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Installing Maya for Mac OS X

Using the Terminal and setting up a root password By Dave Nagel
I've never written a tech tip on how to install any application on the Mac before. But let's face it: OS X is different, and sometimes you're going to have to do some very un-Mac-like things to get around in it. So today we're going to take a look at the first application I've encountered for OS X that requires you to go into the Terminal program and engage in a little Unix-speak to get it working. Regardless of whether you plan to use Maya at any time, this is stuff you'll have to do eventually anyway, so you might as well follow along.

Installing Maya itself is a breeze. As with most Mac applications, you just run the installer, and everything goes where it's supposed to go. But activating the license key is a different story.

Maya uses your physical Ethernet address in its encryption, so, before you can get your license key, you'll need to supply this information. It's located in your Network Preferences Panel, which is located in the System Preferences under the Apple menu.

Once you supply this, Alias|Wavefront will supply you with a data file that will be used for activating you key. To do this, just follow these instructions.

1. Move your data file to the Desktop?the actual Desktop, not the folder labeled "Desktop."

2. Open the Terminal application, which is located in your Utilities folder within your Applications folder.

3. Type "su" (without the quotation marks) to take you to the root. Enter your password when prompted.

4. Type "installmayalicense" (without the quotes).

The problem
Everything went smoothly, right? Wrong. (Well, unless you know something about Unix, in which case you're one up on me.)

If you encountered a problem in this process, it was at the password stage. When you enter your administration password (as I tried many times), you get the message "Sorry."

But why? After all, that's your password, and there's no reason to think it couldn't be used for everything in OS X. But it can't. You need to set up a separate password to access your root before the installation can continue.

So here's what you do.

1. Open the application called Net Info Manager, which is located in your Utilities folder in your Applications folder.

2. Choose Domain > Security > Authenticate, and enter your regular password. (This is the password you created when you first set up OS X.)

3. Now a new option will become available in the same menu. Choose Domain > Security > Enable Root User, and use that to create your new root password. (Everything in this process should be pretty straightforward, so there's no reason to go into detail here.)

4. Quit Net Info Manager, and go back to the Terminal. Then complete the steps you were unable to complete before you had a password.

If you're still having problems, you either haven't placed your Maya license data file (aw.dat) on the Desktop, or you supplied Alias|Wavefront with the wrong Ethernet information. Remember, this is not your IP address; it's your physical Ethernet address, which should look something like this:


You don't need the colons, but that's how OS X 10.0.4 displays the address.

So that's it. Why do you have to go through all these steps? I don't know. I hate passwords in general anyway, and this whole root thing was a bit too I.T. for my liking. If you still have problems with the installation, drop me a line, and I'll see what I can do.

Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at dnagel@digitalmedianet.com.

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