Category Archives: Insight

Volume grayed out in Finder on Mac

Every now and then I’ll be connected to a server on my Mac with a very specific volume mounted, but then it doesn’t appear anywhere in Finder. When I try to reconnect to it, it’s grayed out, as if I was connected after all.

For a while, the only way I knew how to fix it was to restart, but that’s obviously most inconvenient.

Turns out, there is quite a simple solution, and that is to unmount the volume via the command line.

Open up Terminal and type in the following:

sudo umount -f "/Volumes/NameOfVolume"

Replacing “NameOfVolume” with your volume’s name. After you hit ENTER, type in your Mac’s password when prompted.

Once that’s done, reconnect to the server in Finder (COMMAND + K), select the volume that was previously grayed out, mount it, and now it’ll be in Finder again for you to browse.

Setup Mailtrap with WordPress

Mailtrap is a service that captures all mail sent by your site and prevents it from arriving at the intended recipient. It’s really useful for testing and debugging mail without having to write manual checks to ensure your users don’t get spammed with tests.

Setting up Mailtrap with WordPress is pretty straightforward, because all we need to do is overwrite the default SMTP server in the PHPMailer, which is what WordPress uses to send mail. It’s important to note that it will also trap mail sent from plugins like Contact Form 7.

Add the following hook in your theme’s functions.php file or throw this in a plugin:

function mailtrap($phpmailer) {
    $phpmailer->Host = '';
    $phpmailer->SMTPAuth = true;
    $phpmailer->Port = 25;
    $phpmailer->Username = 'username';
    $phpmailer->Password = 'password';

add_action('phpmailer_init', 'mailtrap');

Be sure to replace the username and password with your personal ones, which can be found by clicking on your inbox in Mailtrap. Look for the SMTP credentials.

Once the hook is in place, you’re done. Give it a go!

WordPress could not establish a secure connection to

I’m using Vagrant to work on a WordPress site and noticed the following error throughout several admin pages that attempt to connect to

An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with or this server’s configuration. If you continue to have problems, please try the support forums. (WordPress could not establish a secure connection to Please contact your server administrator.)

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Unable to set permissions within shared folder using Vagrant and VirtualBox

I recently started experimenting with Vagrant (v1.5.1), Puppet (v3.5.1) and VirtualBox (v4.3.10) to replace my MAMP environment. I used the config.vm.synced_folder method in Vagrant to share a folder of websites with the virtual machine.

Since a few directories, like caching and user uploads, need to be writable by Apache, I figured I’d use Puppet to set those permissions, but regardless of where I specified that requirement, it never took effect — and Puppet did try:

Notice: /Stage[main]/Ryse_apache/File[/var/www/domains/]/owner: owner changed 'vagrant' to 'apache'
Notice: /Stage[main]/Ryse_apache/File[/var/www/domains/]/group: group changed 'vagrant' to 'apache'

I found out that this was a limitation with VirtualBox and how it shares folders.

Now, Vagrant does have additional options that can be set when sharing a folder that allow you to specify the owner and group, but the problem is that Puppet installs Apache, and since the folders are shared before the Puppet provisioner runs, the Apache user does not yet exist.

This is the error you get:

Failed to mount folders in Linux guest. This is usually because
the "vboxsf" file system is not available. Please verify that
the guest additions are properly installed in the guest and
can work properly. The command attempted was:

mount -t vboxsf -o uid=`id -u apache`,gid=`getent group apache | cut -d: -f3` /var/www/domains /var/www/domains
mount -t vboxsf -o uid=`id -u apache`,gid=`id -g apache` /var/www/domains /var/www/domains

Let’s look at a few solutions on how to allow Apache to write to the folders it needs to, and which solution I ended up implementing. If you have a different permissions problem, you might still be able to tweak one of the solutions below, since they broadly cover an array of issues.

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