RBrowser

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© Copyright Robert Vasvari, 1993-2014.

ONLINE FAQ


SSH - SFTP Issues


I cannot connect to my ssh host even though I could connect to it with previous versions of RBrowser!

What happened to the SSH protocol I have been using before? What does SFTP(ns) means?

RBrowser display a very erratic behaviour in SFTP mode, sometimes works, sometimes throws error messages when I connect. Why?

I want to make RBrowser use my ls, not the one in /bin. My ls is in /my/home/bin. How do I do this?

Documents - Remote Editing

I use BBEdit Lite to edit my html files. How do I make RBrowser open my html files in BBEdit?

I use BBEdit Lite to edit my cgi scripts. When I upload them to my website, the web server cannot execute them. Why?

I have a folders named xx.site or xx.com. In RBrowser they appear as files. Why?

I want to have a local copy of the file I'm editing, but RBrowser hides it somewhere. Why is it not kept in the "Download Folder" specified in the Preferences?

FTP Issues


How do I change login options like "use SSL" or "use Passive" on existing connections?

RBrowser is not loading the contents of my directories in FTP.. help!

I get error messages like Connection Failed when I connect to my FTP server, even though some folders did load. Why?

Folder Sync Issues


I'm syncing my mac to another UNIX box and the sync fails, I get many failure messages.. why?

Remote-to-Local sync using FTP is not detecting file changes every time. Why?

The sync engine chokes on my iWeb files when I upload to the server. Why?

Startup Issues


Sometimes RBrowser takes a long time to start (or crashes on startup). What can be causing this?

How do I make RBrowser reread (and convert) my RB3 sites again?

Licensing - Miscellaneous


I lost my license string. How can I get it sent to me again?

Site Aliases work intermittently

I cannot connect to my FTP or SSH host even though I could connect to it with previous versions of RBrowser!

One thing is for sure... If you connected to it before you will be able to connect to it again. It happens that because of recent changes in RBrowser compatibility with some hosts break. MAKE SURE THE SERVER HOST IS UP! If you are sure the server host is up and available, but you are unable to connect, please do the following:

What happened to the SSH protocol I have been using before? What does SFTP(ns) means?

Well, it is still there but has been merged with SFTP into and intelligent SSH-SFTP protocol. RBrowser will use both of them, and will figure out which one to use for each particular file operation. If either one is not available, RBrowser falls back onto using the other exclusively. The SFTP(ns) in the viewer title means that a remote shell (basis of the SSH protocol) is not available, so only SFTP is being used. Since the SSH shell adds a loy of functionality, it is highly desirable to have shell access. See Using RBrowser with Secure Shell (SSH) for details.

RBrowser display a very erratic behaviour in SFTP mode, sometimes works, sometimes throws error messages when I connect. Why?

As explained above and in Using RBrowser with Secure Shell (SSH), RBrowser tries to establish a bourne shell on the server host upon connection if that host allows it. If unable to do so, BRBrowser reverts to use the SFTP server, in this case RBrowser becomes just another SFTP client providing the same functionality as all the other SFTP clients. Upon login, RBrowser tests the server and tries to find a usable shell. Sometimes RBrowser does find the shell but it is buggy or has other setup problems which cannot be tested for. Many VPS hosts have this problem. While we have no cure for buggy shells and bad server setups, in these cases it is best to try to limit RBrowser to use only the SFTP server, which, if limited in functionality, at least is relatively consistent across various platforms. You can do this like this: When this connection is not open, or if this connection is new, just bring up the Login Panel (Go/New Site menu). If this is an existing site, find it under the Site List popup button. That should populate all fields, including the Protocol button on the top. If this is a new site then set the protocol to SFTP, fill out all fields, before logging in, set the ssh mode buttion (above the Login button) to SFTP only. That should limit this connection to use SFTP only, hopefully that should solve these kinds of problems.

I want to make RBrowser use my ls, not the one in /bin. My ls is in /my/home/bin. How do I do this?

In some rare cases like on older linux systems, ls's output does not conform to the bsd standard, so RBrowser chokes on it. If you install a good version of ls in an alternate location, you can tell RB by adding it to the top of the search path. This very rare, so there is no GUI for it, but with a little hand editing it is totally possible. First make sure you have a Site Pref file, by clicking on "Site Preferences" on the login panel. Open the file (it is in YOURHOME/Library/Application Support/RBrowser4) and find the key called RBRemoteShellSearchPath. The value will look like this: /bin:/usr/bin:/usr/5bin:/usr/ucb:/sbin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin Carefully edit it to include your bin dir: /your/home/bin:/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/5bin:/usr/ucb:/sbin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin, save and connect!

I use BBEdit Lite to edit my html files. How do I make RBrowser open my html files in BBEdit?

RBrowser has a new menu item called "Open In Default App". If you set BBEdit as your default application on the Global Preferences Panel under the Startup-Helpers tab, this menu will open anything in BBEdit.

I use BBEdit Lite to edit my cgi scripts. When I upload them to my website, the web server cannot execute them. Why?

Most likely, the line endings in your file are mac (\r) and not UNIX (\n) which is used on most webservers. The best thing to do is to make sure your editor (BBEdit or TextEdit) uses unix line endings, and use the binary mode (OPTION-COMMAND-B) in RBrowser to upload them.

I have a folders named xx.site or xx.com. In RBrowser they appear as files. Why?

Most apps use "file packages" as their documents. These are directories with an arbitrary file structure. They use a filename extension to associate with an app. Regrettably, some apps claim very generic names as their documents. In these cases both in the Finder and in RBrowser they appear as files, not folders. RBrowser does not maintain app-document file associations, it gets them from the Finder.
The "File/Show Package Contents" menu can always be used to browse into a file package (just like the Finder). In later versions RBrowser will have a way to be told to ignore certain filename extensions. Also, in the Finder can be configured to ignore certain filename extensions and not treat it like a document of some app. Please see Apple's documentation for this.

I want to have a local copy of the file I'm editing, but RBrowser hides it somewhere. Why is it not kept in the "Download Folder" specified in the Preferences?

The [YOURHOME]/.rbtp/* location is used when you remote-edit. This is only temp storage while editing. RBrowser will clean up this path automatically when you are done, so do not put anything in there! Remote Editing is not a download. If you want a local copy of your file, either just drag&drop or select the remote file and click the File/Download menu and RBrowser will download the file to your designated download folder.

How do I change login options like "use SSL" or "use Passive" on existing connections?

There are two ways to do this: when the site is not open go to  RBrowser/Site Preferences menu and find the site. Edit the options and save. The changes will show up next time you connect. The other way is for the impatient...Command-N for new empty login panel, using the popup on the panel find the site. Reset options, then click connect. The new options will be saved if connection is successful.

RBrowser is not loading the contents of my directories in FTP.. help!

Most likely you turned on your firewall, so the FTP data connection is blocked from the server. Before login, set Passive FTP, to "Auto Passive" on the Login Panel. This will allow RBrowser to test your setup and the remite site to determine if Passive FTP is allowed and necassary. There are times where it will simply not work because neither setting is allowed. For instance ftp.microsoft.com does not allow passive ftp, and your personal firewall will disallow non-passive ftp. In this case you will have to make sure your personal firewall is off, then to connecting to ftp.microsoft.com is possible in non-passive mode.

I get error messages like Connection Failed when I connect to my FTP server, even though some folders did load. Why?

There are some (especially Public FTP) servers that are very restrictive. RBrowser normally uses several simultaneous connections to the same site to speed up the initial load of a site. Some servers only allow a single connection. In these cases do the following:
1. Try a clean connection: before logging in, blow away the existing Site Preference file for the host-username in [YOURHOME]/Library/Appication Support/RBrowser4. When you connect the next time, RBrowser will reinitialize the site again.
2. Start RB. On the login panel, fill the fields, select FTP, then hit Site Preferences. On the limits tab put 1 for both "Max Connections" and "Max Persistent Connections", save then connect.
If things work, you can experiment with higher counts, but it is not really necessary. This will slow the initial connection down somewhat as you load one folder at a time, but it should work!

I'm syncing my mac to another UNIX box and the sync fails, I get many failure messages.. why?

Depending on the files you sync and the protocol you use there are a large variety of errors you can get during the sync, especially the first time. Different UNIX systems have various levels of tolerance of certain filenames, character encodings, etc.. OSX is very permissive in filenames, for instance it allows very long file names with strange characters in them. Also, it is case preserving but NOT case sensitive. The other host you are syncing to may be much more limited. If you get errors, you should repeat the sync several times. If you keep getting failures always at a certain place, well, you may have to leave that folder out of the sync or try to change the source, or, if all fails and you cannot see what the incompatibility is, contact support with the error message, transcript, etc...

Remote-to-Local sync using FTP is not detecting file changes every time. Why?

FTP is a very poor protocol, and does not allow an error free comparison of files, due to the fact that FTP servers trash mod dates during upload, and allow no checksums. Due to these limitations, RtL sync in this case may not work correctly in some cases. With most FTP servers, mod date and size changes can be detected. One must test these servers before productions use, to make sure sync ops work as expected.

The sync engine chokes on my iWeb files when I upload to the server. Why?

Many times iWeb publishes your pages with : and ! characters in the filenames. When you try to upload these to an FTP server, it fails because these characters are not allowed in the filenames on most FTP servers. Solution: be sure to edit the filenames and make sure these characters are not used in the names (contents can have anything).

Sometimes RBrowser takes a long time to start (or crashes on startup). What can be causing this?

There are several common causes for slow startup:

  • DNS problems, slow mounted filesystems (like iDisk, or other webdav drives)
    The more serious slow starts (several minutes) can be caused by DNS problems or some slow network mounted local filesystem. Due to its nature, RBrowser is very sensitive to any networking problems, DNS, NFS, Appleshare or otherwise.
  • Corrupt LaunchServices database
    RBrowser uses the LaunchServices database to find app-document associations. This database can become large and out-of date if there are a lot of application changes on the system, or it can go corrupt on migrated accounts. Rebuilding this database can help a lot of apps work better. Rebuilding it is simple: Quit RBrowser, then using a command in the Terminal you can simply rebuild the LaunchServices database with following command (all in one line). For leopard (OS 10.5):
    /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user
    For tiger (OS 10.4): /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user
  • Corrupt RBrowser global/site preference files
    It does happen sometimes that the Preferences (which tend to hold a lot of information about window positions and such...) become corrupted. As a result, RBrowser can have an slow Startup and very erratic behaviour, even crash, due to bad data being read from the preference file. The thing to try is to simply remove this file and restart the program. The system Preferences file for RBrowser is: YOURHOME/Library/Preferences/com.objectwarehouse.rbrowser4.plist. Remove or just rename it and restart the program to see if that improves things...
    The site preference files are in YOURHOME/Library/Application Support/RBrowser4, they have the .rbd extension. Check the size of these files, they should range from 4k to 10k, no more than that. If a site pref file is much bigger, like several megabytes in size, then it is corrupt, should be deleted.
    A crash on startup almost definitely means that either the preference file mentioned above, or one of the site preference files (in [YOURHOME]/Library/Appication Support/RBrowser4) got corrupted. Remove these files and restart.


  • If the problem persist, a good thing to do it to create another account on your system and start up RBrowser from there. If it works fine, then you have eliminated all DNS or other network or licensing problems, the slow startup is definitely caused by something specific to that account, some preferences etc. If it was a migrated account, then it is possibly something the migrator process has left behind. It recommended that you create a new account for yourself and use that. A lot of the apps will be happier anywayz..

How do I make RBrowser reread (and convert) my RB3 sites again?

Early versions of RBrowser4 had a problem causing only partial conversion of RB3 sites. These sites are still there in the folder ~/Library/Application\ Support/RBrowser. Current sites are stored in ~/Library/Application\ Support/RBrowser4. When the sites were converted, RBrowser put in a hidden file called .rb4.converted into the v3 site folder to prevent further conversions. You can delete this file causing RBrowser to reconvert again at the next launch. In your Terminal type
rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/RBrowser/.rb4.converted
then restart RBrowser. Please note: SFTP and SSH sites are merged into one, also sites that already exist in the V4 site folder will not be overwritten again.

I lost my license string. How can I get it sent to me again?

We will resend the license to the address it was originally sent to..

Site Aliases work intermittently

Be sure that .rbd files (in [YOURHOME]/Library/Application Support/RBrowser4) are associated properly with the installed RBrowser application. Select an rbd file in the Finder, click "Get Info" and make sure the "Open With" section shows the correct version of RBrowser. You may have to restart the Finder several times too.