OS X admin questions for non-techie

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Blue Velvet, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I have a few questions and would appreciate any feedback you can give.

    I'm just drawing up my training plans for this year and am thinking of doing some kind of OSX training in regards to networking/server management. My main role is a print designer, design and production in other words, but I also have the task of keeping the studio running, and also planning, purchasing and implementing both hardware and software from a technical perspective...

    We have a G4 running as a server which will be upgraded soon to a newer machine and I'm thinking of installing either Tiger or Leopard server on it, depending on release dates and production schedules. We'll also be expanding our network from 6 machines up to 8-10 depending on staffing levels.

    My vague questions are:

    1) What level of training would be relevant for someone in my position and what kind of things would be useful to know about?

    2) How can I roll out an identical suite of software to a number of machines and also activate the apps that need activating individually? We don't quite qualify for site licenses on many of our bread and butter apps.

    3) Can someone please explain Spaces or provide some links or pointers to where I can find out more about it?

    Of course, if there's anything else that you might feel would be helpful for someone in my position, feel free to chip in.

    Any input much appreciated... :)

  2. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.

    OS X Server is pretty fab. I only started using Mac's in the spring, but fortunately OS X Server is straightforward enough for me to have been able to set up a small network with workstation-independent logins with no training and little reference to the official documentation.

    That said, there's still tonnes I don't know and I would recommend a short training course to explain using Server Admin and Workgroup Manager properly. Each machine that you want to be able to use network logins on then needs to have Directory Access configured correctly - again quite easy, but training that includes this would be helpful.

    As far as applications go, I can't really help you. The default action seems to be for network accounts to try and run all applications off the server, which is a bit of a pain... I still have a lot of learning to do myself but with the basics set up nothing else is too urgent.

    Spaces... is that the multiple desktop bit in Leopard? It basically gives you 4 work areas instead of 1, and then allows you to easily switch between them all. You may, for example, have one space with some personal email and instant messaging windows in, and another space with your current work project in.
  3. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    'ello. :)

    Thanks for your post...

    And yeah... I was wondering whether you could use Spaces to monitor an app that's running on a different but networked machine, say a software RIP or backup software. Would like to try and cut down on the use of a number of monitors and KVM switch just to monitor apps on particular and dedicated machines.

    Or have I got the wrong idea of what it is supposed to do? Or is it possible without using Spaces?
  4. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    Check out apple remote desktop: http://www.apple.com/remotedesktop/

    It sort of sounds like it would do what you want. I probably know even less about servers then you, but I've seen this used before and it's pretty cool in action.
  5. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Spaces is, as far as I understand it, simply multiple workspaces.

    You could, for example, have remote desktop open in one of your Spaces. That remote desktop app could be connected to a different machine, allowing you to manipulate that machine from within one of your spaces.

    If you think of your desktop as it is now, imagine being able to switch to a completely blank one to do some other stuff. Then switching back to your current desktop to carry on with your work. What you do in each space, running a remote desktop/VNC app for example, is up to you. You don't need spaces to use something like remote desktop to remotely view and manipulate other computers, though.

    Depending on what you need to monitor, you can also connect to other machines through SSH on the terminal.
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Spaces can be thought of as being like having lots of monitors attached to one machine and stacked one in front of each other. You can alter which one is in front so you can see the windows on that monitor but not the others. It has no network capabilities itself.

    What you could easily do is turn in the Remote Desktop "server" that is built into each machine and use a VNC client (like Chicken of the VNC) to connect to each machine. If you put each of these windows on a separate Spaces workspace you can sort of use Spaces like a really slow KVM :)

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