Setting up a home file server

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by FlyingTexan, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. FlyingTexan macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2015
    I have a base model mac mini with the 4GB memory and 500GB HD. I also have a 2015 13" MBPr that's the base model with 8GB memory and 128GB HD. I'll go ahead and say it now just so people know. As a day-to-day user of internet, video watching, MS word/excel and some PDF work I literally cannot tell the difference in speed between the two. I don't do anything intensive on the mini but was shocked at how well it runs.

    The mini is connected to my TV and I use it for media/internet. I have sling/netflix and the HDhomerun tuner card for my local TV which all works great. I just attached a 4TB external storage drive to the mini. I've had the drive for about two years and it is simply a drive in an enclosure. The Mac Mini is always on and connected wirelessly to my network.

    What I'd like to do is make the 4TB drive accessible to anyone that is connected to the network. I'd like to have it setup on my macbook so that it just looks like another folder I can access. We have dropbox at work which I've realized I love but A)they are canceling it and B)it still keeps copies of everything on my laptop which with the smaller drive can cause issues. I'd also like to have my laptop make backups of itself to the network drive if possible.

    I'm completely willing to buy whatever software I need to make this happen. Can someone help me out on what I should do?
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The simplest way to do this is to activate the file sharing in the Sharing panel and make the folder guest-accessible. You are done. For more control (e.g. users with individual access rights), Apple's Server app can be useful. To map the network drive at startup, follow these steps (its a bit different in 10.11, but the basic idea is still the same — you open the drive, then drag+drop it in your login items):

    If you want also to use the network drive as a Time Machine backup, you should use the Server app.
  3. FlyingTexan thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2015
    Thank you for the reply. I didn't know if the server was just an addon or if it was a completely different OS.
  4. FlyingTexan thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2015
    I'm messing around with the settings and when I look under file sharing it has a couple folders available of my name. I try to delete them but can't. I'd like to add the network drive since it's 4TB and not save to the mac mini itself. I switched not too long ago to mac so still learning and a little bothered by their file system. Is there a way to specify that I want the 4TB attached drive to be the network drive?
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    1. Mount the external drive
    2. Click '+' in the file sharing panel. Add the volume of the external drive in the menu
    3. Set the access privileges (e.g. everyone to read and write)
    3. Turn file sharing on

    That should do it!

    P.S. The Server is just an app. It used to be a different OS, but Apple has very wisely packaged all the server components into the single app. For that price, its a very reasonable purchase.
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The server app actually makes is simpler, because the relevant controls are more obvious. After all, the current server app is targeted at average user rather than a professional admin. Also, the server app is a must if you want to set up a Time Machine destination.
  7. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    Do you know at what OS version they turned it into an app?
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008

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