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Mountain lion server not compatible with Xserve's older than 2009? Outraged.

10779 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Oct 3, 2012 11:51 PM by alin0steglinski RSS
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Almostoverit Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 26, 2012 2:35 AM

I have 3 Xserve's happily running in an enterprise hosting environment and I thought as I was changing the duties of my 2008 Xserve that i'd upgrade to Mountain Lion while I had the chance....

 

I cannot believe Apple hasn't written at least some legacy support in for these Xserve's and Mac Pro's that don't run the 64bit EFI. The processors are 64bit and would easily outdo most of the new iMacs and Mac Mini's and such.

 

So I now have a machine that does it's job more than adequately that will be obsolete because of a software upgrade.

 

Apple's newfound lack of support for business and legacy devices has not got to me until today...

 

Ben

Xserve, OS X Mountain Lion, not happy apple...
  • beatle20359 Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)

    Hi Ben,

     

    Here's the problem.

     

    Xserve 2006 32bit EFI so like the other older machines not compatible for that reason.

    Xserve 2008 ATI X1300 isn't supported by ML although that's really the only stumbling block (2006 has the same graphics chip so that also takes it out of the equation along with the 32bit EFI)

     

    What's really annoying is that Apple have removed Lion from the App Store (hopefully temporaryily) which is a lot of peoples last OS upgrade option.

     

     

    You're right it is a shame that these machines are being left out in the cold. It's possible that it's ATI not making available newer drivers for the X1300 that have meant they have the 2008 Xserve off the compatibilitylist but do have the 2008 MacPro's.

     

    I've stuck with SL on all the Xserves I have in place. Here's hoping they at least continue to support that for a while longer.... Or do the right thing and make a rack mount successor to the Xserve.......... I can dream....

     

    Beatle

  • Matt Riley Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)

    I'm in the same boat. Two Xserve 2008 used as Xsan MDCs and I'm having trouble understanding why I can't "officially" install Mountain Lion on them.

     

    ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi

     

    That command returns EFI64, which indicates the EFI is 64 bit. So, I guess that just leave the gpu as a the barrier to entry.

     

    But these are SERVERS and are run HEADLESS 99.9% of the time. If installing ML means no video output then so be it - I can deal with that. Heck, if it means installing a cheap PCI card that is ML compatible, that's fine, too.

     

    However, it is NOT fine to cut off server-class machines simply due to some graphics driver issue. If that's what's going on here then it is a crying shame. I don't *want* to replace these proven machines with Mac Minis. I *want* multiple drive bays, redundant PSUs, built-in dual ethernet ports and PCI slots. No, actually I *need* these things for Xsan hosting. Ugh.

     

    -Matt

  • beatle20359 Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)

    Hi Matt,

     

    The problem is the video card on the Xserve 2008, as Apple only offered a souped up X1300 with 256mb of VRAM as an update for it and this card is not supported in ML then they've not allowed ML to be installed on the 2008. I did try installing ML on a 2008 with a GT120 installed and the mezzanine card (X1300) removed and this as expected said the machine wasn't compatible.

     

    All the best

     

    Beatle

     

    <Edited By Host>

  • stephenberry Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)

    To expeiment, could you target disk mode your XServe and install ML Server off a compatible Mac? It may boot fine, or you may need some kexts for the X1300 from a Lion box....perhaps.

  • beatle20359 Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)

    When I have some time I will have a go at getting ML to run on the Xserve 2008. Installing it on a 2009 and swapping the drive might work. However time is something I don't have much of at the moment so it might take a while although initially it's going to be easier to try it with a GT120 installed rather than faffing about with Kexts.. As suggested mail me or google people that have managed it on the MacPro 1,1 apart from a few steps it'll be similar.

  • Strontium90 Level 4 Level 4 (2,895 points)

    So I am in the same cantankerous mood as the rest of you.  Following suggestions online, I have been able to install Mountain on a 2006 Xserve.  The only limitation I am seeing is that I am capped at 8 GB or RAM as the unit will kp on boot with more ram installed.  However, the 2006 I can abandon and not worry about.  But the 2008 really chafes my ....

     

    So this week I am going to try and beat Apple at there own game.  I've freed up a 2008 Xserve for experimentation.  On this sysem I am going to install VMWare's ESIx and then virtualize Mountain on "unsupported" hardware.  I will report back how this goes.

  • Kevin Neal Level 2 Level 2 (475 points)

    I'm betting Mountain Lion will be the end of the road for the last of the xserves, luckily ours was 2009 but I'm already thinking it won't meet the requirements for next years upgrade, so I'm just hoping they eventually make Mountain Lion server rock solid and as bug free as possible so we have time to figure out what our next step is

  • Christopher Murphy Level 2 Level 2 (470 points)

    I don't buy that the video card is a real problem. Apple could make it work, if they wanted to. 32-bit EFI is also not a problem, they made that work with a 64-bit kernel for Snow Leopard and Lion, they could continue it in ML, but they aren't. The fact of the matter is, they're out of this business and based on the number of complaints thus far it would seem very few people really care about their choice. This is just more of the same in the world of enterprise hardware and software from Apple, and completely totally predictable. What I don't understand is how anyone is truly surprised.

     

    The next step for anyone who cares about servers, let alone rack mount servers, is a non-Apple OS, plain and simple: linux, freebsd, or an openindiana variant. Apple is totally done in this market, not just in terms of hardware but also in terms of the OS. I do not see the point in resisting what they've already decided.

  • beatle20359 Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)

    Hi Christopher,

     

    The fact that the video card in the 2008 Xserve isn't supported in ML is a problem. I think you need to look at it like this. Apart from the X1300 256mb video card which was a slight bump for the Xserve but only in terms of VRAM there aren't any other cards that have ever officially been supported on the Intel Xserves. That's not to say that other cards don't work but the limiting factor in the Xserve is lack of space and extra power connectors. Hence the 2008 Mac Pro being supported and the Xserve not. As for 32bit EFI yeah I agree and if you google it you'll find work arounds to get ML to install on older macs, getting the X1300 to work might be another matter but you could try the KEXT's from Lion.

     

    This discussion was why ML isn't supported on the 2008 and I think you can safely put that down to the video card not being supported, keeping in mind it's a mezzanine card with no upgrade available for that slot. A GT120 will work but only with DVI and in no way officially. Its really labelled for Mac Pro 2009's on the box.

     

     

    Beatle

  • Christopher Murphy Level 2 Level 2 (470 points)

    The fact that the video card in the 2008 Xserve isn't supported in ML is a problem.

     

    Yeah I wasn't too clear what I meant by "real problem". I mean a real problem for Apple. If they wanted the driver to work with the current version of XNU, they'd do it. It's not rocket science. The fact of the matter is they don't care. That's what I meant.

  • Jeff28 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    What instructions did you follow to get Mountain Lion installed on a 2006 Xserve?  I could not find any references to that.  Thank you.

  • Christopher Murphy Level 2 Level 2 (470 points)

    Apple doesn't have server hardware at all. Consider that if they cared about OS X Server as a going concern in businesses (of any sort, vs home), the licensing policy would explicitly allow running it in VM on non-Apple server hardware. If they wanted to maintain, let alone grow, this market, they'd have nothing to lose by doing it. It certainly would not cost them hardware sales, sales they aren't making now anyway.

     

    Lion (client and server) was active for ~1 year, and now all effort and bug fixes go into Mountain Lion. It's 10 or more years of bug and security fixes for Windows and enterprise Linux distributions. That's a lot more flexibility for a business, which you simply do not have with OS X Server. The licensing, the frequency of major updates, the rapid dropping of minor updates, iCloud, all tell you what your next step is: learn a new server platform.

  • csnolan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Can a 2008 XServe be upgraded to be able to run Mountian Lion?????

  • Strontium90 Level 4 Level 4 (2,895 points)

    As stated elsewhere, the official answer is no.  Apple is only officially supporting the 2009 Xserve and the support is barely there.  However, do a Google search for "running mountain lion on unsupported mac" and you will find the answer.  In my experience drop down to 8 GB or RAM or less. 

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