macOS Server 5.8

DuncanGarp

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 6, 2018
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This version was released about 6 days ago. Anyone ever use or upgraded to it?
Never used it before but I am planning to install it on top of one my Mojave Macs. So if anyone who has used Server, if you could please give me any feedback/observations/etc.?

Thanks.
 

zaxven

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2014
69
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to be honest new server app is a waste. apple has removed all the functionalities it previously had like FTP, VPN, server doc, mail server etc from it and now encourage to use System Preferences > Sharing instead. now its mere for creating profiles which honestly is a total waste. you can use other open source services. if you are interested in setting up your own private network to begin with .. I suggest considering this: https://www.zerotier.com
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
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on the land line mr. smith.
to be honest new server app is a waste. apple has removed all the functionalities it previously had like FTP, VPN, server doc, mail server etc from it and now encourage to use System Preferences > Sharing instead. now its mere for creating profiles which honestly is a total waste. you can use other open source services. if you are interested in setting up your own private network to begin with .. I suggest considering this: https://www.zerotier.com

Agreed.

Server is now all about Profile Manager....so it is essentially an MDM. Fairly user friendly, and very low cost compared to commercial options.

But yeah....they really should not call it Server anymore, as it no longer fits the traditional model of what folks expect a "server" to be.
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
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Indeed.
Baffles me a bit why Apple keeps Profile Manager. Most companies who uses MDM use a 3rd party SaaS.
IMHO, Apple can trash the app, or bring back NetBoot - NetInstall (with imaging possibilities). Using DEP and MDM for wide scale Mac deployment can be a PITA.
 

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
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Wherever my feet take me…
Indeed.
Baffles me a bit why Apple keeps Profile Manager. Most companies who uses MDM use a 3rd party SaaS.
IMHO, Apple can trash the app, or bring back NetBoot - NetInstall (with imaging possibilities). Using DEP and MDM for wide scale Mac deployment can be a PITA.
Server still does Open Directory. Considering how Macs now pretty much take a back seat (more like trunk now) to iOS, plus how everything seems to connect to Google, Facebook or AD now, OD's pretty dead now, too.
 

hobowankenobi

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Aug 27, 2015
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on the land line mr. smith.
Indeed.
Baffles me a bit why Apple keeps Profile Manager. Most companies who uses MDM use a 3rd party SaaS.
IMHO, Apple can trash the app, or bring back NetBoot - NetInstall (with imaging possibilities). Using DEP and MDM for wide scale Mac deployment can be a PITA.

Also interesting that they are doing the Configurator app for just iOS. Seems it would be much more useful if they really combined Configurator and Profile Manager into a single, all devices basic MDM for SMB and small scale K-12 management.
 

MacsRgr8

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Also interesting that they are doing the Configurator app for just iOS. Seems it would be much more useful if they really combined Configurator and Profile Manager into a single, all devices basic MDM for SMB and small scale K-12 management.
Yes, really should include "Profile Manager" into Apple Business / School Manager.

But.... I'm pretty sure many 3rd party MDM will have something to say bout that (*cough* JAMF *cough*).
 

hobowankenobi

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Aug 27, 2015
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Yes, really should include "Profile Manager" into Apple Business / School Manager.

But.... I'm pretty sure many 3rd party MDM will have something to say bout that (*cough* JAMF *cough*).

They might...but I know some of the old guard at JAMF, and, at least in years gone by: 1) Apple does what they want, 2) JAMF adjusts to what Apple does and does't do. As JAMF has grown, they may have more influence now.
 

MacsRgr8

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Apple Configurator can do things on an iOS device like make it supervised, and even enroll the device onto DEP.
I don't think anyone uses AC to just manage iOS anymore. That was the "ol' skool" tool before MDM's were widespread available.
The are some cheap K-12 MDM available like Mosyle and Zuludesk.
 

hobowankenobi

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Aug 27, 2015
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on the land line mr. smith.
Apple Configurator can do things on an iOS device like make it supervised, and even enroll the device onto DEP.
I don't think anyone uses AC to just manage iOS anymore. That was the "ol' skool" tool before MDM's were widespread available.
The are some cheap K-12 MDM available like Mosyle and Zuludesk.

Maybe I said it wrong....I was talking about AC managing iOS gear, but not able to manage MacOS gear.
[doublepost=1556130889][/doublepost]
Interesting idea. The only issue would be what happens with Open Directory?

Good question.

The right answer would be something cloud based and sync'd...like Google and MS are working towards. No idea if that will happen...but that's what should happen. Otherwise I expect we will see Macs "bound" to a competitor's cloud directory.

Have not used Azure directory....but notice the screen shot MS chose. That's not by chance...
 
Last edited:

MacsRgr8

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macOS (the Mac itself) is getting less "bound" to a local network directory (like OD and AD), but the user gets login credentials from cloud services like hobowankenobi suggested, usually after the (local-admin) user is locally created (via DEP en MDM) on the Mac.

Using Azure combined with that in-house MDM (Intune) is getting a better and better option:

What exactly does a company want to manage?
• apps and data (regarding Azure: Office 365 and One Drive storage)
• local disk encryption (i.e. FileVault 2)
• password policy.

For the Mac-MDM the only real difficulty is/was FileVault. Especially since macOS 10.13.2 combined with the use of Escrow.
JAMF and Profile Manage can do that, IIRC MS Intune was almost compliant too.
 

palebluedot

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2008
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I am going to use one of my old Minis as a server. Would server be worth it just for policy for three macs and a few iphones/ipads? it would be nice to push out updates and the like via macOS Server and manage the devices all in one console rather than go dig them out of everyone's hands.
 

chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
10,031
3,781
I am going to use one of my old Minis as a server. Would server be worth it just for policy for three macs and a few iphones/ipads? it would be nice to push out updates and the like via macOS Server and manage the devices all in one console rather than go dig them out of everyone's hands.
Server has no functionality to push out updates, so there's no benefit for you there.
 

hobowankenobi

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Aug 27, 2015
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on the land line mr. smith.
I am going to use one of my old Minis as a server. Would server be worth it just for policy for three macs and a few iphones/ipads? it would be nice to push out updates and the like via macOS Server and manage the devices all in one console rather than go dig them out of everyone's hands.

While I am not running Server 5.8, previous versions used Profile Manager to do this. Worked pretty well, but there is some setup and learning curve for sure. For that few of devices, this would only really make sense if you want a project/hobby to learn about MDM processes.

Don't know what the status is these days, but Meraki System Manager used to be free for less than 100 devices, and mostly web based.
 

chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
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Well, most MDM's can push iOS app updates and iOS updates. Requires some work.. and most people use auto-updates anyway.
For macOS updates, you need to really start the "Software Update Service", though hidden:
  • Open Directory and Software Update Service are now hidden by default.
https://support.apple.com/en-il/HT208041
Software update server was hidden in Server 5.4. It's totally removed from 5.8.
 

guzhogi

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Aug 31, 2003
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Wherever my feet take me…
Don't know what the status is these days, but Meraki System Manager used to be free for less than 100 devices, and mostly web based.

My district uses Jamf for Macs & Airwatch for iPads. From what my boss says, both are good for what we use them for, but not good for both devices. However, we use Meraki switches & wireless access points. Unfortunately, I'm too low on the proverbial totem pole to be able to test Meraki Systems Manager. IMO, it would be advantageous to have a one-stop shop for switches, APs, & MDM.
 
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MacsRgr8

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JAMF is perfect for Mac & iOS.
AirWatch is great as an "all-mobile OS" MDM, not really for Macs.
Meraki System Manager is kinda like AirWatch, but indeed, gives ease of integration with rest of the Cisco-IT stuff.
Stuff like Spark, Cisco Security Connector and integration with the Wifi / LAN controller etc. is nice to have.
 

palebluedot

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2008
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80
JAMF is perfect for Mac & iOS.
AirWatch is great as an "all-mobile OS" MDM, not really for Macs.
Meraki System Manager is kinda like AirWatch, but indeed, gives ease of integration with rest of the Cisco-IT stuff.
Stuff like Spark, Cisco Security Connector and integration with the Wifi / LAN controller etc. is nice to have.

But am I correct that there is really no point in using that for a small set of devices in my family? I was sort of wanting to do lazy updates on my wife's mac, phone, ipad, and my equipment without going around to each device. macOS Server seemed great for the home environment.

None the less, I will probably use my old mini as a VPN and file server so that my Time Capsule can just become dedicated to backups.
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
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But am I correct that there is really no point in using that for a small set of devices in my family? I was sort of wanting to do lazy updates on my wife's mac, phone, ipad, and my equipment without going around to each device. macOS Server seemed great for the home environment.

None the less, I will probably use my old mini as a VPN and file server so that my Time Capsule can just become dedicated to backups.
Ah, indeed. True.
macOS server / Profile Manager will give you enough for your iOS needs.
macOS? Well, just make sure you have the option "Automatically keep my Mac up to date" on.
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
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on the land line mr. smith.
Yes...for a small group of devices, JAMF is off the table.

Only some of the cloud based solutions that might have a free demo (often limited to a small number of devices) might make any sense ton cosider. Still likely more work to get it all setup and comfortable with it to warrant doing it.

If you want to consider Server (Profile Manager), here is a good overview of the initial configuration. At $20, it may be lowest cost, low risk option.
 
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