Activate macOS VNC Over SSH

I ran into this one today while working on a personal project. I had SSH access to a Mac Mini running Big Sur that I didn’t have hooked up to a monitor or keyboard. After digging around, I found I could enable VNC access via these commands.

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ \
 -activate -configure -access -on \
 -configure -allowAccessFor -allUsers \
 -configure -restart -agent -privs -all

If that doesn’t work, this will set a custom password not tied to any user account:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ \
-activate -configure -access -on \
-clientopts -setvnclegacy -vnclegacy yes \
-clientopts -setvncpw -vncpw mypasswd \
-restart -agent -privs -all

When you’re done (since you don’t want to leave it enabled 24/7 for security reasons), disable with:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ \
-deactivate -configure -access -off

Powershell One-Liner: Find all PST files on a workstation

For reasons I don’t want to get into, I’ve had to locate all PST files on a number of workstations. Plugging this one line Powershell command into our RMM, I was able to see what workstations had what files and upload them to Office365 for safe(r) keeping.

gci -path c:\ -recurse -include *.pst -erroraction 'silentlycontinue'|select-object fullname,lastwritetime | fl fullname

Managing Alerts for Non-Certified Dell Drives in OpenManage

The pricing for Dell physical drives, especially in servers is often outrageously expensive. Of course, they come with Dell ProSupport so often the price is worth it. Sometimes though, you’ll need to buy and use drives that are not from Dell. If you do this, OpenManage will throw alerts about being non-certified, which will throw off monitoring. Here is the fix:

Open stsvc.ini located in either C:\Program Files\Dell\SysMgt\sm or C:\Program Files (x86)\Dell\SysMgt\sm depending on whether you have the 32-bit/64-bit version. Next, look for the section near the top that reads

; nonDellCertified flag for blocking all non-dell certified alerts.

Change NonDellCertifiedFlag=yes to NonDellCertifiedFlag=no and save the file. Lastly, restart the Dell OpenManage service, called DSM SA Data Manager, in your Services Manager. Voila!

Big Trouble in Little Database (Size)

I ran into this problem a day ago; all users on a WordPress blog couldn’t login. They wouldn’t receive an error when entering the correct password, but they also wouldn’t login. Attempts to reset passwords also failed, even using the trick to reset the admin password via theme.php.

Eventually I found that the database was full. The client, on Network Solutions, was allotted 300mb and they were at 301. Not to fear! I found that running the following SQL commands directly in the database manager would do the job:

DELETE FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = “revision”;
DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = “spam”;

DELETE FROM wp_commentmeta WHERE meta_key
LIKE “%akismet%”

DELETE FROM wp_commentmeta WHERE comment_id
SELECT comment_id
FROM wp_comments

But alas, I found myself in a Catch-22. To remove the data deleted above, you have to optimize each table. But to optimize each table, there had to be more free space in the database! Some users have had luck calling their web host, and having them somehow clear out the old entries. This client in particular ended up buying for $4 per month an extra 700mb in database space.

Post title inspiration goes to the graphic novel and cult classic: