Can’t Send Outgoing Mail (Virtualmin + Postfix)

After a recent operating system update on my Virtualmin server, outgoing emails (accounts, forwarding, system generated) stopped working. Connections to the SMTP server worked fine, authentication had no issues, and mail could be sent locally to domains on the same server.

But when trying to mail to on external address (Gmail for example), the mail client and mail logs showed an error: “Relay access denied”. It took quite a while to discover the offending settings so I thought I’d share what worked for me (finally) here.

Postfix_logo

Near the end of the /etc/postfix/main.cf you should ensure the settings are as follows:

smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
#smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes

Where ‘smtp_sasl_auth_enable” is commented out. After making this change I was again able to send mail to external domains.

Make sure you test your setup to a few different mail providers though. The update enabled IPv6 for my Postfix server, and because I don’t have reverse DNS for IPv6 enabled on my server Gmail rejected all mail. You might also wish setup reverse DNS for IPv6, or make the following change so that only IPv4 is used:

inet_protocols = ipv4

Delete Sparsebundle from a Network Drive

You probably want to delete a sparsebundle (disk image or Time Machine Backup) from for your Time Capsule or other NAS (network attached storage). Maybe you want to start a fresh backup. Or you may have moved your backup to another device. This can be a somewhat challenging task!

sparsebundle

  1. Dig out a Windows computer or install Windows in a virtual machine (try VirtualBox)
  2. Make sure it is connected to the same network, Ethernet or WiFi will do
  3. Install the AirPort Utility for Windows (this enables AirDisk discovery)
  4. Restart the Time Capsule or NAS to make sure nothing else is accessing the image
  5. Open Computer and select the network drive, its often called Data
  6. Double click on the sparsebundle you wish to delete
  7. Drag bands folder to the Recycle Bin
  8. Hit Yes and wait for a while (but not that long)

It will still take in the realm of minutes to hours to delete, depending on how large your disk image was. After a few minutes the dialog box will show progress and estimate how long is remaining. It will work, too, which is more than be said about command line based options.

If you want to use a supported, non-Windows method you can also use AirPort Utility on a Mac to erase the disk completely. This is super fast but it was not an option for me as I needed to retain othe backups.

Tethering iPad to iPhone 3GS

If you have an iPhone 3GS, you might already know that the Personal Hotspot feature introduced in iOS 4.3 is somewhat limited. Only iPhone 4 received official WIFI tethering. So what if you want to use your older iPhone’s cellular connection on your iPad?

It turns out you can! Just update your devices to iOS 4.3 or later, then enable both Personal Hotspot and Bluetooth on your phone. Open up the Bluetooth menu on your iPad and pair with your iPhone. You’re carrier may require a plan add-on to enable tethering. It’ll sync up and show the Personal Hotspot icon at the top of the screen. Congratulations, you’re connected.

The setup was seamless, and certainly easier than others methods I’ve tried. Pages and videos load reasonably fast, and emails come through without delay. And, because this is essentially Bluetooth tethering, it has a relatively low draw on the battery. Continue reading

Tagging for Apple TV or iTunes

iDentify file list

Update December 2016: iDentify has, sadly, been discounted. One great alternative is Subler — also available for free. It actually handles movies with common names a bit better, although its not quite as magical in the queue department.

So let’s say you have a bunch of movies or TV shows converted for your Apple TV / iPhone / iPad / iPod. It syncs and plays great on your devices–but something is missing! Its the metadata (aka tags).

When you buy media from the iTunes store it comes with epidsode info or a film description, posters, cast info, air dates and more that make it easy to find what you’re looking for or pick something good to watch. Media ripped from discs (or obtained by other means) simply doesn’t come with those goodies. Continue reading

Converting for Apple TV 2

The Apple TV 2 is a great device if you want to stream content from from Apple, Netflix, YouTube or your own iTunes library. But if you’re anything like me–you already have a huge collection of movies and TV shows that were ripped into a slew of formats that don’t play nice with the Apple TV.

So we convert. I’ve found a relatively painless workflow that will allow you to convert your media from just about anything (AVI and MKV included) to Apple friendly formats, and tag it with metadata so you can enjoy film description, movie posters, episode information and more on your Apple TV (just as if you bought it on iTunes). Continue reading