Installing Lion Server on my home iMac

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by mikelegacy, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. mikelegacy macrumors 65816

    mikelegacy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #1
    Just a few questions regarding Lion Server for you guys. I'm relatively new so bear with me.

    Let's say I want to install Lion Server on my personal iMac. Would I still be able to use that computer for my design tasks and all the things that a normal computer does, or is it strictly then a server and a server only?

    I only ask because I've begun to watch the Lynda.com video on setting up a lion server and he did not clarify that point.

    It is merely an application, so I can't see it crippling the other computer functions, but I want to make sure.

    I want to set up a home network for file sharing as well as a web server for my clients to view test pages and other types of file sharing. (I'm a graphic designer/web developer)

    You can tell me I'm stupid, but i really want to have my own server for these uses. I don't want to clutter up my web host with hundreds of client files, and it would be nice to have lion server for other reasons as well. I merely want to know that it runs as an application and doesn't cripple other computer functions while it's running, so that I know if I can run it on my iMac or if I should get a Mac mini.
     
  2. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    Yes.
     
  3. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #3
    Lion server = OS X Lion client + server app (and other components)

    So you still have the OS X Lion client
     
  4. mikelegacy thread starter macrumors 65816

    mikelegacy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #4
    Thanks to both of you!
     
  5. sandimacd macrumors regular

    sandimacd

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    FL
    #5
    Lion Server

    MikeLegacy, After you get things up and running, can you please post how well you like it? I am following another thread regarding the use of Lion Server to replace iDisk on a home network to keep all Apple devices in sync but no one has responded yet as to if or how well it would work.
    I also would not want to tie up one of my Macs as a stand alone server- I would like to be able to run a program as well.
     
  6. avidmacuser macrumors regular

    avidmacuser

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #6
    You may want to consider...

    You may also want to consider researching the likelihood that if you were using your computer for heavy cpu intensive tasks and or 'regular computer networking / internet downloading' etc., that the server version of os x prioritizes tasks differently than the client version alone. I believe priority of varying degrees is given to services unique to the server hosting / networking.

    Please dont quote me on it just a suggestion to consider studying this likely possibility as I have heard 'rumors' that may be well founded facts indeed.

    best wishes.
     
  7. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #7
    Note - Lion Server does include an option to re-configure your OS X to optimize it for server use rather than general computing, but you can say "no" to that if you're still using your machine for other things - even if you said "yes" I doubt you'd break anything.

    Bear in mind that you can run a web server and do basic file sharing on plain old Lion - it includes the same Apache web server, scripting languages etc. The "Server" application is mainly just a configuration tool (plus some other stuff such as profile manager and Xsan which you probably don't need). You'll have to learn to edit the apache conf files in /etc/apache to do complex stuff, but the same goes for anything non-trivial in Lion Server.

    I tried Lion Server a while ago and was deeply unimpressed. Dealbreakers: no support for name-based virtual hosts (seriously, have they fixed that yet?) no friendly support for fetching email from POP or IMAP, rubbish documentation (no, Apple, I don't want the URL of the generic Apache website, I want to know how you've implemented it on Lion!). Also, for any sort of advanced config you're back to editing config files - I don't have anything against that per se, but one false move and either the GUI config tools stop working or it overwrites your changes.

    My feeling: for the sort of applications you're talking about, you're more likely to find a HOWTO telling you how to achieve it under regular OSX than you are to work out how to do it under Lion Server. If you want/need features such as Xsan or the profile manager then things may be different.

    Also, in your situation I'd consider either:
    • A 'domestic' NAS box - many of these come with web servers, file servers, mail servers and all the trimmings, and won't slow down your "work" system.
    • If you're on ADSL remember that while your download speed may be great, upload goes as fast as a slug on valium - if your clients access your website, that's the speed they'll see, Plus many providers don't give you a static IP address (which you'll need) and may even prohibit you from running servers. If you're earning money as a web developer, I'd pay for some web hosting space. If the budget will stretch I'd go for a Virtual Private Server system, which will let you host websites for clients on a server with a higher-teir internet connection and 24/7 uptime.
     
  8. sandimacd macrumors regular

    sandimacd

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    FL
    #8
    Nas

    theluggage, you give a good argument for considering NAS over Lion Sever. I currently am using an ext HD attached to SL on one machine. Only 2 adults, spouse and I, but we have 4 iPods, 3 Macs, and 2 PCs. One Mac has our 2 user accounts and stays on constantly for access to the ext HD files, 2 are portable and one attached to home theater.
    Until your posting I was convinced I should use one Mac as a dedicated server for file and photo access. The reason for considering a sever was to create a master calendar and contact list between my spouse and I.

    If I upgrade from SL to Lion will it allow me host a Calendar and Contact list that remains in sync with all other devices? Or will it try to remain in sync with whatever User Account it is created under under MM or iCloud? I don't want an iCloud sync, I want to retain control and thought perhaps Lion Sever was the answer.
     
  9. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #9
    One warning, if you turn on a few of the Server services, it can eat your RAM and CPU time. I'd monitor your usage carefully the first few days/weeks to see if you are running into bottlenecks that may warrant a RAM upgrade. (I'm running Lion Server on the first-generation Core 2 Duo iMac with its maximum 3 GB RAM. I have to be *VERY* careful to not have too many apps open at once, or the Server bits start choking.)
     

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