CLI commands on XServe

Here’s another tech post for you to digest.

Todays fun has to do with configuring an Apple XServe. These are very very sweet machines, and not just due to their impressive performance. These things come headless (without videocard/monitor) by default, so even though Apple provides some nice remote administration programs you must use a number of Command Line Interface (CLI) programs to get everything you need done, done.

To Whit:

I asked myself today. If I’m in Workgroup Manager (The user and file sharing administration program for MacOS X Server), how do I change the root and/or default administrators password? Aren’t the two linked. Why won’t it let me get into that field.

Answer: You just can’t. You cannot change the password of your initial administrator account. You have to do it via CLI.

So how do you change the password in CLI? Easy. It’s an ancient UNIX command:

passwd user

Replace user with the account you’d like to change (including root if you want/need to) and it’s as easy as that. Just remember once you do that you’ll have to edit your connection credentials in your other remote admin apps like Workgroup Manager, Server Admin and Server Monitor.

Tip #2:

After installing the Xserve I wanted to configure it to see the UPS that is attached to it… I realised that you can only do that through the System Preferences application.

So how do I get into System Preferences if I don’t have a video card/monitor to hook up to?

Easy:

CLI commands:
systemsetup
and
networksetup

Those give you access to all functions available in System Preferences. This is also useful for doing things like making sure your hostname is correct if you had to change it… or turning Appletalk off and on if you need it.

Here are a couple PDFs of the help output for both those commands:
Network Setup
System Setup