Should I get a mac mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jedirunner, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I currently use an iMac for the kids, a MBP for me, i have an iphone and we have a couple ipods, and an apple tv. I use the iMac with my own account to sync iTunes content to the apple tv. Content is stored on an external drive. Problem is, to sync, i have to login to my own account on that machine.

    I've been thinking of getting a mac mini, and wondered if it could meet these requirements:

    1- I'd use it with an external drive as the main iTunes machine, and host for the apple tv's synched content.
    2- The machine would have to be on 24x7. Does a mac mini have any problems with heat if it's on 24x7? How about reliability?
    3- I'd like to physically locate it in the room with the treadmill and hook it up to a monitor to watch movies while I run. No problems here, I assume :)
    4- I'd like to use the machine as a web server, and have my router port-forward to it. I'm currently most comfortable with php/mysql, though I suppose I could switch to jsp/servlets or something else if i had to.
    4.1 - Does the mac mini come with web server software?
    4.2 - Does the mac mini come with php? If not, are there official packages to install php?
    4.3 - Does the mac mini come with mysql?
    4.4 - Does the mac mini come with ssh server installed? I'd like to ssh from remote hosts through my port-forwarded router.

    So to summarize: itunes server, web server, ssh server, play movies. Is the mac mini right for me?

    Thanks!

    Kevin
     
  2. macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #2
    I can tell you that it is just fine for 1-3. I have one that I replaced with an iMac but it is always on, fine for movie watching, iTunes etc. I streamed from my Mini to my Apple TV over a g network just fine. Syncing took longer. I think the Mini still has g not n.

    As for 4.1-4.x, not my area of expertise. I have heard of quite a few people using Minis as servers, mail servers, etc., but I don't think it comes with everything you need to do that, some but not all is my guess. But that should just be software.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for the info!

    I'll look into it a bit more and hope to also get some replies on the web server functionality qeustions.

    Kevin
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #4
    Found some links with good info

    I found some answers to my questions about using the mac mini as a web server, and the various technologies involved.

    Here are some links for others that may be interested (I haven't read through them yet; nor have I tried the techniques to verify the articles):

    Web Server:
    http://www.freemacblog.com/mac-server-series-enable-the-web-server/

    PHP/MySql:
    http://www.freemacblog.com/mac-server-series-setting-up-php-and-mysql/

    VNC:
    http://www.freemacblog.com/mac-server-series-setting-up-vnc-on-your-mac/

    SSH:
    http://www.freemacblog.com/mac-server-series-enabling-ssh-on-your-mac-server/

    Multiple Web Sites:
    http://www.freemacblog.com/mac-server-series-hosting-multiple-web-sites-on-a-single-mac/

    Kevin
     
  5. macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    上海 (Shanghai)
    #5
    I run it 24/7, (I also did a thermal paste swap to Arctic Silver 5). Yes you can hook it up to a monitor, just don't expect HD with HDCP, it won't work. I run a webserver on it, but I would think getting OS X server works better with that application.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #6
    I'd wait for the upgrade, too.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Just thought I'd add that I'm doing most of that and (sometimes) a bit more with my Mini, and it hasn't complained yet. Mine (1.83ghz Core Duo, 2GB memory, 80gb drive):

    - Stays on 24x7
    - Automatically downloads my favourite shows using TVShows and Azureus
    - Converts (on demand) downloaded content using VisualHub for display on AppleTV
    - Streams music and video to AppleTV
    - Runs SlimServer (web/music server for Squeezebox music players, of which I have 2)
    - Runs SSLExplorer (open source web-based access into my network)
    - Is hooked up to a flat screen in the bedroom on which I often watch films and downloaded TV with Frontrow
    - Runs Indigo server for control of various lights/appliances in the flat

    It never complains about any of it, and I'd only really consider upgrading to an iMac because I want one. :D

    If you bought a current model it's probably even more capable given the upgraded processor etc.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Almost forgot, at one point (in addition to the above) it was acting a capture server for 2 security cameras I had installed using SecuritySpy. This was the by far the 'heaviest' use of the machine, but it was still fine.
     

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