Enterprise Unix Roundup — Red Hat's Desktop Epiphany Page 2

By Michael Hall (Send Email)
Posted May 6, 2004


Main     In Other News     Security Roundup     Tips of the Trade

In Other News

» Sun COO Jonathan Schwartz made a small clarification of his "Red Hat has forked Linux" comments, telling LinuxInsider "It's forked because if you write to the Red Hat distribution, you can't go and run on Debian."

» Veritas announced it will develop its Storage Foundation software for Solaris running on Opteron- and Intel-based Solaris systems.

» Quiet week for SCO: The company went through a round of layoffs and suffered the indignity of the National Retail Foundation telling its members that SCO's claims against Linux are unfounded. No word on if the group took SCO's frequent shopper card away, too.

» Mandrake released Mandrake Linux Official 10.0 for AMD's Athlon64 and Opteron processors.

» The OpenBSD Project announced end-of-life for OpenBSD 3.3. No more fixes or patches will be released in the OpenBSD 3.3 branch. The project recommends users upgrade to version 3.5 of the project, which was released on May 1.

» Novell just announced the first beta release of Mono, an open source version of Microsoft's .NET that will allow Unix and Linux developers to create .NET apps. The project includes a C# compiler, Common Language Runtime, and just-in-time compiler.

Security Roundup

  • Apple released a major security update to OS X, fixing vulnerabilities that could be used to compromise a system.
  • Slackware and Debian released patches to rsync that could cause the program to write files outside of the intended directory tree.
  • The FreeBSD Project released a pair of patches (1 and 2) to Heimdal. They fix bugs that could allow for denial of service attacks or compromise kerberos trust relationships.
  • SGI released a cumulative patch to IRIX that repairs several vulnerabilities in its networking stack. The patched bugs could allow for denial of service attacks.

Tips of the Trade

While we really enjoy the OS X GUI, we've got our share of shell scripts hanging around that don't always fit in the world of icons and windows. Two things make them fit a little better, though:

The first step to make your favorite shell script a click away involves turning on the script menu. Apple explains how to do this, but, for the most part, all it involves is visiting the AppleScript folder within the Applications folder and double-clicking the Install Script Menu icon. On installation, a scroll-like icon will appear on the menu bar.

The next step is to embed one of the shell scripts in an AppleScript. Here's a simple one that calls the Unison program (which you might remember from a previous tip) and syncs the iBook with the main file server before we head out the door:

set UniSync to do shell script ("/Users/mph/bin/unison -batch && echo Sync Complete")

display dialog UniSync

The real meat of the whole thing is the do shell script directive. The rest ensures any output from Unison (such as files it moved from one system to another) gets listed in a dialog the user has to acknowledge.

You can experiment by firing up the ScriptEditor (also in the AppleScript folder) and trying out your own. Something as simple as

do shell script ("/path/to/script")

ought to work.

When you've got something you like, save it to the Library/Scripts folder in the home directory. The next time you click on the script menu, the new script will be ready to run.

For those who want to delve into this more, Apple has a decent tech note that explains much more, including how to how to run scripts with superuser privileges.

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