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Apple forum nannies need to do more than stomp on people.


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No one's really in favour of Apple policing their forums. People who want to discuss issues freely often have to go elsewhere as they're constantly threatened with censorship and having their questions removed.

Another annoyance is how the 'nannies' come in and declare discussions 'closed' or questions 'answered'. They often close discussions when the discussions become too embarrassing for the company. But almost as bad is their declaring questions answered when the 'answers' aren't correct - and possibly dangerous.

There was a minor discussion at Apple's forums back at the end of August of this year. It started only three days after the release of Mac OS X Snow Leopard and was deemed 'answered' by the Apple forum nannies a single day after that.

A few legacy users of CLIX ran into trouble with their upgrade to 'Snowie'. But it had nothing to do with CLIX and it didn't have anything to do with 'Snowie' either.

It was all about a long overdue update to sudo which had been available already ten months earlier.

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=10097060

Multiple sudo commands won't run in snow leopard (such as used in the CLIX program). It gives this error when run from a CLIX shell or in terminal directly for multiple commands preceded by sudo, separated by a semi colon.
example:
sudo rm /Library/Caches/*;sudo rm /System/Library/Caches/*;sudo find ~/Library/Caches -type f -exec rm {} \;;sudo rm -f /private/var/vm/swapfile*;sudo sync;sudo sync

When ran under snow leopard, the above example generated the error message below:

sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified
sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified
sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified
sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified
sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified
sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified

Kj

The next poster makes things even more mysterious. (Google may have been offline?)

I have no idea what CLIX is, but using Terminal.app I can't reproduce your problem. I'm not using the same commands since I don't want to mess with my machine that badly, so it may be something to do with one of the specific commands you're using.

Either way, rather than stringing multiple sudo commands together, I would suggest running it in the following manner:

sudo sh -c 'rm /Library/Caches/*; rm /System/Library/Caches/*; othercommand; someothercommand'

In other words, this uses sudo to launch a shell that executes all the contained commands. It's much neater that way.

Poster Two adds an unforgettable 'aside'. Can't be missed.

As an aside, why do you feel the need to delete all these caches? They're there for a reason, and I would never, ever remove a swapfile from an active system - the chances are those files are in use and you're asking for trouble by deleting them.

Now things take a turn like Princess Grace's motorcar.

Hi Camelot:
Since you could not reproduce the problem, I did some trouble shooting, Using Pacifist I found out the /usr/bin/sudo file on my DVD didn't match the checksum. I replaced the sudo file using one from 10.5 and the sudo problems disappeared. I found some other files on the DVD with checksum problems too.

I'll get Apple to replace my DVD.

And the Apple nannies - who are supposed to know better - tip the vehicle over one final time.



Wow. It's one thing for Poster One to scramble for a temporary solution; it's understandable Poster One suspects there's something wrong with the 'Snowie' DVD when in all likelihood there's not; but it's quite another for a representative of Apple to come in and declare the question is answered by replacing the 'Snowie' version of sudo with the one from 10.5 Leopard.

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard was released in October 2007; sudo 1.7.0 was released on 15 November 2008; but OS X users didn't get sudo 1.7.0 until ten months after that. As pointed out here:

√ sudo. The November 2008 update finally comes to OS X. It took only ten months. Hackers take note.

The new 10.6 manpage for sudo 1.7.0 has the following titbits which should start the pennies dropping down the slot.

       -A          Normally, if sudo requires a password, it will read it from
                   the current terminal. If the -A (askpass) option is
                   specified, a helper program is executed to read the user's
                   password and output the password to the standard output.
                   If the SUDO_ASKPASS environment variable is set, it
                   specifies the path to the helper program. Otherwise, the
                   value specified by the askpass option in sudoers(5) is
                   used.

       -S          The -S (stdin) option causes sudo to read the password from
                   the standard input instead of the terminal device.

sudo 1.7.0 differentiates between TTY input and stdin. Helper tools can now be created (!) to ask for passwords through a graphical interface rather than requiring direct input. Conversely scripting methods can tell sudo to look for passwords through stdin by supplying the switch '-S'.

The VersionTracker page for CLIX 2.0.0.5 from 19 September 2009 mentions this - a second copy of all 1,952 commands specifically for Mac OS X 10.6 is included.

New command file set for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Downloading the new CLIX 2.0.0.5 provides further clues - there's namely a new command files directory in there with all 1,952 commands revised for 'Snowie' - something many CLIX users who'd consulted the sudo 1.7.0 manpage did themselves.

drwx------  38 rixstep  staff   1292 Sep 19 23:00 10.6 Snow Leopard

Donning one's Baker Street Bonnet one sees there's one significant difference between the 1,952 commands in the new folder and the previous ones - the latter all use 'sudo -S'.

It's understandable that Poster One and Poster Two should happen upon this anomaly already three days after the release of 'Snowie'. But Apple? Apple telling people the solution is to copy in sudo from 10.5? And thereby dumping all the enhancements (security and otherwise) to sudo in the past two years? And not mentioning the 10.6 compression technology? Nope.

Apple: if you're going to do the reprehensible thing and patrol police and censor your customer forums then please have the decency to see your loyal subjects aren't mislead into thinking their install DVDs are flawed and that it's an approved solution to start copying in crucial security files from a previous release.

See Also
CLIX: Teach Them How to Fish (老子)

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