OS 10.6.8 Client on XServe 2.1 - how???

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by DJTEMPO7, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. DJTEMPO7 macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2013
    I've been browsing this topic for 5 or 6 years now, have never found a definitive answer... finally decided to "put my money where my mouth is", and bought an "Early 2008" XServe 2.1, 2.8 GHz Quad-core. I'm trying to run the regular "Client" version of OS 10.6.8, so as to allow installation of a number of generation-specific audio programs I use. Have never had this much "horsepower" before, so accomplishing this would be "most excellent".

    There were no ADM's that came with the XServe, so I'm having to work around this...

    I originally tried booting off an external USB drive, that I use as a backup/emergency/recovery drive, and the XServe just sat there, whirring at me. Even tried holding the option key, but the USB drive didn't show up as an option (no options, actually, no start-up drive other than the USB)

    I set up an external Firewire drive, and installed 10.6.3 off the commercial install DVD. This is being done while attached to a MacBook Pro, running 10.6.8 itself.

    I upgrade 10.6.3 to 10.6.8 with the "Software Update" function, while still attached to my MBP. I've not installed ANY other software, so there are no extensions or anything extra, other than the base software.

    I connect the FW hard drive to the XServe, power it up, and I get (what I assume is) Unix start up text, line by line, filling up my screen until I decide to hard-kill with the power button.

    If I hold down the Shift key to disable the extensions, it boots to the desktop, but... what do I do now? I can't run my audio programs in Safe-Mode.

    So... after a week of late-nights, making myself sleepy during work the next day... I'm ready to give up.

    Does anyone know of a trick, or a work-around, that will allow me to get the regular Client version of 10.6.8 installed, and running, without being in safe-mode?

    Or... do I have to use the genuine Server version of Snow Leopard? If I do this, will my "regular" audio software run in that environment?

    So many questions... only the internet for answers. So... it up to you guys. ;-)

    Any help will be appreciated. Even if it's "you can't do that". At least I know, then. Of course... I'll have to argue that the Client version runs in Safe Mode... I'm figuring there has to be a work-around.

    Chip Tredo

    MrHoffman (to DJTEMPO) 9 hours ago

    Officially, that box requires OS X Server. OS X client didn't have capabilities for some of the features of that box, such as the remote management hardware. OS X client usually also worked (as has been discussed around the forums), but the hardware configuration for this box is unfortunately somewhat sketchy, with its unknown hardware status and missing hardware pieces.

    The Xserve2,1 box will run OS X 10.7.5, and OS X and OS X Server are available for it from Apple — that'll get you to at least supported software. You may have to acquire that software redemption codes from Apple, if you don't already have it in your purchase history.

    You may be able to get a copy of the installation media for that Xserve from Apple for a small charge (that box originally shipped with 10.5, but Apple has been trying to get everybody on 10.6 or later), give the support folks a call and ask.

    That box is hot, loud and comparatively slow, FWIW. It's also very fussy about which disks are installed and the disk settings, too. Acquiring working compatible disks and/or ADM spares has been fodder for more than a few discussions here, too — if you don't have the budget to experiment, try to find disks that the third-parties specifically support on that box.

    Make sure the Xserve box keyswitch — it's an allen wrench — is unlocked, or it won't recognize any newly-added external hardware.

    (to MrHoffman) 26 minutes ago
    Whelp... as I stated in my query... I'm restricted to OS 10.6.8 due to pre-existing legacy software apps that can't be replaced. On that premise, I can't upgrade to 10.7.

    Which brings me back around to my original question, which I suppose I should elaborate on:

    Can I use the regular "Client" version of 10.6.8 on this XServe? I don't need the "server" functionality, as I'm not actually using it as a server. It's being used as a "more affordable" replacement for a regular desktop Mac. I purchased this XServe for $38.

    I've read a few blogs that state the regular client version can be run (is BEING run...), as long as it's fully installed/upgraded on a separate machine (in this case, a MacBook Pro Core Duo), itself running 10.6.8. I've done this with a Firewire drive, but the 10.6.8 install will only run on the XServe when I try starting up in "safe mode", and this is not useful since I won't be able to use my software apps, the whole point in finding this fast, but dated hardware to run it on.

    When I start up, not in safe mode, I get what appears to be the start-up activities being listed in a line-by-line text feed.

    So, "yes, it can" be started up with the Client-version, but it seems to be qualified. Might there be a work-around? I'm assuming this would be "common knowledge" for anyone who's doing this sort of stuff, but I'm not there yet. Yes, I've tried contacting the 3 authors of the threads that say it can be done.

    Running Client on the Xserve aside... Can the Server version be used to emulate the Client version, allowing me to use the "Legacy" programs I'm wanting to run? My name: MOTU Digital Performer 7.24, MOTU Unisyn 2.1, MOTU BPM 1.5. There's a number of other plug-ins, but if that trio runs, I'll be fine.

    I'll be getting an actual Apple Drive Module in the next few days, the XServe didn't come with one. But one of the threads said using Firewire was appropriate as a start-up for the XServe (as it is with virtually all other Macs, even the really old ones... I've been a Mac user since OS 7).

    Anyhoo... any thoughts?

  2. DJTEMPO7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2013
    OK... so... what you are looking at is my MacBook Pro, which is supplying the internet signal to the XServe... and... the XServe monitor (in the background) that is displaying the desktop of the XServe running 10.6.3 Client, that was installed off the commercial disc I bought retail, many moons ago.

    The XServe is started up in Safe mode, I haven't tried booting outright (don't want to spoil the surprise for myself), but the point is... it does work.

    Attached Files:

  3. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    What age is the MacBook?

    Connect both devices via FireWire and boot Xserve in target disk mode. Boot laptop from OS install media. Install into connected via FireWire Xserve HD.
  4. DJTEMPO7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2013
    Oops... forgot to update this post. I put this on Apple Support Communities today...
    Whelp... sometime around midnight last night, I hit the power button. ONLY the power button.

    I got an abbreviated version of the "text on screen" (UNIX-randomness?), but then it went to the 10.6.8 Client desktop. It was running.

    I've loaded a couple programs... SMCFanControl (which works) and then... MOTU's Digital Performer. Both are running, the system hasn't crashed. (Yet?)

    Point is... Apple builds great computers. And "don't believe the hype".
    (next post...)

    I ordered an ADM sled off eBay a couple days ago, arrived this morning.

    Popped in a junk 2.5" SATA drive, pulled from an external USB drive. Pushed it into the "running" XServe (hot-swappable, right?), both blue and green lights were on for about 2 minutes, and then the drive showed up on the desktop. Now I've just got the green light.

    It's working perfectly, transfer-rates being faster than what they were as an external USB drive.

    I paid $38 for this computer. :)
    --- Post Merged, Apr 14, 2016 ---
    And, BTW... I appreciate your approach. I have enough spare drives lying around that I didn't go this more "direct" approach. It was a l-o-n-g night...

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3 April 13, 2016