I've recently done some research on the directory service tools on the Mac (dscl, dsimport, dsexport), and would like to be able to document them somewhere for all to benefit (and perhaps where my work can be improved upon). I see no advantage to putting up my own website to this end, provided that a good one already exists.

Are there any good Wikis (or something similar) where I can document, with text and images (screencasts would be cool, too, but I'm not counting on a place for that) useful things to know as a Mac administrator?


The sites that I'm familiar with that post Mac sysadmin type articles are:

I'm not sure if MacEnterprise accepts submitted articles, but the others definitely do.

* - Full disclosure: I am affiliated with Macintosh-Admin.

  • Good for you for putting up your own site to address this need, and thanks for the links. – Clinton Blackmore Aug 13 '09 at 20:19
  • Oops, can't believe I left out Mac OS X Hints even though someone else mentioned it. Links edited. Truthfully, AFP548 & Mac OS X Hints are the two I hit up first when I've got an issue. – morgant Aug 13 '09 at 20:38

The traditional answer would be macosxhints.com. Though it isn’t perfect, it seems to be the best all-around Mac knowledgebase. It is geared towards end-users but there are a number of tips that apply to sysadmins as well.

  • I'd never seen that "Submit hint" link in the top-right corner before. Huh. – Clinton Blackmore Aug 13 '09 at 19:17
  • I've added a few scripts and what not, people find them useful and they show up on google. – reconbot Aug 13 '09 at 20:26

You know, I like this question. At some point, I thought serverfault would be exactly that: a place where people can post their research too. Unfortunately, we have to wait for someone to ask the questions in order for us to respond with our info or documentation. I'm wondering if maybe the 'wiki' option was also meant for that. In case someone wanted to post documentation of research they have done, they can just do a posting of this kind (this is sounding more like a meta discussion, but oh well).

If you're asking about wiki solutions out there, we've used dekiwiki (Mindtouch) and have been happy with it.

  • There are a couple of times I've ended up doing that, not on purpose. I've asked questions, kept researching, and answered my own question :-) You even get a badge for it ;-) – Matt Simmons Aug 13 '09 at 16:37
  • Yeah, I think it has good potential to be a pretty good resource. Though IMHO, I think it would need to be better organized (optimized somehow by some structure?). I haven't seen a meta post about this, yet. – l0c0b0x Aug 13 '09 at 16:46
  • The format doesn't lend itself well to detailed documentation (and I would still have to find image hosting). I have wondered about asking questions like, "How do I do x" and then answering them, and, while that may be useful, it doesn't form a cohesive whole to learn from (unless you wrote a lot of questions like that, and then edited them to link to each other, and even then ... I think the results would be suboptimal.) – Clinton Blackmore Aug 13 '09 at 16:55
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    I think you're right. I've started a Meta question here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14326/… – l0c0b0x Aug 13 '09 at 18:42
  • You dont have to wait for someone to ask the questions in order to respond, you can do it yourself or organise a group of like minded people to populate the site with content - with permission from Atwood himself - blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/07/stack-overflow-flash-mobs – Paul Rowland Aug 14 '09 at 1:22

It sounds like something that might be useful at AFP548 as an article or something similar. I'd recommend that as a good starting point for where to put the information past putting it on your own website for Google to at least start indexing.

  • Just like with macosxhints.com, I didn't realize there was a "Contribute" link. It is a shame that the article wouldn't be editable, and I would still need to host images elsewhere, but this looks like a very good place for what I have in mind. – Clinton Blackmore Aug 13 '09 at 19:21

Do you mean to access documentation, or to create it? Or both?

If you want to create it, then you might as well start your own wiki, internal or external. Externally means you could get knowledge from a lot of people. Internal means you could customize it to your infrastructure.

I don't know of a wiki site like the one you described, but this one is the closest: http://mac.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

There are plenty of Mac Sysadmins out there, and lots of documentation in general, if not wiki form. Just google for Mac Sysadmin documentation and see what comes up.

  • I would like a good place to reference docs, and google is my friend, but I really want a good place to put docs on the internet. It seems foolish to me for sysadmins everywhere to have to each invent a wheel, scrounging together information on how to do it, if we could just put up wheel-making instructions. – Clinton Blackmore Aug 13 '09 at 16:52

Did you succeed in finding the appropriate place to house your stuff is did this thread die? I'd be very interested in your findings. Maybe a new platform for the kind of things you'd like to post is needed after all. I've found myself quite often in the position that I'd like to share some information that I've gathered together that would be relevant to lots of other people doing the same things but I've never felt the urge to start a blog (which IMHO isn't the right form). This is really calling for an serverfault add-on or something.

  • Well, to be honest, I have not put up any of the information I've learned. It seems that I have good intentions, and then something new comes along or lots of little things come up, and my projects, especially when not directly work-related, do not see the fruition I would like :( – Clinton Blackmore Jan 5 '10 at 3:37

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