A System Engineers outlook on the world

OSX Automounting NFS Shares

OS X has the wonderful Automounter service that will manage, well, automounting network disks for you. Edit the /etc/auto_master file and add in a line at the end that will reference your custom configuration file in the /etc/ folder:

1 #
2 # Automounter master map
3 #
4 +auto_master            # Use directory service
5 /net                    -hosts          -nobrowse,nosuid
6 /home                   auto_home       -nobrowse
7 /Network/Servers        -fstab
8 /-                      -static
9 /mnt/media              media_automount

Line 9 above will tell the autmounter service to manage mount points in the /mnt/media folder based on the contents of the /etc/media_autmount file. Create the /mnt folder:

sudo mkdir /mnt

You can test the security of the NFS server and list the available mounts by running showmount -e

[ 2:15]:user@Server:/Users/user$ showmount -e
Exports list on

In this example, the /volume/video folder has two subfolders, movies and TV Shows. Create the /etc/media_automount file and add in the folders you want the automounter service to manage:

movies      -fstype=nfs
tv_shows    -fstype=nfs"/shared/video/TV Shows"
music       -fstype=nfs

In this case, we are managing 3 NFS folders off the server with path /shared/video and /shared/music

After restarting the automounter service with a automount -vc as root, your /mnt/media folder should look like:

[19:47]:user@Server:/Users/user# ll /mnt/media/
total 8
dr-xr-xr-x  2 root  wheel    1 Jul 22 18:43 .
drwxr-xr-x  3 root  admin  102 Jul 12 18:38 ..
dr-xr-xr-x  2 root  wheel    1 Jul 23 14:47 movies
dr-xr-xr-x  2 root  wheel    1 Jul 23 14:47 music
dr-xr-xr-x  2 root  wheel    1 Jul 23 14:47 tvshows

Enjoy your centralized repo for media files. I use an old PowerPC Mac Mini as an iTunes server to stream media to the assorted iPads and an AppleTV in the livingroom. I also have a RaspberryPi running Kodi pulling media from the same NFS server in the basement family room.

DirectAccess RPC Call Failed When Applying Policy

So, if you’re trying to install DirectAccess on a 2012 server with certificate support for Windows 7 clients and during policy application it fails with “The RPC procedure call failed” check and see if you have any tombstoned or abandoned DC’s in AD. I just had a situation where two dead DC’s that were only showing in ‘nltest /dclist:’ prevented DirectAccess policy application.

Deleting the abandoned computer objects fixed the error. This managed to keep Microsoft PSS stumped for a couple weeks until Shannon Fritz noticed them during our 4th re-implementation.

Now, on to testing!

Exchange 2007 Out of Office Fail

Minor Exchange 2007 / Outlook 2010 fail. User was reporting that after setting an Out-of-Office rule people were not receiving the message. This applied to internal and external senders. Ran down the usual troubleshooting steps- reset Outlook 2010 client rules, reset users Outlook 2010 profile, move user to another Exchange DB, etc. Nothing solved the issue. I finally started digging a bit deeper and discovered the Exchange RulesQuota which limits the total size of enabled rules associated with a mailbox to 64KB by default in Exchange 2007. Running a Get-InboxRule -Mailbox $username and discovering that this user already had ~140 rules and finding that each rule takes up about .6KB, bingo- we have a problem.

After a quick Set-Mailbox -identity $user -RulesQuota 128KB and user testing, problem solved.

Where’s the fail here? Exchange, Outlook, and Outlook Web Access all failed to alert the user that the rule was not taking effect. Guessing by the estimated size of his rules (~84KB) I can only imagine that he had several that were not working.

Java Again

Congrats Oracle. You’ve released another Java security update- this time around it’s 7u17 and 6u43, and an amazing 13 days since the last update on Feb 19th. Anyone taking bets on when the next 0-day will be found in the wild?

This makes it the 4th release for Java 7 and 3rd for Java 6 this year. I’m sure all the Admins out there that have to start planning on testing a new version of Java are grateful for your quick response. This patch is addressing CVE-2013-1493 which Oracle has known about since Feb 1 2013.

Oracle, with all the Java patch releases how about releasing a SCUP catalog?

Everyone else that’s publishing systems that rely on Java applets: How about upgrading your code? I can think of 4 ‘Enterprise’ applications (several are SaaS type offerings in HR and Accounting) that require Java 6u17 or so- and refuse to run on anything else.

Travel? Not.

It’s been a long week.

Last weekend was the holiday celebration out at the wife’s Mom & stepDad’s place up north. The Saturday early afternoon drive up there was uneventful- mostly just rain and cool temps. We noticed that the wee-one had some speckles on the backs of her thighs before we left. Nothing too worrisome, as she’s had similar things before- we just thought that she was having a reaction to wetting though a diaper overnight.

Sunday rolls around, the speckles are still there and getting more numerous, but no worse overall. Just a couple clusters of small (1-1.5mm) red spots on the back of her legs and rump. A couple (less than 5 out of 50-70) almost appear to have a small scab (.1-.25mm) at the center of them. The Wife decided that we’d take her into the Doc the following day (1 day before we hop on an airplane). After the drive home we took the wee-one’s temperature and all was normal.

Monday, same story- speckles in the same spots, no fever, and she’s still in great spirits. We get a 2:00pm appointment with a new pediatrician and spend the rest of the day working on getting the last of the presents and winter gear packed into the box for shipment out west. When we left for the Doc appointment UPS had a pickup window scheduled and the box and paperwork are sitting on the front porch.

2ish rolls around and we head over to the doc’s office on the other side of town. After the usual waiting room, well, wait, we go back and get vitals taken, etc. Still nothing off.

Doc wanders in and introduces himself. Nice guy, good manner, etc. Examines the wee-one and her specks for about 10 minutes and utters the words “There’s a good chance this is chickenpox”


Doc explains that this really kinda looks like chickenpox, but the wee-one doesn’t have a fever or any other symptoms, and reminds us that there are lots of viruses that aren’t chickenpox that have the same general symptoms. We have the concerned parent discussion about travel, exposure, vaccinations, etc for others and get the usual warnings.

Head home. Start making calls to my family to let them know that we might not be coming, but we haven’t made the call yet. Wife starts contacting play-group friends and giving them the news. Wee-one is still in good spirits and not running a temp.

While we were at the Doc’s office UPS stopped by and picked up the package of presents and our winter gear from the front porch.

Wee-one bedtime rolls around and as we’re getting her ready for bath & bedtime Wife notices that she feels really warm. 101.7 warm. Break out the acetaminophen. Cancel trip. Make calls. Curse the airlines. Curse UPS.

Realization #1: In 2 days we’re supposed to have a inaugural winter season blizzard dumping anywhere from 5-20" of snow and all my heavy wintergear (boots, jacket, hat, gloves, etc) are on their way out west.

Realization #2: It’s not worth recalling the package to get our winter gear because we’d have to re-ship all the presents.

Realization #3: Wife has a nasty (and tenacious as it turns out) cold.

The wee-one spent 2 days with a fever and sleeping a lot more than she usually does. Her fuse was shorter but we can still make her giggle and laugh. She’s a trooper.

As of today she’s still got speckles that are healing and a couple that look fresher. She’s on the mend and even got to spend a little bit of time outside today.

The Wife is on the illness roller coaster- feels better yesterday, worse today.