Mac Mini Server running standard OSX?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Ifti, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Ifti macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Im looking to purchase a new Mac Mini once the refresh comes along.
    I want to go for the server version, simply because I want the highest Quad Core CPU possible!

    I dont want to use the server components - rather then just switching them off, am I able to reinstall the standard version of OSX on the machine?

    Im assuming it wil come with Mountain Lion anyway - but if possible, how would I go about this as Im assuming if I do the online rebuild/recovery, it will reinstall the server version.....?
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #2
    The server parts are switched off by default and you don't have to think about them. Why do they bother you? I don't believe it is possible to install a normal version of OSX due to the firmware, without extensive hacking and mucking about. I haven't tried it myself on my server, but the internet seems to agree with me.

     
  3. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Ah, cool thanks - just concerned about a few stories Ive read in regards to the server version using up a whole lot more RAM then the standard version - even with the server features off......
     
  4. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #4
    Don't be concerned about stories and uninformed mass hysteria. As long as you don't enable any of the server's services, it cannot use more memory than an OSX client. I would just double check because I think the only thing enabled by default might be screen sharing and I am not by my mini to confirm right now. You can switch that off, if you really want, but the amount of memory it uses to run in the background is not something worth worrying about and I find it damn useful to do stuff on my mini whilst I am downstairs.
     
  5. silverjam, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012

    silverjam macrumors regular

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    #5
    I looked into this in great detail with my MM Server when I first bought it and had the exact same view as you. I spent hours talking to the Apple techs on the same question.

    You can install standard OSX non-server version only if you drop in the image from another non-server MM this worked for me) or you install NOT through internet recovery. Simply put, Internet Recovery which is the standard way of installing OSX will automatically load the Server App. You don't get a choice if you choose the formal Apple/OSX option.

    You also can't rip out the App unless you want to take some risks. I believe the middle (Apple Tech suggested this) ground is to untick "dedicate system resources" in the App so it is then very similar to the Network App in OSX. THe Server App still fully works, it is just competes with any other App for system resources (which is no competition in the MM Server as there are ample resources). You can still use the network app as your options menu as well instead of (or as well as) the Server app as well if you want to completely dismiss Server. From my research the "dedicated" option just diverts a portion of the system hardware resources (CPU/RAM/Ethernet Traffic) to the Server App. I am not sure what percentage is diverted but I have read that unless the MM Server is set to work as a dedicated server you would not tick the option. Makes sense to me. You can also look at it this way, if you do tick Dedicate System Resources then a portion of the resources will be permanently dedicated to Server tasks when you boot (almost like permanently running the App and its services). But if it is unticked then it is no different to any other App. That is, does Adobe CS6 or Parallels use massive resources when the App is not open? No. So just "de-dedicate" and make sure it does not start up a login and you always have it there as an option. Remember, once you have the operation for the sex change you can't just sew it back on! Yes my analogy is not perfect because you can also "re-install" the OS to fix the sex change :)

    Having said all that, I don't tick the 'dedicate system resources" part as I suggested but still use the Server App now for file sharing and screen sharing (so I am glad i didn't have the sex change because I have begun to use it a little).

    You also do input some server details (name/password of the server) when you set up OSX but that is just for access.

    I would just leave the App (once you have initially run OSX install and input the Serve name/password) and not use it and untick the dedicated part and that will work fine. You can then always use it if you want.

    You can google the "midway" disable server method I suggest, or you can also find the "rip the heart out of the chest" method as well. The second method tries to "delete the Server App" and just requires a few more "and search for this file in library... and delete it" type operations.

    I use my MM 99.9% as a media station and HD sharing device for my home network and it works really well with the quad core. It sits nicely beside the flat screen TV and plays all my Vids (HD on a Sony Bravia). The Server App will not even test a minor percentage of the CPU/RAM under this operation if you don't use it and it is not dedicated. Video transcoding with Handbrake etc is also a breeze.

    Anyway, that is my two cents worth. And yes, I will be paying the extra $20 for the Mountain Lion Server App (on top of the $20 for OSX ML) when it comes out.

    Silver.

    ----------

    I am not sure on the new GPU obviously on the new MM but that comment on RAM in the current model is a little correct. The Graphics Card in the current MM Server uses the Physical Ram (not its own dedicated GPU RAM) but it is only 512mb if you have 8GB Ram and 384mb if you have 4GB Ram.

    If you untick "dedicate systems resources" you have apple RAM with 8GB.

    The MM Server has good graphics form my videos but if you are a Gamer/graphic artist I would do the research on the GPU. Remember is was designed as a server so the monitor is asleep 99.9% of the day so the GPU was an afterthought.

    ----------

    Totally agree.
     
  6. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Thansk guys, really appreciate the time you have taken to respond.
    The reason I dont think I will be using the server apps is that most of my storage is on my NAS - I want to use this Mac Mini to stream my HD movies from my NAS onto my TV, so a HTPC for example, as well as running a few other remote tools and applications as well.
    I guess I need to look more into the server side functionaility to see how it could be of more use for me, although I guess yu are right about not actually removing it just in case its needed in the end!
     
  7. silverjam macrumors regular

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    Apr 25, 2012
    #7
    Noting your comments and hardware, I would look into the App for some minor services for what you want. ALthough I use a 8TB Firewire for my Vids and not a NAS. It also provides services relating to your AirPort Extreme. And also allows you to set up sharing relating to iOS. It may be worth your while.
     
  8. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Ah, I didnt know that - need to look into this further, thanks!
     
  9. Deako macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Fancy seeing you here!! :cool:
     
  10. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Alright mate ;)
     
  11. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #11
    Indeed. I use my mini for various purposes and one of them is hosting iTunes. Your content can be anywhere, even on a NAS, but without a computer running iTunes, you cannot have home sharing because Apple refuses to license it. My Synology's built-in iTunes server is limited in functionality. Now I can have my mini running quietly in the study and I can watch videos on the bog using my iPad. :D

    It's worth noting though that any computer can do that, and a "Mini SERVER" is not necessary for these tasks. The server in Mini Server is specifically related to OSX server, which lets you do things a small company might require, such as downloading updates for all of your Macs and then pushing them out, instead of all of your Macs downloading the update separately.
     
  12. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    lol, its not just me then ;)
     
  13. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    This is an interesting thread. I was planning on making a downloader on a USB flash drive when I download ML for my 13" MBP like I did with Lion. Then using the downloader to install ML on the Mini server. So that will not work?
     
  14. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #14
    Surely you meant an installer? Since you have already downloaded ML and created a bootable install disk, it won't be a downloader any more...

    According to Apple, ML and OSX Server are separate so, in theory, your installer will work to update the Mini server to ML, and then you can purchase the upgrade for OSX server separately. Or something.
     
  15. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Yep, installer! My bad. Interesting.
     
  16. panthersup macrumors newbie

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    Jul 11, 2012
    #16
    Mac Mini Server at a school

    We just purchased 50 ipads two of the mac laptops and a mac mini server. Can anyone tell me the benefits of having a mac mini server with the 50 ipads? I know it is it own dedicated server and I am assuming the laptops and ipads will feed of of the mini. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  17. silverjam macrumors regular

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    Apr 25, 2012
    #17
    I agree.

    If you have OSX with Server attached like I do as I bought a specific Server Mac then you are always going to get the server version of the OS that cam with the Mac (in my case Lion). But when I upgrade to ML I will have to pay for ML and ML Server I believe. You don't get an ML Server Version of ML. The Server App is separate and as Apple says "you can choose to include the Server App when you buy ML". So you can put the Server App on any Mac. I will be downloading ML for my 4 Macs and the ML Server App for my MM to upgrade MM Lion Server that is already on it.

    That's my understanding.

    Silver
     

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