Mac (Mac OS X) How to...

Rafael Palacios. Instituto de Investigación Tecnológica, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid, SPAIN

Useful programs to install

How to configure WiFi access for Mac at Universidad Pontificia Comillas

(para configurar el acceso WiFi en iPhone iPod ó iPad ir a iPhone How to...)

Web-based Virtual Printers at Universidad Pontificia Comillas

Connect by cable or using WiFi upco_wlan. Then use the following link to upload your PDF file:

htmlprofes     htmlalumnos

PaperCut driver to create a virtual printer is not supported at Comillas.

How to create simple C programs using xcode

PDF xcode

How to install a smart card reader for DNIe


How to create an ISO image of a data CD or DVD

  1. Insert CD/DVD source
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. Check the device name executing mount
  4. Unmount the device (ex /dev/disk4s0) executing:
    diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk4s0
  5. Create the ISO file with the dd utility (may take 5 min per CD):
    dd if=/dev/disk4s0 of=file.iso bs=2048
  6. Your ISO images is file.iso

How to capture screen or windows

To save captures to png files on the Desktop:

To save captures to the clipboard:

How to mount remote file systems

In general remote file systems are mounted from Finder using: Go -> Connect to server
You need to write the servers specification (protocol name and server address), then your login/password

Windows server

Write the resorce name in the format smb://server_address/resource.
In the PC the resource must be shared, the Firewall must be configured to allow file sharing, and the antivirus software may need some tuning.

Unix server

Option 1, NFS. Example nfs://
This is not secure

Option 2, WebDAV server. Use
Validation process is always encrypted. Traffic and file data is only transferred encrypted if the protocol is https instead of http

Option 3, only SSH. Try ftps://
If your server doesn't support ftps, then use the program Fetch or install Macfusion.

How to create HTML signatures in Mail app (short description)

Mail can create HTML signatures, but unfortunately the user interface doesn't help to do it, neither in Lion!
The procedure is the following:
  1. Create a simple text signature using Mail>Preferences>Signatures and click on the '+' sign.
    (This will create a file in ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Signatures)
  2. Quit Mail
  3. Create an HTML file with your signature. Here is an example for Comillas University email signature (the file should not have Document type or head or body tags).
  4. Open your HTML file in Safari and go File->Save As to create a .webarchive file
  5. In Finder use Go->Go to folder-> ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Signatures find your plain text signature file and replace it with the .webarchive file, using the original cryptic name.
    (You may use Quick Look to identify the signature file if you use several signatures)
  6. Select the file, then get file information with Command+I and lock the file by checking "Locked". This prevents Mail to overwrite the file in OS X 10.9 (Mavericks).
  7. Open Mail, then create a new message. Your new signature should be at the bottom.

How to transfer your iTunes library to another computer

If you connect your iPod/iPhone/iPad to a new computer, iTunes will not copy the contents of that iDevice into its libraries. Instead it will threat you with deleting your iDevice contents and replace it with the current (empty) library of the new computer. The work around is to copy iTunes library to the new computer and then sync as usual.

  1. On the old computer, make sure all your files inside iTunes folder
  2. Copy iTunes folder to external Hard Drive
  3. On the new computer install iTunes folder

How to install a new Hard Disk Drive and restore all your data from Time Machine
(Ex. your hard drive broke down)

1 To install a new HDD go to to find instructions about the hardware part.
2 After the new HDD has been physically installed, if you try to start your computer you will get a question mark, since there is no operating system in that disk.

3 The restore utility will find your Time Machine on the network or in USB external drives.  It will prompt for the time machine password.

4 Then it will ask for the destination HDD.
5 The restore process may take hours. When done, you will be asked to restart your computer.


How to upgrade your Hard Disk Drive
(Ex. you upgrade to SSD drive)

1 Time Machine preparation (if you use time machine) 2 Make an image copy of your current hard drive to your new disk. Lets say your current is called HDD and the new one is called SSD. 3 Check that the new disk is working (optional) 4 Replace disks 5 Time Machine adjustment

Without any changes, your time machine will identify the new hard drive as a different drive, even after making an full copy of all files. This is because each disk is identified by a unique ID called UUID.
Therefore if you activate Time Machine, your mac will make a full backup of the full hard drive (as if it were a new computer) and you will loose you backup history.
However it is possible to "link" the new hard drive to your previous history of incremental backups by means of tmutil command (available since OS X 10.7).

How to configure Time Machine at home to backup your laptop while traveling
This is VERY slow unless you have really fast Internet connection at both ends

1 Activate "Back to my mac" in Preferences/iCloud. (I think this is not necessary, but just in case).

2 Obtain you password. Go to Applications/Utilities/Keychain Access/System and find the password kind "Back to my mac". The password will appear in plain text by checking "Show password" checkbox.

3 Run Applications/Utilities/Airport utility to configure your time capsule. Edit the time capsule name to open the dialog to define the hostname.

NOTE: Since remote backups are very slow, they get interrupted very often. If your backup gets interrupted too much, eventually Mac OS X will decide to restart a full clean backup. What I do is set Time Machine OFF in preferences, and then manually select "Back up now" if I know that I can leave the laptop ON and connected to the Internet for a long time.

For more details see: