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Ralph Manfredo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I am retiring my MacBook Pro Core Duo machine and would like to make it an Apache Server.  It has 2GB of RAM, a 7200 RPM 500 GB hard disk with an attached WD Mybook 2TB USB 2.0 Hard Drive that can be either configured as 2 TB or 1 TB mirrored.  My choice of Apache is based on the management of the server via a GUI.  Or should I use Samba or should I purchase the Snow Leopard Server, which I believe is the Apache Server with Apple's GUI.  Am I making a good choice?

 

Thanks,

 

Ralph


MacBook Pro (17-inch), Mac OS X (10.6.8), Core Duo, 2 GB Memory, 500 GB HD
  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (6,090 points)

    Samba is nothing to do with Apache. Just in case there is a misunderstanding, Apache is a web-server and Samba is a (Windows compatible) file server.

     

    Snow Leopard Server from Apple includes a GUI for configuring both Samba and Apache. The equivalent of both is also available in Lion Server however the GUI configuration utility in Lion gives far less control particularly in the case of Apache. It is still possible to manually edit the configuration files.

     

    Another option is the free open-source Webmin, this acts as a front-end GUI configuration tool to various standard pieces of software like Apache. See http://www.webmin.com/osx.html

     

    Note: Even the standard (non-server) version of Mac OS X includes Apache etc.

  • Ralph Manfredo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I understand that Samba and Apache are not related.  Apple not only has Apache on the workstation version of Snow Leopard, but I also believe they also support Samba and it may also be included with SL.  I was just wondering if I decide to turn my old MB Pro into a network server, what would be the best server to use other than SL Server, which costs $495.  Apache or Samba.  My friend is trying to convince me into using Samba because he claims Samba has a better GUI than Apache.  I should also add that he is a Ubuntu user.

     

    Thanks for the link to Webmin.  I'll check it out to see how it works and see the GUI.  Stay tuned, as I get my new MB Pro Friday and then move my non S/W files over to it.  Then the old MB Pro becomes my server.

     

    Ralph

  • MrHoffman Level 6 Level 6 (13,010 points)

    My friend is trying to convince me into using Samba because he claims Samba has a better GUI than Apache

     

    There exists some confusion here.    On its face, and with no offense intended, that statement is nonsensical.

     

    Samba is an SMB/CIFS storage server.

     

    Apache is a web server.

     

    Samba has a file-based configuration and management implementation, unless you switch to OS X Server or find a management tool beyond what is available in System Preferences.  It's not particularly "fun" to manage Samba from its files (it tends to be somewhat arcane), but it's definitely feasible.

     

    Apache is a web server, though can also serve storage by enabling and using WebDAV.  Apache management on OS X client is limited to what is available in System Preferences, or through its (separate) file-based configuration.  (And like Samba, the configuration files can be arcane, too.)  Apache administration on Snow Leopard Server has a number of settings and is quite flexible.  Or complex, depending on your perspective.  Apache management is definitely either far easier or far less flexible (again, depending on your perspective) on Lion Server.

  • Ralph Manfredo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for clearing up the matter of Apache vs Samba.  It also appears that you are a lot more knowledgeable on servers than I am.  So my question is: if you wanted to have a server on your network that you could use as a network server to handle file storage, such as photos, home videos, MS Office files, music and DVD videos and maybe even email, would you use a spae core duo laptop with attached multi-terrabte storage running Lion Server, Apache or some other server software?  My preference is something that is either open source like Apache as Snow Leopard Server costs $495 vs Lion Server which costs $29 vs Apache, which is open source and is free.  Or, would you say forget it?  Again, thanks for clearing up the Apache vs Samba matter.

     

    Ralph

  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (6,090 points)

    As I and MrHoffman have both already said, Apache is a webserver and Samba is a fileserver. Therefore for what you have said you are trying to do Apache is not suitable.

     

    The standard Mac OS X operating system (non-server version) has Samba (or in the case of Lion Apple's own equivalent) built-in and this will allow Mac and Windows machines to access it. For a home environment you do not need to buy the Server version of Mac OS X.

     

    However for what you are describing many people take a different approach and use a NAS device like the ReadyNAS. This is a box with several hard disks and acts as fileserver (using Samba). The advantage of this type of device is that it does not need a computer, and because it has built-in RAID it protects your data against the possibility of a hard disk failing. I have all my music and videos stored on a ReadyNAS, I also use the ReadyNAS as a Time Machine backup destination.

     

    To turn on Samba compatible filesharing in Mac OS X you go to System Preferences, then Sharing, and then tick the File Sharing option, then click the Options button at the right and tick the SMB (Windows) option.

  • cpguru21 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)

    To add another level of clarification here to help you on top of John and Mr. Hoffman's posts;

     

    " My preference is something that is either open source like Apache as Snow Leopard Server costs $495 vs Lion Server which costs $29 vs Apache, which is open source and is free."

     

    Apache and SAMBA are services that run on an operating system like Apple OSX Server.  Both these services can also run on other operating systems as well (like linux, or like your friends Ubuntu Server, and even on Windows)

     

    I agree with John that it sounds like you really want some kind of NAS (Network Attached Storage) device.  Most devices have an operating system running on them (some kind of linux maybe?) with a nice graphical interface that makes it easy to configure (like a website on the box for configuring the services you want etc...)

     

    HTH and adds to the value of John and Mr. Hoffman's advice.

     

    NAS Recomendation:

    I use thecus devices here at my office and have to say I love the ease of configuration.  There are much cheaper (price) solutions out there.

     

    Message was edited by: cpguru21

  • forex420 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Geez, you guys... You've all failed miserably.  Someone needs to just tell this guy to STOP doing whatever he's doing and pay attention to me now.

     

    On your MacBook, click the Apple in the upper-left corner.

    Click System Preferences.

    Click Sharing.

    *Depending on your version of Mac OS X, these instructions vary, but on Snow Leopard, just click the checkmark next to "Windows File Sharing".

     

    The End.  Problem solved. 

     

    Samba is turned on and his MacBook is accessible from anywhere on the LAN.  If you need to adjust any settings, or figure out how to turn on "Windows File Sharing" on your version of Mac OS X, just search the internet. 

     

    To reiterate for Ralph Manfredo: SIMPLY turn on Windows File Sharing!

  • cpguru21 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)

    I would say the fail is entirely yours, forex420.....

     

    look here:

    "I was just wondering if I decide to turn my old MB Pro into a network server, what would be the best server to use other than SL Server, which costs $495.  Apache or Samba.  My friend is trying to convince me into using Samba because he claims Samba has a better GUI than Apache.  I should also add that he is a Ubuntu user."

    It is clear the OP has an idea in his head on what he wants to accomplish, and yes on the surface it looks as simple as file sharing.  But look further here:

     

    "So my question is: if you wanted to have a server on your network that you could use as a network server to handle file storage, such as photos, home videos, MS Office files, music and DVD videos and maybe even email, "

     

    Its still not entirely clear if the OP is only looking for storing all these items on a central location, or is he now indicating he wants email server as well?

     

    So I would say you sir are a troll.

     

    "Geez, you guys... You've all failed miserably."  the fail in my view is completely yours.  There is actually a lot of good information in this post, as it is clear the OP was confused on a few points.

  • forex420 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It's clear that he wanted a simple file server for storing photos and music.  Read between the lines and understand that the guy isn't very technical and doesn't know what he's asking.  Therefore, he also isn't able to understand most of your responses.  You're giving him too much information that he never asked for.  He just wanted to turn an old MacBook into a home media server.  The "maybe even email" part of his question most likely means that he is considering using it as an e-mail BACKUP.  Clearly, the guy doesn't even know what an e-mail server is, so he would not be considering using his old laptop as an e-mail server.  Cpguru21, you, sir, are a troll.

  • Ralph Manfredo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    To all,

     

    I wasn't trying to start a name calling session her.  First, I am technical and I am a graduate BSEE and MSEE/MBA and have been both a hardware designer and a software engineer in my earlier life, and later on moved into marketing and then executive management.  Computers are now a tool for me, however if I wanted to spen the time researching, I most likely could figure out what would be the best approach, but I was looking for expediancy when I asked.

     

    Re:mybeing  non-technical,  I developed the first ADSL hardware for demo at at various telcos using the cable network for the downstrean data and a dial-up line for the upstream in 1989.  I later started a company that was a video networking company specializing in what is known as Triple Play.  We were the first company to demonstrate and sell our MPEG-2 video codecs along with our video networking part of the triple Play offerings by Telcos.  Unfortunately we were caught up in the dot com bust (fiasco).  I kind of resent you makeing the rash statement that I was obviousl;y non technical, I am highly technical, but not on the current server offerings.

     

    I probably should have been clearer on what I was trying to do.  I want to store my photos, data files, home movies converted from film to DVDs, home videos converted from analog and digital tape to DVDs plus store all my DVDs onto the server so I can select and then stream them to my TV when I want to watch them.  I want to control the selection from my new MacBook Pro which will be in my family room with the server either in the family room or upstairs in my office.  I will most likely keep the server in my office so it will be lout of sight.  I use a Time Capsule and I plan to stream on one band and use the other band to check email, etc.

     

    So calling someone who disagrees with your suggestion or ideas a name sir, is highly unprofessional!!!

  • iToaster Level 3 Level 3 (720 points)

    That's an impressive CV! but what you have to take into consideration

    is this is a server forum and I suppose rightly or wrongly a certain level of understanding is assumed

    We can only ascertain your level of understanding by the questions and answers you posted

    and you're judged on those replies. as far as I can see you didn't understand the difference

    between samba and apache. You or anyone else may be highly technical but still know little about the workings of OSX server, it's not a crime or attack on your technical abilities. You or anyone else may be highly technical in their field but a complete novice in another, it's not an attack or insult, it's just an observation.

     

    it's starting to sound like you need a media center like xbmc, plex or mythtv

    all of these can store your pictures, movies, music all can stream round your network

    ether via DLNA or a front end. xbmc and mythtv support airplay, not sure about Plex

    all are free, most have front ends that will run on most OS

    there is even a xbmc version that will run on a raspberry pi, a cheap and silent front end

    most of these also have remote control apps for android and IOS

    with the correct video encoding and DLNA player you can also watch video on your android or IOS device

    steamed from your media centre

  • MrHoffman Level 6 Level 6 (13,010 points)

    A Mac Mini running EyeTV software and (if you want over-the-air or analogous media input) a network-connected Silicon Dust DTV receiver, or a USB-connected receiver) will likely do what you want. 

     

    Or you can do most of this stuff with iTunes, if you're not looking for a direct DTV connection, and AirPlay or such.

     

    Not as cheap as MythTV, but works nicely.  

     

    The current Mac Mini has an HDTV connection, which makes that part easy.

     

    Details depend on the particular requirements, TV, and your requirements.

  • Ralph Manfredo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thak you for the info.  I will look into your suggestions to see which of the suggestions will do what I want based on capability, look and feel.  I Re: my technical expertise, I took exception to the comment that "obviously he is not very technical".  A better choice of words would have been "obviouslt he is a novice when it comes to servers".  Just my hang-up, I guess.  I never made such gross comments when I answered someone whose question displayed a lack of understanding on the subject.  I always felt, there is no dumb questions.  Again, thanks for steering me in a direction where I can do some investigating.  That what I was looking for, saving me some time in my search for a solution.

  • Ralph Manfredo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your input.  I have been thinking about using the Mac Mini in place of my MB pro because it has the new Intel processor and it can run Lion or Mountain Lion, so I just sold my MB Pro to a friend of mine that has a start-up that is making a private cloud system and wants to use the MB Pro for test purposes.  I'm getting some cash along with two private could systems, one for me and one for a friend of mine who is president of the Hyperspectral Imaging Foundation.  We will both be beta test sites for the cloud system.  Thanks again for your help.

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