How To: Tweak OS X “Spaces”
Spaces is OSX’s cool virtual window program that allows “multiple” desktops to be setup. The thought is that it allows you to group programs together by task and thereby increasing your workflow productivity.
Apple has a great tutorial on how to really maximize it’s usefulness.
But some of us want to tweak it’s usability. For instance to disable the “teleport to another space feature” in terminal (as root)
defaults write com.apple.Dock workspaces-auto-swoosh -bool NO
To switch back:
defaults write com.apple.Dock workspaces-auto-swoosh -bool YES
To remove the animation between spaces:
defaults write com.apple.Dock workspaces-swoosh-animation-off -bool YES
Please comment and add any other tricks you have.
Updating /etc/hosts on OS X
Sometimes you need to have a static IP address configured to a specific domain name on OS X. For instance, locally testing a web server is a great reason to do this. Doing so is fairly easy to setup, but does take a bit of command line work.
First, edit /etc/hosts with your favorite text editor.
the default looks something like this:
# Host Database
# localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
# when the system is booting. Do not change this entry.
Edit the file, add in the IP address under the 255.255.255.255 address, then put in the hostname with spaces over under “localhost.”
Then you have to reload the hosts file.
OS X 10.4 type:
sudo niload -v -m hosts . < /etc/hosts
on OS X 10.5 and 10.6
Then simply ping the new domain name and check that is resolves to the correct IP address. (assuming the other computer is setup to respond correctly)
How To: Redirect Linux display to OS X
Open X11 type: xhost + (allows incoming connections from ‘anywhere’)
for extra security add machine name or username ssh to linux machine and type: setenv DISPLAY “ip address”:0 or setenv DISPLAY “full hostname”:0 (Note setenv is a CSH command, you may need to switch shells)
replace ip address with the ip address of the machine you arer connecting from.
Launch program (such as Gimp) and start using it.
How To: Change Default Mail Client on OSX
When I moved away from Entourage to Thunderbird I had a huge issue with mailto: html links still attempting to open Entourage to send emails. OS X itself simply does not provide a simple way to change this default behavior.
So, the trick is to open OS X’s Mail Client and use that. Simply create a dummy account, it doesn’t matter what info you put in as you won’t be using it. Once Mail is opened, go to Preferences then click on the General Tab. There will be a “Default Mail Reader” drop down menu. Choose your default client (even Firefox or Safari if you have something like Zimbra or another web mail) and exit the client.
The other, and possibly better trick if you’re going to make this change across multiple computers such as an entire Enterprise setup is to edit one of the plist files.
In ~/Library/Preferences/ look for com.apple.LaunchServices.plist
Options for mail client would be com.mozilla.firefox or com.microsoft.entourage or the preferences name of any other mail client. These can easily be found in the same folder. Once this is done, mailto: links will then open in your preferential mail client!