Time Machine backup destination switching coming soon

A common feature request for ControlPlane has been changing time machine destinations.  I’ve avoided adding this feature for some time because I felt it was a bit beyond the scope of ControlPlane.  Such a feature would really require its own configuration and could honestly be a stand alone app.

Well today I am pleased to announce that the next version of ControlPlane will finally be able to change Time Machine backup destinations by utilizing a new application called Tedium.  Tedium, a loose play Time Machine Destination Manager, will also be released soon.

Tedium is a stand alone application that works independently of ControlPlane.  As a standalone app you are able to configure multiple Time Machine backup destinations and then either using the Tedium interface itself or AppleScript change destinations at will.  ControlPlane can be used to automate this process.

ControlPlane 1.1.6 and Tedium 1.0 will both be released early next week.

Requests for more elaborate rule and context systems

Some of the most common requests I get for ControlPlane involve more elaborate rule and context systems.  Requests for negative or NOT rules and context groups are not going unheard but you can certainly voice your opinion over on Github.  The more feedback I get about how these two key features should work is very important.

These features are currently being looked at for the rewrite of ControlPlane.  Due to the current architecture of ControlPlane these features are difficult to implement without breaking the existing configuration system so it is very unlikely they’ll be seen in the 1.x series of ControlPlane.

New version coming soon

An updated version will be released tonight that includes fixes for the Shell Script action and WiFi evidence source.  ControlPlane 1.1.4 introduced a more capable shell script action but broke support for script arguments.  The WiFi evidence source contains a bug causing it to hang on to found access points after WiFi is disabled.  ControlPlane 1.1.5 will fix both of these issues.

ControlPlane, Time Machine and multiple profiles

Recently I linked to Nick Schmidt’s piece on using ControlPlane to switch Time Machine profiles (http://geekyschmidt.com/2011/12/29/dual-time-machine-wielding-backups).  There was one thing that Nick missed that is important on the OS X side and that is that tmutil may require you to use sudo in order to use the tmutil setdestination command.  ControlPlane doesn’t currently allow you to directly call tmutil with administrative privileges.  To get around this you can change how sudo is configured on your system so that the tmutil command can be run with administrative privileges and not require a password to do so.

First, open a terminal window and issue the following command

sudo visudo

Visudo opens the sudo config file in the vim text editor.  If you’re not familiar with vim, I’ll explain in detail how to edit the file so that tmutil can be run without a password.

  1. Use the arrow keys to find this line
    %admin  ALL=(ALL) ALL
  2. Press and hold shift, and then a, release shift.  This will put your curser at the end of the line.  Add the following:
    , NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/tmutil
  3. The line should now look like this:
    %admin  ALL=(ALL) ALL, NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/tmutil
  4. Press escape and type the following:
    :wq
  5. Press enter.

That’s it.  ControlPlane will now be able to run sudo tmutil without requiring your password each time.