TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jul 99 Online

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 7
Column Tag: MacTech Online

by Jeff Clites online@mactech.com

Last month we read up on the Open Source movement, with an eye to how it relates to the Mac community. This month we are going to look at a few specific software packages. Some are open source, while some are technically not although they are being developed in the same spirit. (See last month's article for information on what it takes to qualify as open source.) Also, some of them already run under Mac OS X Server, while other are yet to be ported. But they are all useful, and present themselves as opportunities for the Macintosh community--opportunities to use tools that were previously unavailable to us, and opportunities to actively participate in their development.

But first, be sure to check out the new paper by Apple's Wilfredo Sanchez, "Open Software in a Commercial Operating System". It offers further insight into Apple's commitment to open source software, and the issues and benefits involved.

Open Software in a Commercial Operating System
http://www.mit.edu/people/wsanchez/papers/FREENIX99.html

Email Servers: Sendmail, Qmail, and Postfix

With the initial release of Mac OS X Server Apple did not include a default email server to operate alongside their easy-to-administer incarnation of the Apache web server. In future versions this will probably change, but in the short term network administrators get to fend for themselves. The obvious choice is Sendmail, which is the most widely-used mail server out there, handling an amazing 70% of the email on the internet. It is also one of the most complicated, with configuration files which are second only to ancient Mayan in their difficulty to decipher. While no one will criticize you for choosing Sendmail, there are alternatives you might want to consider. One attractive option is qmail, which was developed specifically in response to certain deficiencies of Sendmail. Its three main selling points are that it is secure (there was a $1000 reward offered for anyone who could compromise its security, and it went unclaimed), reliable (it will never lose messages due to a system failure at an inopportune time), and it doesn't require file locking (so it could be run off of file systems which don't support locking, such as NFS and HFS). It should be noted that qmail is not open source per se, as you must get the author's permission to redistribute modified copies, but is should run on Mac OS X Server without modification (since it runs under BSD), and it does have an active user community. O'Reilly and Associates have a book on qmail in the works, scheduled to be released later this year. Hopefully it will be shorter than their thousand-page Sendmail tome.

Sendmail Home Page
http://www.sendmail.org
Qmail
http://www.qmail.org/top.html
D. J. Bernstein's qmail Page
ftp://koobera.math.uic.edu/www/qmail.html
The Big qmail Picture
http://www.nrg4u.com/

Another alternative, less publicized but also popular, is Postfix. Like qmail, Postfix aims at being a Sendmail alternative, and in fact views itself as a direct (though friendly) competitor with qmail. Although it isn't completely clear from the Postfix web site, it appears to allow unrestricted redistribution, although there is no mention of whether distribution of modified versions is allowed. On the other hand, there is a binary version available for Mac OS X Server (see the Stepwise software tracking page), and Postfix is able to use the operating system's NetInfo database for certain table lookups. Although there will likely be a qmail binary available for Mac OS X Server at some point, those wishing to dive in right away may prefer to try Postfix.

The Postfix (formerly VMailer) Home Page
http://www.postfix.org
Postfix--The Big Picture
http://postfix.affinity.net/big-picture.html
Postfix Overview--Goals and Features
http://postfix.affinity.net/goals.html
Postfix Overview--Global Architecture
http://postfix.affinity.net/architecture.html
Stepwise--Mac OS X Server Software
http://www.stepwise.com/Software/index.html

Once your email arrives, you can do sophisticated things with it using procmail, a mail processing program. It allows you to do all sorts of things, such as filtering your mail (either upon receipt or later), selectively forwarding certain messages, or serving as a replacement for your local mail delivery agent. It's a single binary and can be installed by an unprivileged user for his own use, and aims to be all of the good things: small, fast, and robust (handling "every conceivable system error" and able to deliver the mail under the worst conditions). If you like to be in control of your mail, this is the way to go.

Procmail Homepage
http://www.procmail.org/
Procmail FAQ
http://www.iki.fi/era/procmail/mini-faq.html
Procmail Readme
ftp://ftp.ucsb.edu/pub/mirrors/procmail/procmail.README
Procmail Features
ftp://ftp.ucsb.edu/pub/mirrors/procmail/procmail.FEATURES

Samba

Although Apple has positioned it as a file server, Mac OS X Server shipped without any built-in way to share files with Windows-based machines. It is an unfortunate omission; realistically, in today's business environment Macs need to integrate with existing NT networks. It is especially important that it be dead-easy to do, so that organizations which have had bad experiences with their current systems can try out Apple's new servers without having to make a major commitment of time and effort. For this reason, it seems likely that in future versions of Mac OS X (Server or otherwise) will include some type of support for this. Until then, we are lucky to have Samba, an open-source package which may serve as a life-preserver to a lone Mac advocate in an all-Windows shop. (Be sure to check the Stepwise software page, mentioned above, for a link to a binary distribution for Mac OS X Server.)

So what is Samba? In short, it is a package which provides SMB server and client capabilities. So what is SMB? As you can find out from the web page of the same name, "SMB, which stands for Server Message Block, is a protocol for sharing files, printers, serial ports, and communications abstractions such as named pipes and mail slots between computers." The core of Samba is an SMB server, which allows a Unix machine to serve files (and printers) to Windows clients. (In fact, Microsoft even validates new system software releases against it.) Included in the distribution are other tools, such as an ftp-like client for accessing Windows resources from a Unix machine. Intriguingly, there is also smbfs, a currently Linux-only filesystem allowing you to mount remote Windows volumes, which in fact it is included as standard with Linux 2.0 and later. This would be a great project for the Darwin community to tackle -- bringing this capability to other flavors of Unix. With BSD's extensible filesystem underlying both Darwin and Mac OS X, this is a tailor-made opportunity for the Mac community to contribute something which would be very useful to a large community of people, and show off their technology at the same time.

If you are like me, then you like to have a book or two handy to supplement the "standard" documentation. Samba: Integrating UNIX and Windows (ISBN 1-57831-006-7), by John D. Blair of the Samba Team, used to be the only game in town. It is excellent, but becoming a bit out of date. Fortunately, the recently-published SAMS Teach Yourself Samba in 24 Hours (ISBN 0672316099), by Richard Sharpe and Gerald Carter (also of the Samba team), comes with high praise, despite its cookie-cutter title. Finally, O'Reilly and Associates are set to publish Using Samba later this year, and given their track record it is likely to become an instant classic.

SAMBA
http://www.samba.org/
What is SMB?
http://samba.org/cifs/docs/what-is-smb.html
What's Samba all about?
http://us1.samba.org/samba/about.html
Samba: An Introduction
http://us1.samba.org/samba/docs/SambaIntro.html

When you are done with these, saunter on over to the MacTech Online web pages at www.mactech.com/online/, for more links to dig your teeth into.

 
AAPL
$111.78
Apple Inc.
-0.87
MSFT
$47.66
Microsoft Corpora
+0.14
GOOG
$516.35
Google Inc.
+5.25

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Monolingual 1.6.2 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
NetShade 6.1 - Browse privately using an...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.2.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Adobe After Effects CC 2014 13.2 - Creat...
After Effects CC 2014 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous After Effects customer). After Effects CS6 is still available... Read more
Evernote 6.0.5 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Make your own Tribez Figures (and More)...
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their...
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their New Game: Tempo Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] WarChest Ltd and Splash Damage Ltd are teaming up again to work | Read more »
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary...
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to C...
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to Celebrate 20 Million Downloads Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Desti...
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny, and Beyond – AppSpy Takes a Look at AAA Companion Apps Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] These day | Read more »
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Fre...
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Free for the Holidays Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Pros for...
 B&H Photo has new MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Airs for...
B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, for a limited time, for the Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday shopping season. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: iMacs for up to $...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software: - 21″ 1.4GHz... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac minis availab...
B&H Photo has new 2014 Mac minis on sale for up to $80 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459 $40 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off MSRP... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac Pros for up t...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $500 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2599, $400 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3499, $... Read more
Save up to $400 on MacBooks with Apple Certif...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Save up to $300 on Macs, $30 on iPads with Ap...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
iOS and Android OS Targeted by Man-in-the-Mid...
Cloud services security provider Akamai Technologies, Inc. has released, through the company’s Prolexic Security Engineering & Research Team (PLXsert), a new cybersecurity threat advisory. The... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader Program (US) - Apple, I...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on experience, Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.