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SquidMan Frequently Asked Questions

I get the odd email about Squid, and here are some of the more common questions:

How do I uninstall Squid and SquidMan?

If you are using SquidMan 3.0 or greater, use the "Uninstall Squid" command in the SquidMan menu. After confirming your selection, Squid will be shutdown, removed, and SquidMan will quit. If you no longer want to use SquidMan, you can drag it to the trash.

If you're using an earlier version of SquidMan than 3.0, you'll need to uninstall Squid and SquidMan manually. To uninstall squid, in the Finder, select the Go to Folder... command from the Go menu, and in the text field that is presented enter /usr/local and click Go. In the window that opens, select the folder named squid and drag it to the trash. You'll be prompted to enter an administrator username and password to continue.

To delete SquidMan, just drag the application to the trash - it does not install any other files in the system.

SquidMan configures squid to store logs and cache files in your home directory. You may also want to delete these files and folders:


Can you please help me with this squid configuration issue?

Sorry - I'm not a squid support resource. Please visit the official squid website for squid support.

Why does SquidMan quit as soon as I launch it?

Very likely because you configured it to do so!

SquidMan can be configured to launch squid and immediately quit. This is useful when you want to start squid as soon as you log in. If you hold the option key down while you launch SquidMan, it will not quit. You can then turn this option off in the preferences.

What configuration options were used to build squid?

Since version 1.8, the bundled version of squid was configured with this command:
./configure --prefix=/usr/local/squid --enable-delay-pools
With the 3.0 release, as Squid was not yet compatible with IPv6 on Mac OS X, the bundled version of squid was configured with this command:
./configure --prefix=/usr/local/squid --enable-delay-pools --disable-ipv6
With the 3.51 release, the bundled version of squid was configured with this command:
./configure --prefix=/usr/local/squid --enable-delay-pools --disable-eui
With the 3.6 release, the bundled version of squid was configured with this command:
export LDFLAGS="-lresolv"CFLAGS="-mmacosx-version-min=10.6" ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/squid --enable-delay-pools --disable-eui
With the 3.8 release, the bundled version of squid was configured with this command:
export LDFLAGS="-lresolv"CFLAGS="-mmacosx-version-min=10.6" ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/squid --enable-delay-pools --disable-eui --enable-async-io --enable-removal-policies="heap,lru"

How do I configure SquidMan to give anonymous browsing?
The short answer is that you can't. Running a local proxy server does not provide you with anonymous browsing. You need to use an external (trusted!) service for that.

How do I configure SquidMan to filter content?

I don't really know - I'm not interested in filtering.

Why don't you build Dan's Guardian into SquidMan?

Because I'm not made of time.

What is the SquidMan Template?

Squid's configuration is determined by a text file that is passed to it as it is started. SquidMan exposes this file in the Template section of its preferences dialog, and replaces certain keyword tokens (surrounded by % characters) with values from the preferences that you've set just as it is about to launch or reconfigure squid.

You can edit this file to further customise the configuration of squid. Be careful - if you accidentally delete a token (or remove one of the % characters), you may prevent squid from being configured correctly. If you know your way around squid, you can go as far as replacing the entire file (but if you're that advanced, your unlikely to be using SquidMan to start with).

Note that the template was updated for the version of Squid bundled in SquidMan 2.5, and updated again for the version of SquidMan 3.0. SquidMan will detect this and offer to upgrade the template when it upgrades Squid during normal use, but if you've manually edited the template, you should make a copy of your changes before performing an upgrade, and incorporate these changes into the new template after the upgrade.

For more information on the many squid configuration file commands and parameters, be sure to check out the official squid documentation.

How do I start Squid without logging in?

You can't do this with SquidMan as is. Remember that SquidMan adapts squid for use as a personal proxy. Starting squid at system startup time, before any user has logged in, is typically only required in an "enterprise" setup, or at least in an environment where squid is being run as a server for multiple computers. I don't really have the time to implement this feature.

Why do I get a tamper alert as soon as I launch SquidMan?

Since SquidMan includes a precompiled version of squid, I wanted to be sure that it could not be tampered with easily (potentially allowing someone to produce a hacked version of SquidMan that actually installed a back-door into your system). At launch, SquidMan checks the bundled version of squid, and displays an alert (and quits) if it thinks squid has been tampered with.

A few users have reported seeing this tamper alert even on a freshly downloaded version of SquidMan from this site. In the one case that I have been able to extensively follow up, it turned out that the user had copied the SquidMan application into a folder with a question-mark in the folder name. This was tripping up the tamper check. If you see the tamper alert, be sure the full path to the SquidMan application does not contain any special characters such as asterisks, question-marks, slashes or colons.

What are the "Helper Tools" that I am prompted to let SquidMan install?

SquidMan needs to perform certain operations, such as installing and uninstalling squid, using a higher level of authorisation than a normal user has on Mac OS X. These operations are restricted to a helper tool that runs with the higher level of authorisation.

I get an error about a problem installing the Helper Tool. How do I fix this?
If you see a message indicating that there was a problem communicating with or installing the helper tool, open the terminal, and enter the following two commands:
  • sudo chown root:wheel /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools
  • sudo chmod 755 /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools
Now try running SquidMan again. It appears that this issue is caused by the Microsoft Office installer not setting the correct group and permissions on this directory if it creates it.

Where did that beautiful icon come from?

The icon used for SquidMan was designed by Samuel Krueger ("pixeljerk"). I've been unable to contact him to obtain explicit permission to use the icon, but according to archives of his web site on the wayback machine, his icons are free for use on non-commercial software. If you know Sam (or are Sam) – thanks – where can I make a donation?
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