Idiot's Guide to Mac OSX BSD?

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Operating Systems OS X (Apple) Idiot's Guide to Mac OSX BSD?
# 1  
Old 12-16-2007
Idiot's Guide to Mac OSX BSD?

Hi, I am used to Solaris and find my Macs confusing when using the command line. This particularly applies to top, networking and users configuration. Top just seems to be hopeless in comparison to the Solaris version and the network and user configuration just doesn't seem to work.

Is there a book that explains how it all works, from the Unix point of view rather than GUIs and is there a way of installing the normal top?

I am also a bit confused with the disk formats, some are case-sensitive and some aren't - what's with that? Is it true that Leopard now uses ZFS and can I convert all my Macs running Leopard to be case-sensitive ZFS now?

I am mainly running Leopard.


SW England
# 2  
Old 12-16-2007
FreeBSD documentation would help you as well.

Similarly, you do have "man" on OSX which will explain all.

Different operating systems use different switches, that's just the way life is, between Solaris, AIX, HPUX, IRIX, Linux, NetBSD/FreeBSD/OpenBSD, Tru64, MacOSX there is a general agreement on the common switches and variation on others.

It's part of the rich tapestry of life.

Originally Posted by pettefar
Is it true that Leopard now uses ZFS and can I convert all my Macs running Leopard to be case-sensitive ZFS now?
I thought ZFS was read-only at the moment.
# 3  
Old 12-17-2007
On Leopard you may use dtrace to add the functionality you're looking for:

DTrace Scripts | Collecting scripts and settings for DTrace-enabled developers

Top Ten DTrace (D) Scripts

(A nifty gui tool would be MenuMeters btw.)

To add a user on Leopard see a recent post & comments at OS X Daily !

A good general starting point to get Mac-related Unix information is OS X Links .


# 4  
Old 12-18-2007
"rich tapestry of life" lol@Porter

One of the nice things about FOSS is that your favorite utilities can usually be compiled cross-platform. There's no need to port "ls" but if you've got a program that is opensource, you can compile it for OSX.

But I understand your frustrastion; there should be a "OS compatability pack" that I can install cross platform, so that when I run commands from the OS that I accustomed to, it will tell me "hey, that command doesn't work on this distro, try THIS command instead". Rather like high-tech training wheels.
# 5  
Old 12-19-2007
The mailing list is pretty busy, and can provide a lot of information. You can search their archives without signing up.
Another good resource for OS X specific information is They categorize the hints, so a quick search of the "System" category can help for those "how do i..." times.

Apple likes to make significant changes to the system tools. The biggest one I can think of off the top of my head is the NetInfo database. It was a part of all OS X versions through Tiger (10.4.x). The "ni" commands were pretty well known to Mac admins.
Apple completely removed NetInfo from Leopard (10.5).

To their credit, they included Directory Services (the replacement for NetInfo) "ds" commands in Tiger as well, so admins could get used to living without ni commands well before Leopard, and move forward at a leisurely pace converting scripts that required it.

Good Luck, and Good Fun! Smilie
# 6  
Old 12-19-2007
Originally Posted by gus2000
there should be a "OS compatability pack"
There is, it's called POSIX.
# 7  
Old 12-19-2007

Actually, for day to day stuff, I just wish that top would work (properly)!

Thanks for all the info though, muchly appreciated.

Nick - Solaris bloke.
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