Mac Mini Server or Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Vic 20, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Vic 20 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    #1
    Ok a Noob.

    I want to get a new Mac desktop, (I already have a G4 iMac and a MBP 17inch)
    I'm using it mainly for report writing in Word and mainly doing 2D Cad drawings and Coreldraw in XP via Parallels. (with Sketchup in OSX)

    Like most posters, I like the spec of the Server version. I don't want to mess around by changing the SL version. Can I add Parallels to the server and can I use XP via that? I know there are problems with not having a bootcamp option, but I just want to make sure I can still some of my software.

    I already have iLife'08 so I can add iphoto etc.

    Finally, is there any good sites about Mac Mini Servers for beginners, eventually I would like to host my own website etc. over time and integrate the Server into my business at some point.

    Thanks in advance and apologies for another Mac Mini Server dilemma thread
     
  2. a2applegirl macrumors regular

    a2applegirl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #2
    Here is what I am doing with my mac mini server:

    I have parallels on it but have not used it yet.

    I am basically using it for a media server, but have set up iweb and iphoto on it to eventually host a small website that streams some of my videos and shows some of my photos. The server edition comes with apache and tomcat built in, so setting up a webserver is pretty straightforward.

    I bought an iomega 2tb firewire 800 drive that I am using as the central backup of all of videos, the storage of my uncompressed videos, and as the backup storage for my two macbook pros.

    I am pushing the mini to the limit, running handbrake to encode my videos for at least 8-12 hours or so a day. It really is a workhorse. I am not really using the server software except for setting up ftp and afp so that I can add stuff to the box from computers outside my house and/or I can share the drives with my other computers in the house. I use the server monitoring software to keep an eye on cpu overutilization (I am always maxed out when I am encoding video) and to keep an eye on too much network noise between my various computers. Its a nice little tool to have, but I would not have bothered to install monitoring software if it wasn't already there.

    I am not seeing anything about the server edition so far that is prohibitive to me using my server as a regular mac. I bought the server edition for the extra storage and memory and for the long term ability to manage more services if I decide I want them at some point.
     
  3. ValSalva macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Burpelson AFB
    #3
    I believe a lot of people buy the server edition of the Mac Mini because of this. It's still SL so you can use all (or most of) your apps.
     
  4. Vic 20 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
  5. Vic 20 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    #5
    So went to buy the Mini Server and the guy turned around and said that I couldn't use it as a desktop. I explained to him that I have iLife etc. and that I use my desktop for pretty much office work and he still said I still couldn't use (unless I changed the OS to client version)

    Now I'm confused :confused:
     
  6. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    New York, Baby!
    #6
    He was lying.

    You can use a server as a desktop and a desktop as a server, heck, you can use a laptop or even netbook as a server.

    As long as you have an external dvd drive, or an image of OSX 10.6 or even just install iLife on the mac mini, you can use it as a desktop.
     
  7. analogkid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Savannah
    #7
    Well, maybe not lying... just very stupid!

    I use my Mini Server for iLife, Steam, Ableton/MOTU, Netflix, ect. The only hold up I had with it was the lack of Bootcamp, but I've fixed that and I'm installing Windows this weekend.
     
  8. a2applegirl macrumors regular

    a2applegirl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #8
    The salesguy didn't know what he was talking about.

    10.6 server can do everything 10.6 client can. It has more functionality not less.

    I use my new mac mini server as my media server (it is connected to my plasma tv) but I also use it to store all of my photos in iphoto and I have ilife on it if I ever want to use it.

    You need the external superdrive to rip dvds, that is the only mini client functionality that does not come with the server edition. DVD player DOES come with 10.6 server edition, so playing dvds is very viable. (I use vlc instead though)
     
  9. keekl macrumors regular

    keekl

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    PA
    #9
    Is there no dvd/cd drive because of space limitations? I don't understand all the purposes of a server but how you you reload the OS if there is no place for disk?

    <<sorry if it's a dumb question:eek:>>
     
  10. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    New York, Baby!
    #10
    Servers have no need for an optical drive.

    You can put a disk image onto USB stick/USB Drive/USB CD or DVD Drive/Firewire Drive/SD Card.

    You can even deploy from another Mac Server/PXE server just by having it connected to a network.

    There's no optical drive because it has a 2nd hard drive where it should be. 2 hard drives being mirrored is better than one with no redundancy.
     
  11. keekl macrumors regular

    keekl

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    PA
    #11
    Thanks, that makes sense..
     
  12. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a

    macjonny1

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #12
    So can the mini server edition use the external USB superdrive meant for the macbook AIR?
     
  13. Idgit macrumors 6502

    Idgit

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    #14
    For those of you using the Mac Mini Server as a HTPC, where do you store your media files (TV shows and movies)? In the admin user's Movies folder, the Shared Items folder, or the Shared folder in Users?

    I use Plex and Front Row and I'm trying to figure out where best to store my media files because Mac OS X server can be restrictive and cranky about permissions.
     
  14. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #15
    No, you just don't know what you are doing.

    You get to decide where to put your files, don't base your setup on what others are doing. Instead, read up on the subject and configure the way you want it.
     
  15. Idgit macrumors 6502

    Idgit

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    #16
    That may be, but I have an external Seagate drive that I use for media shares. It was formatted by my MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard. When I connected it to my Mini Server, the Finder would crash whenever it accessed it. Dozens of crashes per hour. If I tried to delete a file from the external drive using the Server Finder, it would crash or pop up an error saying it couldn't be done.

    The only way I could get the drive to work with Snow Leopard server was to reformat it. Changing permissions on the drive didn't help.

    I have no idea why 10.6 server couldn't deal with a Firewire drive formatted under 10.6 client.

    So, I'm a little leery of where I'm going to put my media folders.
     
  16. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #17
    It is probably not the OS but instead the hardware. Some possibilities include:

    1. Mac Mini firewire controller
    2. Mac Mini firewire port
    3. External hard drive firewire controller
    4. External hard drive firewire port
    5. External hard drive's internal drive
    6. Bad cable
    7. Incompatibility between the Mac Mini firewire controller and external hard drive firewire controller

    That said, it sounds like it is working now. The problem was likely permissions since the drive permissions were set on another machine. If you weren't ignoring permissions on the volume, it makes sense that you would run into issues.

    It doesn't matter that the drive was formatted on OS X client, however, from a permissions standpoint it does matter where the drive was setup as your client machines likely has different users and UIDs.

    None of this should lead you to the conclusion that OS X Server is "cranky" about permissions. OS X Client and Server use the same permissions model: POSIX and ACLs. The only difference is that you get more control in OS X Server with Server Admin.

    To share any files, you need to understand permissions. I suggest you take the time to read up on the subject before making sweeping judgements about the OS, because you clearly don't have an understanding of the subject. Once you do that, you will realize that you can put these files wherever you want.
     
  17. Vic 20 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    #18
    I'd be interested to hear how you did this. I will most probably go down the VM route and use XP that way.

    Thanks everyone for the replies, they all make a lot of sense.
    If only Apple had put an option for a better / faster hard drive on the normal mini :confused:
     
  18. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Location:
    Weymouth, UK
    #19
    Am buying my mini tomorrow and would like to get the server (but I want to use my retail snow disk (dont need server ed os) to install it.

    I would like to ask anyone if the mac mini server can boot from a non-apple USB dvdrom drive (I have a samsung unit). I do have a USB stick, but its not big enough for a SN image.

    Otherwise this thread has been most informative.

    Thanks guys
     
  19. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #20
    Is that a 10.6.3 retail disk or 10.6.0? Thin mini won't boot on 10.6.3.

    Yes standard USB DVD drives work fine with Macs.
     
  20. analogkid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Savannah
    #21
    Unfortunately it involved buying a superdrive and tracking down the mini client install discs.
     
  21. analogkid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Savannah
    #22
    I want to amend my response just a little bit, because none of my drivers came from the client install disc, so really all you need to install boot camp is the external dvd. It's a shame the usb install method won't work for bootcamp because I would have much preferred that. C'mon apple, leave the optical drive for legacy tech!
     

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