In my quest to use VNC less, I’ve come across a pretty helpful command line application to check the health of my server’s disk drives. It’s pretty handy and works well with both OS X Server and regular OS X. Most of the problems I seem to encounter have to do with messed up file permissions in OS X Tiger, so this comes in really handy for me. Hopefully it will help you out as much as it has me. The application is called diskutil, essentially it’s DiskUtility.app without the gui goodness and is perfect for my setup since VNC is painfully slow.  It lets you do everything you can in Disk Utility from the command line: List partitions, Unmount/mount drives, verify and repair drives. It’s a thing of beauty.

  1. Open terminal.app
  2. If your going to be doing this to a remote location ssh to that server. If you don’t know how to do that check out this article (Step Two Only).
  3. Now once you’re where you need to be, type diskutil. It will bring up a list of all of your options. For demonstration purposes lets check permissions.
  4. Type ‘diskutil verifyPermissions /Volumes/Drivename
  5. "Drivename" will be the name of the hard drive you wish to checkout.

It’s that simple and most of the other options work in the same way. For me, it’s one last thing I have to use VNC for. Perfect!