Monday, October 12, 2009

Email and VPN in OSX 10.6

I took a bold step and updated my work laptop (MacBook Pro) to 10.6 the other night.  Of course, mostly everything still worked but there were a few things...

1. Cisco VPN broke.....but big deal since it it possible to configure Cisco compatible VPN in the OS itself.  Open up the Network Preferance Pane and click the + at the bottom of the interface list, choose VPN then make sure it is set for Cisco (IPSec).  Then enter your username/password (or leave password blank to be prompted) and either your security cert info, or your group name and shared secret password.  Also at the bottom is a checkbox to put the VPN status in the menu bar.  DONE!  Works like a charm

2. Parallels 3.x does not function....well, this was known and well advertised on their site.  I decided to give VirtualBox a try.  WOW...not bad for free.  I only had to get my Parallels drive container over.  VirtualBox does not handle Parallels containers by default, but it DOES work with VMware containers.  Download and install a trial of VMware Fusion for OSX, then use the Importer application to convert the Parallels HD container to VMware.  Right click on VMware container and use the SHOW CONTENTS menu item and remove the .vmdk file and place it wherever you wish.  Make sure you de-select the "create 2 gig files" option in the importer before starting the conversion.  In VirtualBox, just point to this new .vmdk file and you are good to go.  Don't forget to install the VirtualBox host utilities after your initial boot.

3.  Exchange 2007 support.  You need at least Exchange SP 1 rollup 4 to use the ActiveSync capability of 10.6.

4. OSX Server Utilities.  Download and install the 10.6 Server Tools from Apple's support site, even if using 10.5.x servers.

That should be about it...the only other thing I noticed is that a login hook I had set was not working, so I created a launchd item using a program called Lingon.  Which allows you to either create user agents, or system daemons.  Since most loginhook's want to run as root, you need to use a Daemon...not a user agent, unless there is something that needs to run as the user, in which case a user agent would work nicely.