Setting up mini as server or computer

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Rudolf12, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. Rudolf12 macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2013
    Hi all

    Did a lot of reading and almost ready to purchase a Mac mini. We have a Macbookpro (2010 so no USB 3) win 7 PC, iPad and iPhones. I want to use the Mac mini as media computer to stream movies and as repository for my pictures, so we wife and I can both use them and use as for backups. I want to install also Lightroom on the Mac mini and share the catalog. Mini Will be sitting in my study with an external monitor connect with cat 6 to the netwerk.

    Should I install the Mac mini as a server? Or I am better of leaving it as a computer and share for the photos and have it stream the movies or ITunes content to the rest?

    And advise is appreciated.

  2. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    You don't need server for this, you can just seth up file sharing in the osx sys pref and have access to you mini.
    server is neat but there is a learning curve.
    If you want to mess about then go for it (i enjoyed learning and playing and breaking it :) and fixing it again :) ) but if you don't care about that, then don't bother...
  3. famous600 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2010
    I didn't have mine set up as a server originally. Then I tinkered with it in regards to file sharing and found it much easier to set up shares with read access only and to view as a guest. I don't want anyone but myself accidentally deleting anything!
  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've been running a Mac mini server at home for over 4 years now and don't know what I'd do without it. However it certainly isn't for everyone -- it does take work to set it up and solve occasional problems. If you only want a file server you are better off buying a NAS. In any case I don't recommend using a mini (or any other computer) as both a "workstation" and "server" at the same time.

    My story is here:
  5. Rudolf12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2013

    Thanks for info.

    Guess I will start with the mini as a workstation, running second Lightroom on it and have it act as media streamer and file sharing. When I am left with some more spare time I will dive into the server thing.

    Now waiting on the upcoming refresh.... :)
  6. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    There seems to be a common misunderstanding between running a "Mini as a server" and running a "Mini with OS X Server." For media server at home there's no reason to run OS X Server as that is for running Internet-related services; DNS, email, web, etc. However, if you have a number of Apple devices around the house then OS X Server can make managing them easier if you set up profiles. Anyway, that's a completely different subject, IMO.

    I used to have a NAS (Synology) and it did make a great little media and file server, but if you didn't like the packages that were made available for it then you were pretty much stuck unless you felt like compiling/configuring a 3rd-party app to work with the non-standard Linux install. I grew tired of the limitations and went from NAS -> Mac Mini, I couldn't be happier.

    Why not? It really doesn't matter if you use it for both, especially if all you're doing is serving up data on your home network. The only real impact of doing both would be related to performance, but streaming media and file sharing are not exactly heavy hitters.

    If you run Internet-connected services on the Mini, such as web and email servers, then you do have to take extra precautions. Specifically, do not run any such services under an account of a real user that logs in. They should be run as a user specific to that service, the account should be locked, and should not have an interactive shell.

    My Mini is everything; Workstation, web server, mail server, MySQL server, media server, Time Machine destination, DNS server, DHCP server, App store cache, etc. Only web, mail, ssh and VPN server are exposed to the Internet and the OS X Server adaptive firewall is also enabled.
  7. Rudolf12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2013

    Thanks for clarifying. Main objective is files (pictures) sharing and act as a media streamer to iPad and TV and time machines backups. So it will be running as a server....?
  8. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    Yes, it will be running as a server and can easily do these with the built-in apps or 3rd party apps, there's no need to buy and run OS X Server for these tasks. :)

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