XServe Questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by htg, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. htg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #1
    I'm thinking of buying a G5 Xserve as they're cheap nowadays and I want OS X based web hosting. I've looked at pricing for OS X hosting and it seems cheaper just to self-host with a second hand Xserve. I have a few questions.

    1)Can you direct me to any guides about how/tell me how to set it up as a web server?
    2)If it comes with no OS on it, is it as simple as setting it up in target disk mode and installing OS X 10.5 Server via Firewire or is there another way to do it? I found this guide for the former (http://marc.vos.net/howto/xserve/)
    3)Is it possible to host more than one site on it, and if so, how?
    4)Is it complicated to link domains to it, and again, how would you do it?
    5)How loud is it when it's running as normal i.e not booting up or performing a complex operation that requires lots of fan noise?
    6)Is it complicated to set up FTP, and again, how would you do it?

    That's all for now. I know that's a lot of questions but any answers would be great, even if it's not to all of them. I'm a noob when it comes to servers, so if you talk super technical without explaining I probably won't understand.
     
  2. interrobang macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    #2
    I'd be very hesitant to use any PowerPC mahine as a server. You'd be limited to Server 10.5.8, which includes out-of-date, insecure versions of Apache, PHP, OpenSSL, and pretty much everything else. You can install updated versions, but you'll have to do so on your own. You'll basically end up running a generic, unsupported Unix server with none of the OS X niceties.

    If you were willing to run Linux, on the other hand, the XServe is some nice hardware.

    The only case in which I would consider running an old version of OS X on a server is for an internal, Intranet machine that's not exposed to the world.
     
  3. htg thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #3
    I didn't know you could run Linux on it. I'm completely open to that. Same questions again then, obviously regarding Linux.
     
  4. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    First of all, you don't need OS X for web hosting and you would actually be limited yourself severely by doing so.

    G5 Xserves are loud, VERY LOUD. They are outperformed by a modern Mac Mini, which is far more quiet and far smaller. While it may seem cool to have a G5 you are setting yourself up for a big, loud, inflexible and slow hassle.

    Get a Mac Mini. If you really want to run OS X for web hosting, get yourself a book on OS X Server which will cover the basics or http://www.apple.com/macosx/server/resources/documentation.html

    Personally, I would consider running something like Ubuntu Server or CentOS.
     
  5. htg thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #5
    Yeah, I was thinking about a Mac Mini. Problem is they're more expensive as well. An old Xserve would be cheaper, but I'll consider it as you're right that a new Mac Mini would run faster.
     
  6. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #6
    Heck even an older Mini would outperform most of the G5s out there, or at least come very close.

    I made the same mistake a few years ago. There was G5 locally and I said "yay!" Bought it, brought it home and oh my. It was loud, additional parts were expensive and it was a poor performer. Plus you are locked into older OSes, which means you will find yourself hacking around to get simple things working.

    And like I said, OS X Server is not a real web server. It will do the job, but you aren't going to encounter many out there running it to serve up sites. Which is why I would recommend learning Ubuntu Server or CentOS.
     

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