Thursday, November 07, 2013

Managing Hosts File on OS X with Gas Mask

If you use Homebrew as your package manage on OS X then you really should consider adding Homebrew-cask.  A simple howto is available here.

One of the great things about Homebrew-cask is that you can look at all of the applications in the directory and see all the different applications that are out there that you may not have known about.

I came across a simple hosts file manager called Gas Mask.  If you're someone like me who works multiple projects and has to maintain a number hostnames so that they resolve to IP Address, then you may find this tool fairly useful.

It's fairly simple and there's already some good write-ups out there so I won't clog up the internet tubes with unnecessary redundancy.   If you have Homebrew and HomeBrew-Cask installed, it's super simple to get started.  Just run:

       brew cask install gas-mask

Then follow the instructions here to get started.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

VirtualBox, Mavericks - Hanging on Shutdown

I upgraded VirtualBox to 4.3.0 to work as it apparently addresses the network issues that I was having with running earlier versions on OS X Mavericks.

However, a new nuisance popped up - one that forces me to do a hard shutdown when closing shutting down.  Thankfully, the interwebs are experiencing the same issue and people much smarter than me were able to figure it out.

In short, my problem was that I had some old libraries in /Library/Extensions/ so I removed the VBox*.kext libraries.  I also did a reinstall of VirtualBox just for good measure and so far so good.  Now I can shutdown my laptop cleanly and run networked VMs.    Yay!!!

Friday, November 01, 2013

The Case of the Disappearing HOSTS file

For a few months now, I've been having an odd issue on OS X where my /etc/hosts file keeps getting reset to some default.  It was a nuisance and I basically resorted to some scripts to update my hosts file and restore the correct settings.

Finally, spent some time investigating this and the mystery is now solved


Turns out that if you have installed the Cisco AnyConnect VPN, it creates an /etc/hosts.ac file and, on reboot, restores that file as the /etc/hosts file.

Simple fix is to modify the /etc/hosts.ac file instead.  So basically, I've traded one kludge fix for another one.