Monthly Archives: April 2017

Reset Your Mac OS X Root Password

This happens periodically to me were I need to work in the Unix underpinnings of Mac OS X but have recently purchased a Mac computer either new or used with the OS already installed on it.

To set or reset the “root” password you need your system’s Mac OS X install disc. Insert the disc, wait for it to mount, then click on the “Install Mac OS” icon (or alternatively reboot and hold down the ‘c’ key to boot from the DVD drive). You are not installing the OS again, but you need to click through the Wizard pages far enough until you see the menu bar with “Utilities” as one of the menu pulldowns. In this menu is the command “Reset Password….” That’s it. As you can see it is very easy to reset the “root” password so if you are really security minded you might want to use an Open Firmware Password as well to prevent easy re-booting and resetting using the DVD drive.

Remove Unwanted Programs From New PC

Here is a great little utility that was featured in my local newspaper recently. It’s called PC Decrapifier.

The last time you bought a new PC it came full of all this junk software that you don’t want or need but which annoys you to no end with popups encouraging you to buy it right? Well, this utility will automatically detect and remove the unwanted software. It will scan your new PC and offer you a list of programs to remove. You can then select which ones you want to keep and which ones you want to go and PC Decrapifier will uninstall the unwanted applications. It’s free to download and use, but the author would appreciate a five dollar donation.

ZFS File System

ZFS is an emerging file system developed at Sun Microsystems.

Unlike traditional file systems like FAT32 or NTFS, which you would find on a Windows-based system, ZFS can “pool” multiple disks together so they appear as a single volume to the user. This is similar to a RAID configuration, but implemented in the file system rather than above it.

Another thing that ZFS implements is copy-on-write, which means that whenever a piece of data on the disk is changed, the new version does not overwrite the old version. This enables the system to take “snapshots” of the disk at any point in time, since virtually every iteration of the stored data is available. Snapshots can be used to easily clone a copy of the entire file system from a specific date and time. ZFS has been open sourced by Sun and is currently being deployed on FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and Solaris.