G4 Mac Mini as a server...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by oli*w, May 31, 2011.

  1. oli*w, May 31, 2011
    Last edited: May 31, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2011
    Hi all, i'm new to the forum, hope i'm in the right place!

    I have an old Mac Mini that has been sat looking a little sorry for its self. I had a brainwave yesterday... ok i'm not the most tech savvy person so stick with me... can I turn my old Mini into a file server? access it by using FTP?

    I have started to get it working, and when at home it works a treat but the moment I go elsewhere it doesn't work. I have been trying to use all free software so accessing it using Cyberduck on my Macbook Pro. I have just graduated so on a budget...

    the Mini is a G4 with the 1.25GHz processor, 256MB of RAM and a 40GB hard drive (I'm thinking I will add a couple of external hard drives if it works well) its running 10.3.9.

    I'm a freelance designer, so would like to enable other people to access it to. maybe if I could setup a restricted account for other people?

    I would also like to run it without a screen so maybe remote access would be good but I cant imagine that would work without spending some money... I know i'm being very stingy! it might also be a problem because my Macbook Pro is running Snow Leopard?

    Any help would be amazing!

  2. macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2010
    I recommend you read about managing servers and then consider if you really want to do it. (http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/docs/File_Server_Admin_v10.6.pdf)

    If you are not tech savvy you most likely will end-up with more frustration then success. A G4 mini is never going to be much of a server so you are essentially talking about an FTP share. My guesses as to why you can't access it offsite:

    1.) You have a dynamic IP
    2.) Your router is blocking you
    3.) Your settings are wrong on your Mini or on your access computer

  3. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    mate, you will need a lot more storage than 40gb... unless you have no files to serve :)
  4. macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2010
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    Well you could put Leopard on it, and share out some external drives over your home network? I've got an iMac G4 doing this sharing with Snow Leopard machines and its never been an issue.

    Just use cloud storage like Dropbox or Mobileme for stuff you wanna share over the internet?
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2008
    In OSX Snow Leopard / Godalming UK
    Your mac mini will run perfectly as a file server, until about 2 months ago i ran a 400mhz g4 tower as my server (now migrated onto a hackintosh), for a ftp server i recommend pure ftpd + pure ftpd manager (you will need xcode to compile pure ftpd, but it is very simple, once xcode is installed you just have to type 2 lines into terminal), for a client i would use filezilla, as for accessing it from outside your gonna need to give your mini a static ip and then forward the ftp port (21) to it, and your probably going to need to use a dynamic host (such as no-ip or dyndns), all of the info you need can be found on the web, if you have any problems feel free to contact me and i will be happy to help
  7. macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    I am doing the same thing with my old Powerbook G4. It was sitting around doing nothing so I put it to work with a string of external drives and a printer attached to it it makes a nice little file server for 2 or 3 users. I haven't tried using it through ftp so far.

    Any other uses for an ageing G4??
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2011
    If you prefer downloads in torrent format then I would recommend setting up a dedicated torrent box. I am using Transmission, it has one of the lowest mem/CPU usages of any torrent app - it has a built in web frontend, so you can run it headless and add any torrents you want over the network and transfer the files when it's done.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2008
    In OSX Snow Leopard / Godalming UK
    personally i use my hackintosh for HTTP, FTP, Wired, AFP, Samba, Open directory, Moya, MySQL, torrent (Transmission), Jdownloader and possibly KDX soon, now however much this sounds like a g4 mini or powerbook could proabley run all of this depending on how meany users (and i used to run most of these over 400mhz g4 and a 333mhz g3 imac), so as you see there is any number of uses for old comps

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