Not much detail to go on; it's clear that the attempt to use Software Update Server hasn't worked for you, but few details on the current configuration.
Same OS X 10.7.3 and OS X Server 10.7.3 versions on both boxes?
Are any other existing client hosts using this Software Update Server, or is this a new installation?
For troubleshooting, some of the usual details to check are DNS services (which might already work, depending on how you've configured the software update defaults setting and how you've tested the http connection to the web server, but improper DNS services configurations have caused all manner of weirdness).
Check the Software Update Server logs to see if the connection has been made, and then the general logs (via Console.app) on both ends of the connection.
You've probably already checked this, but also determine if there are updates cached and active on the Software Update Server.
Are there any web proxies or nanny filters or other gateway-based or DNS-based filtering tools in use within the network?
Verify the defaults setting in the client, as well. From experience, mistyping host names is easy enough.
Both client and server are running 10.7.3 lion. The server is running the server version. I only just turned on software updates and started it 10 hours abck. I have not tried to connect any other clients yet. It seems more as if the http software update catalogue isnt being provided on the port 8088, rather than anything else.
Using server admin, I can see that it says the update service is started, and that updates are downloaded. The log says things like:
auto copy only new was selected
lots of lines saying finished downloading product xxx-xxx
service update synced for 10.7 (4)
two errors saying unable to get catalogue from apple servers (**** are these important, or is this a one off timeout ???)
and sync complete
The error I get when I update the client is software update server not responding, check network
That could be a transient network glitch, but I'm not seeing any catalog-related errors on the server I've checked. Can you get to the Apple servers?
Do you see any server accesses from the clients, or anything in the software update error log? (Software update maintains three logs; a service log, an access log, and an error log.)
You can see which updates you have over in the Software Update list of updates; on the server I just checked, there are currently 320 updates copied and cached.
On the server, launch Terminal.app (Applications > Utilities > Terminal.app) and issue the (non-destructive, non-disruptive, diagnostic) command
sudo changeip -checkhostname
and see if it reports any DNS-level errors, or if no DNS changes are required.
And FWIW, if you're going to be dealing with a mix of clients of unknown patch levels (and if you have the disk space to support it), you might want the "all updates" setting enabled.
The server log doesnt contain any reference to clients attempting to connect or update.
I don't think its a network glitch. I can ping the server macmini01.local, which is what I have set as the server for the client to get updates from, using the command:
defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL http://macmini01.local:8088/index.sucatalog
From the clients I can share screen, and share files from that same server. That all works fine.
I have 319 updates on the server.
Im just going to try the changeip command
I think your problem is the link!
To connect to my SUS, my clients need the following link:
The clients are running SnowLeopard (10.6)!
Maybe your link has to be something like:
(servername is the DNS-Name of your server!)