Any Amateurs using Server?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by -BigMac-, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. -BigMac- macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi Guys.

    I dont have any particular need to use Server, but i'm wondering if there is any amateurs like me who don't need server but still manage to make use of the Application. what do you use it for?

    Thanks :D
  2. 1911 macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008
    Hi BigMac,
    I'm a Mac Amateur, I grew up in the Windows world. Never touched a Mac until I purchased a new iMac a few years back. The hardware and software on the Mac made using the Mac a pleasant experience, everything always work, no Blue Screens anymore. To make the move to Mac complete, I used VMWare Fusion for the two Windows Apps I "needed." Within a month or so, I found I really didn't need them. VMWare Fusion probable hasn't been used in over a year.
    Anyway, I purchased a mac mini with OS X Server as an impulse buy last year.
    It is setup as an OD Master, with DNS, and running DHCP.
    It is setup with with more feature enabled than I had planned for. Having the
    Mail Service is a great plus, I maintain my own mail server, Wiki server,
    Web Server. iCal Server and Address Book Server are up and running.
    I should have prefaced this by noting that I do have a static IP address from
    my ISP, not sure most of the services I have configured on the OS X Server would like to run without it. The server is also setup with some file shares that are accessed by two iMacs and a Windows 7 box.
    Did I need to buy it? No. But after a year of trouble free operation, don't
    think I'd want to give it up now.
  3. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000


    Aug 7, 2011
    Liverpool, UK
    I did last year (another impulse buy for the double HDD and the i7 processor as standard. In my case, I found the integrated GPU a limitation so eventually sold the machine and currently awaiting the delivery of the new iMac to replace it.

    But for setting up by an amateur, I would suggest you view this thread below (I am sure there are others) where you can see any pitfalls in set up so you are prepared for it. For starters, I would have a USB keyboard and USB mouse to hand if I were you.
  4. aicul macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2007
    no cars, only boats

    I use the mac server for web development. OSX 10.6.8 is great for this as everything (including mySQL) is under the hood in an easy setup.

    The install to be honest requires a few tries (from scratch) for things to work as for a novice not everything is crystal clear.
  5. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: dynamic DNS...

    Hi 1911,

    Glad to hear that you had such a good experience with configuring Mac OS X Server (including OD, DNS, Wiki and Web -- wow!).

    If you don't mind, I'd like to qualify one of your statements and make a suggestion.

    You do not need a static IP from your ISP to run these servers/services and have access to them from the Internet. (What you do need from your ISP, however, is that they do not block the so-called "business ports" for residential accounts.)

    I would suggest that you use one of the dynamic DNS services available on the Internet to obtain a FQDN for your home server (like the usual DNS name, say, but for your server instead). This dynamic DNS service (e.g., or will allow you access to your home server and its services using a DNS name that is updated to your ISP's changing IP address assigned to your home server. Thus you will never have to remember your home server's IP address, just like you don't have to remember the IP address of Google. A consequence of this is that all of your services work even when your ISP changes your IP address.

  6. NRD-Robert macrumors member


    Aug 6, 2011
    Gavle, Sweden
    I was using OSX Server in a home and business environment for 5-6 years. Since OSX Lion and Mountain Lion Server though i have found that its extremely buggy.

    Services do not function properly, after restarts some core services don't start again.

    But saying that, using it in a limited home environment (maybe with some web dev stuff installed) makes a nice addition. I recently switched to Fedora Core 17 which is installed on a Mac Mini and runs so beautiful.
  7. 1911 macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008
    To Swinton

    Exactly, that is why I used the words
    ".... not sure most of the services I have configured on the OS X Server would like to run without it."

    I do have a domain named registered, and have the A record and the MX records set for the OS X server for the services. I have not used a dynamic dns service, but you are correct, it is much cheaper than paying extra for the static IP. I went with the static IP because the ISP stated I was in violation of the terms of service, blah, blah, blah!
    So, to avoid all of the shut offs, I just purchased a static IP and went on my merry way.
  8. jg900ss macrumors newbie


    Nov 28, 2009
    Europe, and Florida
    I am an amateur and I use it. Good stuff.....

    I purchased a server for a COLO facility, a mirror server for my home in the US, and a mirror server for my home in Europe. I access it using the normal AFP and ARD tools to store files and access shares. I use Intego to protect them all, and I use DynDNS for the two servers in home that are not behind a fixed address. They stay in sync for user data using SYNK. I even use them to surf using the IP address of the server for subscription services that are so based. I was from the PC world, but always had a Mac laptop. Server was new to me, so I actually hired a consultant who put the three together in a rig/network. It is stable and I do nothing to maintain it other than pay the colo bill. I have remained on SLS 10.6.8 because server software changes that came with Lion and ML have been unstable and caused others problems. Even my consultant cautioned against upgrading for a LONG while. So I stay at SNow Leopard Server. I don't use MAIL, but I do use the Wiki server. For the price, and ease, I am happy I went with the Macs, and not Win-based servers. :apple::D
  9. mille1j macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2013
    Horrible Experience

    I've been trying to use ML server in a small business to support 6 iMacs and 8 networked user accounts.

    Directory services frequently become unstable causing the inability for users to login. I've had to reinstall everything 3 times so far.

    I've had 3 separate mac consultants come out to try to fix it. No go.

    I've given up on ML Server and am going back to just having individual accounts on each machine. Even though maintaining all these separate user accounts is a bit of pain, its more reliable.
  10. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: OD and ...

    Hi mille1j,

    Sorry you've had such a bad experience with ML Server. While it is not designed for large systems, a small system with only 6 iMacs should work fine. It turns out that networked accounts via OD are fairly sensitive to things being setup properly, especially the DNS first, certificates, etc. Are you trying to Kerberize your OD? OD is one of the more difficult services to configure correctly. I know that the 10.6.8 Server works for a small business with 1 Mac mini, 3 iMacs, 5 cMBPs, 1 rMBP, 2 MBAs, 1 iPad, 5 iPhones, 3 iPod touches, 1 AppleTV3, 3 wireless n routers, a couple laser printers, a couple ethernet gigabit switches plus two NASes and a RAID disk running pretty much all of the Server services including DHCP, DNS, OD with Kerberos, VPN, Software Update, Profile Manager, Time Machine, Web and Wiki servers, Mail, Calendar, and Contacts with about a dozen user accounts. I mention this just as an example of the working for a small system -- in other words, the OS X Server will work for small systems. While it is meant to be "turnkey" simple, I don't believe any server software is truly turnkey unfortunately.

    Sorry about your troubles,
  11. aicul macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2007
    no cars, only boats
    If the need is just file server, hen there are some simple plug&play options out there with sizeable disk space. Try that.

    If the need is all the services of a Server, then you may wish to ask a specialist to install it from scratch and provide a guarantee. Don't ask them to fix something that does not work it can be more costly.

    But I must say that I recall Apple marketing material saying that the server is easy to install. And if OD is key, they should have got that right.

    I remember that I struggled a lot with my server until I discovered that the installer needed the server to be ethernet connected. And I was trying wifi...
  12. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    I had used....

    the Server version of OS X from 10.4 to 10.7 Not as pro, but mostly for file servers (FTP and file management) and hosting static Web pages and addresses

  13. bt22 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
  14. jbellrmr macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2009
    Fort Collins, CO
    OSX Server

    18 months ago I upgraded our church from an HP HomeServer to a Mac Mini with Server add-on. We have a primarily Windows environment and I could not get the Apple Samba implementation to work with the Win clients for file sharing. In particular, we use an Access database for church management. Only one person could open the database at a time because locking was broken. About 3 hours and 2 phone calls to Apple tech support (purchased with the Mini) and no fix.
    Not to be thwarted, I installed VMWare fusion and Debian Linux server as a VM.

    Everything works and I have only had to do maintenance when some software updates arrive from Apple (the ones I use). Our Internet pipe is a Comcast modem set to bridge mode with the DNS router being an Airport Extreme. From there we hardwire to the basement to another wireless router to cover that space.

    Running Lion Server and Debian as a VM. Rock solid and I can spend time after my day job volunteering what I really love to do- producing worship media for our services.
  15. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2011
    Were you using groups? A buddy and I worked on a church's network a few weekends ago and we added the users to a group share and couldn't connect. So we added the users to the shares instead of the groups.

    Not sure about locking on the Access db though.

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