Check Python Syntax in BBEdit with flake8

There are existing scripts out there that will run flake8 against a python file in BBEdit, but none of them worked quite the way I wanted. So here is mine:

Before you can run this, you need to install flake with sudo easy_install flake8. Then you need to drop this script in ~/Library/Application Support/BBEdit/Scripts. You can launch it from the menu with the script icon.

On Internet Shortcut Files

If you are managing Macs and PCs, then you will frequently connect to other computers or virtual machines through screen sharing, secure shell or other means. Here is a simple trick to make those connections easier:

Open your favored UI text editor (Text Edit will do) and type

vnc://<username>@<hostname>

Replace <username> and <hostname> with your username and hostname for a Mac you frequently share the screen with.

Then select the entire text and drag it to the desktop. It will create a file with “@” sign on the icon. When you double click this file, Screen Sharing opens and asks for the password (unless it is stored in the Keychain) and connects the remote session.

Now rename this file to VNC <hostname>. Then activate Spotlight (cmd-space) and start typing “VNC” and the hostname. After a few characters the VNC link file should be the top result. Hit return and the session starts.

As an extra bonus you can put these files in a folder in your cloud file system of choice (iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, etc.) and they will sync to all your Macs.

Other Protocols

You can do the same with any URI scheme:

ssh://<username>@<hostname>:<port>

afp://<username>@<hostname>/<share>

smb://<username>@<hostname>/<share>

http://<hostname/<path>

Microsoft Remote Desktop/RDP

The new Microsoft Remote Desktop application available in the Mac App Store also supports rdp URI schemes, however the syntax is a bit odd. To connect to a remote host you have to use:

rdp://full%20address=s:<hostname>&username=s:<username>

You can find more options for this URI scheme in this technote. One I have found useful is screen mode id where a value of 1 means to open the remote screen in a window a value of 2 means full screen mode.

Looking into the files

If inspect the file generated by dragging, you can see that it is a property list file with a single key URL and a string value containing the link.

Files for a vnc URI get the .vncloc extension, http[s] URIs get the .webloc extension, ftp URIs get the .ftploc extension and everything else seems to get .inetloc extensions. (There may be more, let me know if you find any.)

This makes it easy to write a short script that simplifies the creation of these internet location files:

Sample use:

./create_netloc.py vnc://user@host.example.com

will create VNC host.vncloc

./create_netloc.py http://munki.example.com/munkireport-php/ Munkireport

will create Munkireport.webloc

./create_netloc.py "rdp://full%20address=s:host.example.com&username=s:name&screen%20mode%20id=i:1"

will create RDP host.inetloc

Note on rdp links: since the ‘&’ is special in shell commands you need to quote the uri if any are present.

Fun with find and git

find ~ -type d -name .git -exec dirname {} \;

will show you all folders in your home directory which have a .git subfolder — i.e. they are git repositories.

This is useful, but can be extended to:

find ~ -type d -name .git -exec dirname {} \; | tr '\n' '\000' | xargs -0 -n1 -I % git -C "%" status

to show the git status output of all your git repositories.

Time to clean up!

Useful AutoPkg bash functions

Note: the version of these functions I posted originally were not safe for paths with spaces in them. I have updated them and now the should be.

I have added these functions to my .bash_profile and thought they might be useful for others as well.

alias reveal="open -R"

function recipe-open() { open "$(autopkg info $@ | grep 'Recipe file path' | cut -c 22-)"; }
function recipe-edit() { bbedit "$(autopkg info $@ | grep 'Recipe file path' | cut -c 22-)"; }
function recipe-reveal() { reveal "$(autopkg info $@ | grep 'Recipe file path' | cut -c 22-)"; }

Use them like this

recipe-open RecipeName.munki
recipe-open com.github.recipe.id

recipe-open will grab the path to the recipe file and use open to open it with its default application. I have PlistEdit Pro assigned to open .recipe file extensions.

recipe-edit will open the recipe file in BBEdit, which doesn’t suck.

recipe-reveal will open the recipe in the Finder. The bash alias reveal for open -R is quite useful independent of autopkg.

Adapt for your own choice of editors.

Connect to Active Directory with a Profile


In OS X 10.9 Mavericks Apple added the option to connect a Mac client to Active Directory with a configuration profile. In previous OS versions admins have to script AD connection with the dsconfigad CLI tool.


Many of the configuration options for this profile are described here. By default the client Mac’s hostname will be used as the machine record name to connect to AD. However, you can provide a ClientID key to override the default. There are also placeholders you can provide for this filed as described here. In our setup we use the ComputerName (as defined in Sharing preference pane or with scutil --set ComputerName) instead, since the hostname of a given MacBook may change depending on which Thunderbolt ethernet adaptor is used.


The easiest way to create an Active Directory Profile is to use Profile Manager on OS X Server to create one with the settings you want, then download the profile and further edit in a text editor. You can also use this generic Active Directory configuration profile as a starting point.