Getting mod_rewrite to work on your mac (i.e. locally) can be a bit of a trick if you’ve never bothered to try before. This was the case with me just last week. I am in the process of rewriting my CMS for [seyDesign](http://www.seydesign.com/ “Professional RapidWeaver themes by seyDesign”) which will rely heavily on `$_GET` queries. I still want users to be able to link to their favorite pages with easy-to-read and remember “flat” URL’s so I needed to be able rewrite links like this:
…so that they appear in the users address bar like this:
The best way to do this is with the Apache module, `mod_rewrite`. I won’t [get into](http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/mod/mod_rewrite.html “mod_rewrite – Apache HTTP Server”) how exactly to use it here, but you should be able to use `mod_rewrite` both on your remote server and on your local machine. For instance, the above two examples, when viewed from the `localhost` would look like this:
…which, for the viewer, converts to:
Using `mod_rewrite` in MAMP, my preferred [AMP stack](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solution_stack) for local development, was simple enough as MAMP is preconfigured to do so. But since I use MAMP for testing support cases, and since I knew that the new new seydesign build will be an on-going project, I decided to move it onto the built in web stack on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, to give it a permanent home I could access at any time.
The trouble for me arose when I tried to use `mod_rewrite` on the built in OS X web stack. It seems that the permission to use `mod_rewrite`, or at least to set the rules from `.htaccess`, are forbidden. In addition, PHP is disabled by default (I can’t very well write `$_GET` queries without PHP).
Every resource I found online had me editing the `/etc/apache2/httpd.conf` file, which is all well and good until Apple comes along and updates the Apache install.
A better approach, I feel, is to make any changes to the user config file and leave the default `httpd.conf` alone. So the first thing I did was open *this* file *(replace `username` with your user name)*:
By default, its content should look like this:
To get PHP running and `mod_rewrite` to work you need to make a few changes. For starters, if you notice in the `/etc/apache2/httpd.conf` file, *this* line is commented out:
`# LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/libphp5.so `
So let’s add that to out own config file and uncomment it, so our `username.conf` file now looks like this:
It will make our life easiest if we point to DocumentRoot our way as opposed to where the `httpd.conf` file points, `/Library/WebServer/Documents`. In my case, it’s `/Users/username/Sites/build/seyDesign2011` but you can make it where ever you like. We also want to change our directory to match, so our `username.conf` file now looks like this:
To get `mod_rewrite` to work from `.htaccess` we need to do two more things; we need to add `+FollowSymLinks` or `FollowSymLinks` to our options and we need to change the AllowOverride setting to `All`.
Our `username.conf` file should now looks like this:
And that’s it. Once you have enabled web sharing in `System Preferences > Sharing` (or restarted apache from the command line, `sudo apachectl restart`), you are free to create your `mod_rewrite` rules to your hearts content from an `.htaccess` file served up on `http://localhost/`.
Ever get a file stuck in the trash with no way to empty it? You know that message you get when you try and empty the trash:
> Can’t complete the operation because the item “ABC.XYZ” is in use.
If you look for a solution online you are often told to hold the option key while selecting `Finder > Empty Trash` (⌥⇧⌘⌫), or just reboot. While the first option never works, the second option does but seriously, how practical is that?
So here are two terminal commands to help you a) track down what application is holding the files hostage or b) properly force the trash to empty.
This first command, where `filename` is the name and extension of the file being held hostage, shows you what app or process has it’s death grip on that file:
The second command, should all else fail, allows you to perform a proper force-empty trash: