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ToniCH

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 23, 2020
555
616
I have a late 2009 Mac Mini Server which came with a license and disks for 10.6 Server. The Mini has 2.53GHz C2D, 4GB RAM and a SSD drive to boot from. It supports OSs from 10.6 (SL) to 10.11 (el Cap).

I would like to run it as a light duty file server in my home network. I have no experience in running Server OS -versions on any Macs.

Is there any advantage to install the Server OS instead any of the client OSs up to el Capitan for this job? Can server os do something better? Or can I get exact the same functionality from the client OSs? Performance difference?

RAM consumption? I see the 10.11 el Cap takes about 1.8GB RAM when booted and nothing extra running. EDIT: installed the 10.6 Server, it takes the same 1.8GB RAM when booted.

So, 10.6 Server, el Capitan or should I choose something in between them for optimal performance?

Thanks! 👍🏻

Ps. I currently run Late 2012 Mini Server with i7, 16GB and twin SSDs in this job but I feel its wasted and could be better used in some heavier lifting. Not using Server OS in it.
 
Last edited:

ifrit05

macrumors 6502a
Dec 23, 2013
548
385
Near Detroit, MI. USA
You are better off installing a Linux server distro on those old machines, unless you just want to mess with Mac OS X Server. The services and applications are extremely out of date.
 
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ToniCH

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 23, 2020
555
616
You are better off installing a Linux server distro on those old machines, unless you just want to mess with Mac OS X Server. The services and applications are extremely out of date.
Light duty home file server? It either works or it doesn't. I don't know how Linux would do better in such job?

BTW. I did run a RPi 4B server with Docker, Portainer, Pihole, Shell in a box etc. -server before. I then swapped the file services to the Mac Mini 2012 about a year ago. Found the RPi option tedious to maintain and too difficult to my wife to use (so she didn't use it at all). Here it is, booting running the server software from the external NVMe + mirrored data disks on the USB3 -dock.
 

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ToniCH

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 23, 2020
555
616
Played around with the Server version. Seems way too complicated for the simple job. Erased it and going with the plain vanilla MacOS. Installed both Snow Leopard and el Capitan and configured sharing (ie. the first and last of the supported os's). Testing which one will work the best for us.
 
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