ImageSecure Shell or SSH is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged using a secure channel between two networked devices. It’s used mostly to access Unix or Linux commands, and is a secure way to send text like passwords and other private data.

In this video, we focus on SSH We look at enabling the SSH service, connecting to the server, and we show a couple uses for it. These uses include restarting the Screen Sharing service, and connecting with SFTP.

In the video, I mention a few links. I’ll list them here:

Enable Screen Sharing or ARD Via SSH
Transmit FTP client

And now a link to the video: Enable and Use SSH (option+click to download)

If you have questions or comments on the video, you can send them via twitter (@macminicolo) or using our contact page.

ImageI know we have a lot of customers who setup a VPN on their Mac mini so they can connect to the internet thru it while on the road.

If you use your Mac regularly with a VPN, Shimo will be worth a look. “Shimo supports almost every VPN protocol that is currently used. Next to the widely used CiscoVPN, Shimo easily handles OpenVPN and standard compliant IPSec connections. PPTP and L2TP are no problem at all either. With Cisco’s new AnyConnect protocol and the zero-configuration protocol Hamachi the list of supported connection types becomes even longer.”

Macworld did a nice post on Shimo recently so you can read all about it there. Or, just head over to the developer’s site to download a trial or purchase a license. (€12.95)

ImageIf a server is setup correctly, clinic you can hopefully walk away and it will run fine without interaction for a long time. Digital Sentry will help you get a little closer to that goal.

“Digital Sentry monitors your system for specific events, and then can perform a vast array of unique actions in response. Watch for such system events as waking from sleep, program launches, closes, or switches, file modifications, incorrect password attempts, mouse and keyboard input, and many more. Then, perform any number of tasks like sending an e-mail, shutting down the computer, starting a simulated self-destruct, pinging a web URL, taking a web cam shot, taking a screenshot, playing a multimedia file, speaking some text, executing a shell script… the list goes on!”

The interface is nice and easy to setup. The cost is $19.95 and comes with a free trial. Download it here.

ImageFor those of you who read the last post about iStat and were disappointed to find that it wasn’t available at the time, you’re in luck! Just last night, the Apple gatekeepers approved and listed iStat on the App Store. It’s a beautiful app for the iPhone.

For more on the app, see the official page at Bjango.com. Or, just head straight to iTunes to buy the iStat app. (iTunes link)

ImageIf you have a moment, I’d love for any readers to take a quick poll on iPhone/iPod Touch security practices. The only pre-requisite is that you own one or the other. It’s just 7 short questions.

To perform the poll, I took advantage of the great Google Docs. You won’t need to sign in or leave any personal data.

The poll can be found here

Thanks for your time.
Update: We had a good number of responses come thru and have no shutdown the poll. Thanks for taking the time.

ImageI have yet to find a really good application to monitor all traffic coming to/leaving from a Mac, sales but this one is close.

With Net Monitor Sidekick you just start the application, choose your network interface, and watch the traffic flow. The program offers a few preferences, but pretty much does as expected out of the box.

Right now, the program is in beta and can be downloaded free. Though there is a warning that the beta will expire on Mar 31, 2009.

You can down the application here.

ImageThis last weekend, a good friend of mine called and told me that his office and been broken into early Sunday morning. The thieves stole 7 20″ iMacs and a cd player. (Luckily they didn’t steal the 24″ iMac or the Mac mini server with all the data on it. We keep that server hidden good.)

Thank goodness my friend had business insurance and we picked up 7 new iMacs and had them all setup and running by Monday afternoon. We look at it as an inconvenient, but inexpensive way to upgrade the iMacs.

So now the matter is whether the police will get the iMacs back. The chances are small.

However, this week Macosxhints.com published a nice post that would have been great to have had last week. It is titled, “An advanced script/web solution to track stolen Macs .” Basically it consists of a couple of scripts that stay hidden on your machine. If your Mac were to be stolen, and later connected to the internet, it could send it’s whereabouts and photos of the thief (assuming their is a built-in iSight camera.)

How does this pertain to a site about servers? Well, you can easily turn your Mac server into an FTP server that can accept the photos and information.

Anyhow, if you’re looking for a fun weekend project that you may be REALLY thankful for later, go take a look here.

ImageWhen I travel with my Mac, I’m continually connecting to different wifi hot spots to check back on the data center and work with any support emails. As you can imagine, doing these two things, I’ve tried to be very careful not to use terribly private passwords and URL’s. You just never know if you can trust the network you’re using.

A couple months ago, I set up an SSH tunnel using these instructions. This allows for me to send all traffic encrypted to my Mac mini in the data center. This keeps things safe.

If you find yourself traveling often, perhaps this will be of use to you as well.

ImageNoobproof provides a very simple front-end for ipfw. It takes just five steps to setup a rule.

The program is free and can be downloaded here.

ImageI’ve had people write and ask how they can see what’s happening on their server. There are a lot of ways to do this, but fseventer is the best I know.

This application offers a GUI to watch all things that are changing on your Mac. It “observes filesystem changes using the same underlying API as Spotlight” so it is pretty thorough.

This is also a handy way to see what files are being changed when you run an installation or an update on your server.

The app is free…but quite forward about donations each time you quit the app. Get it here.

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