5 Replies Latest reply: Aug 27, 2011 8:23 AM by James Spong
Gerben Wierda Level 1 (135 points)

I currently run a server setup based on OS X Server 10.6.8. I have been looking for information  but unable to find confirmation if the following functionalities are still available to me:


1. Mobile Accounts. I have a few computers that have mobile accounts. These accounts use local disk space for the home directory and when on the local network, the home directory gets synchronized with the server (which then backs everything up). Users can login on any machine and get their own files. They can go away with a laptop, work on it and when they return (or when they are connected using VPN), theire home directories are automatically synced. These are of course not simple network accounts, but they are network accounts that still work when the network is not there,

2. Virtual domains. I have several virtual domains on the web server. I have virtual domains on the mail server. Some users have mail-only accounts.

3. Specific mail server settigs (like another port tnen 25 where postfix listens to authenticated users that login using TLS to send mail: reason: port 25 is sometimes blocked on public networks or silently redirected to the ISP's own server where they of course cannot log in)

4. Managed Settings for users (e.g. web sites for small kids)


I think these are the major ones. Is it safe for me to upgrade to Lion Server?

  • joe_mck Level 1 (25 points)

    1. Mobile accounts. I am using these on Lion for the first time. Synchronizing is not as fast as I would like, but it is definitely there.

    2. Virtual domains. I am not doing this personally, so consider this secondhand info. I believe all the GUI support for this has been removed, but apache still handles it if you can edit configuration files. Not sure about mail domains.

    3. Mail server settings. I can't help at all here.

    4. Managed settings. Yes this works; I am using this too. I initially thought Profile Manager was the way to do this, and put quite a bit of effort into setting it up, only to find settings were NOT pushing. Eventually I ran into the "services not starting" problems that seem so prevalent on this forum. After a clean reinstall, I now manage user settings through Workgroup Manager. Easy AND Effective. YMMV with Profile Manager. I am NOT an experienced Mac admin; could be my inexperience, could be the tool is rubbish, maybe both.

  • James Spong Level 1 (100 points)

    2.  Correct the GUI support has been removed, but you can edit the flat Apache files via Terminal to get what you want.


    3. As for Mail, it's till based on Postfix/Dovecot.  I think I remember seeing the Mail tab available in Server Admin for SL style configuration changes.  If you wanted to change anything that the GUI doesn't offer you can stop the mail service and edit the flat files located /etc/postfix/main.cf and master.cf.



  • Gerben Wierda Level 1 (135 points)

    Hmm, too bad, I'll have to learn under-the-hood apache maintenance then. Postfix I already partly maintain at the unix level (because of some things that cannot be managed in Server Admin)


    Any gotchas with respect to Server Admin not respecting unix-level modified settings? I recall having read stuff about settings in main.cf not being respected/overwritten.

  • R Bryan Harrison Level 2 (210 points)

    Lion Server simply drops about half the previous functionality of the product while adding a badly designed and completely unnecessary additional administrative app.  What remains is simplified in the same sense that a lobotomy "simplified" Francis Farmer.  I can only assume this is in keeping with their decision to stop building server hardware – they've abandoned IT as a market, but have decided some unspecified group of people won't mind spending a small sum to play with a crippled server product.


    Apple has always had trouble deciding what to do with OS X Server and has now apparently chosen to  repurpose it - for who or what I really can't guess.  It'll make a cool toy for a kid interested in playing geek, but I can no more do my work with Lion Server than I can two tin cans and a string.  It's abilities aren't adequate for my home, much less my work. 


    I'll continue to run OS X as a desktop OS – the alternatives are unacceptable – but for services, Linux is all that's left.  Certainly there's now no reason to spend extra money to use Macs as servers.  Without a comprehensive interface to the underlying services, a Mac server is nothing more than an overpriced Unix/Linux box. 

  • James Spong Level 1 (100 points)

    I remember there being some settings that server admin didn't like, but I can't remember which ones, sorry - I jumped over to Kerio Mailserver (now Connect) long ago because, imho, it's years beyond what Apple have produced in terms of mail and groupware serving.