General question about using Server Mini as server

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by macbook123, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    Hey all. I'd appreciate if you could help me out with some general knowledge about using a Mac Mini as a server (as much OS X related knowledge as Mini specific I guess).

    I'm about to purchase a Mini that I want to use mainly as workstation type computer for when I need more power than my Air has and when I don't want to bog down the laptop with said computations. These are mostly running codes for scientific applications as well as movie editing for personal use.

    Most importantly, while this Mini would be attached to its own monitor, I'd like to be able to access it from work/while traveling but also through my home network from my laptop when I'm outdoors or in a different room. The Mini would be connected to the Comcast high-speed cable I have at home.

    What are the best solutions for doing all that?

    In addition, while normally I connect to Unix computers remotely via Terminal, I'm also wondering if there is a more slick way to actually put the the Mini servers desktop on my laptop's desktop and manipulate it as if I was sitting right in front of it.

    Thanks in advance for any knowledge you might be able to share.
  2. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    you don't necessarily need the mini server to do all that. standard os x has file sharing, screen sharing, remote access, etc. just look in the sharing panel in system preferences on your air.
  3. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    Rumors has it that the quad core Mini is significantly faster than the non-server Mini. Hence my preference for the server version. Also, wouldn't I need the server version of OS X in order to be able to connect to my the computer remotely?
  4. japtor macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    It's not a rumor, the quad is definitely faster. Assuming your scientific apps are multithreaded and that'll be a major use of the machine, you should get the quad.

    Screen Sharing is in the regular client version, and has been for years.
  5. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    the qc i7 is the fastest cpu in the mini line. if $800 is your budget, get the dc i5. if $1000 is your budget, get the mini server. just don't get the $800 i5 mini and pay apple $250 to upgrade the cpu and hdd.
  6. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    File sharing and screen sharing work great right out of the box with the regular version. On the local network at least. I'm not sure if it would work outside your local network. Perhaps someone else knows?

    My iMac is on 24/7 and serves up my movies to the Apple TV and to my other macs around the house using the built in file sharing. And then when I am in the other room and am too lazy to walk to the iMac, I just fire up screen sharing on my MacBook. Works perfectly.
  7. japtor macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    They work outside of the network, although last time I tried AFP it was pretty laggy (it'll depend on your connection speed). Screen Sharing cuts down the color depth depending on the connection, down to black and white even.
  8. EmpyreanUK macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2011
    As far as remote access is concerned, the 'Back to my Mac' component of the now discontinued MobileMe enabled that (although I am unsure if this was the only way to achieve this). As far as I know you needed to use an Apple router to access this feature, though, and whilst it appears that Back to my Mac will be a part of iCloud, Apple haven't indicated if it will work in exactly the same way.

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