How to enable identd / auth on Mac OS X 10.4
IRC on the shell is fun... but some IRC servers require to get an auth response from your machine. Since I'm on a 3G connection right now and I wanted to IRC on Mac OS X... which doesn't run identd by default, I had a non-fun problem.
Now there are people saying that you need to install some software on Mac OS X to get identd (the "auth" service) running. At least for 10.4 this is not true, everything is still there in the system. Of course Apple is progressively trying to cripple the Unix base of the system, e.g. by replacing simple config files with weird xml setups. But still it's possible to get things going with built in tools.
So what did I do (apart from searching the f* web)?
Step 1: Enable the auth service in /etc/inetd.conf
Yes, indeed, the very good old inetd.conf, not xinetd, not launchd, not xml something. There is just one line that needs to be uncommented. Change this line:
# auth stream tcp wait root /usr/libexec/identd identd -w -t120
to this line:
auth stream tcp wait root /usr/libexec/identd identd -w -t120
Step 2: Start inetd
Yes, indeed again, inetd is still there. It's probably working through 3 layers or more of Apple bogon fields (aka inetd over xinetd over launchd), but it works. Run this little command as root:
# /System/Library/StartupItems/IPServices/IPServices start
As mentioned, this works for me in 10.4 (Tiger), where I needed it to connect to IRC. Dunno if this still works for 10.5 (Leopard), but I guess it might as well work - give it a try and leave a comment.
Also this doesn't auto-start when you start up the machine. You'll either have to repeat step 2 after each restart ... or find out how to auto-start things on boot. Have fun!