Mac @ Geo

The IT staff at Dept. of Geosciences offers limited support for Mac.

–Picture © photoshopranger

Mac at Geofag

Macs are great machines, but we (IT staff) have limited resources. This page outlines what you can expect as a Mac user at the department.


Macs are expensive. In general, the department cannot provide Macs to employees unless you can pay for it with grant money (as per department policy). A 13" MacBook Pro (MBP) costs about NOK 18000 (+ 25% tax), depending on configuration (autumn 2021).  Bigger machines are more expensive, obviously.

We are required to purchase Apple Care for Enterprise (ACE), the cited price above includes this. The support runs for 4 years.

We also strongly recommend a video/network/USB adapter to a cost of about NOK 1000.

At the present, Macs are purchased by the IT staff from Atea, through Unit4 ERP.


It is often problematic to connect dual monitors to a Mac laptops. If you want to dock your MBP to get a larger desktop, our recommendation is to purchase a single monitor of a suitable size (27" or bigger). Let us know your preferences (and budget).


The IT staff support Mac OSX in accordance to the Mac services provided by USIT. Currently, this means the Mac will be set up with Apple's Device Enrollment Program and managed by Airwatch, as outlined by USIT. The setup will provide pullprint queues, and give you access to some pre-configured Mac software, as well as Macprog.

We have no support for geo-specific software for Mac. You will have to find and install this yourself, and manage licenses by your own.

You will have administrator privileges. Note that this enables you to mess up your system configuration and setup. If this happens, our offer will be to reinstall the machine to a pristine state.

We can not fix problems for machines not set up as described here.


Mac computers are in general not backed up by central IT services. This means everything on your home directory (on /Users) will be gone if the machine is stolen or destroyed, or if the disk malfunctions.  Also, if you accidentally delete a file, we cannot get it back.

It is therefore vital that you make backups yourself, to a secure device. There are several possible strategies and solutions, find one that works for you.

One possibility is mounting your UiO network home directory, and copy your files there at the end of each day. This has the added benefit of having your files available on Windows and Linux computers as well.

On the cabled network, use Command (⌘) - K to open the Connect to Server window, type in smb://kant/disk/username, where "disk/username" is your network home directory on kant. To find it, log in to with ssh, and use the pwd command. E.g.:

my-Mac% ssh's password:

[hpverne@sauron ~]$ pwd

So I (hpverne) would use the following in the Connect to Server window:


You will probably want to save this as a shortcut (+).

Similarly, to connect to the lagringshotell, use


See also the Astra guide (cifs and smb are synonymous in this context).

Remember, this only works on the cabled campus network. On other networks, use sshfs.


Many Apple devices can't handle accented characters in passwords.  If you have æ, ø, å, é, ï or other non-ASCII letters in your password, consider changing it to something else.

If you use Adblock in Safari, consider whitelisting and other HTML editing sites. Adblock has been reported to inject spurious HTML causing mail to be (silently) rejected as spam.

By Hans Peter
Published Jan. 26, 2016 2:57 PM - Last modified Nov. 24, 2021 1:04 PM