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lokki 08-09-2009 05:02 PM

Using SD for beta testing
I am trying out SD as a way to help me out during beta testing software, with the idea being that I could have a working copy and a 'clean' backup to go to without the beta apps.

What is the best way to use SD for testing other applications? Should I use the Sandbox - shared users and apps selection (which seems to defeat the purpose), or just the Sandbox with shared users? Will the 2nd option allow me to install applications independently on each 'drive'? And if this is the right way to go, does that mean I have to boot into the sandbox, or can I use applications from there without affecting my main boot drive? In this case, I would presume you could avoid rebooting, and just launch the apps from the sandbox, effectively behaving like you have two installs.

The reason I ask is that I sometimes give live web demos and don't want to accidentally launch the beta version of some production application. I've also considered creating a separate boot partition so I have a completely clean environment, but that has its own challenges (most of which have to do with me being somewhat lazy).

Any insight would be very much appreciated!

dnanian 08-09-2009 07:55 PM

Well, in general, Sandbox - Shared Users provides the most isolation. But remember that things in your Home folder are going to get changed. So if there's data stored there (etc), and that shouldn't be touched, it's not something that you should do.

But what you can do is share your users and then create a guest user, and install/use that user... but you always have to boot into the Sandbox to be isolated.

lokki 08-09-2009 09:05 PM

So the preferred method in this case, just I'm clear, would be to do my testing under a guest (tester) account booted into the Sandbox...

Should I create the tester account before the Sandbox/Shared Users? If so, what exactly gets copied to the Sandbox?

Sorry for being obtuse :)

dnanian 08-09-2009 10:55 PM

If you want to ensure that your user account data isn't modified, yes. Don't have to create the test account - the point is that it'll be only on the sandbox if you create it after you boot to the sandbox.

lokki 08-24-2009 11:25 PM

Sorry I've not followed up... I'm going to try setting this up in a day or so, and will report back. I know it's annoying when people do 'drive-by' posting and just disappear after getting a question answered :)

Thanks - I'll let you know how it goes.

sjk 08-25-2009 12:19 AM


Originally Posted by lokki (Post 26229)
I know it's annoying when people do 'drive-by' posting and just disappear after getting a question answered :)

More annoying (to me) are the drive-by posters asking questions that make it apparent (or seemingly so) they haven't done any searching for answers first. You know where they are on the self-help version of the Tech Support Cheat Sheet. :)

lokki 08-25-2009 11:27 AM

***deleted for courtesy***


dnanian 08-25-2009 11:34 AM

Guys, let's not go down this road at all, OK? This isn't the kind of thing I want argued about on my forums, and there's little point going there. So, don't. Thanks.

lokki 08-25-2009 12:12 PM

No offense intended :)

dnanian 08-25-2009 12:24 PM

Totally understood, lokki. I just don't want to have my forums devolve into a finger-pointing exercise, argument over protocol, complaining about non-searching, etc.

sjk 08-25-2009 01:39 PM

Since I missed lokki's deleted reply I'll just mention that my initial response was intended to humorously relate our two forum annoyances, not to personally argue with or attack anyone. If there's anything more to discuss we can do it privately rather than risk public misunderstandings and subsequent devolution. Sorry for any disruption.

dnanian 08-25-2009 04:42 PM

I know, and appreciate it: just want to make sure we don't even start heading that way. The forums are a pleasant place because all of you guys are polite, patient and helpful -- let's stay that way!

sjk 08-25-2009 06:17 PM


I don't want to have my forums devolve
And with over 70 times as many posts as the second place poster (which I noticed still happens to be me :o) these definitely are your forums. :)

Now, back to lokki's topic

lokki 08-30-2009 02:21 PM

Ok - I'm about to give this a shot with the following settings:

Copy MacHD to Tester (an existing partition)

Sandbox - Shared users
Smart Update
Copy ACLs

On Complete, Boot from Tester

At this point, I will install the prerelease package with Tester launched.

Before I get going, I have a question about seeing Tester... From HacHD, I can see all the applications installed on Tester, and indeed launch them (obviously under the running environment). Is there any way to utilize this as a virtual environment, sort of like running Parallels for Win packages?

dnanian 08-30-2009 02:25 PM

No, it's not a virtual environment.

lokki 08-30-2009 03:27 PM

Right - sorry I wasn't clear.

I know SD isn't a virtual environment; I was wondering if there is something that will let me launch the partition as a virtual environment. Basically, launching another install of MacOS within a window.

But I think that might not be a good test environment, now that I look at it, even it were possible...

Ok. Off to set up.

dnanian 08-30-2009 06:17 PM

Not that I know of, no.

sjk 08-30-2009 07:12 PM

If you want to run a truly virtualized OS X (client) environment on OS X I think Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac is currently the only option. I don't know the details; my only experience is with VMware Fusion hosting Windows XP.

dnanian 08-30-2009 07:14 PM

I'm pretty sure Fusion can do it, too, but I don't think you can point it at something like a Sandbox and expect a positive outcome. I think it'll only virtualize server, too.

sjk 08-30-2009 08:28 PM

I was implying Fusion only supports OS X Server as a guest OS, according to its spec sheet. Parallels, on the other hands, explicitly mentions supporting Server and "Client".

Like you said, it's not clear how either would be successfully integrated with an SD! Sandbox. I just thought virtualization products like Fusion and Parallels eventually had to come up in this discussion. :)

lokki 08-30-2009 09:26 PM

I'm currently running Parallels for Vista Home Premium (also on Bootcamp), which works pretty well for Win apps. I suppose I'd just use the same thing to install OSX, perhaps under Bootcamp, as well.

Whatever. I'm going to stick with SD for the time being.

After I ran the setup using the settings described, I came up with all the apps installed on Tester, where previously it only had the basic OS stuff. What I'm really after is distinct environments at this point. Should I simply let Tester be overwritten and try again using Shared User?

Sorry for my confusion.

lokki 09-02-2009 12:36 AM

Ok, I feel like a moron. I searched the forum for 'delete Sandbox', and the most likely thread never got followed up... but it's from 2006.

I think at this point, since it looks like SD did shared users AND apps, that I'm going to leave it as-is. I believe this is how it was intended, anyway. Given that, my strategy is to manually update before installing new builds.

Any comments on that?

btw - thanks for the input and help! I really appreciate it :)

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