I recently installed OS X Server on my Mavericks machine, and want to use the server (among other things) to cache software and app updates for other devices on my network. However, when I try to turn on the Caching service, I get the following message:

Unable to start service.

Caching requires a wired network connection on portable computers. Connect to a network using a wired connection before starting the service.`

OS X Server error as per above

However, my Macbook Air doesn't have an ethernet port! I at one time had an ethernet adapter (using Thunderbolt) but I sold it. Any suggestions for how to get around this problem?

2 Answers 2


Via this Apple kbase article:

You can specify advanced configuration settings for the Caching service with the command line or by editing /Library/Server/Caching/Config/Config.plist.

Interface | Listen on all interfaces | The BSD name of a network interface to be used by the Caching service.

Setting values for a key

To set a key with a simple value, you can use the serveradmin(8) command. For example, to set the Interface key to en1, you would execute this command as an administrator:

sudo serveradmin settings caching:Interface = en1

I am unable to find any evidence anywhere that Server can use wireless interfaces, but if you connect a USB to Ethernet Adapter and use its interface number in the line above you should be able to use Caching Server.

  • Against all odds, setting this to the wireless network interface does, in fact, circumvent the checks, at least I'm happily running the caching server on this MacBook with no cables attached. This should be marked as the solution. Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 14:05
  • Agree. The serveradmin command has worked perfectly on Server 3.2.2 on Mavericks, so this should be the solution. Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 22:22
  • Confirmed that sudo serveradmin settings caching:Interface = en1 works on Server 4.0.3 on Yosemite. (you can check the Caching logs to see it is actually serving out to device on the network). Note: you can type ifconfig in the terminal to see a list of available interfaces (incase you are looking for an interface other than en1)
    – So Over It
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 12:07
  • This still works as of OS X Server 5.1!
    – Cameron E
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 15:54

All Airs can use an USB to ethernet adapter and the newer ones like yours use a Thunderbolt to ethernet adapter to satisfy the initial criteria of the setup tool.

My advice is to make your wired connection available whenever caching is turned on since in my limited testing so far, caching just won't play with wireless connections.

Caching used to work over Wireless in Mountain Lion, but I've not discovered a way to reliably shift the services in Mavericks since the server detects when you switch network connections and you'll run into this detection loop each time you don't have a legitimate ethernet connection between the server and your internet gateway.

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