Setting up a Mac mini from MacStadium for headless CI

I recently got an offer from MacStadium to use one of their dedicated Mac minis to perform CI and testing tasks for my Mac-based open source projects (for example, my Mac Dev Ansible Playbook, which I use to configure my own Macs).

Apple logo on glowy laptop background

So I thought I'd document a little bit in this blog post about how I configured the Mac mini for more secure remote administration, since Macs tend to be a little more 'open' out of the box than comparable Linux machines that I'm used to working with.

Securing SSH

First of all, I used ssh-copy-id to add my SSH key to the default administrator account on the Mac mini that was created for me:

iSSH on the iPad - SSH and VNC from Anywhere

[UPDATED: The developer of iSSH emailed me this morning with a couple of tidbits that will be useful for any early iSSH adopters on the iPad - see my updated notes in bold.]

One app I haven't had a lot of time to work with (yet) is iSSH on the iPad. I tried the iPhone version, but the tiny iPhone screen simply couldn't keep up with a productive SSH or VNC session.

The iPad changes the game, though; I can actually log in via SSH, do some real work, then go back to doing whatever I was doing on the iPad. Since the iSSH developers didn't have a ton of time to work on an actual iPad, there are some pretty annoying bugs right now—but these bugs will be fixed soon. Some of the bugs: