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Question: How to set up Mac Mini without display/keyboard/mouse?

I have a new Mac Mini (2011) server and want to set it up without a display, keyboard or mouse.


The Mac Mini user guide (http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/mac_mini_mid2011_ug.pdf), page 19, says "For help setting up Mac OS X Lion remotely on a Mac Mini without a keyboard, mouse, or display open the Server application and choose Server Help in the Help menu."


This doesn't make any sense. How can I open the Server application with no keyboard, mouse, or display?!


I need to boot the machine, then remote into it. Does anybody know how to do this?


Thanks,


-Steve

Mac mini

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Aug 6, 2011 2:17 PM in response to stevefromchapel hill In response to stevefromchapel hill

Caveat - I have not tried this, but . . .


I would try booting the machine with a keyboard mouse and monitor to set it up. Set it up with Screen Sharing, so you can control it from any VNC client. Also specify wake-on-lan. Then unplug the keyboard mouse and monitor. At that point you can put it to sleep, wake it, run apps, what ever from an iPad or another Mac.


I use a VNC iPad app to control my MacMini remotely. But I have not tried unplugging the input and display. I don't see why that should make a difference. Easy to try.

Aug 6, 2011 2:17 PM

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Aug 6, 2011 2:26 PM in response to stevefromchapel hill In response to stevefromchapel hill

This may sound stupid and obvious, but can't you "borrow" a keyboard/mouse from another machine to do the setup?


I'm not familiar with the server version of the software, but if it runs as soon as your machine starts up without having to select a "user" and/or input a password, then you should be able to do what you need to do remotely from another machine. In the Finder, use the "Go" drop down menu at the top of the screen and select "Go to Server". When that opens, "browse" for your new Mini and if it appears, connect to it (hopefully as a user rather than a "guest"). You should then be able to open any file including the "server application".


I think if you have a laptop or other machine with no detachable keyboard/mouse to "borrow", you may be able to get it into close enough proximity to the new Mini to connect them via Firewire (if both have Firewire 800 ports) and work with the Mini in "target disk mode": http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1661

Aug 6, 2011 2:26 PM

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Sep 27, 2011 7:02 AM in response to stevefromchapel hill In response to stevefromchapel hill

You've probably got past this, but for future reference, you can connect an ethernet cable directly to another Mac (the controlling Mac) and then connect to Lion Server over the network to do the initial setup.


During the initial setup only, the VNC server on the machine has it's password set to the first 8 digits of the machines serial number (all caps). Also, the root account on the machine has a password of the machine's full serial number, again only during the initial setup.


To work out the IP address of the machine, open up Terminal and enter "arp -i en0 -a" and look for other IP addresses.


Alternately, you can do this by running Server Admin on the controlling Mac.


Once the initial server setup is complete, be sure to enable any remorte access (e.g. SSH, etc.) on the Mac before disconnecting, as you won't be able to reconnect using the above techniques once the setup is done.

Sep 27, 2011 7:02 AM

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Mar 29, 2012 3:08 PM in response to stevefromchapel hill In response to stevefromchapel hill

I'm completely new to servers and immediately had the same problem - can't access the server from another mac. I thought maybe you have to also have Lion Server on the mac your going to use to set it all up. Then I read that you just download the server admin tools http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1419. You need either Lion or Lion Server to download this free set of Apple tools.

Mar 29, 2012 3:08 PM

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Question: How to set up Mac Mini without display/keyboard/mouse?