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Internal access for administration

Stage One. This is building the Mac Minis and arranging to be able to access them for administration and management.

The Minis are just normal Macs, right, so you sit down in front of them and start typing… right? Well, no. They are installed (only one of them at the moment) without keyboard, mouse or monitor attached – they just get in the way, and generate far too much heat in the server room. This shouldn’t be a problem, as they were bought with Bluetooth support, even though we don’t have a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse yet.

The important fact is that all of the normal MacOS X Server adminstration tools, like Server Admin, can be installed on any MacOS X machine on the network and access the servers. Or rather, almost any – we found that you can only install the Tiger server admin tools on a workstation running Tiger, not earlier versions.

To install the tools, take the “Admin Tools” CD that came with your copy of MacOS X Server, and load them onto your machines. This CD also include the QTSS admin tools separately, if you need them. The apps will install into /Applications/Server/.

Because the servers will be moving around on the network, we are using Bonjour (formerly Rendezvous) to connect to them. This works just fine, even though our Airport uses NAT to separate out our personal machines (because the Mini is on the same side of the Airport), and will tolerate shifting IP addresses. Right now the server being configured picks up an IP address from the Airport, which means it could shift.

This is also a good time to point out that the Bonjour download for Windows allows the servers to be accessed from Windows using their Bonjour name (server.local, for example – not the actual name!).

The Airport may well need reconfiguring to pass admin packets when the Mini takes up its permanent residence on the Internet.

Apple Remote Desktop is a separately purchased product, but the license applies to the client rather than the server, and our one machine with ARD connects to the Mini just fine. The Mini also supports connections from VNC (set the connection password in Preferences->Sharing->Apple Remote Desktop->Access Privileges on the server).


  • Bluetooth support for mouse and keyboard
  • spare monitor just in case
  • server apps installed from Admin Tools CD
  • Apple Remote Desktop and/or VNC

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