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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > new powerbook for a seasoned linux guy

new powerbook for a seasoned linux guy
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travism
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Feb 15, 2005, 03:13 AM
 
Ok, so I finally broke down and bought the 17 inch Powerbook. I figure if you're going to get an Apple you might as well go all out right? (Ships Feb 22, ordered Feb 15)

I'm just curious if any seasoned linux gurus on this forum have any warnings or bits of advise on what to expect when going from linux (slackware, gentoo, lfs) to OS X. I don't have much Mac experience, if any, but I'm fluent in the command line --I actually prefer the command line to a GUI.

Some things I want to do, to give u a better idea...
Have /, and /home, and /Applications on separate partitions
Have as full as possible linux binary compatibility
Figure out a way to "deal" with the ext3 file system (Will I lose the permissions when I copy files over to the Apple format?) and have the system read my firewire drive (ext3 only)

I'm just curious what any linux -> os x switcher has experienced, that's all.
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Randman
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Feb 15, 2005, 03:30 AM
 
Shouldn't be a problem. Play around and see how the OS fits you, you might find you like it even more.

That said, no need to partition unless you're also going to be running a separate os such as Tiger at the same time.

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sieb
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Feb 15, 2005, 03:31 AM
 
I run linux hosting servers. If I have a command line and Midnight Commander, I have no problem managing a server.

OSX though, the included Terminal does not handle mouse events so MC doesn't work with a mouse (or function keys). I haven't seen a way to split directories into partitions during OSX install (but have only installed twice). I don't know about the ext3 firewire drive, mine are HFS+ formatted.

The best thing to do is install Apples X11 (whos terminal does support mouse events), their Dev kit if you want to compile stuff, and install Fink along with Fink Commander, it gives you access to all sorts of compiled linux apps. The only thing that still bugs me is the arrow keys still don't work right in the command line.
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ideasculptor
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Feb 15, 2005, 03:42 AM
 
You won't lose anything from ext3 if you download the free ext3 support (do a google search, I don't have a URL handy) and mount your linux disk and copy over.

You can't put /Applications on a separate partition from the OS. Many apps require that they be installed on the system disk. Additionally, a small number of apps insist on being installed in /Applications, so you pretty much need /Applications on your boot partition.

You can move user directories to different locations if you really must, but I'm told some apps may or may not be persnickety about it. As far as I know, the only real way to accomplish this is via a symlink from /Users to your home directory drive.

Some things that will get you if you aren't prepared:

/etc/hosts is not the first place the system goes for hostname lookups, so you can't override DNS with it unless you change some settings to the system. Search "OS X /etc/hosts" and you'll pull up a good description of what you need to do to change the priority of the various lookups.

User info is NOT stored in /etc/passwd /etc/groups, even though those files are there. They are actually stored in a netinfo database. There is a netinfo manager utility in /Applications/Utilities which allows you to manipulate the database directly (useful for changing uids and such), but you are better off doing user management the 'apple way.' You may be able to modify the system so it doesn't use netinfo for user info (Surely, you can set up yp, for instance), but I don't know how.

virtual desktops are available, either free or a pay one from Codetek. I use the pay one and found it superior to the free one.

X is available from apple. No compatibility issues

Use fink or darwinports for automatic unix/linux package management and installation. I've used both, but I prefer fink.

--sam
     
Chuckit
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Feb 15, 2005, 04:35 AM
 
Originally posted by ideasculptor:
You can't put /Applications on a separate partition from the OS. Many apps require that they be installed on the system disk. Additionally, a small number of apps insist on being installed in /Applications, so you pretty much need /Applications on your boot partition.
Couldn't you just set /Applications as the mountpoint for a partition and achieve the same effect? (I'm seriously asking. I haven't tried. It just seems like it should work.)
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Dr.Michael
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Feb 15, 2005, 06:18 AM
 
Why did you buy a mac?

If you work commandline only your mac will simply be slower than a thinkpad (or whatever x86).
The real strength of mac os is the combination of commandline and great gui based apps.
     
jzdziarski
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Feb 15, 2005, 11:02 AM
 
I ran Linux on a 2Ghz Thinkpad/1GB RAM for about two years, and moved to a Powerbook 17" last month. I was immediately impressed with OSX, and had no problem transitioning from Linux. My initial responses were:

- While I'm not a GUI guy, many of the GUI tools (such as Expose and Dock) are extremely useful to me. Expose is perfect for having 30 terminal windows open. Aqua menus are a heck of a lot better than hunting around for the window I need to get a menu.

- Everything's so much more polished - the dock, and other GUI components are smoother and perform better than the Linux equivalents (gdesklets, etc). Many of the applications perform much better (obviously). The PDF viewer is especially impressive. I *like* having a menubar that doesn't look amature, icons that don't get fuzzy when you enlarge them, and having all your document launchers set up properly without tinkering. There's a level of detail and style to be respected in OSX

- I initially thought that a slick GUI meant loss of control, but I found that there are many different customizations you can make to the GUI to do stuff you can't even do in gnome. For example, sticking an application icon on all finder windows so you can drag a file into an application (like Bluetooth-Send). They've made things so drag-and-drop customizable, i'm still learning new things I can customize. I also bought WindowShade X to do some neat things like minimize-in-place, etc; there's a menu tool by haxies.com to even customize the apple menu, menu shortcuts, etc. That would normally require a crapload of hacking on Linux to do.

- Having all the hardware and drivers "just work", especially in-between kernels, is a significant benefit. My Thinkpad required a few different drivers to be compiled, and upgrading the kernel every few weeks (on average) took a significant amount of time. I've been using UNIX for about 11 years now and haven't got anything to prove by staying up all night hacking source code (like I had to do before Bluez was standard in gnome).

- The boot cycle is much faster. A "laptop install" of linux took me about 5x longer to boot, or more. OSX comes up very quickly.

- Power management functions are a lot easier to deal with; you don't have to dick around with things on a powerbook like you do on a thinkpad to make sure the HD shuts down to sleep, etc.

- All of the tools I needed in Linux were available to me in OSX; I used darwinports (darwinports.com) to compile and install some basics like new autoconf, automake, etc; I was able to build some of my own software (namely DSPAM) effortlessly. Even some GUI-based tools, such as aMule, compiled easily on OSX.

- TRUE TRANSPARENCY! I never thought true transparency was anything more than pretty, but now that I've gotten my arms wrapped around it, I'm amazed at how much faster I can get some things done. Having a terminal window sitting over a word doc or browser window and being able to see some text I'm reading from while doing something is invaluable. True transparency on Linux is still very slow (and experimental), and Thinkpads video sucks.

- Video - Thinkpads are known for their crappy, slow video - OSX's video is much faster, and MUCH more polished. All I have to do is plug in the S-Video and the powerbook automatically detects the TV, extends the screen, and - get this - when I bring up display preferences, each screen has its own window which is SCHWEET. No rebooting to make S-Video work, and the GL is pretty fast (10.3.8 made a noticeable improvement also).

- Illuminated keyboard and front-loading DVD (Powerbook) versus Gay Thinklight and Pain-in-the-Ass DVD with an overzealous eject button (Thinkpad). Nuff said.

- Seemless copy/paste: I've screwed around with gnome's clipboard tools for a long time and it never quite worked the way it was supposed to; if you quit an app, copy would disappear, and it was just very amature. When I copy something in OSX, it's frickin' copied.

A few caveats:

- Quicken for Mac sucks, so if you were running Quicken under Wine in Linux, you'll probably be disappointed. You can't do BASIC stuff like sort by amount or delete transactions in the reconcile screen. The balanace doesn't even automatically populate from your online balance. Suck.

- OSX is a tad sluggish compared to my Linux Thinkpad. You can make some additional optimizations like shut off drop shadows to speed the GUI up a bit. If you want something that runs fast, install Yellowdog linux on another partition and use that as your primary development environment.

- The window borders are a bit bigger than I'm used to, and I haven't found a way to shrink them without reskinning (which I don't want to do). It could just be that the screen is so much bigger.

- I did have to ditch openoffice and go with MS Office. Openoffice runs under X11 and blows hard on a Mac. NeoOffice is an attempt to run openoffice natively, but it's slow and ugly compared to Mac Office. Overall I'm much more satisfied (sigh) with MS Office for Mac.

- I wasn't afraid to carry my carbon-fiber thinkpad with rubber feet anywhere - the powerbook is not nearly as rugged as the thinkpad was designed to be. Be VERY careful at the airport, as those stupid containers will scratch the bottom. The aluminum is pretty, but i'm much more concerned about getting it damaged.

Overall, the powerbook/osx combo represents style and attention to detail - two characteristics that, as a developer, I can really appreciate. Linux is a great OS, but if they ever want to compete with Windows or OSX, the developers of Linux, gnome, and all the other components that make up a distro will need to work together on end-user functionality.
     
jzdziarski
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Feb 15, 2005, 11:18 AM
 
One other thing I suspect you'll really like is the concept of totally self-contained applications. You've got to have used earlier versions of MacOS to really appreciate the beauty of what they've done with the old "resource fork". Native OSX applications have a .app extension, but they're really a directory that contains all (or at least most) or the resources and binary code you'll need to run the application. Since you seem to know about /Applications, I suspect you're probably already familiar with how it works... it's just beautiful.
     
lars-man
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Feb 15, 2005, 11:54 AM
 
Some things I want to do, to give u a better idea...
Have /, and /home, and /Applications on separate partitions
Have as full as possible linux binary compatibility
Figure out a way to "deal" with the ext3 file system (Will I lose the permissions when I copy files over to the Apple format?) and have the system read my firewire drive (ext3 only)

I'm just curious what any linux -> os x switcher has experienced, that's all. [/B]
What about symbolic links? Should work seamlessly.

If you want to move the user's home directories to a new location without using symbolic links, you have to reconfigure the path to the new location with NetInfo. In NetInfo select a user an edit the path to his/her new home directory.

A good website concerning your questions: http://www.macosxhints.com/

Kind regards, Lars
     
electric monk
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Feb 15, 2005, 05:28 PM
 
Cmd-S on start up drops you into single user mode.

It's freakishly cool to see lines of white text on a black screen on a Powerbook without any GUI elements (not that I don't prefer and love the GUI). Maybe its just me though…
     
travism  (op)
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Feb 15, 2005, 06:54 PM
 
Thanks for all the replys so far.

I've been considering switching for three years now simply because I've gotten tired of doing things "the hard way" and wanted a UNIX or UNIX-like OS that "just worked" and had a good, working GUI. I like the cli, but it's nice to be lazy and use the mouse.

So far the only thing I've found about OS X that I hate is netinfo and the fact /etc seems to be completely ignored. Oh well, Tiger should hopefully fix this....

This powerbook should be my dream computer, all the good points of linux with none of the bad things.
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jzdziarski
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Feb 15, 2005, 10:41 PM
 
sounds like you're in the same shoes that i was when i switched; if you don't have anything to "prove" by having your hands in the bowels of your kernel, i think you'll be just as happy with osx and i've turned out to be.

I wrote up a more formal review of my experience, you're welcome to have a read http://www.nuclearelephant.com/papers/apple.html
     
Dog Like Nature
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Feb 15, 2005, 11:57 PM
 
I think partitions are useful on an UNIX-style OS. Partitions enforce hard quotas for one thing, and they can also be mounted with different options, such as nosuid and rdonly. They can use different filesystems, which can be useful.

Of course, there's nothing worse than running out of space on a partition and having plenty of space in the others, but (as I mentioned above) that might actually be benefitial.
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bighead
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Feb 16, 2005, 12:51 AM
 
I use Cocktail to set my machine to boot in verbose mode, rather than standard gray Apple mode. You can issue the command in Open Firmware, but Cocktail is a great utility overall and works just the same. Not usually a need for booting in verbose mode, but sometimes you can catch errors as they scroll by.

Plus, it looks more manly seeing the Unixy boot screen as opposed to the gray Apple.

Oh yeah, and NetInfo really does suck.
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ideasculptor
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Feb 16, 2005, 02:38 AM
 
Originally posted by Chuckit:
Couldn't you just set /Applications as the mountpoint for a partition and achieve the same effect? (I'm seriously asking. I haven't tried. It just seems like it should work.)
Nope. Many apps insist on being installed on the system partition. They wil explicitly prevent you from selecting a disk other than the boot disk. You often can't select a path at all in many installers, since they just go in /Applications. As for setting mounting another drive in /Applications, I'm not even sure that you can. OS X automatically mounts everything into /Volumes but also makes them available in the list of drives, so you rarely access them via their full path, unless you are on the command line. Perhaps there is a way to specify a mount point (although I seriously doubt that /etc/fstab does anything, if it is even there) for a disk, but I don't know what it is.

That said, why are you so insistent upon putting /Applications somewhere else? It works very well where it is. You definitely need to get over your linux-user need to exert control over every aspect of the computing experience just because you can if you are going to be a satisfied OS X user.

To be honest, after years of linux use, I found that I became dependant upon being able to exert that kind of micro-control because linux NEEDED it. There are so many wierd hardware configurations on which linux claims to run that in order to get decent performance out of YOUR hardware, particularly if it is cutting edge, you have to tweak the hell out of the OS.

The same is just not necessary with Apple hardware. They've only got a few variations on 6 or 8 basic hardware platforms (G4 powermac, imac, ibook, powerbook, G5 powermac, imac, and a couple other recent legacy systems) so the OS is pretty damn optimal to begin with. There really isn't a good reason for pushing all your apps onto a 2nd drive. Keep the data and libraries for those apps on a 2nd drive, by all means, but with a modern OS and the current price of hardware, just buy enough RAM to keep the entire application itself resident in memory and don't worry about the system and the application fighting for disk access. In fact, OS X maybe does this for you, always loading the entire app into memory and relying on swap if necessary, rather than partially loading components dynamically during runtime.

I keep my sample libraries for Logic on a 2nd disk, and my audio and midi files on a 3rd, but Logic (by all accounts, a huge app) is perfectly happy on the system disk. In fact, it requires that it be on the system disk.

I don't even keep my user directory on an alternate disk. I do put some directories elsewhere and then symlink them back into my home dir, but that is about the extent of it. OS X just works better that way. It isn't necessarily better or worse than linux. It is, however, better for OS X. Don't try to make OS X into linux. You will only ruin the OS X experience. Embrace OS X for the phenomenal hybrid OS that it is, learning the OS X way of doing things (just as you obviously learned the linux way of doing things, judging by your partition question), and you'll be a very happy switcher. I used linux exclusively from 1997 until spring 2004, whn i switched, and I've never even considered installing linux on this thing. My x86 box was thrown up in the rafters of my garage a month after I bought my powerbook, and it will remain there until I can strip the hard disks out and give it to a school. Forget about linux. you probably won't ever go back there unless you need to develop for linux.

As for the comments about office (openoffice or M$ office), unless you need perfect M$ office document compatibility or are a heavy duty spreadsheet user, I'd recommend spending $79 on iWork. I bought mine a coupe days ago and I am more than pleased. Exporting a keynote file to powerpoint had some rough edges, but nothing that couldn't be fixed. It doesn't do everything, but it does enough.

--sam
     
Agent69
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Feb 16, 2005, 11:06 AM
 
Originally posted by jzdziarski:
sounds like you're in the same shoes that i was when i switched; if you don't have anything to "prove" by having your hands in the bowels of your kernel, i think you'll be just as happy with osx and i've turned out to be.

I wrote up a more formal review of my experience, you're welcome to have a read http://www.nuclearelephant.com/papers/apple.html
So you're the creator of Dspam? Very cool. I will probably be giving Dspam a try soon, if I can't get CRM114 to compile cleanly.

By the way, what mail client are you using?
Agent69
     
Agent69
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Feb 16, 2005, 11:10 AM
 
Originally posted by ideasculptor:
You definitely need to get over your linux-user need to exert control over every aspect of the computing experience just because you can if you are going to be a satisfied OS X user.
That is not just a Linux thing; I came from NetBSD to Mac OS X and I had a real hard time with it. Mac OS X works incredibly well but you do give up a some control in return.
Agent69
     
jzdziarski
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Feb 16, 2005, 12:11 PM
 
I use Thunderbird at the moment. Works rather well on OSX - better than Mail.app in fact.

Re: Control; I don't think you necessarily have to give up much control - at least not control that you need. With me, it's all about GUI customization so maybe I'm talking apples and oranges. I do see the value in partitioning /Applications but I'm willing to bet you can do this by setting a mountpoint in netinfo. I don't see why the install tools would even have a clue what's going on if you did it properly.

OSX is a cookie that still needs a little bit of cracking, but at the end of the day it's still BSD. You just have to get around some of the proprietary interfaces Apple added on, but it should be possible to get what you need done.
     
Agent69
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Feb 16, 2005, 01:05 PM
 
I use Thunderbird at the moment. Works rather well on OSX - better than Mail.app in fact.
Sadly, Mail currently lacks of support for the standard unix mail formats, mbox and maildir, otherwise I would use it. Currently, I am evaluating Pine but given your liking of Thunderbird, maybe I'll give it a try as well.
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Agent69
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Feb 16, 2005, 01:33 PM
 
jzdziarski,

If you haven't by now, give Quicksilver a try. It's a great application.
Agent69
     
Chuckit
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Feb 16, 2005, 02:24 PM
 
Originally posted by Agent69:
Sadly, Mail currently lacks of support for the standard unix mail formats, mbox and maildir, otherwise I would use it.
Mail natively uses mbox to store mail. If you have any accounts in Mail, look in ~/Library/Mail and see for yourself.
Chuck
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Agent69
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Feb 16, 2005, 07:16 PM
 
But it won't work with a standard mbox file sitting all by itself. For example, it is useless for the mail spool in /var/mail.
Agent69
     
travism  (op)
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Feb 16, 2005, 11:06 PM
 
Originally posted by ideasculptor:
To be honest, after years of linux use, I found that I became dependant upon being able to exert that kind of micro-control because linux NEEDED it.
Surely you jest! Actually, that is the reason why I switched to my new powerbook. Yeah, I can micro-control everything but it gets old. And heaven forbid you have a hardware combination that either no one else has or something "exotic" like a usb keyboard...kernel re-compile. And then you hope nothing breaks (I actually found an existing smp-scsi bug that was reported in 2000...in the latest 2.4 sources).

Maybe I can trust OS X in ways I could never trust linux. I only wanted to separate the hard disk to make life easier on an OS X reinstall ( I have NO plans to put any linux distro on this book ). You know, keep my documents/settings and installed applications and stuff apart from /.

jzdziarski -- yes, the gnome copy & paste is so annoying!! Good peice of informative reading too.

I really do appreciate all these replys. It is too bad Apple.com/switch has none or only one linux2mac switch story. Had I known OS X was as "geeky" or as beefy/unix-like as it is two years ago, I'd have bought my mac sooner. An os that just doesn't come with vi/m and sed isn't worth using.

Let's just hope Tiger does something with /etc and Netinfo. My limited experience has led me to believe that the only reason /etc exists was so "sh*t would compile" since most of the files in there aren't being used.
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anamexis
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Feb 16, 2005, 11:33 PM
 
I understand where you are coming from with the multiple partitions, but this isn't possible nor is it necessary in Mac OS X. You can always do an "Archive and Install" which automatically updates all relevant applications and obviously the system but leaves everything else untouched.
     
jamil5454
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Feb 16, 2005, 11:58 PM
 
I also switched from linux to OS X. At first, I thought I wouldn't like OS X, so the thought of LinuxPPC soothed my anxiety a little. I bought an iBook G4 last October and absolutely love it. Now I am regretting not getting a desktop instead, since I mainly use it at my desk. But it's still nice to be able to go to wireless cafes and relax after work with a nice latte.

One day I got fustrated when something wouldn't compile in OS X like it did in Linux. I was about to slap Debian on my iBook but then I found the fink project. The Fink project is your friend. Darwin Ports is also nice.

You can download Apple's X11 or download the Xfree sources and compile X yourself. I personally like Apple's implementation better since it seems to be more widely supported among cross-UNIX tools. I actually got SPECviewPerf to run in OS X, albeit slowly. All X11 native apps will be notiveably slower in OS X, so if you can find a Cocoa-native version of the app then by all means use that instead. A good example of this is Linux GIMP performance vs OS X GIMP (via X11) performance. Sure there is MacGimp but that costs money.

I myself thought I wansn't a GUI person either, until I discovered OS X. No one can resist Expose and all the smooth swoosh effects that suprise you every once in a while. This is what my Windows nerd-friends are jealous about.

Xcode is definitely top-quality. It's the fastest Java IDE I've found (but nothing beats a good vi session and javac!). You will come to appreciate the simplicity and ease of use of Xcode if you do any kind of development. I wish creating Windows GUI Java apps were this easy!

The main benefit of OS X is that it is recognized by major software vendors.

Initial impression:

"UNIX? I didn't know OS X was built on UNIX. Wait, I can run Adobe Photoshop natively too? And simultaneously use vi/gcc?"

OS X was a no-brainer for me. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
     
jzdziarski
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Feb 17, 2005, 12:26 AM
 
I understand where you are coming from with the multiple partitions, but this isn't possible nor is it necessary in Mac OS X. You can always do an "Archive and Install" which automatically updates all relevant applications and obviously the system but leaves everything else untouched.

Ah but the true power of an operating system is in what you _can_ do and not why you don't need to do it.
     
anamexis
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Feb 17, 2005, 01:20 AM
 
Of course power lies in what you can do, but there's something to be said for not needing to do stuff too. In general, where there is a good reason for a feature to be implemented, it is, and when there's no reason or a better alternative for how to do something, it's not there.

The Mac OS X filesystem is one such example.

Really, I fully understand and respect your point of view, but I believe that OS X really wouldn't benefit from root mount points.
     
salgiza
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Feb 17, 2005, 09:40 AM
 
On monday/tuesday I'm receiving the Powerbook that will replace my Linux system (I'll join you soon!). Now that you have mentioned mail programs, there is something I'm worried about. Do any of you know if I will be able to migrate my mail from KMail to Mail.app?
It's not "critical" for me, but it would be nice if I could keep my old mail. I wouldn't mind using Thunderbird, but Mail.app is enough for me, and it's prettier

Salva.
     
Agent69
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Feb 17, 2005, 10:14 AM
 
What format does KMail use for mail storage?
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sniffer
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Feb 17, 2005, 12:21 PM
 
Originally posted by travism:
Maybe I can trust OS X in ways I could never trust linux. I only wanted to separate the hard disk to make life easier on an OS X reinstall ( I have NO plans to put any linux distro on this book ). You know, keep my documents/settings and installed applications and stuff apart from /.
I can't say if this would be for you but personally I just use CCC to clone (and bless) my whole disk to an external FW disk-partition. If something goes wrong on my regular disk I can connect my PB to my FW disk and boot directly from the cloned drive by holding in the option key during start up and picking the preferred boot volume. If I want I can clone the partition back to the original drive. Eventually I can mount the external drive and move over any files from the backup whenever needed. CCC also can make use of syncing (psync?) for increasing cloning performance which I use. I've parted my drive in partitions in the past but IME it was mainly a waste of space.

Sniffer gone old-school sig
     
Agent69
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Feb 17, 2005, 03:55 PM
 
For backup up, I just use a shell script to copy things to an external FW disk. I use Ditto.
Agent69
     
salgiza
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Feb 17, 2005, 05:19 PM
 
According to the preferences, KMail uses a maildir format. I can change it to mbox format, but I'm not quite sure wether it will convert messages from one format to the other.

Salva.
     
travism  (op)
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Feb 17, 2005, 10:47 PM
 
Originally posted by salgiza:
On monday/tuesday I'm receiving the Powerbook that will replace my Linux system (I'll join you soon!).
Mine is in Alaska...hopefully it can hit Southern Illinois by Saturday or Monday!
UNIX guru

"I'd not even run X11 if not for the fact I like to browse webpages with color and images"
     
anamexis
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Feb 17, 2005, 11:21 PM
 
Mail shouldn't be a problem. Mail.app can easily import UNIX-type .mbox mailboxes, as well as many other formats.
     
power142
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Feb 18, 2005, 03:37 AM
 
And if you really get bored, use KMail to dump all your messages on an IMAP server, and then in Mail.app drag it all back
     
Krusty
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Feb 18, 2005, 09:03 PM
 
Originally posted by jzdziarski:

- TRUE TRANSPARENCY! I never thought true transparency was anything more than pretty, but now that I've gotten my arms wrapped around it, I'm amazed at how much faster I can get some things done. Having a terminal window sitting over a word doc or browser window and being able to see some text I'm reading from while doing something is invaluable. True transparency on Linux is still very slow (and experimental), and Thinkpads video sucks.
Transparency is the sh!t

     
pat++
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Feb 18, 2005, 09:47 PM
 
Originally posted by Agent69:
But it won't work with a standard mbox file sitting all by itself. For example, it is useless for the mail spool in /var/mail.
Did you try to create an account in Mail, and then symlink the mbox file to the one in /var/mail ? It might to the trick
     
Agent69
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Feb 18, 2005, 10:35 PM
 
I remember a hint about this at Macosxhints.com but some people indicated that there were some issues in doing so. I will have to see if I can find it and let you know for sure what they were.

Does anyone know if Tiger's Mail now supports this? If not, I might give Thunderbird a try, since I have been told that it does support mail spools.
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bleee
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Feb 19, 2005, 02:31 AM
 
Originally posted by travism:
Ok, so I finally broke down and bought the 17 inch Powerbook. I figure if you're going to get an Apple you might as well go all out right? (Ships Feb 22, ordered Feb 15)

I'm just curious if any seasoned linux gurus on this forum have any warnings or bits of advise on what to expect when going from linux (slackware, gentoo, lfs) to OS X. I don't have much Mac experience, if any, but I'm fluent in the command line --I actually prefer the command line to a GUI.

Some things I want to do, to give u a better idea...
Have /, and /home, and /Applications on separate partitions
Have as full as possible linux binary compatibility
Figure out a way to "deal" with the ext3 file system (Will I lose the permissions when I copy files over to the Apple format?) and have the system read my firewire drive (ext3 only)

I'm just curious what any linux -> os x switcher has experienced, that's all.
There isn't anything you can do on linux you can't do on OS X, I will admit some of the opensource software packages need a bit of tweaking but if your an experience linux or bsd use you shouldn't have any problems getting osx to do what you want
     
anamexis
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Feb 19, 2005, 02:58 AM
 
Originally posted by bleee:
There isn't anything you can do on linux you can't do on OS X
That's quite a stretch. There's plenty of stuff you can do on linux but not OS X. Tweaking and compiling your own kernel comes to mind.

And uh, arbitrary mount points too.
     
jzdziarski
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Feb 19, 2005, 06:04 PM
 
It's the little things you can't do in OSX that piss me off.

1. You can see what speed your CPU is throttled to in Linux

2. You can see the real-time temperature of the system in Linux (which it doesn't appear you can do in 10.3.8, or at least on the new PBs)
     
power142
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Feb 19, 2005, 08:19 PM
 
Originally posted by jzdziarski:
It's the little things you can't do in OSX that piss me off.

1. You can see what speed your CPU is throttled to in Linux
Like... opening a terminal and running 'top', or running Activity Monitor or one of the many free utilities to see what % it's running at, in the dock, in the menu bar, a graph plotted in a window....

2. You can see the real-time temperature of the system in Linux (which it doesn't appear you can do in 10.3.8, or at least on the new PBs)


I _really_ miss having to pull teeth with lm_sensors with every machine...

But then, that's why we have OS-controlled fans... if you can't hear them, it must be cool enough
     
jzdziarski
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Feb 20, 2005, 12:39 AM
 
Umm no. I mean, Linux will show you that your CPU is running at say 800Mhz or 1.2Ghz depending on current load demand. That's oranges to what percentage of CPU is idle.
     
fortepianissimo
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Feb 20, 2005, 02:41 AM
 
Originally posted by Krusty:
Transparency is the sh!t

Well having used trasparent Terminal for 2 years, I finally gave up and changed it back to the good-ol white-on-black. The problem for me: dircolors will render directories in blue and executables in red, and with transparency I just can't clearly see the listing.
     
iREZ
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Feb 20, 2005, 03:10 AM
 
Alright...I realized that I need to learn how to use the Terminal. I wan't to know all that my machine can do. So where do I start? Do I buy a book, or should I try searching google on this topic. It's really interesting what you could access while in terminal.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
theolein
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Feb 20, 2005, 08:28 AM
 
Originally posted by jzdziarski:
Umm no. I mean, Linux will show you that your CPU is running at say 800Mhz or 1.2Ghz depending on current load demand. That's oranges to what percentage of CPU is idle.
That's a good question, actually. I think you're refering to Intel's speedstep, which automatically throttles the CPU according to demand (and sometimes in spite of demand ). I know that Apple's PPC CPU's do something similar, but I have no idea how one could access the actual clock setting. There's a command line tool called "pmset", which has a "dps" argument for turning dynamic cpu speed based on load, but it's a simple boolean 0/1 value and doesn't give any way of actually reading the current cpu speed. Perhaps there are some tools to do this, but I couldn't find any with a quick google search or on Apple's developer site.
weird wabbit
     
jamil5454
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Feb 20, 2005, 10:04 AM
 
If you want to start learning the Terminal (UNIX shell is more appropriate), I'd recommend a couple internet sites and maybe a book or two. Since the default is a Bash environment, try to focus on that.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...438918-7568867

^This is a good beginner's guide to the UNIX side of OS X.

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/mosxgeeks/?CMP=IL7015

^And here's another one. Notice they are both from O'Reilly
     
Dr.Michael
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Feb 21, 2005, 05:01 AM
 
Originally posted by iREZ:
Alright...I realized that I need to learn how to use the Terminal. I wan't to know all that my machine can do. So where do I start? Do I buy a book, or should I try searching google on this topic. It's really interesting what you could access while in terminal.
Hi iRez,

learning the Terminal means learning to use a very large handful of independent commandline programs.

O Reilly is a great source indeeed. But you don't have to go and buy a book. Have a look at MacDevCenter Articles first:

http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/ma...ions/unix.html

Many of the programs are located in /usr/bin, /usr/local/bin and -sbin (cited from my memory). Open the terminal and type:

cd /usr <return>
find . -name bin <return>
find . -name sbin <return>

that lists all locations where termal programs can be found.
For most programs you have a man (-ual) page.
It is accessible via
man <name of the program> <return>

try
man find <return>
to find out what you did before.

If you don't like to display these man pages in the terminal (disadvantages are obvious after 3 attempts), use a bbedit shell worksheet (accessible from file -> new ->).
It allows you to execute terminal commands and get the result as an editable text file.
Simply type the terminal command like you do in a shell and hit <command><return> instead of <return> only at the end of the line.

... and learn how to swear... (if you don't know already)
( Last edited by Dr.Michael; Feb 21, 2005 at 06:01 AM. )
     
ngrundy
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Feb 21, 2005, 08:48 AM
 
I spend my day as a UNIX systems administrator doing midly crazy things with solaris and linux systems. I've been using OSX for around 2.5 years now and doubt I'll ever go back to using anything else. For disk setup on my 15" Powerbook (my main computer) i run a 20/60 split on the internal 80GB drive. OS and Applications sit in about 11GB of the 20GB boot partition and my home dir sits on the remaining 60gb, along with other random data such as downloads and stuff.

Other than that I let the system manage itself. For a brief rundown i use apps such as Safari, Thunderbird, QuickSilver, Proteus, Stickies, Office 2004, iTunes and a few other small utils on a daily basis. The primary app i use is Terminal.

For things like backups I'll rsync my home dir once a week or so to a FreeBSD file server elsewhere in my house overnight.

couple of shell alias i have

Code:
alias mailbackup /usr/bin/rsync -a -v -e ssh /Volumes/Data/Users/ngrundy/Library/Thunderbird [email protected]:/home/ngrundy/backup/mail/`date +%Y-%m-%d` alias homedirbackup /usr/bin/rsync -a -v -e ssh /Volumes/Data/Users [email protected]:/usr/storage2/backup/home-`date +%Y-%m-%d`
1Ghz Powerbook
40gb/1x512mb/combo/T68i
FireRAID 1 Host Independant Hotswap RAID 1 (80gb)
     
power142
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Feb 21, 2005, 03:25 PM
 
The bus slewing on many (but not all) of Apple's products is related to load, so if if the load is higher, then the bus speed (and therefore CPU speed, since the multiplier remains the same) is increased. The speed variation was listed in previous versions of the developer documentation. For example, for the 1GHz 12" Powerbook, it ranged from 102 to 133 MHz. Some models can be locked into "Highest" performance in Energy Saver.

If you really want to know how it might be done, try looking in the YellowDog and/or Gentoo Linux forums and see how they read the speed. The OSX obviously knows what is going on, and there is probably some way of reading it, it's just that nobody has written anything to do it.

While it might be a curiosity to see what it is, there is little practical value unless you intend to recalibrate OSX to react differently, but if it bugs you that much, you might want to try putting Linux on the machine
     
   
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