XYMer's Home away from Home

When http://bbs.xlr8yourmac.com is down (i.e. always)
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 Post subject: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:40 am 
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eMac/10.4.11/1.42 GHz, I get this message at boot up…

Mac OS X Version 10.4.11 (Build 8S165)
2017-02-11 13:41:09 -0800
2017-02-11 13:41:12.064 SystemUIServer[106] lang is:en
2017-02-11 13:41:19.599 SecurityFixer[228] No insecure startup items found!
Feb 11 13:41:19 bdem14 mDNSResponder: AppendDNSNameString: Illegal empty label in name ".home"
Feb 11 13:41:19 bdem14 mDNSResponder: ERROR: MarkSearchListElem - bad domain home

Where is .home?


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:36 pm 
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Location: NYC
With invisible toggled on, should be in root folder.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:45 pm 
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No, that'd be /home.

It certainly sounds like mDNSResponder has been configured to do something with .home. By default mDNSResponder uses .local for its unreliable networking, though it makes sense that there's some way to add additional domains to it. Based on the wording I would guess it's been configured to look for a host called .home and is upset because, well, that's not how DNS works. something.home would be OK, while .home is not a valid hostname.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:31 pm 
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What is /home anyway? I have /home and /home (from old Mac), the latter must be from the PPC iMac before this Intel iMac. Both zero bytes.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:21 pm 
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OK, it sounds like it's automatically looking for something that isn't configured, maybe Netboot?

In Directory Access, Bonjour is checked, could that be it?


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:24 pm 
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It sounds like something has added a host named .home to Bonjour/mDNSResponder. How that was done is beyond me at the moment. Maybe /etc/hosts? Theres probably a plist somewhere that can add hosts to mDNSResponder... that's the part I'm not so sure on.


If I remember right /home is part of NetInfo, which was NeXT's multiuser networking system that allowed you to log into any system on a network as a particular user and get the same user id, same user folder, etc. - basically what LDAP does on a modern OS. That /home and /net are still present is a testimony to just how little attention Apple has paid to the innards of OS X. On the other hand it's kind of good that they haven't gotten the urge to fix something that's not actually broken.

As far as the old /home folder, that probably be purged without any consequences. I would check the contents of /etc/auto_master and verify it's not referenced there just to be sure. That's the first (or last, depending on your interpretation) link in the chain that creates /home.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:35 am 
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Thanks, no auto_master in /etc/


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:44 pm 
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Well /etc/auto_master is for WZZZ's old /home folder. I'm almost certain your .home is unrelated to /home, and is something Bonjour's latched onto via a configuration file.

My MBP is booted into Windows to deal with the ridiculous self-inflicted network issue of the week at the site I wasn't at yesterday, which of course was the day they chose to shoot themselves in the foot... but I recall reading that /etc/auto_master was present in Yosemite, which is pretty recent.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:17 pm 
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I don't think .home is anywhere: it's an invalid top level domain (as far as I'm aware). Does Apple use .home for something? If so: :(

- Anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:25 am 
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No idea how it's used, but it's there in my 10.11

/etc/auto_master

Code:
# Automounter master map
#
+auto_master      # Use directory service
/net         -hosts      -nobrowse,hidefromfinder,nosuid
/home         auto_home   -nobrowse,hidefromfinder
/Network/Servers   -fstab
/-         -static


/etc/auto_home

Code:
#
# Automounter map for /home
#
+auto_home   # Use directory service
#
# Get /home records synthesized from user records
#
+/usr/libexec/od_user_homes


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:37 pm 
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I found .home, it's a zero byte autofs file on my networked iMac running 10.8.5


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:14 pm 
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Tere is a home file/folder on every drive/OSX I have, no dot, & Get info info in Finder reports different things for the drive you're booted from & other attached OS X volumes.

Get Info on boot volume reports Kind Volume, Format: unknown (autofs), others report Kind as Folder!?


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:11 pm 
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Yeah, /home is a quirky thing. I really haven't paid that much attention to it since I normally leave Finder in default mode (I let it hide things flagged Hidden). If I didn't change ~/Library to nohide I'd probably leave it in show invisibles mode. I'm using Terminal more and more these days so hidden vs. not hidden is just a command line switch.

From what I remember folders in /home are supposed to be roughly equivalent to NFS mounts, where they get mapped from another system so everyone's home folder is on all systems. /home itself technically is just a logical place for the home folders to go, but it's a quirky remapped folder from another part of OS X (hence autofs). Basically you stuck a bunch of configuration data into NetInfo and the /home folder built itself. Neat to see, but I never really used it.

I've read of Linux guys going through the trouble of expunging /home from OS X so they can use it for Linux stuff (some Linux distributions use /home/ for their user folders, this way they can share scripts and whatnot from Linux to OS X), only to find it got clobbered by an OS X update or upgrade.

I'd generally just leave it alone. Apple will eventually remember its there and expunge it from the innards of OS X. Breaking who knows how much in the process. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Where is .home?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:47 pm 
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Thanks! :)


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