I just bought a Mac mini to use as our office server (Yosemite).

How can I search the shared folders with Spotlight from my client iMac?

I tried to connect via SMB and AFP (Go > Connect to Server > afp:// I tried to use Mavericks (my iMac) and my MacBook Air with 10.10 installed.

When I use Spotlight on the server itself, Spotlight will find my test file. The files I am searching for are on a new partition (/Volumes/HD2/dir/sharedfolder/).

I even have added Spotlight as user user and group to my shared folder (Icon with one person and two persons on it).

mdutil -s /Volumes/* (from a client terminal) says

    Server search enabled.

Hope for some help :-) I bought an OSX server because just of Spotlight. Before we used a NAS and needed a better search.

1 Answer 1


You don't need a Mac running OS X Server in order to take advantage of Spotlight. Personally, I have a Synology NAS with AFP, SMB and NFS shares that Spotlight has indexed. (I do avoid SMB because it is much slower than AFP or NFS)

From the client (iMac or Macbook Air) mount the shared folder as you normally would

From terminal on the client run the command:

mdutil -i Volumes/<mount-point>

The "-i" tells mdutil to enable indexing. The "-s" only prints the indexing status.

  • Thanks for your answer. While this is true (afaik) that kind of index will be destroyed when you disconnect the shared volumen (right?)
    – suntrop
    Jul 17, 2015 at 12:42

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