Mac Mini G4 Server

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by atad6, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. atad6 macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2006
    #1
    Any thoughts on using an old Mac Mini G4 as a file server for external drives?

    Just for fun I'm upgrading one I got for $30 with 1gb of ram and a 32gb IDE SSD. Planning on running leopard. Does anyone have a similar setup? I enjoy brining old hardware back to life.
     
  2. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #2
    I have two. They fare better with Tiger due to the 1GB ram limit. For file serving, this might not matter. You wouldn't want to do anything much heavier since going through a G4 to external FW drives makes for a fairly plodding system.

    Both Tiger and Leopard Server are still very pricey if you want to expand services beyond F&P. Annoyingly so, since Apple still sells SL Server for £14 if you ask nicely.
     
  3. atad6 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Is there any advantage of using OSX server. Is it more lightweight or is file sharing better?

    I don't need any of the iCal, Address Book, LAMP functionality so I was wondering if there are any advantages outside that.
     
  4. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #4
    Just enable file sharing. Keep in mind that G4 Minis are slow servers in part due to the 100Mb ethernet.
     
  5. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #5
    All of the Mac OSX Server editions are just the client with mostly open source server services bundled on top.
     
  6. NathanJHill macrumors member

    NathanJHill

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    Oct 29, 2014
    #6
    Keep us updated.

    I just picked up a cheap Mac Mini G4 and want to server it up, but I may put some form of Linux on it to see what I can do with it.

    I keep imagining using these as inexpensive web browsing terminals (with TenFourFox) in public spaces.
     
  7. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    #7
    I use a G4 mini as my home file/media/torrent/time machine server, and it works like a champ! It's nice to have a silent, low-power little machine that I can have going all the time. I have it open to the outside, hosting a small website and files out of my home; I also have VNC open so that I can control it anywhere from my phone to start file transfers and whatnot while I'm out and about.

    It's a 1.33GHz G4 with 1GB of RAM running Leopard, with a 320GB SSD inside and a 500GB FireWire HDD outside.
     
  8. CYB3RBYTE macrumors regular

    CYB3RBYTE

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    #8
    I may use my Power Mac G4 MDD as a server, but I am weary of having it on 24/7 because of the questionable PSUs these machines have. I have an Ac-Bel PSU, and as I understand they don't fail as much as the Samsung PSUs that also came with some MDDs. Maybe it was Samsung's future planned revenge against Apple for the iPhone :roll eyes:.

    I would totally throw in multiple IDE HDs so I could use it as my photo server, but I need an answer to that question above first.
     
  9. J232022 macrumors member

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    Nov 3, 2014
    #9
    It should work as a server ok , but honestly you can get a cheap desktop pc for around 300 dollars or less and use it as a Linux or Windows server , it would do the job way better and it would have usb 3.0 and way faster hardware . I would not recommend using a g4 as a server the software is old and out of date and will not have any support or software patches .
     
  10. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #10
    My problem with the mini is they didn't have wifi/bluetooth (I know there are parts to make this happen) and the 2 USB ports were full with my USB wifi stick and the keyboard/mouse. If it had Wifi and bluetooth, I would have used my magic mouse/wireless keyboard and with wifi I wouldn't need to use a USB port either. My external hard drive was also USB and had nowhere to plug it in. Yes there are USB hubs out there but with a mini I wanted to keep everything minimalistic.
     
  11. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #11

    The minis all had WiFi, IIRR. Bluetooth was an option. One of my minis has only WiFi the other has both. Both are the 1.42GHz model.
     
  12. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    #12
    How exactly does one go about this? :L
     
  13. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #13
    My 1.33 didn't have WiFi. I looked into it but at the time ebay sellers wanted a ridiculous amount for the parts needed.
     
  14. J232022 macrumors member

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    Nov 3, 2014
    #14
    I do not think all of the minis had wifi , the first minis where released in 2005 and wifi was not as popular back then . You could add wifi but it was a add on and it cost more .
     
  15. NathanJHill macrumors member

    NathanJHill

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    Oct 29, 2014
    #15
    My Mini has both Airport and bluetooth.

    Still, if I go the server route on mine, it's going to be some variant of Linux all the way. You get that updated sense of security and a wider variety of server software. And you should get decent performance if it is a stripped down GUI-less version. But we'll see. Linux is ever a hit or miss proposition.
     
  16. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #16
  17. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    #17
    Cool :) it might be handy to keep a copy of Snow Leopard Server around for compatibility with my plethora of machines.
     
  18. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #18
    That's not Snow Leopard Server. You'll need to call Apple to get SL Server.
     
  19. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #19
    Yes. Like I just posted. And that is the client. Like I just posted.
     
  20. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    #20
    I've worked with servers for over three years and currently study computer science. I know the difference ;) There was a previous mention of SL Server so that's what I was interested in.
     
  21. atad6 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    I'm not hugely worried about security or lack of updates since it's only going to be used for basic functionality. I use headless ubuntu in a lot of other cases, but since everything I have is Mac, it may be best.

    Does filesystem matter? I was going to use leopard because of being able to natively deal with hfs+. I'll see how it turns out.
     
  22. atad6 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    I posted in another forum, I have an original mac mini core solo that I upgraded to a core2duo, 2gb of ram and an ssd to use as a media player.

    Is it worth having the g4 mini as just a file server/download client or should the intel mac be able to handle all those duties itself (media playing plus fileserver/download client)? Just thinking about system resources
     
  23. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #23
    And most of the open source server services are bundled in to the client OS already, just with no fancy interface. OS X Server is mostly about getting the easy GUI interface. (And in older versions, getting Apple-specific services like Apple File Sharing...)
     

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