Installing Panther in Astronomy

OS-X Panther is the latest incarnation of the Mac unix platform. 10.3 offers many advancements over previous releases of OS-X. This document explains the steps required to install OS-X panther from scratch and integrate the Panther workstation into the astronomy network.

Install the system from scratch

Use the installation media to install the system from scratch. You'll have to boot into the existing OS, install CD1 into the drive, then select the icon Install OS-X. The program will ask if you're sure you wish to do this, then reboot.

When you're asked to select the destination hard disk, click on the Options tab and choose the option to completely erase the system and install from scratch. Select the Macintosh journaled filesystem as the default file system for the workstation.

The OS-X install will run through and switch CD's. Eventually you'll be prompted for some personal information. Go ahead and fill the questionairre out, but you might wish to avoid giving it any email addresses (spam ! good).

When it comes to the questions about getting connected to the internet, go ahead and tell it to use your existing connection. When it comes to the questions about setting up the primary user account use the following settings:

The workstation will reboot, and software update will come up. Go ahead and run through all of the updates -- you will have to do this again later, but it's a great idea to get the 10.3.2 (or whatever is current) Panther update since 10.3.0 was quite buggy.

After software update has run, you'll be asked to reboot the workstation. Go ahead and do this. After the reboot, the system should come up and you should still have CD3 in the drive tray (if not, insert it). Select the InstallCD3.mpkg icon. CD3 includes useful items like X11, etc, so it's a great idea to install it.

After CD3 has been installed, go ahead and eject the disk and put the OS-X Xcode Tools disk in the CD tray. Select the icon Developer.mpkg.

After both CD3 and the Xcode Tools are installed, go ahead and run Software Update. Check for updates, and go ahead and install all of the system updates. After the software updates have run, the machine will reboot.

Configuring the workstation

Basic OS-X configuration

After the system has been installed, go into System Preferences. Select Sharing. Change the Computer Name to the name of the workstation. Enable Remote Login. Select Show All then select Accounts. Select Login Options and set the following options:

Select Show all and then select Energy Saver. Slide the option Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive for: to Never. I usually put the setting Put the display to sleep when the computer is inactive for: to 30 minutes. Also enable the setting Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible.

Select Show all and then select Print & Fax. Select Set Up Printers. You will be told that you have no printers available, go ahead and select Add. There are a total of seven printers you will add. They are all IP Printing with an LPD/LPR printer type. The Printer Aaddress for each one is The queues and their printer types are as follows:

Once the printers are added, highlight watson and select the option Make Default. After all of these settings have been changed, Click the lock to prevent further changes.

NIS and Astronomy specific configuration

To make it work with NIS, we'll manually start YPBIND and make sure that the system works. Run sudo portmap then run sudo domainname then run sudo ypbind. If everything works correctly, you should be able to do a ypwhich and see one of our NIS servers.

If everything works properly, go ahead and run Applicatons->Utilities->Directory Access. Click the lock to make changes.. Enable the option BSD Flat File and NIS then select Configure. For Domain Name go ahead and use and for NIS Servers enter Select OK then select the tab Authentication. Change the Search order to Custom path. Select Add then highlight /BSD/ and select Add. Choose Apply. Finally, Click the lock to prevent further changes.

The last thing to make NIS work is to edit the file /etc/hostconfig -- this is a step we had to start doing with Panther (it worked fine in Jaguar), I suspect a future version of Panther will correct this oversight. Issue the command sudo vi /etc/hostconfig. Find the line that reads NISDOMAIN=-NO- and change it to read When you've changed it, go ahead and overwrite the file (you'll need to use w! because it is readonly).

Stage 3 software installation

Being a generous and nice guy, I've created a stage 3 tarball. This tarball includes a copy of AM-Utils that actually works on panther (the one that shipped is quite broken), configuration files for AM-Utilities, startup scripts, fink fully configured and ready to go, and a suite of packages (gimp, psutils, xfig, latex, g77, etc). Currently, the stage 3 tarball lives in terra:/home/terra1/fugu0/os-x as the file panther-stage3.tar. The location will undoubtably change in the future.

In order to mount the volume with the stage 3 tarball, create a directory called /mac and then issue the command: sudo mount_nfs -2 -P terra:/home/terra1/fugu0/os-x /mac. To install the stage 3 tarball, cd to the root of the drive then issue the command: tar xfv /mac/panther-stage3.tar. BTW, if you ever wish to add extra fink installed applications (or other changes) to the stage-3 tarball, the ball was made by issuing the command: sudo tar cfv /panther-stage3.tar /depot /data /etc/ssh*config /usr/local /sw /System/Library/StartupItems/AM-UTILS /etc/amd.conf then copying the final tarball over to the repository.

After the stage 3 tarball is installed, you can umount the /mac volume by issuing the command sudo umount /mac. The last step is to do a system reboot and make sure you can login with your regular user account OK.

If you decide to install commercial third party applications (Office-X, etc), please make sure you have the proper licenses.

List of fink installed packages

The following is a list of all of the packages installed by fink as part of the stage 3 tarball. It does not include the list of dependencies required (such as libtiff).

fixed disks, fstabs, and nfs exports

After adding a disk to an OS-X system, you may find that it only wants to mount the volume by the automounter. This can be annoying if you want to have the volume always accessible, even if no one is physically logged in at the console.

A hack to this is to create an fstab entry in the netinfo database and then modify the AM-UTILS startup script to make sure the volumes are mounted.

These are the steps I took to make the "Oreo1" volume always available on oreo, and then to make it nfs exportable.

1. Make an fstab entry
The entry should look something like this:

2. Load the fstab into netinfo
Issue the command sudo niload -d fstab . < /etc/fstab in order to load the fstab into netinfo. You can verify that it has been loaded correctly by issuing the command sudo nidump fstab ..

3. Create an exports file
OS-X can read a flat exports file. The file is located in /etc/exports. The exports file should look something like this:

4. Modify the AM-Utils Startup Script
To make sure everything comes up properly on boot, I modified the System/Library/StartupItems/AM-UTILS/AM-UTILS startup script. Because I wrote this script myself, and it is not a standard OS-X script, I'm not worried about security patches over writing it.

The modification I made to the script to make it mount all of the fixed disks and then make them accessible to NFS is in the StartService function. The new StartService function should look like:

That should do it.


Addendum. If you will be installing MS-Office X on the machine, it is imperative you firewall the MS-Office License manager port. The port is 2222.

To do this, you need to enable the Apple firewall and configure it to open a range of ports. Select System Preferences, Sharing, Firewall. Then select "New rule." Pick "Other" from the list, give it the range 1-2221, and name it "rule 1." Then select "New rule" again, pick "Other", and give it the range 2223-32768 and name it "rule 2." Then start the firewall service.

Last Updated: Oct. 19, 2004, Ken Sallot