I purchased a Mac Mini Server (2x500 GB) with Snow Leopard Server. I upgraded to Lion (not Server). The Mac Mini should act as a Homeserver for my development. My needs are:

  • Time Machine on HD2 for the Minis HD1 and for my MacBook (I'm sure 500GB are sufficient)
  • MAMP installed from macports.org
  • 24/7 uptime
  • ssh from dynamic DNS
  • screen sharing from local network

I use Lion Server at work and figured I don't need it for the Mini at home, since I have no user management, don't want to use the built-in Apache and have read numerous discouraging reviews.

My question is, is there any advice available how to configure Lion for my purposes? It's hard to google for that, any search query containing "Lion" and "Server" will return references to Lion server - even finding tags for this page is difficult :)

For example, do I have to configure Time Machine in a certain way, or is there anything special the Server app has for time machine? How should I configure admin access?

I would appreciate advice or pointers to websites.

Thanks in advance!

  • This site is probably not the right one for you. There is however apple.se which I will move the question to; they should be able to help more. May 24 '12 at 8:26
  • I don't know, in my opinion it is a server question which happens to regard Macs. But I got 2 answers, so I guess it doesn't matter.
    – marimba
    May 25 '12 at 8:34
  • fwiw, I found a similar question on su: superuser.com/questions/127822/…
    – marimba
    May 25 '12 at 17:05

I would do it this way

  • Configure Time Machine in you Mac Mini Server
  • Share HD2 or create a shared folder in HD2 to save the backups from your MacBook
  • Configure Time Machine in your Macbook to save on a Network folder (The shared folder in your MacMini)
  • In your Mac Mini enable screen sharing and remote login (this last one for SSH)

Make sure your firewall in your Mac Mini is set up correctly to allow incoming connections

  • Thanks for your help. I did in fact do it that way, but Freds advice is important.
    – marimba
    May 25 '12 at 9:00

Actually, even though you CAN use a shared drive/folder on a remote machine to use as your Time Machine destination, it never will really work as expected, and is not reliable. Automatic hourly backups probably won't work (but can be fired off manually) and navigating through your Time Machine snapshots in the Time Machine GUI is very flaky and problematic.

Spending the whopping $50 however changes your Mac into a full fledged Time Machine server, and then it will act reliably. This is one of several features that make this "upgrade" a no brainer, in my opinion.

  • Thanks Fred, that was the kind of info I was looking for. May I ask, where can I read up on this and other differences between Lion + Lion with Server.app?
    – marimba
    May 25 '12 at 9:00
  • Also, what are the other features you mention? Thanks, m
    – marimba
    May 25 '12 at 10:26

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