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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Scrivener 3.0 - Project management and w...
Scrivener is a project management and writing tool for writers of all kinds that stays with you from that first unformed idea all the way through to the first - or even final - draft. Outline and... Read more
SuperDuper! 3.0.1 - Advanced disk clonin...
SuperDuper! is an advanced, yet easy to use disk copying program. It can, of course, make a straight copy, or "clone" -- useful when you want to move all your data from one machine to another, or do... Read more
Parallels Desktop 13.2.0 - Run Windows a...
Parallels allows you to run Windows and Mac applications side by side. Choose your view to make Windows invisible while still using its applications, or keep the familiar Windows background and... Read more
VueScan 9.5.92 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
iFinance 4.3.4 - Comprehensively manage...
iFinance allows you to keep track of your income and spending -- from your lunchbreak coffee to your new car -- in the most convenient and fastest way. Clearly arranged transaction lists of all your... Read more
jAlbum Pro 15.0 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more
jAlbum 15.0 - Create custom photo galler...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results - Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
Duet 1.6.9.3 - Use your iPad as an exter...
Duet is the first app that allows you to use your iDevice as an extra display for your Mac using the Lightning or 30-pin cable. Note: This app requires a $14.99 iOS companion app. Version 1.6.9.3:... Read more
Duet 1.6.9.3 - Use your iPad as an exter...
Duet is the first app that allows you to use your iDevice as an extra display for your Mac using the Lightning or 30-pin cable. Note: This app requires a $14.99 iOS companion app. Version 1.6.9.3:... Read more
iExplorer 4.1.10 - View and transfer fil...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The mobile gamer's guide to Black F...
We're starting to catch wind of some exciting deals in the mobile gaming space for Black Friday. There are big discounts on mobile phones and accessories cropping up already, so you might want to get a move on things ahead of the big day. It's... | Read more »
The best pre-Black Friday deals - Novemb...
Black Friday will soon be upon us, but online retailers are already getting a headstart on the steep discounts. Don't wait until Friday—you'll find some pretty good deals all over the internet without waiting in lines or competing with other... | Read more »
Mighty Battles guide - how to build a so...
Mighty Battles, the latest title from Hothead Games, is set to take the App Store by storm. The game puts a welcome twist on lane battlers, adding FPS elements to spice things up a bit. You'll collect cards to put your own military unit to gether,... | Read more »
Rules of Survival guide - how to be the...
The PUBG craze makes its way to mobile, with more and more battle royale games debuting on iOS and Android. Rules of Survival joins the ranks of mobile PUBG-likes, offering a classic battle royale experiences that doesn't vary too much from its... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
The weekend is upon us friends, and it's time to take a look back and reflect on all of the wonderful games we've played over the past few days. This week was jam packed with new releases. There were some big, long awaited launches, some fun... | Read more »
Lineage II: Revolution guide - tips and...
At long last, Lineage II: Revolution has now come to western shores, bring Netmarble's sweeping MMORPG to mobile devices. It's an addictive, epic experience, but some of the systems in the game can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help... | Read more »
A Boy and His Blob (Games)
A Boy and His Blob 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Fight terrible monsters and collect epic...
Released on Western markets early last month, Dragon Project, created by Japanese developer COLOPL, brings epic monster hunting action to mobile for the very first time. Collect a huge array of weapons and armor, and join up with friends to fight... | Read more »
I Am The Hero (Games)
I Am The Hero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: I Am The Hero is a pixel art, beat 'em up, fighting game that tells the story of a "Hero" with a glorious but mysterious past.... | Read more »
Kauldron (Music)
Kauldron 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Kauldron is our warmest sounding, punchiest synth yet! A completely new modeling technology, combined with carefully designed... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $180 with Apple Certified Refurbis...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: – 13″ 1.8GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air (... Read more
Black Friday deals on Apple Macs now live at...
Amazon has MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, MacBooks, and iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP for Black Friday week. Shipping is free. Note that stock of some Macs may come and go during the week, so... Read more
Black Friday pricing on Macs and iPads now av...
B&H Photo has lowered prices on many Macs, iPads, and iPad Pros as part of their Black Friday week sale. Save up to $200 on MacBooks and iMacs and up to $150 on iPads. B&H charges sales tax... Read more
Best Apple iPad deals this weekend, up to $80...
Apple resellers are offering 9.7″ iPads and 10.5″ iPad Pros for up to $80 off MSRP this weekend as part of their early Holiday and Black Friday sales: Adorama is offering new 2017 9.7″ 32GB WiFi... Read more
Early Black Friday sale: Apple iMacs for up t...
B&H Photo has 27-inch iMacs in stock and on sale for up $130-$150 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2149 $150 off... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis starting...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished Mac minis starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: – 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP – 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Save on 12″ MacBooks, Apple refurbished model...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Early Holiday sale: 12″ iPad Pros for up to $...
B&H Photo has 12″ iPad Pros on sale today for up to $130 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H collects no sales tax outside NY & NJ: – 12″ 64GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749, save $50 – 12″ 256GB... Read more
Holiday sale prices on Apple 13″ MacBook Pros...
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100-$150 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro... Read more
Sale: 13″ MacBook Airs starting at $899, $100...
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ MacBook Airs on sale today for $100 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $899, $100 off... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Product Manager - *Apple* Pay on the *Appl...
Job Summary Apple is looking for a talented product manager to drive the expansion of Apple Pay on the Apple Online Store. This position includes a unique Read more
*Apple* Pro/Consumer Apps Support Engineer -...
…exemplify AppleCare's expert technical support paired with exceptional customer service for Apple 's software apps. This person is a problem solver, who understands Read more
Partner Marketing Manager, *Apple* Pay - Ap...
Job Summary The Apple Pay partner marketing team is looking for a Marketing Manager to develop and drive US programs. The right candidate will be passionate about Read more
*Apple* Solution Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solution Consultant - Rochester, MN Job Number: 113037950 Rochester, MN, Minnesota, United States Posted: 19-Sep-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Are Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.