How to Restart IP Forwarding on VPN Server on Mac

I have been running a VPN server on my Mac for a while now, per Donald Burr’s most awesome instructions here. One day while out and about I tried to use my VPN from my Mac and iOS devices only to discover that while I could connect and get an IP address internal to my network, I could not get outside to the Internet. I described the problem to Donald and he sent me the following instructions to restart IP forwarding on the VPN server. This fixed my problem in a snap, hope it helps you too.

Try running the following commands in terminal on the VPN server. You’ll have to do this when you’re next at home obviously. Note: replace “INTERFACE” with “en0” if your machine is hardwired (ethernet) or “en1” if it’s on wifi.

sudo sysctl -w net.inet.ip.fw.enable=1
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.ip.forwarding=1
sudo natd -interface INTERFACE
sudo ipfw add divert natd ip from any to any via INTERFACE

How to Uninstall VPN Server on Mac

If you’ve installed a VPN server on your Mac using Donald Burr’s most awesome instructions but for some reason want to uninstall the server, here’s an uninstall script along with text-based instructions from Donald:

Download the script here:

Find the place where you downloaded the script (probably in your Downloads folder), keep a finder window open and off to the side. Open a Terminal window, and type:

chmod [space] +x [space]

DO NOT press return yet. In the Finder window, drag the script into the Terminal window, it should insert its path in the command line you are currently typing. Then press return.

Finally type this:

bash [space]

Again DO NOT press return, but drag+drop the script from Finder into the terminal, then press return. The script should run now. When it’s finished reboot your machine.

How to Create Return Address Labels Using Apple Contacts

The Problem to be Solved

Apple’s Contacts application can easily create address labels, but it’s harder to create a bunch of labels of the SAME address for return address labels. Basically we’re going to replicate your home address card as many times as you have on one sheet of labels, and then print them all on one sheet.

If we only have one card with our address, it looks like this when we try to print our labels:

The Problem to be Solved

Select Your Contact Card

We’re going to replicate our home address card 19 times. First select the card.

Select Your Contact Card

Copy the Contact

Copy the Contact

Paste the Contact

Paste the Contact

Now You have Two Identical Cards

Now You have Two Identical Cards

Repeat Until You Have 20 Identical Cards

Select all 20 cards.

Repeat Until You Have 20 Identical Cards



Print All 20 on One Sheet

Note settings:
Style = Mailing Labels
Page is set to the exact label type you bought (most show the Avery Standard equivalent)
Note home many labels on on one page – in the example Avery 5161 has 20 labels

Print All 20 on One Sheet

Take it Up a Notch And Add a Graphic

Plain text not fancy enough for you? Let’s add some flair!

  1. Click on Label
  2. Click on Set next to Image
Take it Up a Notch And Add a Graphic

Select a Tasteful Graphic

Select a Tasteful Graphic

Now Your Labels Have Flair!

I highly recommend that you print a test page and hold it up to a light with the labels behind it to ensure your printer is going to align everything perfectly.

Now Your Labels Have Flair!

Final Step – Don't Forget to Delete the 19 Duplicate Cards!

How to Show User Library on Remote OSX Volumes

Problem to be Solved

You’ve got a great backup of your OSX computer, and you need to get something back from the Library folder, say something in the Application Support subfolder. These instructions will show you how to do unhide the User Library folder on the external drive or even on a second Mac.

Credit goes to Steve Davidson for teaching me how to do this.

Let’s Start with a Remote Mac Because the Syntax is Simpler

On the remote Mac, enable Remote Login ( and use the ssh command to Secure Shell into the remote Mac. In this example, our local machien name is Podfeet-rMBP, and our remote Mac’s name is Core-i7-4.local.

I have the same user account on both but I used the allison@ the beginning to show you how to enter your user name if it’s different on the other Mac.

Continue reading “How to Show User Library on Remote OSX Volumes”

How to Set Up a Mac for Remote Login

What Problem are We Trying to Solve?

If you have a machine that’s got a bad monitor or locked up in some way that you can’t directly control it, you might have some success if you could connect in via the Terminal. In these few quick steps we’ll show you how to set up the target Mac so that you can connect to it over the network using just the Terminal.

Set Up the Target Machine You Want to Control

Set Up the Target Machine You Want to Control

Open System Preferences and click on Sharing.

Click the Lock to Make Changes

Click the Lock to Make Changes



Enter your administrator credentials in the pop up window.

Remote Login

Remote Login

Check the box for remote login. If you want to restrict remote login to a subset of the users of the machine, click on the radio button for Only these users, and then click the Plus button below that window.

Add Users to the Access List

Add Users to the Access List

In this example I’ll add allison and then click Select.

Click the Lock to Prevent Further Changes

Click the Lock to Prevent Further Changes
  1. Click the lock to prevent changes
  2. Note at the top it says the name at which your computer can be accessed – write this down! In my case, the name is Core-i7-4.local and be sure to note that this name is case sensitive

On Another Mac Connect to the First Mac

Open a Terminal and type in ssh followed by the name you recorded for the target Mac.
You will be prompted for your password. In this case I only authorized the account allison, so there’s only one option here.

On Another Mac Connect to the First Mac

You're In!

Note that the prompt has changed to Core-i7-4 so we know I’m logged into the target Mac.

From here you can list files, copy files, move files, whatever you can do in the Terminal if you’d been sitting at the target Mac.


How to Remove Noise With Audacity

Download Audacity

You’ve got your recording finished and realized there’s a hum or hiss on one half of the recording. This quick tutorial will walk you how to import your audio into Audacity, split the stereo track and remove the noise.

Start by downloading Audacity from for your operating system (Mac, Linux or Windows).

Open up Your Stereo Recording in Audacity

In this case we have an mp3 that was recorded from Skype via Piezo from Rogue Amoeba. It records your mic on one channel, and the Skype caller on the other channel.

Continue reading “How to Remove Noise With Audacity”

How to Configure Verizon FiOS Router to Give Network Control to Airport Extreme


Bart Busschots of helped me figure out this configuration that so many people are requesting. Bart’s diagram shows the end condition. The screenshots in the tutorial are from an Actiontec router supplied by Verizon running firmware version 40.20.7 in 2013.

In this tutorial we’re going to:

  • Turn off Wireless on the Verizon router
  • Change the IP range that the Verizon router serves out to start at
  • Enable the DMZ on the Verizon router and set it to
  • Set the Airport Extreme to static IP and assign it to

This combination of steps will allow the Airport Extreme to control your home network serving out IP addresses, and to execute port forwarding (without having to also do that on the Verizon router).


Log into Verizon Router at

User Name and password are taped to the side of the router

Log into Verizon Router at

Select Wireless Settings

Select Wireless Settings

Under Basic Security Settings Turn Off Wireless on the Verizon Router

Under Basic Security Settings Turn Off Wireless on the Verizon Router

Select Advanced

Select Advanced



Select IP Address Distribution

Select IP Address Distribution

Select Action next to the Dynamic IP Range

Select Action next to the Dynamic IP Range

Change the Starting IP Address to

Change the Starting IP Address to

Click on Firewall Settings

Click on Firewall Settings



Enable DMZ Host IP Address

  1. Click the checkbox
  2. Set DMZ Host IP Address to
  3. Click Apply
Enable DMZ Host IP Address

Open AirPort Utility

Click on the image of the router or the name to reveal the Edit button

Open AirPort Utility

Click Edit

Click Edit

Select the Internet Tab

Select the Internet Tab

Set the APE to a Static IP

  1. Select Static for Connect Using
  2. Change the IP address to (as we set up in the DMZ on the Verizon router

don’t click Update just yet

Set the APE to a Static IP

Select Network Tab

And change router Mode to DHCP and NAT and click Update

Select Network Tab

Ignore Double NAT

You will get a warning (a red circle with a number in it) that if clicked will say Double NAT. This can be ignored by clicking on the router, hovering over Double NAT, Clicking and selecting Ignore. You are now free to play about the Internet.

Ignore Double NAT

How To Set Up a VPN Server Using a Mac

These instructions may seem arcane and complex but they’re really easy if you just follow along step by step. Donald Burr of Otaku No Podcast ( created all of these instructions in text form, Allison just created the ScreenSteps tutorial!

I’ll be focusing on using a Mac on your home network using an Airport Extreme Router (of course any router will work but the screenshots will be for the Airport). If you have a router capable of installing the Tomato Router Firmware, you should look at Donald’s full instructions because you may not need to use a Mac at all for this, your router can do it all. See Donald’s notes for other options.

Read Donald’s instructions ===> here.

If you’d rather download this manual for easy off line reference, click here.

If you’ve installed the VPN Server but would like to UNinstall it, click here for instructions.
If you can connect to your VPN server but can’t get outside your network, click here.

Let’s get started already!

SECTION 1 – Setting Up a Static IP for the Server on the LAN Side

These instructions should be completed on the machine that will become the VPN server.

Open Network Preferences


Select Advanced


Copy the Mac Address


Open AirPort Utility


Click on your router, in my case it’s called White Dart.

Select Enter Router Password


Enter your password when prompted and click OK.

Select Edit


Select the Network Tab and Click the + Button


Paste in the Mac Address You Copied Earlier


Select Update


Select Continue


Quit Airport Utility when this operation completes.

SECTION 2 – Creating Account at


Navigate to and select Sign Up.

Create a Username and Password


Enter your Email address. Note the host name shown which is free, but if you want to pay you can get more options. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Select Sign Up


Email Confirmation Will be Sent


Click the Link in the Email


Download the Update Client


This client will run in the background and check to see if your IP address has changed, and if it has, will send it to

Download and Install the Client


Enter Your Account Info You Just Created


This menu should pop up automatically.

Click OK


Click on Hosts and Check the Box Next to the Host Name You Chose


It may take a few moments for the host name you selected at to show up. Make sure you note this name, you’ll need it later.

Select Update Now


Turn on the Daemon


I chose this rather than running the application in the background all the time.

SECTION 3 – Installing Xcode and Running Command Line Tools

Find Xcode in the Mac App Store

Install Xcode


Install Java


Xcode only installs the standalone Java, and it does NOT include the Java Web plugin that has been the subject of so many security vulnerabilities lately.

Select Install Next to Command Line Tools


Wait till the installation finishes and quit X-Code

Type xcodebuild -license to Open the License Agreement


Start Hitting the Space Bar to Scroll Through the EULA – A LOT of Times


Type Agree


Type agree

Joy of Agreement


SECTION 4 – Installing MacPorts


Navigate to and scroll to the bottom to download the installer file for your OS.

Install MacPorts


Enter These Commands in the Terminal


To run the self update to Macports enter:

  source ~/.profile
  sudo port -v selfupdate

and enter your administrator password



Open the VPN Software



  sudo port -v install openvpn2

and watch a lot of glop go by…

SECTION 5 – Installing Tuntap Drivers


Open the Package File (in the folder after tuntap expands)


Gatekeeper won’t let you just double click on the installer package (it will complain that it is from an unknown source), you have to right click on the installer package and choose “open”.

SECTION 6 – Donald’s Nifty Scripts of Doom

Download Donald’s scripts from:

Type These Commands to Unarchive the Scripts


cd ~/Downloads
tar xvjf openvpn-mac.tar.bz2

Setting Up OpenVPN Server


We’re now going to run Donald’s scripts. Enter this command:

  cd openvpn-mac && sudo bash setup-openvpn-server

Name your Server (I’ve entered kyles-mac-vpn)
Enter the dynamic dns host name you noted back on (you DID note it, right?)

Keep Answering Questions


The first time through you need to answer these. These steps will be duplicated MANY times, but after this the answers will be there and you can simply hit Enter for each questions.

Hit Enter for All These Questions for an RSA Key


And Again for Some Reason


Keep Answering…


And Again


And Again…




Enter passphrase and password as many times as they ask for it!

Finder Window Opens Showing config-files


Copy this file to Dropbox. It will be the first connection file you test. It would be good to name it something associated with the device on which you’ll use it (you’ll be creating one of these for each of your devices).

Create a New VPN Connection Document for Each Device You Have

In Terminal, enter:

  sudo setup-openvpn-client connection-name

where connection-name means something to you for each different device you’ll want to connect to the VPN server. Move each of these files to Dropbox to be picked up on your devices.

SECTION 7 – Opening up UDP Port 1194


Open Airport Utility again, select your Airport again, Select Edit again. Select the Network tab, and select the + under Port Settings

Enter Information As Shown


Select Update


Wait until your Airport updates.

SECTION 8 – Install VPN Software on iOS


Download OpenVPN Connect from the iTunes App Store.

Open Dropbox


Find the file you created and moved into Dropbox and tap on it.

Select the Open In Button in the Bottom Right


Select Open in OpenVPN


Click the Green Plus Button to Import the File


Enter the Password


Enter the Password you created in the creation of the file, and tap the Save switch to turn it on. Finally tap the Off Switch to Connect to the VPN.



SECTION 9 – Install VPN Software on OSX


Two options for a VPN application on the Mac. Donald recommended Viscosity from which is $9 per Mac.

After the show Dr. Matt suggested the free TunnelBlick from I installed both and they both work well. This tutorial will be for Viscosity, but if you try Tunnelblick you have to do one thing to make it work. In the Settings, Configuration tab, select Advanced and then uncheck the box to use TunnelBlick’s tun/tap drivers.

Let’s keep going with Viscosity as our example.

Install Viscosity


Click on the icon for Viscosity in the menubar and choose Preferences.

In the Connection Tab Click on the Plus Button at the Bottom


Select Import Connection From File…


Navigate to the File You Created for This Device


In my case I called it alsmac so I could tell which one to open

Connection Imported


Connect Using Menu Bar App


Enter the Password You Created


No clue which one of the 198 I entered, luckily I typed the same one over and over again.

Fleeting Notification of Connection


To test mine at home I used a Mifi so I was on a different network.

Use the Menubar Icon to Disconnect When You’re Through


If you want to prove to yourself that you’re on VPN – go to before and after you VPN and you’ll find that your IP changes to your home IP. Congratulations!

How to Set Up Signed and Encrypted Email

In Episode 412 of the NosillaCast on 31 March 2013, Bart walked us through how to set up signed and encrypted email on on the Mac, and also on iOS. Below are three Clarify Tutorials designed to give you the step by step instructions. Bart and I worked on this together, and we decided breaking this up into three separated tutorials made sense.

First we’ll teach you first how to obtain a certificate and generate a private key and then send signed and encrypted email from

How to Set Up Encrypted and Signed Email in Apple Mail

You can stop there, but if you want to use a second Mac to send email or use a different email client, or even iOS, you’ll need to know how to export your certificate:

How to Export Your Certificate and Private Key

Finally if you want to read encrypted email, and sign your emails, you’ll need the last tutorial. Unfortunately, iOS isn’t at all easy to maintain for actually sending emails encrypted, but you’ll still be able to send them:

How to Read Encrypted and Send Signed Emails on iOS

How to Make iTunes Refresh Podcasts on a Schedule

The problem to be solved here is that it’s a hassle to remember to tell iTunes to update your podcasts before you sync your iPod or iPhone to get the latest shows. The easiest thing to do on iOS is to use a podcatching client like Downcast, which lets you skip iTunes altogether but if you’ve got an iPod Nano or Shuffle, you don’t have this option. iTunes sort of has it’s own little schedule it decides on for updating podcasts, which seems to be related to some time you asked it to do this before.

In this very easy tutorial we’ll use some tools that you may not have used before but I assure you it IS quick and easy and reliable. The basic idea is that we’re going to create a calendar event using Automator, and we’re going to stick an AppleScript into it which will tell iTunes it to refresh your podcasts.

Continue reading “How to Make iTunes Refresh Podcasts on a Schedule”

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