Mac mini & OS X Server

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Does anyone know if you can run X Server on a Mac mini?



The only reason I ask is because I know it can't be installed on an iBook of PowerBook.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    dobbydobby Posts: 796member
    Hopefully it will.

    You could probably get about 200 per rack!



    Dobby.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by erbium

    Does anyone know if you can run X Server on a Mac mini?



    The only reason I ask is because I know it can't be installed on an iBook of PowerBook.




    Why would you want to, you could just as easy install Linux, Darwin or BSD on it? Either will serve you needs just as well without the system strain or requirements X Server requires. Beside who the f---k needs a gui like Aqua on a server any way, waste of resources.



    Any if these will make your Mac mini into a server for free.



    http://www.netbsd.org

    http://www.yellowdoglinux.com

    http://www.suse.com

    http://www.mandrakesoft.com

    http://www.gentoo.org

    http://developer.apple.com/darwin
  • Reply 3 of 33
    The answer is probably yes, but the current version will probably not run on it until the next update (and might not be able to install). Apple updates the core of MacOS X to support new hardware, and until that core update has been made, older OS's don't support newer hardware.



    The next time Apple brings out a version of MacOS X Server it will probably include the updated support from the custom version of MacOS X (client) that is shipping with the Mini Mac. However, that does not change the hardware support that is already printed on the current MacOS X Server CD's, and there is a chance that no new CD's will be produced until MacOS X 10.4 Server comes out.





    Edit: Dobby: in case you are thinking that Mac Mini's would be a good replacement for XServes, I think you are wrong. XServes will probably remain the best price/performance in Apple's lineup for a long time. Clustering comes with a big per-computer hit on performance, so the enormus speed difference between a dual 2.3 Ghz G5's and single 1.25 or 1.42 G4's is going to really pay off.



    My bet is that 1 Cluster Node XServe will be significaly faster than 6 Mac Mini's on just about any task you can think of, and that is before you start to upgrade them at all. The only place that Mac Minis are going to really make it into the data center are as monitoring stations. With that small size I bet people will start building monitor setups with a spot for the Mini. I just wish that it was thin enough to fit in 1U.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Relic

    [B]Why would you want to, you could just as easy install Linux, Darwin or BSD on it? Either will serve you needs just as well without the system strain or requirements X Server requires. Beside who the f---k needs a gui like Aqua on a server any way, waste of resources.



    Problem is, after you install it, you actually have to use it. Which is infinitely easier in OS X. You get to use the server tools to monitor the machine remotely with OS X, and the "GUI is a waste of resources" argument is pretty irrelevant with modern computers.



    I won't knock those who choose to go their own way with Linux or FreeBSD. But I've been bitten enough by poor package management, broken installers, circular dependencies that are unfortunately still a part of the Free UNIX experience.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    What Gizzmonic said.



    If you're an uberl33t Unixhead, then no, this isn't for you. Go slap together an x86 box for half the price, and save some dough, while scratching your inner geek itch. If you don't want to mess around though, and just want it to work without the hassle, go the MacOS X Server route.



    I set one up at home for web, mail, ftp, ssh, etc etc etc ad nauseum, and the hardest part was getting the DNS to work nicely with the domain registrar. The rest? Piece of cake.



    Having done this for a number of other Unixen over the years, I was highly impressed and stunned at how easy and fast it was.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Relic

    Why would you want to, you could just as easy install Linux, Darwin or BSD on it? Either will serve you needs just as well without the system strain or requirements X Server requires. Beside who the f---k needs a gui like Aqua on a server any way, waste of resources.



    Any if these will make your Mac mini into a server for free.



    http://www.netbsd.org

    http://www.yellowdoglinux.com

    http://www.suse.com

    http://www.mandrakesoft.com

    http://www.gentoo.org

    http://developer.apple.com/darwin




    You forgot my favorite Linux (Debian) distro for PPC!



    http://www.ubuntulinux.org/



    Hell, they sent me 100 free Ubuntu PPC Install CDs for free! Yes FREE! These guys rock. Go check 'em out!
  • Reply 7 of 33
    I ran Mac OS X Server on an iMac G4 800Mhz for a month before getting a real server. It was an expertimental process before shelling out the money for XServe's. I hosted around 30 websites off the iMac G4 and it worked amazing, people complimented me on the speed, so with the Mac mini being a 1.25Ghz or 1.42Ghz G4 I don't see why it wouldn't run on there. As for having to wait until Mac OS X Server "Tiger" 10.4 I don't see why 10.3 "Panther" wouldn't work. I am contemplating buying a Mac mini and putting my Server on there to see how well it would do as a file server in my house. So yes I think it would run Mac OS X Server just fine.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Uh, yeah. For the record, my server is a 350MHz B/W G3...
  • Reply 9 of 33
    dobbydobby Posts: 796member
    I would love to set a mMac up as a Home server. Plug a 400GB firewire drive in for music and movies and it would be an awsome setup. I wonder if the graphics card would take it. The sheer size makes it much more attactive for a home unit where I just don't have the space for a large machine.



    Dobby.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    What Gizzmonic said.



    If you're an uberl33t Unixhead, then no, this isn't for you. Go slap together an x86 box for half the price, and save some dough, while scratching your inner geek itch. If you don't want to mess around though, and just want it to work without the hassle, go the MacOS X Server route.



    I set one up at home for web, mail, ftp, ssh, etc etc etc ad nauseum, and the hardest part was getting the DNS to work nicely with the domain registrar. The rest? Piece of cake.



    Having done this for a number of other Unixen over the years, I was highly impressed and stunned at how easy and fast it was.






    Have you tried ever tried a Linux Distro like Yellow Dog? You don't have to be a UNIX head to setup one up. The thing pretty mutch configures it self. Don't get me wrong I like OSX Server, however I don't think my OS should cost more then hardware that I'm installing it on. Plus OSX Server; is slower then Linux(needs a Xserver), needs a monitor or Apple Remote Desktop to setup, It is easier gettting the millions of free linux and Unix programs running on Linux for PPC then it is for Darwin/BSD for PPC (please don't mention FInk, I hate Fink).



    If you already use OSX Server, then fine use it. But Linux is free, easy to get and your server can be running in 30 minutes after you open up the Mac Mini box.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dstranathan

    You forgot my favorite Linux (Debian) distro for PPC!



    http://www.ubuntulinux.org/



    Hell, they sent me 100 free Ubuntu PPC Install CDs for free! Yes FREE! These guys rock. Go check 'em out!




    I downloaded the ISO last night and I am now in the process of installing, pretty impressed by the setup so far. I really love Unix/Linux OS's, how do people function with Windows or just using the Aqua desktop Manager.



    Anyway thanks for heads up.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    jlljll Posts: 2,713member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Relic

    needs a monitor or Apple Remote Desktop to setup,



    And with Linux you just put in the CD and walk away?



    Mac OS X Server can easily be installed and setup from another computer - no need for ARD.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    People telling you its hard to manage a server using Linux or UNIX OS'/distro's haven't tried their latest offerings.



    Once you try something like Ubuntu and see how easy it is to setup [much easier than anything in Windows], you'll see what I mean. Its a no-brainer, and if you're into the whole server thing better start learning some commands and learn to cope without a nice GUI 'cause the entire point of a Server is to not use resources for useleses things.



    Its better to use a nice, easy GUI for a server but that doesn't mean you have to use it. The price is another factor.



    I mean, if you can't open a terminal, write down 'apt-get install packagename' and still want to run a server, then what can I say? [no pun intended].



    BMW's are nice cars and don't need much work to make them run well, but its good to have the knowledge because in the long-run you will need it.



    And by the way, SuSE doesn't offer a PPC edition. At least, that's the way it was last time I checked [9.1 Professional].
  • Reply 14 of 33
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gene Clean

    People telling you its hard to manage a server using Linux or UNIX OS'/distro's haven't tried their latest offerings.



    Once you try something like Ubuntu and see how easy it is to setup [much easier than anything in Windows], you'll see what I mean. Its a no-brainer, and if you're into the whole server thing better start learning some commands and learn to cope without a nice GUI 'cause the entire point of a Server is to not use resources for useleses things.



    Its better to use a nice, easy GUI for a server but that doesn't mean you have to use it. The price is another factor.



    I mean, if you can't open a terminal, write down 'apt-get install packagename' and still want to run a server, then what can I say? [no pun intended].



    BMW's are nice cars and don't need much work to make them run well, but its good to have the knowledge because in the long-run you will need it.



    And by the way, SuSE doesn't offer a PPC edition. At least, that's the way it was last time I checked [9.1 Professional].






    There isn't a new version but there is SUSE 7.3 for PPC. By the way have you heard Novel(Suse) wants to open up Yast2 for the Linux Community. Great news, as I think Yast is one of the best setup programs around.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JLL

    And with Linux you just put in the CD and walk away?



    Mac OS X Server can easily be installed and setup from another computer - no need for ARD.




    So then why use OSX server? The GUI is what makes it great isn't it? Because if you don't use it then I would defiantly install Darwin or Linux on it. Faster and less resources used.



    Terminal install, I configured a BSD machine last week through my Nokia 9500 Communicator using Puty for Symbian.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Relic

    There isn't a new version but there is SUSE 7.3 for PPC. By the way have you heard Novel(Suse) wants to open up Yast2 for the Linux Community. Great news, as I think Yast is one of the best setup programs around.



    Yes, YaST (Yet Another Setup Tool) is a highly-praised setup and config tool in the Linux world. Novell actually announced that it would put YaST under GPL some time ago but they still have to do it. Its a major moment for other distro's as its one of the best configuration/setup tools around bar none.



    It has a very nice graphical UI and very easy to understand. When compared to it, Windows Control Panel looks like a bunch of nannies on their late eighties trying to still kick it with younger men.



    I think distro's that are KDE-centric will certainly adopt it, but GNOME-centric distro's like Fedora Core, Ubuntu et al. probably won't. Fedora has Anaconda but Ubuntu doesn't. Debian is working on a graphical installer but its still in development.



    By the way, how does *BSD fare compared to say, Debian? I tried it for about 2-3 days on a friends system but didn't go into depth as my time was limited. I plan on installing it sometime in the next week or two, and I'd thought you could give me some 'insider' :P information.



    thanks.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Holy crap, I never thought of using it as server.







    Now I have an excuse to buy one!
  • Reply 18 of 33
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Gene Clean thanks for the info on Ubunto. Before your post I had never heard of it, I usually surrender my Mac to Yellow Dog for my Linux needs. But I?ll defiantly try this distro tonight.



    If this is going to be your first time with BSD for PPC I recommend going with FreeBSD. The setup is very straightforward and the hardware support seems to be better for Mac then NetBSD or OpenBSD. Tell me which Mac you?re interested in installing it on and I?ll IM the config/self-made-helper guide to you. If I haven?t installed it on your machine yet there are 6 other people around me right now who have. WE even have a 20th Anniversary Mac running NetBSD, so cool. I think it?s amazing how quick Apple users shun on the thought of installing anything but a Mac OS on their machine. Installing Linux or BSD on an older or slower Mac literally gives it new life; a once slow Mac becomes a usable computer again. The Mini Mac is a perfect host for such an OS; I?m the kind of guy who buys small-embedded PPC reference boards just to play on so this is a dream come true.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    jlljll Posts: 2,713member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Relic

    So then why use OSX server? The GUI is what makes it great isn't it? Because if you don't use it then I would defiantly install Darwin or Linux on it. Faster and less resources used.



    The administration apps (if you want to use the GUI) don't run on the server - they run on your own Mac!
  • Reply 20 of 33
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JLL

    The administration apps (if you want to use the GUI) don't run on the server - they run on your own Mac!



    Yes I know I had an OSX server installed for about 6 months. The thing was I never used the GUI tools because I'm a remote terminal junky, never at home. So without the GUI tools OSX server was just another Unix that didn?t offer any significant feature or speed advantage over the free Unix software. Remember Darwin is based off of the same free software that can be found anywhere, so what was the point. Why pay for something that you can get for free.



    If your GUI junkie and love Aqua then yes.

    If you don?t use them then what?s the difference what BSD flavor you use?
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