Skip navigation

Lion Server not ready for prime time (at least not if you are coming from Snow Leopard Server)

4106 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Aug 11, 2011 9:16 AM by parexcel RSS
BadBoy9999 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 23, 2011 9:19 AM

I tried multiple times to upgrade from Snow Leopard Server to Lion Server. Each time the process stalls out with a message of "Upgrading services." This never completes successfully.


Then I had the bright idea that I would do a clean install of both Lion and Lion Server and then use the Migration Assistant to pull over all my files, settings, etc.


That did not work well (despite multiple attempts). Files were pulled over just fine. However, settings and "little" things like emails were not successfully pulled over.


I have now tried upgrading, or installing and migrating, five times. It has consumed several nights. To add to the fun, I have also been charged multiple times for Lion and Lion Server despite not having one successful installation.


I am very disappointed in the Snow Leopard Server to Lion Server process. This is a real let down given my generally very, very high opinion of Apple and Apple products.


After my experiences and reading of the hundreds of similar experiences elsewhere in this support forum, my conclusion, reluctantly reached, is that Lion Server is not ready for prime time.

  • Peter Bruderer Calculating status...

    Funny to hear that you also were charged multiple times. I made the same experience. I tried all different ways of upgrade, but it always failed.


    So I made a Lion USB stick and installed Lion from scratch, installed Server. So far so good. Then using the Server App to create a profile manager including open directory master works as far. But ... if you want to configure a user for portable home directory, you must download server admin tools separately and configure it, as you did earlier.


    The new app also lacks to configure the Kerberos realm and to base DN in the open directory master. It just uses the hostname. I do not like this fact at all.


    Also the Server app does not care, if you want to create an open directory master or slave.


    Another nasty little fact. If you upgrade a client to Lion wihch joined a SL server, the boot process on the client takes forever.

  • krisvh Calculating status...

    I also had to install several times. I did not touch the 'old' Snow Leopard Server though and installed on a new HD in my notebook. First I installed Snow Leopard (client), bought Lion and installed it over SL. Then I took the TimeMachine harddisk of my SL server and copied all the files using the migration tool. Took about 2h. But it was not really succesfull. (obviously I had to buy Lion Server afterwards in the App Store)


    As I made a bootable USB stick of the Lion OS installation, I did not had to download the whole thing again when I wiped the HD for a new install. I did a clean install of Lion and Lion server, downloaded the server apps from the website and manually created all the users again with the same passwords.


    I only use the iCal, wiki and file sharing services and I only have about 10 users. I copied the wiki's from SL server and installed them using the migration command in Terminal. After the migration, all wiki's were working fine and restrictions of the users were correct!


    I changed the fixed IP address of my new server to the one of the old one and pulled SL offline for a test. Server and wiki's were reachable, and I could login with all the users.


    BUT: I have NO CLUE how I should migrate the old iCal databases to the new server. I activated the iCal service for one user, and that works fine. So the only problem is getting all the old calendar data into the new server...


    So if anyone has an idea, please let me know! In the SL to Lion Server migration pdf there is no word about migrating the iCal data.




  • Peter Bruderer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I succeded to upgrade my Snow Leopard Server.


    - Download Lion from a 10.6 machine.

    - Make a bootable USB Stick with Lion

    - Upgrade a client to Lion

    - Get the

    - Copy the to a USB Stick

    - Insert your Lion USB stick into you Snow Leopard Server

    - Boot your SL Server, with the option(alt) key pressed.

    - Select USB as boot device

    - Select Reinstall Lion

    - Wait, pray, drink a coffee

    - The Server is now Lion

    - Download the Server Admin Tools for 10.6

    - Copy the from the USB stick into the /Applications Folder


    That's basically it.


    I did do it with an opendirectory master, running AFP only for portable home directories.


    There is no way to do the upgrade directly from the AppStore.

  • capaho Level 4 Level 4 (3,650 points)

    I have run my own servers for many years and I have never upgraded a stable server to a newly released OS version precisely because of such problems.  I simply can't risk the downtime.


    In the case of Lion specifically, the speed and network performance of my MBP and desktop Macs seems to have degraded somewhat since upgrading them from SL to Lion, so I don't understand what the advantage would be in upgrading a stable SL server to Lion server.  As far as I can tell, most of the enchancements in Lion are with the GUI interface, which is not a good reason to upgrade a server that provides services primarily to remote clients.


    I also have to wonder how serious Apple's commitment is to the server market in general.  Support for MySQL has been dropped in Lion, which is odd considering how commonly used it is with web apps, and the new server tools lack the depth of the previous Server Admin tool, which, fortunately, is still available.  The Apache installation doesn't include support for ModSecurity, which is a serious lapse in Apple's security philosophy when it comes to web servers, and installing it manually is a pain.


    I may have to seriously consider going back to Linux boxes when it comes time to retire these servers if I can't find a compelling reason to continue on with OS X on the server side of my business.

  • xodiac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    Well, I have been on the previews of the server since number two or so. It seems that the GM version have serveral issues, so I wish I had the paitaince you had.


    In fact, I have had so many problems with the Lion Server that I have decided to rool back to Snow Leopard on my Mac Mini. However, having all other clients as Lion, I can't seem to find the good old Remote Disk utility in th e Lion client distribution. So kind of stuck with a unstable and (in my opponion) not release ready Lion Server.


    Anyone have a good suggestion as to get Snow Leopard Server on the mini ?



  • capaho Level 4 Level 4 (3,650 points)

    >Anyone have a good suggestion as to get Snow Leopard Server on the mini ?


    If you have a good backup from your SL installation you could probably do a clean install from the SL Server installaion disc and then restore everything else from the backup.

  • amurug Calculating status...

    I've not heard of a single error-free upgrade from snow leopard server to lion server (yet).. The upgrade process fails at some point and has to restart. It restarts into lion but the server isn't installed & the installer probably got wiped out after the restart. The Mac app store shows an option to install Lion server but asks if I'd like to be charged another 79.98$.

  • Moises_Ruiz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have also not been able to upgrade to Lion Server. When I do it I get the "Error reading settings" message that the solutions proposed here: did not resolve.


    I have several services set up in my server and I can't afford to re-configure everything nor the down time.


    I rolled back to SL for now and waiting for a solution.

  • Gerard Dirks Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)



    I am very disappointed what the Lion 10.7 Server brings. At this moment ist is really worthless to spend more time with it. This version is only worth to install if you want an small server at home. For professionel use I think we can forget this version. Maybe 1.7.5 brings better services but I suggest Server will be a one-way lane to an 10.8 without Server Software


    In the meantime I will look for a way to install old 10.6.8 on new machines. I hope it will be possible to install 10.6.8 in the next 1 year on new machines. I will also take a look to other server platforms. I supposed Apple has left the professional server platform and switches to a total consumer electronics reseller.


    Maybe I try Server from Dell, IBM or HP and virtualise them 10.6.8 Server on it




  • Mr. Quinn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yet another Apple server travesty, you'd think I'd have learned by now.


    I attempted to upgrade my Snow Leopard Server to Lion Server.

    It has been hung on "One moment please... Your server is being configured" - "Configuring services" -"Upgrading services" for long enough now to realise it is going nowhere.


    Very many thanks for your excellent software upgrade process Apple, well done!!


    So, *** am I supposed to do now?


    Suggestions welcome.

  • cpguru21 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)



    Is it possible in your scenario to migrate the calendars over using iCal client, simple export, import process? or were all your calendars on the server, and you accessed via web?


    This is the process we use when someone in our organization requests the creation of a network calendar, which they already have set up in iCal.



  • krisvh Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hello cpguru21,


    That's excatly how I solved this problem. They were indeed on the client's harddrive too and I exported them all to file. Then I recreated the iCal accounts on the server, and configured the iCal program on the client Mac's. Now I imported the iCal archive and it then propagated to the sever.


    So this works fine, but then you need to have access to all the client Mac's and have the login and username to export the iCal data as an archive. If you have several accounts, this is a **** of a job!... :-S





  • cpguru21 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)

    "If you have several accounts, this is a **** of a job!... :-S"




    In my scenario I have a lot of accounts, but few public calendars on the servers.  So I only need to restore a few calendars and all people shared will see the updates.  Glad you came up with a solution :-)



  • parexcel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry to hear all that, and all the other trouble all over the site.


    Guess Lion Server won't be joining our corporate lineup.  I wonder which way they will go from here -- back to the arrogant detachment that got them almost bankrupt, or forward into sharing the road and trying to win the race?


    Ur obt svt,

    Very old and tired consultant.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (2)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.