Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion Server is so easy

“I’ve been a user of Apple’s Server OS’s since the early days of AppleShare IP (Pre OS X). Of course once Mac OS X was out and solid I migrated my AppleShare IP server to Mac OS X Server,” Terry White writes for MacGroup Detroit. “I have a Mac Mini Server at home that is still running Mac OS X Server 10.6.8.”

“While the home server is working fine, I recently decided to bite the bullet and install a Mac server at my photography studio. I bought a regular Mac Mini with the 256GB SSD drive,” White reports. “Next it was time to install Mountain Lion Sever. Now keep in mind that I haven’t done a Mac OS X Server install in years! I couldn’t believe how easy the process is now compared to what it was back then.”

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White reports, “Like Mac OS X, you now buy OS X Server (for a mere $20) via the Mac App Store. Once it downloads you launch it as an App in you Applications folder.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Setting up a Mac as a home media server – February 6, 2013
How to install Owncloud on a Mac mini server – August 28, 2012
10 reasons why your business needs Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion Server – July 17, 2012


  1. You get what you pay for. ML Server has had so many features removed compared with previous versions of OSX Server that of course it’s easy to install – there’s nothing there!!

    1. Baloney, it’s mostly all there just not the front end GUI management system. Maybe 2-3 out of the hundreds of features are no longer there but everything else you could want or need is still present…

      1. Not baloney. Here’s another critique that notes the slim capabilities of the ML Server GUI interface. If I wanted to live in a command line shell to edit configuration files in mysterious directories, start and stop services, etc., I’d run LINUX.

    2. Is ML Server that much different than Lion Server?

      Sure the initial $20 download doesn’t have the features visible, but a quick download of the server tools gives you the server admin app and workgroup manager. The stuff is all there, you just have to go get the server tools to access it.

      Kinda nice, as simple or complex as your skills and needs.

      1. Yes, ML Server IS much different from Lion Server. They’re essentially incompatible.

        ML Server CAN be nice if you don’t expect much from it and stay away from its buggy/annoying services.

        Not news: Once 10.5 Leopard Server was released, Apple had pretty much given up on OS X Server being a brilliant replacement for Microsoft’s Windows Server. I personally believe it could have been! But somehow Apple lost the persistence and perfectionism to keep OS X Server top notch. They did an interesting job simplifying it! But the quality has been questionable ever since. It’s merely worth what you pay for it. Sorry.

  2. All that was taken out/missing is
    1. Podcast Producer
    It looks like Apple has stopped support for Podcast Producer. Podcast Producer was a feature of OS X Server that allowed the automation of podcast production and publishing all within one application. Podcast Producer allowed the automation of your work flow to reduce the number of steps within your workflow. Many users opted to have their production and rendering completed over multiple machines using XGrid. Unfortunately, this product is no longer supported by Apple.

    2. Podcast Publisher
    A new application that appeared in OS X 10.7 Lion was Podcast Publisher. Podcast Publisher was an updated version of the podcasting tool, Podcast Capture. It does not appear to have survived into OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

    3. Management of non OS X 10.8 ML Servers
    One of the big features that made OS X 10.7 Lion Server somewhat of a success was the ability to manage existing OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Servers from your OS X 10.7 Lion Machine using the included Server Admin utility.

    With the full transition to using, as well as the deprecation and removal of Server Admin from OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, there is now no way to manage OS X 10.7 Lion Servers from OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Server. However, it is entirely plausible to want, or need, to manage OS X 10.7 Lion Servers from OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion machines. It seems like an oversight for Apple to not include this functionality.
    If a server administrator attempts to connect to an OS X 10.7 Lion Server using, they will be presented with a dialog box that states that you cannot connect to this server because it is not running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Server.
    The server would have to install OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Server. Alternatively, they can still manage OS X 10.7 Lion Servers, but only via screen sharing. If a server administrator opts to use screen sharing they will, of course, be able to use the OS X 10.7 Lion to manage that server and other OS X 10.7 Lion Servers. If a server administrator attempts to run a copy of from an OS X 10.7 Lion Server or Server Admin from an OS X 10.7 Lion Server, they will be presented with the Crash reporter and neither application will launch.

    4. No more Dashboard Widget to monitor 10.8 Server Status

    That’s all that is missing…

    1. NAT and DHCP are missing in ML Server. A web mail interface to the mail server is missing in ML Server. Several other features went away in Lion and have not reappeared.

  3. ML Server is only ok. It is a piece of software that lets you set up a basic server architecture. I think Apple knows their target audience. The problem with Apple’s efforts is that they capriciously remove or add feasters without having critical support paths in place. It’s one thing to deprecate a piece of consumer software. It’s quite another ting to break enterprise dependencies.

    1. I’d sure like to be one of those feasters – I can go for a Manhattan sandwich or prime rib or even a 3-egg western omelette right now. Feast on, Feasters!

    2. Server is a joke, but it is the clearest evidence that apple is not a software company is it’s current software clueless CEO likes to proclaim. OSX could be a great server OS by simply supporting apt-get. But the truth is that apple goes out of its way to be incompatible with thousands of useful applications. Installing and running server apps such as postgres, JBoss, python are much easier on UBuntu of all things than OSX

  4. Having read through the article, and having been a beta tester for OS X 10.8 Server for nearly a year: All I can say is ‘Glad you had good luck Terry!’

    OS X 10.8 Server still has some nasty bug and annoyance problems that require dirty doings in the Terminal to overcome. I personally do NOT recommend it to any average user, not yet anyway. (Example: Thank goodness Terry didn’t play with the Mail service. OMFG what a nightmare).

    1. I have a client for whom I do some consulting and the migration from 10.6.8 Server to 10.7.5 has – in all honesty – been hellish.

      With SL Server, there were 10-15 manuals to help you. Now everything is written on the back of a postage stamp and – to add insult to injury – the product doesn’t always behave as per the documentation that does exists, leading you to hand-craft a solution sometimes with unofficial ‘anecdotal’ help of people at Apple.

      It all starts from the moment you realise you can’t do an in-place upgrade if your Mac Mini server is configured as a RAID mirrored-pair (i.e. the way it was supplied by Apple). And it goes downhill from there onwards.

      I kneel to no man, woman or small furry creature from Tau Ceti in my love for Apple, but the Server variants are becoming challenging for anyone who wants to run a remotely sophisticated business.

      Here’s a link to someone whose frustration spills over into near-psychotic rage towards the end of his post.

  5. This guy is smoking some good stuff! Apple has notoriously continued to eviscerate and dumb down OS X Server in the past several releases, to the point that a once-noble effort is now a joke. I still support a corporate Xserve running 10.5 (it refused to ever upgrade to 10.6) and its generally great, although we finally just completed outsourcing a 200 GB Mail-server to Rackspace (not without a lot of pain). Although I must say that Apple’s tech support for the Server product was a non-existent joke in itself.

  6. There´s no point in using Mountain Lion server in your company network. More hassle than you can take. Apple´s Mickey Mouse Server features / services fail intermittently. If not now, after when you have installed latest OS X updates. Believe me, Apple wants to focus on the C O N S U M E R market, like they have stated themselves. Why do you think they have phased out their X-serve division? If you want a server software, buy a R E A L server and software.

    -Based on my past / current experiences as a Mac Systems Administrator.

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