Regular Maintenance of OS X

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by neoelectronaut, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. neoelectronaut macrumors 68020

    neoelectronaut

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Southeastern Louisiana
    #1
    What are the steps to taking to insure a clean and healthy OS? Every other week or so? I know there's repair permissions and repair disk in disk utility, but what else?
     
  2. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    akron , ohio
    #2
    I just make sure that the cron jobs run on time.Their default time is 3:00 am to 5:00 am. If your comp is asleep at the time, it wont run.
    For that I have edited the crontab file to change its timing. Its in /private/etc.
    Another way is to run the jobs manually by writing the following at the terminal.
    sudo periodic daily
    sudo periodic weekly
    sudo periodic monthly

    Yet another way is to download some utility to do the jobs. I don't know the name though.
     
  3. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    There's the Unix maintenance tasks--aka cron jobs--that run in the middle of the night if you leave your computer on overnight. They run daily, weekly, and monthly. If you turn off your computer or put it to sleep at night you should find another way to run them. Search versiontracker.com for Cocktail, MacJanitor, and Macaroni. They all do the same thing.

    Personally I like Macaroni but I never hear anybody talk about it. It schedules your cron jobs for when the computer is on but inactive, and it schedules repairing permissions. Oh, it'll also remove language packs that you don't use. $9 but well worth it if you just want to "set it and forget it."

    Apart from that, I wouldn't suggest anything else unless/until you have a problem.
     
  4. neoelectronaut thread starter macrumors 68020

    neoelectronaut

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    Dec 3, 2003
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    #4
    Okay, well, I have my computer on all night running Folding@Home, so I guess the scripts are running then?
     
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Yes they are.

    Repairing permissions is not necessary as a 'maintenance' step. It's only important to do after installing something that requires an admin password. The rest of the time, it's just giving you a warm fuzzy but not really doing anything useful.

    One thing I can suggest is making sure that you have adequate free disk space for the OS to use as swap (as needed).
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Don't forget OnyX.
     
  7. neoelectronaut thread starter macrumors 68020

    neoelectronaut

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    Dec 3, 2003
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    #7
    95GB of 149GB free?
     
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    Heh, yep, I think that qualifies as enough free space. :) When free space drops below 2-4GB, "bad things"™ start to happen.
     
  9. bcleland macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #9
    I use macaroni also, sweet for scheduling things.
     
  10. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #10
    Apple recommends using Anacron for scheduling tasks to run even if the computer is asleep. Unlike the other utilities you mentioned, anacron actually takes over scheduling for cron, so any cron jobs automatically become anacron jobs.
     
  11. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Los Angeles
    #11
    Macaroni does that. It also schedules repairing permissions.
     
  12. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
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    #12
    Didn't know Macaroni had that ability. I have no need for either program, since I run Folding@Home and therefore keep my computers on 24/7.
     
  13. stevietheb macrumors 6502a

    stevietheb

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    Houston
    #13
    I've always kind of wondered--when repairing permissions, what exactly do I select:

    Option 1: "55.9 GB Hitachi ..."
    Option 2: "Macintosh HD"

    or does it even matter?
     
  14. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #14
    If "Macintosh HD" is the only volume (visible to you) on that disk, then it does not matter which one you select. If that disk is (or were to be) partitioned into 2 or more logical drives, then you would need to select the logical drive with Mac OS X installed (if there's more than one, choose whichever one you want to repair permissions for).
     
  15. beatle888 macrumors 68000

    beatle888

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    #15
    hello everyone. not to highjack the thread but i tried to run fsck -y and it said it couldnt cause my drive was journaled......whats that about....should i have jounaling turned on for my drive? i thought it was OFF by default. How do i change it or should i.
     
  16. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Jul 6, 2003
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    Los Angeles
    #16
    It's on by default and I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  17. beatle888 macrumors 68000

    beatle888

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    #17

    thanks. and what about the message when i try to do the fsck at start up? it says it cant perform the task cause the volume has journaling turned on.
     
  18. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #18
    That is correct. Because the disk is journaled, there is "no need" for a file system check. The OS automatically makes mini back ups of the file system. But the "no need" for fsck is only theoretical. In the real world the file system can still be corrupted and you can safely force fsck to run with the -f flag. So in single user mode, that would be:

    /sbin/fsck -fy
     
  19. beatle888 macrumors 68000

    beatle888

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    #19

    thank you for your help. so that means that everyone saying to run fsck -y is actually running a non journaled disk? But someone just mentiont that journaling is activated by default so i guess that means that if one runs fsck -y they must of turned off journaling. I remember some talk awhile ago and people were saying the opposite...that journaling was something that you had to activate but i dont remember turning on that function. I guess im trying to find out what the norm is and whats better on or off.

    again thanks for clearing up the fsck thing.
     
  20. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    Journaling is on by default for Panther. Not for any previous version of OSX. Journaling is a "good thing"™, it speeds up the preen at boot and at shutdown. It might also save your bacon if there are file system irregularities.
     
  21. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #21
    Here's the way it works:
    If you upgrade from Jaguar to Panther or performed an archive and install, your journaling status will not change (if it was off, it stays off; if it was on, it stays on).
    If you did an erase and install of Panther, journaling will be turned on, regardless of whether it was previously on or off.

    The norm for Panther is to have journaling ON, and leaving it on is recommended (by me and by Apple). If you want to run fsck for some reason on a journaled disk, you need to add the -f switch.
     
  22. Elan0204 macrumors 65816

    Elan0204

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #22
    What about fragmentation? I know that Apple claims you don't need it in Panther, but I'm not so sure. For a while I had very little free space on my hard drive, which according to Apple may cause fragmentation. Now I have a lot more free space, but suspect that things might be fragmented from before. Do you guys think I should bother getting a defragmentation program? If so, which one is best?
     
  23. neoelectronaut thread starter macrumors 68020

    neoelectronaut

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Southeastern Louisiana
    #23
    You know, that kind of has me wondering too. Is there a free defrag app out there for OS X? The ones I know of are part of a separate software package, and are usually like $50+.
     
  24. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #24
    Unless your job or hobby requires you to do a lot of photo/video/music editing and creates a lot (thousands & thousands a day) of small files that come and go, a defrag utility just isn't needed, even less so by Panther. Panther defrags on the fly, and UNIX has historically done a pretty good job of keeping files together. These aren't like <= OS9 days..
     

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