Show hidden files Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9 and 10.10 Yosemite

OS XUnlike Microsoft Windows, by default OS X hides system files from end users. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. Some of the files which are hidden, are important and damaging them could prevent your system from booting all together.

However – on the flip side, there is often a valid reason for needing access to those files. Anything from needing to change a system setting to removing files an unruly application has left behind.

There are several ways to show hidden files in OS X, the easiest would probably be to follow this tutorial on how to build an Automator script. This will give you an icon that you simply have to double-click on to show or hide the files.

Alternatively, if you are just looking for something in your Library folder, did you know that if you click “Go” in the menu bar whilst in Finder, then whilst the menu is expanded click the Alt key on your keyboard the Library menu will appear.

Another method would be to run a command in a terminal window to change the system setting. To do this all you need to do is:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Open the Utilities folder
  3. Open a terminal window
  4. Copy and paste the following line in:
  5. Press return
  6. Enter your administrator password when prompted
  7. Press return

You should find the finder window will disappear, along with the icons on your desktop. However, if you now launch a new finder instance you will now be able to see any hidden files or folders. Once you are done, perform the steps above however, replace the terminal command in step 4 with:

If the above is not working for you, you may want to try switching YES/NO to TRUE/FALSE .. Beware that this is case-sensitive!

If you are experiencing issues using the examples above, please post a comment using the comments system below.

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FIX: Check Point Endpoint Security unable to connect

UPDATE: it would appear this bug has since been resolved in the E80 release of the CheckPoint client.

Since my recent upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion I’ve been suffering a very frustrating issue with Checkpoint’s endpoint security client. For no reason at all it would frequently refuse to connect. Stating an error: “Connectivity with the Check Point Endpoint Security service is lost”
Despite trying countless things with the client I found the only fix each time was to reinstall the client.

That was until now at least, after further investigation it looks like the issue only occurs when the Trac.config file had been zeroed. Now, I’m still trying to figure out what’s happening to the file. But I found in the meantime if you kill the checkpoint client then perform the following in terminal:

$ cd “/Library/Application Support/Checkpoint/Endpoint Connect”
$ sudo cp Trac.config.bak Trac.config

Then client the starts working as expected. Alternatively you can download a compiled AppleScript from here to do just that!
NB:You will be prompted for your admin credentials when either executing the command, or the script.

If you’ve found an alternative solution, please let me know in the comments below.

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Restore Purge command OS X 10.8.1

Along with several small fixes in the recently recently released 10.8.1 update to Mountain Lion, the tech boffins over at Cupertino managed to ‘break’ the purge command. Now, as this isn’t a widely advertised OS X command, a fix should be along in the next OS X update all being well.

In the meantime, should you need to use the command to free up memory, you can use terminal to create a ‘soft symbolic’ link. Although this tricks OS X into allowing the command to be used, it’s not a permanent solution. Thus meaning it will be overwritten with the next update.

To do this, fire up Terminal then type or copy and paste the following commands:

You may be prompted for your password, if so enter it as normal into the terminal window, bear in mind nothing will appear as you type your password.

Once done you will then be able to type purge into terminal to free up memory resources once more.

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How To: Use Automator to show/hide hidden files

This blog posts is one of the several guest blog posts to Posted by one of my readers Thomas Hazlett, Thomas has converted the terminal commands in my earlier post Show hidden files in OS X 10.7 or 10.8

  1. Launch -> /Aplications/Automator
  2. Select what type of workflow you would like. I feel a service is a good choice for this so go ahead and;
  3. Select -> Service
  4. At the top of the window there should be 2 combo-boxes.
  5. Select -> no input
  6. Select ->
  7. Drag -> Run shell script; from the left panel to the right and enter the following:

(You may have to retype the quotes around the “YES” in the if statement).

8.   Below that Drag -> Ask for confirmation and enter a message to the effect of “Do you want to relaunch finder? This will cancel any file transfers etc.”Under that,
9.  Drag -> Run shell script and enter killall Finder
10.  Save it, naming it whatever you want it to appear as under the services submenu of the Finder menu.
11.   With Finder in the foreground, click Finder in the top left -> down to Services and click your newly created Service.

Thomas Hazlett is from and still lives in Belfast, N. Ireland. He is currently studying with the Open University towards his BSc in Computing and IT however has decided to take a year out to work on his own projects; start a blog; and spend more time doing home renovations. You can find more about him at

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Routing network traffic over specific connections – OS X

TerminalRouting Network Traffic

I recently came up against a bit of an issue whilst working on my MacBook Pro in the office, due to the environment we work in access to the outside world is tightly controlled by our firewall, and although I love to spend countless hours adding and tweaking rules (not strictly true) – I wanted to find a better solution for routing traffic to certain sources over certain connections.

Now – there’s a couple of fairly major caveats on this ‘how-to’ and that is that a second network needs to be available and that the gateway addresses are different.

For the purposes of this tutorial, my wired lan connections IP address is and my wireless connections IP address

The tutorial was born from my laptop’s need to communicate with Stanford Universities Folding@Home client, which needed to communicate with its job server* to upload and download new work packages. (*This is one IP address of many used)

Knowing I had my unrestricted wireless connection available I knew I wouldn’t have any issues, however as my MacBook’s service order is always set to use the cabled connection first – the client would always try sending over that and then fail.

Working around this is however, fairly straight forward and easy to achieve. All I needed to do was to direct all the network traffic to Stanford’s servers over my wireless connections gateway.

To do this, all you need to do is fire up a terminal session and type the following:

Upon hitting return you should be prompted for your ‘sudo’ password, once added the route will then be added to the routing table. Thus forcing all traffic to that address to ignore my service order, and default to the wireless connection to send/receive traffic. Obviously – this is a pretty unique situation, and outside of that network traffic will then start failing. To rectify that, and remove the entry from the routing table you will again need a terminal session, and to type the following:

Obviously you will need to replace the IP Addresses where appropriate.

If you’ve a better way of dealing with such issues I would really be interested to hear them – let me know using the comments section below.

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