Using Touch ID on Macbook Pro for sudo Authentication

Full credit goes to Cabel Sasser (@cabel) on this one for sharing the original tip. I’m simply sharing it here and showing the process to prove the awesomeness of this capability.

If you run a MacBook Pro with the Touch ID option, you have already discovered the speed at which you can authenticate for a number of GUI-driven products. Running sudo in the command line does not give you that luxury, usually.

By making a small change

First, you have to edit the /etc/pam.d/sudo file with your editor of choice. It’s a read only file and you need admin privileges to do so. Oh the irony!

I’m going to use sudo vim /etc/pam.d/sudo to open up the file. This prompts me for credentials in the terminal session, as it should:

Add the following to the first line in the file after the comment:

auth sufficient

You can space it out for consistency with the other lines:

Save the file. It’s read-only, so I have to use w! to save, and then exit back to the shell and close your terminal.

Launch a new terminal session so that you have no cached sudo session credentials and try a new sudo command such as sudo vim /etc/hosts and watch the magic happen:

This should be a nice time saver for you, especially when you use complex passwords…like you should 🙂

Xcode installation on OSX Lion – iTunes error

XcodeHaving trouble installing Xcode on Lion? Having just updated my Macbook to OSX Lion (yay!) I found that there was an odd issue with installing Xcode which you may have run into.


First I downloaded the Xcode app from the App Store; a process that I’m still getting used to from my laptop OS. That being said, it is pretty convenient to download and manage apps this way.

Next step is to run the installation through the Install Xcode icon in the Applications folder. Then I walk away from the laptop for a while to let it work its magic only to find 10 minutes later that the installation stopped With the message “In order to continue installation, please close the following applications: iTunes”.

Ok, but I don’t have iTunes running. No really, I mean it. Not even minimized like a Windows guy and forgetting it’s in the background, but really closed.

What iTunes?

What iTunes?

Here is the catch. Although iTunes is not running, there is a process called iTunes Helper running in the background. This is the handy little tool that detects your devices and connects them.

The solution is simply to go to Applications | Utilities | Activity Monitor and within the process list, find and Quit the iTunes Helper process which is running in the background.

iTunes Helper

I see you hiding there

Now that you quit the process the Xcode installation will restart and complete without any further issues.