Home uses for OS X Server?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by netdog, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I have a chance to get a great deal on a Mini OS X Server (Snow Leopard server) and am trying to figure out what the heck I'd used it for.

    One thing is Web hosting, but what else can I use this thing for to my advantage?

    I'd like to host all of my media off of it. Will it run iTunes so that it can always be online as a media server?

    Obviously, I'd also make it my AirPrint server if the Hacktivate technique works with server.

    I have a Mac Pro that runs my iTunes and AirPrint now, and it would be nice to be able to turn that power-hungry beast off, but what other things can I take advantage of at home with Server, including offering myself access to services when I am not at home?

    I keep thinking that with cloud services, there isn't much point to this. Help me justify it...or not.
     
  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    Your service agreement with your ISP more likely than not precludes running a server, and web hosting is such an inexpensive service that it doesn't pay to run one at home anyway.

    The Apple website lists everything the server does. For most people a "regular" mini will do as well. Here's what I use mine for:

    • DNS
    • DHCP
    • Open Directory
    • DynDNS Update
    • TimeMachine backup for 5 Macs
    • Windows VM to run Quicken for Windows
    • File Sharing for music, pictures, video, software archival storage.
    • AddressBook server to sync address book between my MacBook and iMac
    • iCal server to sync and share calendars among computers and iTouches.
    • Printer/Scanner server
    • VPN server to access network away from home

    Setting up the server is not easy as there are plenty of pitfalls. I've got a narrative about my Mac mini server travails and final rewards here: http://almy.us/server.html
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Check with your ISP, many isps prohibit web hosting as it will consume more bandwidth then they're prepared for.

    Personally, I see little use for OSX Server edition for typical home usage. In fact if you really want to run some server software then just load the software manually. OSX has most of the components that come with the server edition and you can load the the open source versions to fill out your server application need.
     
  4. Eric M macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    It just so happens that I use OS X server (the older form factor) mini at home and it runs:
    • DNS
    • DHCP
    • WIKI
    • File Server
    • Email
    • VPN
    • MAMP (testing environment for my websites)
    ...and it does it all very well
    I also run ServeToMe so I can access all my media content on the iPhone - works very well, but you could use any mac for that...

    If you can get a good deal, I definitely recommend one.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    but the desktop client version of OSX can run all of those as well. In fact, I was running my desktop for a while as a file server, VPN, MAMP and played with some WIKI software
     
  6. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #6
    I had thought that 'regular' OS X has all the same stuff as Server OS X, but server OS X adds some GUI elements to manage what you might have to go to the command line to do on 'regular' OS X.

    is that accurate?
     
  7. netdog thread starter macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #7
    From my research, that seems to be somewhat true.

    After all, OS X is UNIX and the terminal takes us there.
     
  8. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    Not only does Server have the GUI, but it also has all the software installed. For most of these items you have to install additional programs.
     
  9. netdog thread starter macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Anybody know a way to do a Remote Desktop kind of thing without buying Apple Remote Desktop?

    I want to be able to run and administrate this machine from other machines on the network as it will be headless.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    VNC, share my desktop, teamviewer, logmein, gotomypc, etc.
     
  11. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #11
    I run a mini server (snow leopard server), basically the only thing it does is serve as time machine backup and some centralized storage for 4 macs in my house.

    I started to use it as a plex server for my home theater, but just never have time to futz with it, so I just still use my bluray player :)
     

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