27" iMac and Snow Leopard Server

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by paulrbeers, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    My plan has been for awhile now to pickup a 27" i5 iMac sometime after the first of the year that will sit next to my 27" Core2Duo iMac (using my current core2duo as a second monitor to the i5). I started to think about what I could do with the Core2duo just sitting there, then I remembered I wanted to start playing with Snow Leopard Server (VPN, iCal Server, Mail server, Network Time Machine Backup, PodCast production, etc). Anyone tried using a 27" iMac as a Snow Leopard Server and will it still allow Command+F2 to use it as a secondardy monitor (so the server in essence is running headless?)????

    I know the 27" iMacs are new and I tried searching but found nothing.
  2. macchi macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    Hello paulrbeers, Happy new 2010!
    You may be interested on my similar experiences:

    My desktop computing environment comprises two iMacs 24'' side by side sharing keyboard, mouse, and pasteboard. This is possible through a very nice free tool called Teleport.

    Thus I have two independent computers and not a "monitor" nor desktop extensions. Furthermore I can use the keyboard and mouse on my desk to steer my MacBook Air that is kept "floating" on a support arm (when it is not hidden inside my briefcase nor glued on my hands).

    This arrangement has worked fine for me since I prefer to distribute the load by running different applications on different computers. For instance I can run some virtual machines (Win and Linux on VirtualBox) on the faster iMac 24'' while playing media, editing files and pictures on the slower iMac. I can still keep many web browser windows open on both machines and surf freely using the same keyboard and mouse.

    The most important thing besides Teleport is to keep work files on a share. I use our time capsule and will soon connect the IMacs through a cable for Gigabit fast file transfers. Any heavy processing is done locally on every machine and later synchronized to the file share. Similar arrangements have worked fine with a mouse and keyboard sharing tool called Synergy, that worked on Win, Mac and Linux. Unfortunately Synergy doesn't work on Snow Leopard anymore.

    My next step may be to run the Snow Leopard Server on one of the iMacs, although I fear that this may slow down one machine and force me to keep it running 24/7, shortening its lifetime. Maybe I should go for the Mac Mini Server when and if my limited budget allows.

  3. paulrbeers thread starter macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Now that is a cool program. I could use my 27" imac sitting next to my mac mini (hooked to an el cheap 22" LCD) and my MBP. I might have to give it a try at some point.

    Still doesn't answer my original question, but it does give me some thing to try out.
  4. macchi macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    Hello again paulrbeers,

    I am glad that you seem to like Teleport, since it is a very useful application when handling multiple computers.

    Back to to your original question, it is apparently possible to install the server on an iMac since the hardware requirements are quite generic, if processing power and resources are adequate. I am also interested in these experiences since I have two iMacs 24'' running side by side.

    On a second thought I am not convinced that a desktop machine is a good alternative for a server. Normally we want servers to be available 24/7 without any low power rest conditions. My experience with Unix, Linux and Windows servers is that many services require some time to stabilize and an iMac 27 on a desktop under normal use may be subject to eventual restarts. Thus the combination server+desktop is probably good only for tests and evaluation. Not for any production environment.

    On the other hand: Have you tested the snow leopard server on your Mac Mini? It is a much better platform that the iMac for a small group and home office server. Apple has such a product, as you probably already know.

    (The mini mac server is on my wish list...)
  5. healeydave macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2008
    I retired 3 x Windows servers for OSX Server.

    I am using a 24" 2.8Ghz iMac as the server.

    I thought about using a Mac Mini (before Apple released their own), but then I would have had to buy a monitor and keyboard for it (for occassional use, as its situated in the loft next to my router etc).

    It works great, when OSX server installs, it adjusts all the power management for you as obviously running as a server, normal desktop functions are not workable but like I said, the OSX Server install automatically prevents any standard sleep modes.

    Most of the time I just screen share from my other 24" & 27" iMacs downstairs but I still think it was the best decision to have the display and keyboard there just in-case, especially as these iMacs can be picked up for quite reasonable prices now!
    Even when I didi this a while back, I got a good deal on a ued 2.8Ghz iMac which only ended up costimg me about £250 more than a Mac Mini which was well worth it for the Screen etc.

    I just downloaded Teleport, fantastic, it never ceases to amaze me what cool tools crop up from time to time reading forums :)

Share This Page