Disk Drive to the Guest OS
  • Backup the Guest Operating system drive using Norton Ghost to the newly added drive.
  • Copy the backup to a DVD image (I had to move it to the host drive first)
  • Make a new Virtual Machine with the new size you want.
  • Boot the new machine using Norton Ghost drive, and attach the DVD image with the created backup.
  • Restore the backup from the DVD created using Norton Ghost.
  • Restart the machine and you should have a working.
  • Delete the created DVD image, the extra hard disk, and the old machine.

If you have a shorter solution, please share 🙂

What is your favorite MAC App?

Many of the new mac users are looking for apps to do the tasks they need on their new OS.

I am making a list of Mac apps to help the new converters 🙂 ,  and the best source to prepare such a list is mac users, so what is your favorite MAC app ?

Mine is TextMate



What is yours ?

note: your mentioned apps will be listed in a later post, thus your replies is highly important 🙂

Fixing MacBookPro Superdrive

I have purchased my MacBookPro in October 2007, after 6 months my optical drive was so picky in reading or writing DVDs and CDs, and after few months, it was able to read originals only.

I tried everything from updating the firmware or flashing it to restore its original firmware, but no luck, until yesterday when i had to format and install the OS from scratch, but to my surprise it wasn’t able to read the Original MacOS DVD.

I Googled once again about the cuase of this, and found some results referring to cleaning the lens,

I followed this tutorial to disassmble the laptop :

and this one to disassmble the optical drive and clean the lens with benzene,

In 1 hour i had my superdrive working as brand new one and saved me from buying a new one 🙂 , i know many who face the same problem with the optical drive, this was a nice way to have it back.

Installing Python & PyGTK on Mac OsX

Recently i have been asked to develop an application that will work on Linux, and Mac os, so i started developing it on my Ubuntu, i chosed Python as the programming language and PyGTK as the GUI for it.

The application worked fine on my Ubuntu, but when i moved it to Mac OSx (Leopard), i had a problem importing the PyGTK module and the program GUI didn’t run. so i tried to install PyGTK from sources with all its dependencies, but after spending a day doing so i ended up with many errors in compiling the dependencies and finding them.

after some search i found out that i can do this using MacPorts.

so here is the steps i followed :

– Install X11

– Install Xcode tools

– Install MacPorts

– Make sure the paths are configured in your shell profile

– Restart your shell, and follow the next commands :

1- Install Python

sudo port -v install python25

2- Install Python select

sudo port -v install python_select

3- Activate our installed python version

sudo python_select python25

4- Install pygtk

sudo port -v install py25-gtk

5- Install some gnome themes and engines

sudo port -v install gnome-themes
sudo port -v install gtk-nodoka-engine
sudo port -v install gtk-smooth-engine
sudo port -v install gtk2-aurora
sudo port -v install gtk2-clearlooks
sudo port -v install gtk2-extra
sudo port -v install gtk2-industrial
sudo port -v install gtk2-murrine

6- Install theme switch

sudo port -v install gtk-theme-switch

7- Select which theme to be used by your applications by running the theme switch


Now you can have the applications you develop using python and pygtk running smoothly on mac os leopard.

How to publish your iCal to Google Calendar

Well, to mark your events in iCal and have them published to your google calendar, first you need to make an account in

Then from iCal right click on your calendar, and choose Publish, and enter your iCalx calendar information.

after that you can take the link from iCalx and add it as a calendar in your Google Calendar account.

when you do that, every event you mark in your iCal, will be published to your iCalx account and then Google will pull it to your Google Calendar account,

Little tricky but it does the job 😉

Convert DAA disk images to ISO on Mac osX

DAA Converter icon

 DAA Converter for OS X
 Access DAA disk images on your Mac

Direct Access Archive (DAA) is a disk image format that’s currently unsupported on OS X.
DAA Converter is a free utility which allows you to access the contents of a DAA image file by converting it to ISO disk image format; The converted ISO disk image can be mounted as a readable volume on your Mac by double-clicking it.

DAA Converter is a native OS X GUI application which wraps the command-line tool, daa2iso, by Luigi Auriemma.
It runs on OS X 10.3 Panther or later, and does not currently support password-protected DAA files.


 DAA Converter v1.0

DAA Converter is free software, distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
DAA Converter’s source code.

Installing a Subversion (SVN) server on Mac OS X

I use my Mac OS X laptop (a MacBook Pro) almost exclusively these days, often working in a library or coffee shop, but I still want the power of a version control system with me. I finally decided to install a Subversion (SVN) server on my MacBook, and it was surprisingly easy. (I say “surprisingly” because the few links I’ve found online led me to believe it would be much harder to install SVN on Mac OS X.)

Rather than write a full-blown SVN installation tutorial or SVN installation manual, I’m just going to put my notes out here. Hopefully they’ll be sufficient to help you get Subversion/SVN installed on your Mac as well.

  1. Open a Terminal, and run
    fink install svn

    . (The SVN package is the SVN server.) Supply the password when prompted.

  2. This installs

    , and nine other supporting packages. There’s more fink svn information here

  3. That’s all you need to do to get the server installed on your system. You still have to configure it and start it up, but before doing that I downloaded the SVN command line client.
  4. Type
    fink install svn-client

    to install the SVN client.

  5. Type
    fink install svn-doc

    to install the documentation.

  6. I want to create a repository out of my home directory (to make it easier for backups), so I created it like this:
    svnadmin create /Users/al/svnrepo
  7. I edited the

    file to change a few lines. If you want to use SVN without user accounts this isn’t 100% needed, but I do want to have my name on all those check-ins, so I made a few changes. See the “svnserve.conf configuration file” section later on this page for details.

  8. I also edited the

    file at this time. This is also discussed below.

  9. Technically I started

    at this time, but quickly ran into a permission problem on my first check-in. Reading the docs it looks like the repo needs to be owned by the “www” user (as that’s the owner of the


    process), so I ran this command from the directory just above my repo:

    find svnrepo -exec chown www.www {} \;

    . That gave me a warning/deprecated message, but still changed all the repo files to be owned by the “www” owner and group. (Break this into two separate commands if you need to.)

  10. I started the SVN server like this:
    sudo -u www /sw/bin/svnserve -d -r /Users/al/svnrepo
  11. I haven’t looked back since. 😉

svnserve.conf configuration file

With Subversion you have a configuration file named


. Here’s what my


configuration file looks like, with my comments still included:

### These options control access to the repository for unauthenticated
### and authenticated users.  Valid values are "write", "read",
### and "none".  The sample settings below are the defaults.
anon-access = read
auth-access = write

### The password-db option controls the location of the password
### database file.  Unless you specify a path starting with a /,
### the file's location is relative to the conf directory.
### Uncomment the line below to use the default password file.
password-db = passwd

### This option specifies the authentication realm of the repository.
### If two repositories have the same authentication realm, they should
### have the same password database, and vice versa.  The default realm
### is repository's uuid.
realm = Laptop Realm

Here’s what my


file looks like:

al = al

So if you want to bust into the SVN server on my MacBook Pro that should make it pretty easy. 🙂

The end

That was all I had to do to install a Subversion server on my Mac. After this I started using normal SVN commands and everything worked as advertised.

As mentioned, from my research it sounded like it was going to be hard to get an SVN server running on my Mac, but I didn’t have any real problems, other than I’d never installed an SVN server before, so this was my first time. I’m sure I’ll learn more as I go on, but hopefully that will help you get started using SVN on your Mac as well.


Here’s a little more help … it’s the output from one of the commands I ran early on:

Type 'fink describe svn' to get usage help.

Type 'svnserve --help', 'man svnserve', 'svnadmin help', or 'man svnadmin'
for usage.
Some tools (e.g. hook and back-up scripts) and examples are stored in
/sw/share/svn/tools and /sw/share/svn/contrib
You can start the Subversion server manually using a command similar to
'/usr/bin/sudo -u www /sw/bin/svnserve -d -r /sw/var/svn' or you can
run 'daemonic enable svnserve' as root to create a StartupItem for it.
'svnserve' is run as user 'www' in order that apache and svnserve can
access the same repositories at the same time under '/sw/var/svn'
You could install the repositories under the preconfigured directory
which should have the correct permissions. Make sure that all files
in the new repository have the correct permissions for svnserve (and apache)
to read and write. E.g. run 'chown -R www /sw/var/svn/yourrepos' and
'chmod -R go-rwx /sw/var/svn/yourrepos'.

I didn’t know you could run


like that; learn something new every day. I didn’t run the


command, and haven’t had any problems, but I’ll do that next. It makes the ownership for “group” and “other” on all files to be “rwx”, or 777.

Add Samba printers in Leopard

Putting together a couple of other web resources, here is a step-by-step guide to adding Samba printers in Leopard. Our Windows print server is on a different subnet from many of our users, so the printers don’t show up automatically. This method also passes user credentials to the print server. Next step: to automate this process so that we can add multiple printers in one step.

1. Open System Preferences -> Print & Fax.

system preferences

2. Select to add a new printer.


3. The first time you do this, add the Advanced button to the add printer toolbar. Ctrl-click on the toolbar, select “Customize Toolbar…”, and then drag the Advanced button onto the toolbar.



4. Select Advanced then specify the following printer settings.

Type: Windows

Device: Another Device

URL: smb://username:password@domain/printserver/printername, where username is your network username, password is your password, domain is your Windows domain, printserver is the name of your print server, and printername is the name of the printer share.

Name: the printer name

Location (optional): the physical location of the printer, e.g. “Vollum common space”

Print Using: Select a driver to use -> search for the correct model.

Select the Add button to save this printer. If prompted, select Duplexing. That should do it!


Fix the MySQL PHP issue in Leopard (mysql.sock file)

This is a known issue in Leopard, basically the system is looking for the mysql.sock file in the wrong place. Just need to create a symlink and you should be in business:

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