But the ironic part for IT administrators is that Lion Server actually requires a greater degree of technical knowledge than its predecessors. Many routine tasks that were formerly a mouse click away now can be accomplished only via the Unix shell command line. Worse yet, some routine tasks are no longer possible at all. For the enterprise, the first clue that something is amiss in Lion Server comes right at installation.
In-Depth with Mac OS X Lion Server
Lion Server installs like a great big iPhone app. It's available only as a download from the Mac App Store and self-installs as soon as it's downloaded; all you can configure is the admin email address. Finally, it deletes the installer, though you can stop the install to make a copy before it's deleted.
This app philosophy filters down through the software as well.
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But Lion Server isn't Angry Birds. The installation process includes downloading the 4GB Lion OS client installer, plus hundreds of megabytes more of server components. Depending on the type of installation such as upgrade or new , you may have to make a second trip to the App Store to get the server components. A problem for administrators is that there is no supported way to make your own bootable installation DVD. There is an unsupported hack to create one, but it can bring up other complications.
Worse, there's no clean install option from within the installer itself. To do a clean install, you need two volumes: Apple has streamlined the server configuration process from previous versions, with fewer screens asking questions and more done automatically. The installer is smarter as well.
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If you tell the setup assistant to create an Open Directory master, it will do that as well and DNS for the server's IP address if it doesn't find it on the network or the Internet. That's pretty nice, particularly if you don't know what DNS is. Unfortunately, if you do know what DNS is, the Server application -- now the only management tool installed with Lion Server -- won't show you the DNS configuration is. The old administration tools that can access to these services -- Server Admin and Workgroup Manager -- are no longer part of Lion Server.
Instead, they are available are a separate download -- but not from the Mac App Store, where you get the Lion Server app. You have to go to Apple's support site.
Nothing I could find in the installation screens, the help files, or Apple's main Server website even mentions them. Of course, you can also edit and create users in Server. Why have four applications doing the work of two? While you use Server. The UI mostly involves picking from a list, entering text, and selecting radio buttons, and checkboxes.
However, the tools are very much a work in progress. As a result, there are more tools than ever to manage Lion Server, and given the radical changes Apple has made to those tools especially in Server. The other issue with Server. For example, unlike OS X In and of itself, this is nothing new. All post-enablement SNMP configuration happens in text files and the command line. In some cases, especially with the Web server, this is a bit of a shock, because the differences in the GUI between versions In the case of iChat server, the differences are rather minor.
The lack of a GUI is upsetting, but in light of what Apple thinks of as its main customer base, this makes some sense. Apache provides the back end for the Web UI in things like Profile Manager; you need it for the Wiki service, file sharing for iOS devices, and other services. Not really.
Another problem with Lion Server is that so little of this is documented. You have to be in Server. That will take you to http: If you go to http: This is the issue I have with Lion Server as a whole: Take a simple task like file sharing: Post Your Comment Please log in or sign up to comment.
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