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I'm trying to decide whether to get Lion or Lion Server. I'm not too worried about the $20 premium or the extra disk space used, but I'd rather not make things more complex to work with and manage, nor do I want my laptop to run slower as a result of having the Server version.

I'm not sure if I will use any of the Server specific apps in the long run, but I'm certainly curious to try them out. I just want to make sure that I can disable those services/features I don't use and that in other respects Lion Server really is just Lion + extra features.

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Actually you have to have Lion to get Lion server which means that the cost is really $30 + $50. Server configures your computer to host wikis and mail server. It really isn't meant for day to day consumer uses. I wouldn't recommend it.

If you want to try Lion server I recommend installing it in a Virtual Machine (VMWare, Parallels, VirtualBox) and playing with it that way.

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Thanks for the fact that it is an entire extra purchase. That certainly makes the first choice easy (which is get Lion). But I'm specifically curious if there are downsides other than cost and disk space. I don't want to get it if it slows down my laptop nor if it replaces existing services or makes admin more complex. But I'm fine if it ends up being services I don't end up using. –  Tim Jul 27 '11 at 19:59
    
If you don't turn on any of the server services it shouldn't drain any additional resources but it does change the configuration for some networking things. It is just one more thing to worry about when installing software or customizing the OS. It just isn't recommended. –  Nate Bird Jul 28 '11 at 2:43
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