Turning old iMac into a server with own cloud??


macrumors regular
Original poster
May 31, 2012
New Orleans / Baton Rouge
I have an early 2008 iMac (Core 2 Duo 2GB ram, 500GB HD) that has been replaced with a newer iMac. I have Mavericks on it.

Can I install OSX Server from the App store for $20, then install own cloud and use this as a file server? I want it to essentially replace dropbox. Can the computer be asleep or does it have to be awake all the time for me to access it from other computers? Any other reasons this would or wouldn't work?

Thanks in advance to anyone who has some insight!


macrumors 68000
May 2, 2012
I don't see why you would need to run OS X Server for own clowd.

It is my understanding the computer would need to be awake to access it's files.


macrumors 68010
Mar 19, 2011
You have two options to do this, really.

You could simply VPN into your computer. This is easiest if your are just going to access from one or two other devices.

If you want to be able to get in there from any device, like your sister's computer in Bali over the internet, then doing a file server couöd be a solution, and ues, you can turn any Mac into a file server no problem using the Server app.

You'll want to register a domain, I would recommend you do so at a registrar who also provides a dynamic DNS service and client. http://www.noip.com is a good one, but there are a lot of others out there. This will make it easy to handle the fact that your ISP assigns you a dynamic public IP address and not a static one.

Then you download and install the Server app and set up the file sharing service using your domain.

Your display can be sleeping but your computer can't. If I am not mistaken, once you turn on Server services in the Server app, it adjusts the power settings accordingly so it will always be listening for incoming requests. Servers by their nature can never sleep :)


macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2011
Burbank, CA
I just use Back to My Mac all the time. For example, if I'm out with my MBA and want to access my music collection, I just connect to my the Mac Mini I use at home as a "server" and mount the external drive I have connected to the Mini that has all of my music on it. Simple. I share files and use Screen Sharing all the time via Back to My Mac.


macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
If they're on the same network just turn on file sharing in the pref pane on the old mac. Go to Finder on the new mac and go to network, and you should see the old mac and it's files, sorta like an external drive. No need for anything additional.
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