ok - just bought a mac mini server but not sure about the best way to set it up for remote access etc.

At the moment its; cable modem (has 4 ethernet ports) > airport extreme > lion server (& other machines)

should it be cable modem eth1:airport extreme, cable modem eth2:lion server
(& other machines connected wirelessly to airport extreme)

what would be best? And which is the easiest to setup or manage?

Basically i want to setup the services so vnc://server.mydomain.com would open screen sharing for the server and not sure if i need to do this on the cable modem, Airport extreme etc.

Currently the modem has DMZ active and points to the airport extreme IP.

hope that's not too vague as this is a bit of a new area for me.

best, dan.

  • I take it that you want to access your Lion server from another location over the internet (e.g. from work)? By "dmx" do you mean DMZ?
    – macaco
    Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 15:08
  • yeh - just want to learn how to manage all these services and all the port forwarding etc (also DMZ is correct!). Just not too clear where to start...
    – v3nt
    Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


If you only want to host VNC on your Lion server I'd suggest opening the specific port for that service (TCP 5900) on your modem/router and forward it to your Lion server, as opposed to putting it on a DMZ which fully exposes the machine to the internet.

To be able to get to your server using a human readable address like - server.mydomain.com, you need to own a domain (mydomain.com) and then link your actual internet IP address (that your internet provider gives you) to that domain (e.g. server.mydomain.com). It's pretty much as simple as that if your internet IP address doesn't change (is static). If your IP address regularly changes, this kind of approach isn't really possible...

The easiest way to get a DNS (human readable) address is to use a service like DynDNS or No-IP. These constantly check what your IP address is and keep internet DNS records up to date with your current IP address. It requires that your modem/router is compatible with such a service, or that you run a piece of software on a machine (your Lion server maybe) that's inside your network.


1) Forward port 5900 TCP to your Lion server (Port forwarding settings in your modem/router)

2) Set up DNS so that you don't have to remember your IP and so that if your IP changes, you can still connect back to it.

3) Enable screen sharing on the Lion server. Tell it which users you want to be able to connect. Set a password.

I'd recommend looking into using your Lion box as a VPN or SSH server so that you can do all these kinds of things over a single encrypted link. VNC isn't the safest of protocols!

  • thanks macaco - i will try your suggestions over the weekend. Fyi i'll be setting up ical and address booker services to but want to start with the basics...
    – v3nt
    Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 16:38
  • ok - vnc is up and working - hanks! But really stumped on anything else. Thought this was supposed o be easy... ical, address book etc aren't appearing in my services list. Is this normal? shot:danielcrabbe.com/ref/services.png
    – v3nt
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 10:34
  • @danielCrabbe That's strange. Unfortunately, I'm a Leopard and Snow Leopard Server user, so can't really support you fully with Lion.
    – macaco
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 10:45

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