OS X (macOS) Migration Assistant disk space bug

Hi all,

Have you ever encountered an issue with OS X (AKA macOS) Migration Assistant being stuck on restart and/or starting up screen? I know I have, and I know other people have too.


If you don’t even know what Migration Assistant is, chances are you’ve used it anyway – because it’s run as an option on macOS installation – the one where you choose to import files from another drive/mac/etc. FYI.

The solution to the issue turned out to be rather simple in my case, but figuring it out took a couple of retries which all took several hours, so in total I’ve spent a few days (well, evenings) resolving the issue – and with this post I hope I can spare some people from repeating my fate.

Long story short, the issue was caused by a lack of disk space. Basically, if you choose not to import some files/folders in order to fit your data onto the target drive – Migration Assistant ignores that choice and tries to import everything. And when it runs out of disk space – it does not show any error or anything like that. Instead, import stops just as if all files were copied, installation proceeds to restart step (in case you’ve been doing it during macOS install like I did) – which gets stuck BTW. And on boot (by force reboot in my case) it was stuck on “Starting up” step. All because of lack of disk space.

The fix for me was to offload a particularly big folder to an external HDD, and then do the import.

That’s about it. Hope this helps.


RAM disk on OS X High Sierra

Here’s a code for creating RAM disk that works for me under OS X High Sierra.
One can change FS from HFS+ to something else (say, APSE, or case-sensitive/journaled FSs), but for me HFS+ is the one I want.

ramdiskSizeMB=$(osascript -e 'return text returned of (display dialog "RAM disk size in MB" default answer "1024")')
echo Creating RAM disk of size $ramdiskSizeMB MB
hdidOutput=$(hdid -nomount ram://$((2048*ramdiskSizeMB)) | cut -d ' ' -f 1) && diskutil erasedisk "HFS+" ramdisk $hdidOutput

To free the RAM one can simply unmount it in finder or DiskUtility.

P.S. Updated version with FS type selection:


choiceScript='return choose from list {';
while read -r fsType 
done <<EOT
$(diskutil listFilesystems -plist | grep Personality -A 1 | grep -F "<string>" | grep -E -o ">[^<]+<" | grep -o -E "[^><]+" | sort)
choiceScript="${choiceScript}\"\"} with prompt \"Choose filesystem type\" "

ramdiskSizeMB=$(osascript -e 'return text returned of (display dialog "RAM disk size in MB" default answer "1024")')
if [ "$ramdiskSizeMB" != "" ]
  fsType=$(osascript -e "$choiceScript")

  if [ "$fsType" != "false" ]
    export ramdiskName=$(osascript -e 'return text returned of (display dialog "RAM disk name" default answer "ramdisk")')
    if [ "$ramdiskName" == "" ] 
    echo Creating RAM disk $ramdiskName of size $ramdiskSizeMB MB with FS type $fsType
    hdidOutput=$(hdid -nomount ram://$((2048*ramdiskSizeMB)) | cut -d ' ' -f 1) && diskutil erasedisk "$fsType" "$ramdiskName" $hdidOutput


PiTFT on Raspberry Pi 3 under Jessie

I’ve been using successfully my 2.8″ 320×240 uTouch PiTFT with Raspberry Pi 1 and 2, but recently I’ve tried it with Pi 3 and got a 90-degree rotated touch input.

I’ve installed PiTFT support using adafruit-pitft-helper and this instruction at Adafruit. However, if did not help with the rotated input issue.

What did help was this StackOverflow answer and this manual on transformation matrix.

In short, I had to edit /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-libinput.conf adding this to “libinput touchscreen catchall” section:

Option "TransformationMatrix" "0 -1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1"

This is a transformation matrix for 90 degree rotation of screen, which was the case for me.

Once done, the touchscreen input has got proper rotation.

TimeLapses with free software

The software that I use for processing and assembling timelapses now (on macOS):

Darktable is FOSS (GPL/CreativeCommons). Very powerful and quite awesome software, with somewhat clumsy user interface that doesn’t look like native app and takes a bit of getting used to, but is quite functional once you get used to it.

Darktable does the mass-edting of RAW files – all kinds of adjustments and color manipulations, cropping/rotation/resizing and export to JPEG.

Interval is a handy software for assembling bunch of JPEG images into a video file.

MySensors on Raspberry Pi with nRF24L01+

Recently I’ve learned that nRF24L01+ radio module can be connected directly to Raspberry Pi via GPIO pins in order for this Raspberry Pi to be used as MySensors library “gateway”.

I’ve successfully installed MySensors on Raspberry Pi using official instruction, but one thing wasn’t exactly clear – how do I specify channel for nRF24L01+? Without specifying proper channel, the “gateway” won’t be able to see other nodes.

It turned out to be quite simple actually – before doing make / sudo make install one has to run configure with these parameters:

./configure --my-transport=nrf24 --my-rf24-channel=123

The 123 is the number of channel to be used.

P.S. Remember to enable SPI via raspi-config.