10.7 as a PDC

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Karatehero, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Karatehero macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2004
    If I missed an existing thread about this - I'm apologizing ahead of time. I don't see anything....

    I'm now using 10.6 server as a PDC in a few windows environments. I have no mac clients, all windows so I need that AD/PDC support.

    It would appear that 10.7 will let you bind to an existing AD domain or share files to windows clients. It won't act as PDC on its own.

    So, I can't stay with 10.6 server as its version of SAMBA doesn't support Vista or 7, and I can't move to 10.7 as it doesn't support any windows domain logon.

    Or does it?

    I just wanted to check before I start moving everyone back to windows servers. Is binding my only option? Did they remove the PDC feature altogether? I need some centralized directory control whether its from AD or OD.
  2. thankins macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2007
    According to the dev forums it isn't supported. May I ask why you want to use a mac server for all your PCs are Windows based. Make more sense to just get a cheap poweredge from dell and be set.

    https://devforums.apple.com/message/400895 (you will have to login as a dev to see this post)
  3. Karatehero, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011

    Karatehero thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Well, to be honest, it was cheaper at the time. We got a small mac pro with the unlimited users bundle. I could provide directory services, email, ichat and some other stuff for a few grand less than a windows server would cost. Also, I can setup a mac server for small business in about 30 minutes. It takes a few hours (if you have the right drivers) to setup the 'other ones'. Add in backup software is included as well as easy imaging software (CCC), and I thought it was a no brainer.

    I can't log in to see that site. Oh well. I figured that was the case. I'm really bummed they cut support for that. How many mac only installations out there are there? What IT department wants to have a windows workgroup nowadays?

    Actually, as I'm thinking about it, whats a mac mini server cost now? Like $1000? Thats RAID with an i7? How much does 1 5 user copy of Micro$oft server cost? Its about that much sans hardware, right?
  4. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    While Windows Server still costs a fortune, nearly every PC only shop will be running it (Ive so far come across a single setup where a Mac Server was only working with PCs, and that was for some specific in-house software on the server that was Mac Based - it had a PC Client, but no PC Server had ever gotten around to being developed), either out of ignorance (Pre-10.7), or because persuading a Mac Server and a PC Network to play along nicely can be a real pain. (Case in point, my home "test" (read: mentally insane) network. Which is a Dual-Platform Environment of Macs and PCs, and I actually run 2 entirely seperate server sets, 1 set (3 2nd Hand but high-spec PowerEdges) running Server 2008R2 and AD for the PCs and 1 (iMac as its what I had spare) running 10.6 Server (soon to be 10.7) for the Macs - just as its simpler... (The fact I get Server 2008R2 for free also helps), and because Ive never found OD to play that well with the versions of Windows I tend to be using (Generally the latest developer Beta I can get my grubby paws on from MSDN, although I have seen OD fall over even using Bog-Standard RIS-Imaged XP Pro SP3)
  5. Karatehero thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2004
    My problem has been that most of my customers have 20-40 users, and really only use the server for file access. They need a server, but don't need lots of power or bells and whistles. They need a domain controller and a file schema. The don't need sharepoint, or volume shadow services or read only domain controllers or any of that other crap. Their needs are basic.

    It was definitely cheaper to put a mac server in for these customers. It ran well, and was a really good answer to their needs. Case and point - when hardware problems arose I could copy their whole OS to a external drive and boot it on my laptop and run off that. when the machine came back, I copied it back to their machine and we were off and running. With windows, lord only knows how we would have done that.

    From where I"m at, I see 4 options:

    1 - Just keep running 10.6 and 10.7 and not use active directory. Obviously, this means they would only have local accounts, but would still have file permissions from lion, ichat and email.

    2 - They could buy a windows server and ditch the mac altogether. Thats a ton of cost, and they really don't use the server for that much. I'd hate to do that.

    3 - They could buy a windows server and bind the mac to it. That would work, but then they have 2 machines to keep up and I have no clue how many licenses they would need for the windows server (they have 20 users).

    4 - My favorite idea is to buy windows server software but run it as a virtual machine on the mac server. One machine, easy to back up, lower energy consumption, and everything is still self contained.

    I have no clue how the windows licensing would work here. I have to come up with something though. Any help would be appreciated!
  6. Karatehero thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2004
    See, here is what I don't get: this is from the lion server documentation:

    You can enable domain login on a Windows XP computer by joining it to an Open Directory Lion Server. Joining the Windows domain requires the name and password of an LDAP directory administrator account.

    Ok......so that sounds like an open directory master should support domain login, right? Step 4 of joining xp to a domain is:

    Enter a computer name, click Domain, enter the domain name of the Open Directory Lion Server, and click OK.
    To look up the domain name of the server, open Server Admin on the server or an administrator computer, select Open Directory in the Servers list, click Settings, then click General.

    So, am I missing something?
  7. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    Have you considered Linux? You can run Samba on it pretty easily, and of course, its free!

    I would seriously give that some consideration, and stay away from Lion for the time being if you really need Windows services as Apple has essentially decided to stop distributing all GPL code so they dont have to be bound by the rules of GPLv3. This includes Samba, which is what they used for their windows service prior to 10.7

    For 10.7 Apple created their own in-house implementation of the Windows domain services(file sharing, domain controllers etc.) and as such I would not be shocked at all if it was quite buggy.

    Your VM idea is a good one, but instead of a windows VM hook up to a Linux VM instead. You can have Linux connect to the Macs OD(its all LDAP and dead simple really) and then use Samba on Linux to create a primary domain controller for your organization.

    Or just keep 10.6 running until Apple gets all the kinks worked out of their software....
  8. Karatehero thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2004
    What vm software and version of Linux would you suggest?

    What I find really annoying on this matter is that they just don't come out and say what they support. I found a table of cut features in lion server on the apple site and domain support is not on the list. However, they don't come out and say it works either. Find it hard to believe at I'm the only person in the world that used that feature.....
  9. Mattie Num Nums macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Mar 5, 2009
    Just keep 10.6 and let the kinks get worked out. This is just temporary. No need in wasting money if SMBX does indeed at some point get fixed.
  10. snebes macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2008
    I'm very interesting it what you have found out about this issue. I am in the need of setting up a small office of 10 computers, and definitely don't want to pay the Windows tax to do so.

    Win 2008R2 + 10 or more CALs is very expensive. MS certainly has a "Windows tax" that far exceeds Apple's, and offers very little...
  11. nelek macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2011
    A couple of workarounds :

    - You could use a third party LDAP client on your Windows boxes like Comtarsia LDAP Login Client and bind it to the Lion Directory Server

    - You could deploy NAS Boxes instead of Mac Servers. They're cheaper, offer more functionality in terms of data protection, are cheaper and mostly come with built in backup and restore functionality.
  12. rwwest7 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
    VSS is not "crap", worth it's weight in iPads.
  13. Waragainstsleep macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2003
    How were you running a PDC for Win7 from 10.6 Server?
    I thought only XP could bind to a Mac Server as PDC.
  14. Karatehero thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Just to bump this thread back up, I'm still trying to find a good fix for this. I like what MichaelZ found - the last 2 options of installing SAMBA on 10.7 and PGINA both sound interesting.

    Does anyone have any experience with either of these 2?
  15. n8saffle macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2011
    pGina works

    I've used pGina to effectively get client users to authenticate to ML Server. Works well and it's pretty customizable.

  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If cost was an issue why not any old PC you find under someone's desk and Linux.? If reliability is an issue then BSD.

    Any server software that round On Mac OS X runs on the above

Share This Page