[Update 01/31/18: macOS Server Will Lose Many Services this spring : here Are Alternatives ]
[Update: March 2017] Find the entire macOS Server series here !
[Update: October 2017] Upgrading macOS Server to High Sierra : You May not Want To Do It

Have you ever wished that you could run your own Apple Mail waiter or host a web site from your own Mac ? How about hosting your own calendar server for a group, or possibly setting up a VPN server for fasten distant access to your home position from anywhere in the populace ? These services and more can be hosted from about any Mac with one cheap and easily-acquired Apple product — macOS Server .
This is the beginning in a series of articles for the Rocket Yard in which we ’ ll show you how to set up your own macOS Server and configure the diverse services. today, we ’ ll screen what macOS Server is all about, the minimum Mac requirements to run macOS Server, and how to purchase and install the app. In future installments, the individual services provided by macOS Server will be highlighted along with bit-by-bit instructions on how to configure the services while avoiding unnecessary pitfalls .
Related article:  macOS in Review : A front at the First Four Months of Sierra
macOS Server
Apple is no longer in the physical waiter occupation, having made the last of the expensive rack-mounted Xserve boxes ( see image below ) back in 2011. That makes quite a bit of sense, since the most popular server hardware the company makes is the Mac miniskirt. In fact, between mid 2010 and recently 2012, Apple actually produced a model of the Mac mini specifically designed to run as a server. The Mac Pro is besides designated as an Apple “ server ” model for larger workgroups .
A pre-Intel Apple Xserve
With no more dedicate server hardware, the company chose to turn the once costly server software into an app. previously known as Mac OS X Server, the app ’ randomness name changed to macOS Server along with the release of macOS Sierra .
For $ 20, anyone with a Mac that meets the minimum hardware requirements can nowadays set up a waiter. Can you run macOS Server on your desktop Mac ? Sure, but realize that hosting e-mail, calendars, and more will take up a lot of resources on your Mac, so it ’ sulfur best to dedicate a car specifically to the undertaking of being a server .
So, What’s a Server?
Servers are meant to provide diverse services to a workgroup. In an enterprise, server farms provide e-mail, file storage and share, web services, and more to employees with racks full of “ pizza box ” servers connected to mass storage devices. In a small clientele or home settings, a individual calculator can provide the lapp services on a much smaller scale .
Why would you want your own waiter ? possibly you want absolutely batten e-mail that you host yourself. The same goes for hosting calendars, contacts or your own wiki. possibly you don ’ thyroxine hope those third-party VPN providers, so you can set up your own. The entire tilt of services provided by macOS Server includes :

  • File Sharing (SMB, AFP, and WebDAV)
  • Profile Manager (Mobile Device Management for Mac and iOS devices)
  • Caching Server (speeds up the download of software distributed by Apple)
  • Xcode Server (for groups developing macOS and iOS apps with Xcode)
  • Time Machine (a backup destination for Macs on a network)
  • Calendar Server (share calendars, schedule events/meetings, book resources)
  • Contacts Server (sync contacts with Mac, iPad and iPhone)
  • Wiki Server (host your own local Wiki)
  • Mail Server (SMTP, IMAP, and POP server with SSL encryption)
  • Virtual Private Network Server (remote access with encrypted connections)
  • Xsan (for connectivity to and control of storage area networks)
  • Server App (for setup, configuration, and management)

Apple has democratized the server, taking it out of the horizon of IT departments and placing it in the able hands of anyone who owns a Mac .
What Kind of Mac Do I Need?
According to Apple ’ s macOS Server web pages, the app requires :

  • A Mac running macOS Sierra
  • 2GB of memory (it’s best to have at least 8GB, 16GB is better)
  • 10GB of available disk space (you’ll want more, especially if using the server as a Time Machine server)
  • An Internet connection
  • An Apple ID

Earlier I mentioned using a Mac mini as a server, and that ’ s a great idea. Once the server is set up and running, you can pull the monitor, keyboard, and mouse/trackpad from the Mac mini and run it as a “ brainless server ”. Put it somewhere with good office, public discussion, and Internet, and you ’ ll rarely have to pay attention to it. When you need to change a dress or reboot the mini, you can do it from your everyday Mac .
A used Mac mini from OWC is inexpensive server hardware
A great source of used Mac miniskirt is OWC ! For angstrom little as $ 385 you can buy a refurbish Mac mini that is perfectly able of handling macOS Server. You ’ ll need a monitor, keyboard, and shiner during initial frame-up .
Purchase and Initial Setup of macOS Server
Do you think you ’ ll need to jump through hoops and obtain some kind of certificate before you can set up macOS Server ? Nope. adenine long as you have the ability to purchase apps from the Mac App Store, you ’ re ready to roll .
In the Mac App Store, take a expression at the correctly sidebar and attend for the category “ Apps by Apple ”. Click on it, and under the category macOS you ’ ll see macOS Server. A little clitoris displays the $ 19.99 price tag ; chink on it to begin purchasing macOS Server. Once the purchase is complete, the macOS Server app is downloaded and installed in the Applications booklet .
Launching macOS Server is fair like launching any other app — double-click the app icon. You ’ ll need to know the administrator password for the Mac you ’ rhenium installing macOS Server on. Once Server has been launched, two things happen ; a window titled “ macOS Server Tutorials ” is opened, and the Server presidency console window is opened ( see double below ) .
macOS Server Dashboard
The tutorials are quite useful, although they tend to put a childlike spin on what can be thwart and time-consuming setup steps. That ’ s the function of this series ; we ’ ll hear to point out those electric potential pitfalls and show you ways around them.

What’s Next?
In the following post in this series, we ’ ll set up our server for a small business. That doesn ’ thymine mean that we ’ re going to have mail, Time Machine, calendar and all of those other services set up and running in one article. rather, we ’ ll go through the action of getting the net infrastructure and naming done so that all of the services provided by macOS Server can be well accessed from outside the position ( or home ) network. Getting that done correctly the first fourth dimension is critical to making certain that everything else works properly .
[Update] Find Part 2 here : Understanding macOS Server Part 2 : Serving a little business

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