Tag Archives: Fetchmail

Back to Panther

After going to bed generally positive over the upgrade to Tiger last night, I’ve encountered several problems with the install, that mean that I am now going back to my backed up Panther installation so we have a usable computer again.

When I booted up this morning, and opened e-mail, all the e-mail downloaded, but for some inexplicable reason, a couple of the messages were duplicated. I assumed there was something up with my configuration of the e-mail server so took a look, and discovered that nothing had been added to either the system.log or mail.log files since 8pm yesterday night. I tried to track down what was causing the lack of logs, but to no avail, so decided to try reinstalling the operating system files.

Having done the reinstall, aside from having accidentally lost all of the e-mail downloaded that morning, everything seemed to work ok, until the Software Update system upgraded to version 10.4.2, at which point I was getting an error whenever fetchmail tried to start. As I noted yesterday it was a bit of fudge, so it’s not surprising that it wasn’t totally robust!

In amongst all of this I still can’t get rid of all of the incompatible Norton. Although I’ve removed all of the applications, somewhere buried deep in the startup are bits of Norton, which are even causing the backup software to be unable to do a backup of the Tiger drive ready to roll back.

Anyway, at this point, ensuring that we have a stable machine for day to day usage is the first priority – the problems with Tiger seem to be related to bits of incompatible code that come across, specifically everything seems to start going screwy when the remains of Norton try to do something. I’ll probably try setting up a clean install of Tiger on another disk partition, and then play about with it on there, whilst leaving the current Panther install as our normal setup. Other options to consider might be to move the mail server off onto a separate box, removing one element of complexity from the upgrade.

Having said that, boy am I glad I took a complete backup of my Panther install before I started. Although it will take a couple of hours to shuffle the data around, at least I have a fully working Mac back up and running.

Tiger Upgrade

So this afternoon, I finally made the jump to MacOS X 10.4 Tiger.

I eventually decided to take the chance to clean up the machine by doing a clean install, rather than any sort of upgrade. It’s not quite as drastic an action as first sounds, as Tiger has a really powerful migration wizard that pulls almost all the settings, files and all my installed applications across and sets them up. It is provided for people who have bought a new Mac – and is very quick considering that in my case it was shifting a large number of applications and matching the installs into Panther. Basically after an hour, 95% of my old setup was up and running on the new machine, without me once having to reach for the original installs – try that on a Windows PC! (Take a look here for more details on the Migration Assistant)

The only problem areas were where I expected, Norton Internet Security (requires an upgrade to work), Missing Sync (again requires an upgrade), and the e-mail setup which I had hacked together under 10.3, and to be honest wasn’t expecting the wizard to be able to cope with.

The e-mail setup has actually taken me several hours to sort out, primarily because Apple have changed the way that fetchmail and postfix are setup. Most of the setup was just a matter of working through Postfix Enabler, which I was able to accomplish pretty quickly. They are now charging $9.99 for the enabler (just over £5), but for the hassle it saves, it is well worth the cost. However fetchmail was another matter, and isn’t configured by the enabler.

As usual there was a multitude of suggestions as to how to enable fetchmail. The first I came across was linked from the Postfix Enabler, however the big clanger in this one is that it installs a fresh copy of fetchmail, when Tiger includes it already. Postfix Enabler makes use of a new Tiger feature, launchd, so I tried to find a solution that would launch fetchmail in a similar manner. Ultimately I used the instructions towards the bottom of the comments on this page. It’s still a slight bit of a fudge, as the last couple of comments state, as it’s using a sleep command to trick launchd slightly. However I imagine that a better solution will appear with time.

As far as I am aware, I’ve not lost any incoming e-mail in the changeover – although apologies in advance if something does go astray. Tomorrow I’ll give the whole setup a bit more of a workout, and hopefully sort out Missing Sync and Norton.