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View Full Version : What advantage would a home user get from running OS X Server?




Benjamindaines
Mar 1, 2008, 10:29 PM
I know that in the PC world there are a lot of people that run Windows Server 2007 instead of XP because it is a "better OS", but would there be an advantage to running the server OS on a Mac?



Malfoy
Mar 2, 2008, 01:05 PM
You finally get legit drive sharing.

Benjamindaines
Mar 2, 2008, 02:09 PM
You finally get legit drive sharing.

What do you mean?

Les Kern
Mar 2, 2008, 05:10 PM
What do YOU mean? :)
What is it you want to do with a server at home? Need more specifics on your desires to have a server do what you want it to do.

Benjamindaines
Mar 2, 2008, 05:46 PM
What do YOU mean? :)
What is it you want to do with a server at home? Need more specifics on your desires to have a server do what you want it to do.

I'm talking just as a desktop OS.

yippy
Mar 2, 2008, 05:53 PM
Just as a desktop OS, none. In fact it might be detrimental.

OS X server is the same OS X only with added tools and software for server specific applications.

mmcxiiad
Mar 4, 2008, 11:39 AM
I'm talking just as a desktop OS.

Many applications (including iLife) don't like to be installed on the server OS. There are ways to get around it, but is it really worth it? I echo what others have said that if you don't know why you want to run the server, you probably don't need it.

If you want to just do simple file & print sharing, you don't need the server to do that. It can all be configured under sharing in your system preferences of the standard OSX.

So why would someone want to use the Server version? If you need to manage clients, network resources, or host mission critical application to a large group of users. You can read more about it on apple's website. (http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/)

YeahIKnow
Mar 4, 2008, 09:24 PM
It may make you want to paint your computer black and hang it from a wall, but I can honestly say there's no advantage to you whatsoever. Windows server is indeed a different kettle of fish, but seriously, avoid headaches & expense by sticking to the basic ultimate edition of OSX! ;o)

Malfoy
Mar 5, 2008, 12:04 AM
What do you mean?

Try sharing a drive over a network in OSX and you'll see what I mean. :o

Les Kern
Mar 5, 2008, 06:27 AM
Try sharing a drive over a network in OSX and you'll see what I mean. :o

I do and I don't know what you mean...

mperkins37
Mar 5, 2008, 09:08 AM
Airport base station shares HD's just fine in leopard.
OSX server is not for home use unless you are administering say 6+ computers
in your house.
It is no more stable than Leopard standard version.
It will give you few additions that you may actually NEED.

jeremy.king
Mar 5, 2008, 12:06 PM
Try sharing a drive over a network in OSX and you'll see what I mean. :o

Care to enlighten us? I share a drive 24/7 and it works just fine.

vanmacguy
Mar 5, 2008, 12:13 PM
I work as a Mac SysAdmin and am on XServes all day.

I can tell you that you'd get absolutely no benefit whatsoever by running Server at home. As someone else said, you would actually lose capabilities.

I am running OSX Server at home on an old 15" TI Book and it runs really well. I'm using it as an Open Directory Server, which manages my users and passwords. Do I need it? No. Have I learned things by having it? For sure.

It's a lovely Server OS, and I used to run Microsoft Servers at home, but in the MS world, the Server OS is a more stable (?) and hardened (?) version of the desktop with server features bolted on. Mac Server OS is not the same.

So if you have an older Mac and can get a copy of OSX Server, go for it, but you won't be able to use it as your primary Mac.

Cheers.

huck500
Mar 5, 2008, 03:49 PM
Try sharing a drive over a network in OSX and you'll see what I mean. :o

You having a problem doesn't make the problem universal... it seems obvious, but people make statements like this here (and in every computer forum... and probably every forum about everything) ALL THE TIME.

Sharing a drive over a network works for me.

ChrisA
Mar 5, 2008, 03:50 PM
I know that in the PC world there are a lot of people that run Windows Server 2007 instead of XP because it is a "better OS", but would there be an advantage to running the server OS on a Mac?

You means run OS X Server on your desktop machine. That would be pointless unless the goal was to learn about OS X Server. So I might have some educational advantage.
Mac OS X Server is the exact same OS as Mac OS X except it come bundled with some serve type applications but inside they are both just BSD UNIX.

ChrisA
Mar 5, 2008, 03:53 PM
Try sharing a drive over a network in OSX and you'll see what I mean. :o

I do and still can't figure out what you mean. You need to be a little more specific.

Malfoy
Mar 5, 2008, 08:19 PM
Then please oh please (and yes I'm serious), tell me how you guys are doing it. I've brought this up in a windows vs OSX thread about how I can't just share a drive over the network so windows and osx machines can access it(windows can do this very easily) but no one has been able to tell me how its done. They mention putting special folders in place that point to a drive or a folder on a drive, etc. I was told you had to have OSX server (this was in the same thread) to be able to share out entire drives over the network for anybody to access.

So yea, please share the wealth, how are you sharing drives(not just the share folder OSX designates) over the network so anybody can access them?

jeremy.king
Mar 5, 2008, 09:32 PM
So yea, please share the wealth, how are you sharing drives(not just the share folder OSX designates) over the network so anybody can access them?

System Preferences > Sharing

Click on File Sharing and leave it highlighted in the left pane. Under the Shared Folders section, click the little plus and select the drive (or folder) you wish to share. If you want anyone to access, change the permissions in the right pane for Everyone to Read and Write. Finally click Options button and be sure to enable 'Share Files and Folders using SMB' - this is for your Windows users. Click done and close the window.

To map the drive or connect to the share from windows, simply enter \\ip.add.re.ss\sharename and that's it.

Heres a little movie for you. http://www.jeremyronking.com/mr/sharing.mp4

ckurowic
Mar 5, 2008, 11:42 PM
I ran os x server 10.4 for awhile at home. What do you get? Mostly headaches. It is not as simple to use as Apples regular desktop system, and it requires a decent bit of knowledge about using the command line if you want to fine tune services. If you are not certified, I'd stay away from it.

OR you can go get a $25 G3 tower and run it for fun. Thats mainly what I did. It was interesting and worked. I had a mail server that actually worked, file sharing, users and groups, etc. Its very sensitive to change though, and one wrong click will send your services into a spiral.

Malfoy
Mar 6, 2008, 12:05 AM
System Preferences > Sharing

Click on File Sharing and leave it highlighted in the left pane. Under the Shared Folders section, click the little plus and select the drive (or folder) you wish to share. If you want anyone to access, change the permissions in the right pane for Everyone to Read and Write. Finally click Options button and be sure to enable 'Share Files and Folders using SMB' - this is for your Windows users. Click done and close the window.

To map the drive or connect to the share from windows, simply enter \\ip.add.re.ss\sharename and that's it.

Heres a little movie for you. http://www.jeremyronking.com/mr/sharing.mp4

Muchos gracias. I will try this when I get off work.

Evangelion
Mar 6, 2008, 03:54 AM
I have been thinking about running OS X Server on my Mac Mini at home. But I wouldn't do it because it would give me some added capabilities over regular OS X that I need. Rather, I would do it because it would be an interesting learning-experience. I already know Windows (server and desktop), and I know Linux (server and desktop) whereas with OS X I only know the desktop-version.

mr.666
Mar 6, 2008, 11:12 AM
i too am working on getting a server OSX server set up at home. and it will be mostly a cop giving diffrent user(groups) in the house access to different drives. (i.e. girlfriend and her daughter no access to the porn drive. hehe.)

but in an off topic strange twist i may use an x-serve as my main comp as i want to rack mount it with music/audio gear and run leopard on it while my current G4 dual 800 server edition will get the server software.

R.Youden
Mar 7, 2008, 04:56 PM
(i.e. girlfriend and her daughter no access to the porn drive. hehe.)

I agree about the daughter, but allowing your girlfriend access may be useful ;)

o9p0
Mar 7, 2008, 08:53 PM
...
It's a lovely Server OS, and I used to run Microsoft Servers at home, but in the MS world, the Server OS is a more stable (?) and hardened (?) version of the desktop with server features bolted on. Mac Server OS is not the same.

...


Vanmacguy's explanation is the best, most to-the-point and experienced testimonial. He speaks from experience having worked with server OS all day long. But what I think he means by "Mac Server OS is not the same," is that it actually _is_ the same. So that is why there is no benefit to it. When it comes to the OS X server and Desktop OS itself, the most tangible difference is the inclusion of administration tools and administration-related configuration schemas (e.g. open directory).

You could, theoretically, control and administer an entire mac network similarly to how OS X server does it using an OS X desktop installation if you know how to setup, configure and administer all the right software via the command line (e.g. open directory, samba, diskutil, DNS, etc).

Then, the only real difference would be determined by whether you are running server hardware or not. Xserves have more electrical redundancy, monitoring, and networking features built into the hardware. Not to mention, more stringent testing, validation, and quality control standards during manufacturing (which for Xserves, I believe is more likely to happen stateside than in Xi-Xang,CH).

brad.c
Mar 9, 2008, 09:14 AM
The only advantage is better user-based permissions. I'm not sure if anybody else has said this, but you'll also get dramatically faster afp file transfers.

What you will notice, as stated above, is that you'll get diminished performance for other user apps. Some application updaters -- even from Apple -- won't install on a machine server.

donmei
Mar 10, 2008, 01:25 AM
With the advent of $300 terabyte NAS drives I've actually shut down all of my servers.

The only time i every use one is if I need it to run a process in the background. But for file and print sharing, NAS and straight IP printing are the way to go.

I've also found that when I do need to run a real server app, just running it on a laptop in the rack, with some nas space mounted works great, is quiet, and doesnt run up the electric bill.

I'll admit it doesnt have the geek appeal of a rack full of "real" servers, iwth their fans humming and a drive array with its row after row of synchronized flashing lights. But comeon $300 for a terabyte of space is a great deal.

twoodcc
Mar 10, 2008, 04:52 PM
i've got OS X server running at home, mainly to learn more about it, and learn how to use it. mine is running, but it's not perfect. i also have 3 client machines that are bound to it