UNIX restore is missing and other things


"restore" is missing even though there is a man page for it

"dump" is there, whats the point of having a "dump" utility and not be able to retreive anything.

"hostid" is not available, "hostid" is is used by FlexLM to manage licensing onsite.

There's probably more missing, but I don't have a MacOSX at work and have to do this stuff in the evening.

It might be usefull to produce a list of usefull UNIX stuff that is not in Darwin. Otherwise you can spend ages trying achieve something and find you cannot because and essential tool is not available.

If the list looks good and long enough we can send it to Apple to get the issues resolved.


Puny Member
I thought this is why Apple open sourced Darwin so people with obscure needs could solve their own problems.

BTW there is a very good reason why those three do not exist. restore and dump only understand UNIX meta-data. OS X supports a superset of UNIX and MacOS meta-data. dump and restore would have to be patched to take this into account, or restructed to directories like /usr

hostid sounds like it would need to use netinfo. A simple script using nidump ought to do the trick.

This is common sense so for any other commands I'll let you figure it out.


Unperson Spotter
IIRC, hostid is the SunOS executable which reads the machine serial number from PROM/EPROM/NVRAM/whatever-Sun-uses-to-store-it-in

It is not generally available (AFAIK), and FlexLM uses other, equally flawed, schemes for hardware authentication (on HP, the NIC MAC address, which means that you lose the license if you replace a NIC)


Pot shots aside, "dump" does exist hence the query "cloth ears".

dump, restore, obscure? a very odd thing for you to say......but there again.......

All UNIX(s) have dump and restore, albeit their own version to reflect their own filesystem types. i.e. ufs SUN, xfs SGI, ext linux etc to the dawn of time.

So your point is entrirely NOT TAKEN, if other vendors get of their arses to do a RESTORE, because they have implemented DUMP, so can bloody well APPLE!

What I do know about dump (on a particular platform), is that it understands the filesystems they originate from and restore understands the reverse (on that platform), thats all you need to know.

Does anyone know if restore exists in their MacOS X Server server version?

"hotsid", no storb you got it wrong again, its got nothing to do with NetInfo or NIS of DNS, etc. A "hotsid" is a "planet wide" unique HARDWARE identifier that relates to value stored either in the PROM or is take from a part of its Ethernet MAC address or someplace else. It is used by Vendors who want to protect their software, the value generated by hostid is confirmed with a licensing vendor like FlexLM to be genuine and license keys will be issued for the software packages on the host with that hostid. "hostid" is part of BSD hence why I am asking! and its been around for a real looooonnnnngggg time.

FlexLM then comes along on your machine and issues a gethostid() in their own software and if it doesn't match the software is a no go.

The packages I am taling about are not of the normal ilke, its very expensive and exotic software and the vendors are paranoid about protecting it and we have no way around it if we want ot use them on the MacOSX platform

As for common sense, I won't re-storb.

P.S. I did like the 15 button mouse line you came up with, and the in depth document on "final menu bar solution"



Note, if a hostid program were available and it retrieved its information from the kernel's hostid parameter, then this value is merely a representation of the machine's IP. Have a look at /System/Library/StartupItems/Network/Network and search for hostid...


Meta-data? Do you mean data that changes?

If so its not the correct term to use against a level zero "dump -0", level zero means dump the contents of the filesystem and its structure, i.e. owners and groups etc, a full backup no matter wheather its changed or not.

The dump level can be changed to whatever you wish to do incremental dumps which would be your "meta-data" term. I think ther are about 9 levels of dump. Just type "man dump".

I agree about device dumps they, but its inefficient and can be very slow as outlined in the previous thread.

I offer this contention "If it walks like a duck, it quacks like duck, its a duck", NOT any longer APPLE(Darwin and MacOSX) have re-written this to mean "this horse is well sort of a camel designed by committee".

UNIX should first and formost be UNIX, and a good one at that, Linus T is currently right at present Darwin is imature and a little on the crap side. This may not stay the same now that the kernel is open for development by the community. The latter is going to be the really interesting bit.



Puny Member
after taking a fresh duke on Linus...

By meta data I mean data which accompanies what mac users call the data fork. In other words information about a particular piece of data, like it's name, date, chflags, permissions, etc. UNIX has all kinds of weird files like fifos which every copy and backup program on UNIX has to deal with. Look at the tar source for example.

OS X supports a superset of MacOS and UNIX meta data and these issues have not been resolved.

Also expecting OS X to be downgraded to the lowest common denominator will only leave you disillusioned, grasping to a portrait of your lord and master, Linus


pppd. Where is it? This isn't something that apple "didn't get around to". It was in the Public Beta. Is there a replacement? And I don't meant Internet Connect!



Downgraded.....No we just want the things that are included in UNIX(s) (Apple make a big thing about MacOSX being UNIX) to be there and functional, no big deal.

To be honest if you put the things there that we expect of UNIX(s) then with regard to Darwin that would constitute an upgrade.

I have had MacOSX for two week nearly and it looks as though MaxOSX (Aqua, Frameworks, Display) just uses the Darwin kernel for its own end? That being the case the rest of Darwin is just sitting around semi-neutered.

Talking about other things like NIS/AFS/DCE/etc and integration with pre-exisitng UNIX environments. How is that going to be done through Netinfo, it may be fine for one machine but if you had to install 200 MacOSXs, is Netinfo scriptable from UNIX? I ask merley for information as its thin on the ground.

Unfortunately I am not allowed to use a Mac at work, to mention a Mac insights mirth, thats their problem, but I am stuck with it.

Data returned by "hostid" comes from hardware, i.e. from some formally agreed representation of the PROM, motherboard or in most cases the MAC address of the base Ethernet MAC address (as there can be mutiple network cards). But you are right if you have the agreed format for the number it can be got around, but thats illegal. "hostid" is available on all UNIXs and was originally brought out under BSD.


NetInfo is full controllable from the command line, and is therefore scriptable via standard unix shell scripts.

It is not yet scriptable in the Applescript sense of the word, although you could fudge something using some of the Applescript interfaces to the UNIX shell script world.

I haven't checked the man pages fully, but the usual netinfo man pages appear to be there.

Have a look for:

nidump, nirestore etc ...

Apple's documentation on Netinfo is not good at the moment. Besides the man pages, the only other references are some MacOS X server stuff on Apple Developer Connection and also the MacOS X Server Administrator courses Apple used to offer.



Oh , and I almost forgot.

A manual GUI dump and resore method exists that fully preserves all filesystem data and metadata, but it expolits undocumented features of the Apple Software Restore program that ships on the restore CD's . At least thats my conjecture because I have seen machines with MacOS X installed come back from depot repair with new hard disks, but the filesystem migrated to a new ( an in one case, larger ) disk.

Note also that the existance of a Retospect client for MacOS X is also clear proof of concept.

Personally I'd like a macdump/macrestore pair that understood all HFS+ and UFS data so I could roll my own backup mechanisms.


I realize that you cannot get the hostid from Apples current version of Darwin. I hope that this is something that they include in a new release as it is a very valuable piece of information for determining which machine you are one. In the meantime however it is possible to obtain the serial number of the mac you are using by using AppleSystemProfiler although this does not replace hostid it can be useful.

Here is what I use:

AppleSystemProfiler -o | awk '/serial/{print $5}'