macOS Server App Reviews

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Best Server app

its the best server app ever

Keyboard and mouse settings bug

I think there might be a bug. After running the server keyboard and tracpad settings are not saved and restored to default on macbook pro. Overall the server is great!

Solid, but there are gotchas

Server OS’s are fundamentally different than consumer OS’s. A server OS must run 24/7, often exposed to the internet, and remain stable and secure even while serving GB’s or TB’s of data. If you go into this thinking it’ll be like the consumer experience, forget about it. To have success with this OS, it’s essential to understand you are dealing with a SERVER and all servers need careful planning and babying. This Server OS is no different than other OS’s I’ve maintained for 20+ years. You need backups, clones, careful planning… Yes, the GUI makes certain things easier, but some things are more difficult than servers running tools like cPanel. It depends on what your goal is. We’ve been running this OS on a server farm for ~6 months, and it has been rock solid. The initial setup was not “a walk in the park.” There were several things we had to workaround. But in the end, everything works as expected, and is more stable than our Linux-based VPS hosting was, at a lower monthly cost. (However, that doesn’t include the labor of setting it up). If you’re hoping for a “plug and play” experience, if you have a simple configuration, you may experience that. However, if your configuration involves anything unusual, then expect to spend time and planning in deploying this. For example, if you want to set up the VPN, make sure you know what you’re doing. I do, and I still had issues at first. VPN setup is not trivial. However, basic web page hosting and email is pretty straightforward. The reasons I gave this four stars instead of five: 1. The built in CURL wasn’t working correctly for certain wordpress sites. I had to reinstall using Homebrew. 2. Some of the tools, e.g. PHP, are quite “old” and need to be updated to more modern versions My config includes a test machine MacMini where I try out all updates before deploying them to the live server, along with not only backups but regular clones of the machine to a second machine. I am happy overall with this Server OS, and hope that Apple will keep maintaining it in spite of the sometimes overly negative reviews (sometimes stemming from lack of planning/backups/test machines).

It’s terrible

Decided that I would chance it and update one of my 2009 Xserves to Yosemite. Little did I know, all of my Mac OS X Server applications are no longer compatible with Mac OS X. So I was forced to purchase and download this app as a replacement for all the Mac OS X Server apps. This is a horrible substitution to the true apps. The look is nice and all, but it removed most of the functionality and services that the true Mac OS X Server had. Not-to-mention that because some of my other Xserves are not compatible with any OS X versiona after Lion and this app only connects with the current OS and version. I can not properly administrate my Xserves unless I want to screen share with every last one of them, I honestly don’t have time for that. It won’t even let me reconfigure my LOM for the unit. I’m glad I used this Xserve as a guinea pig for this OS and app while leaving the others running Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard. In addition, to keeping the install disks for Snow Leopard. So I’ll be upgrading this Xserve back to Snow Leopard.

Lots of issues; fails TransArmor PCI security tests

This is a legacy package which doesnt survive a TransArmor/Clover Security penetration audit. The results of the TransArmor/Clover test resulted in a 45-page document where over 40 vulnerabilities were identified. Many of the vulnerabilities resulted from Apples inclusion of easier-to-administer (yet legacy versions) of PHP and apache. Several issues were big enough to auto-fail the compliance test. I only learned this after believing I had it ready to deploy. The server comes packaged with Postgresql; so check your software requrements. Many web software packages, including basics (like WordPress) require MySQL. So this server package isnt even compatible to host WordPress. Custom Config files are a huge issue. We had to dig into config files to completely disable the http service which hijacks port 80. The Server will show a web page to users that the server is "offline"; This message is presented to users; but because the http service is running, you are unable to run any other web server software (with adequate documentation) on port 80. Apple Server takes over port 80 requests. On the plus side, it has simple-to-install VPN that quickly integrates with iOS phones and iPads. Also, Apple provides Apple-signed SSL certificates for HTTP,Directory, and VPN services. Also emails you when theyre about to expire. Buying it just for SSL certs almost makes it worth the software price alone, but theres a lot of hassles. Other thoughts- It may be good for a home file sharing or a small office of 3-to-5 people but not much more than that. Password resets are also a chore; need to be local to the machine. Different passwords can be created for mail, VPN, file sharing. Dont expect it to auto-mount file shares; or if the computer is taken home, expect it to forget login credentials. I cant recommend it because again, the entire package itself failed penetration testing. Consider MAMP-Pro which has plenty of documentation related to administration, and also, the newer releases of software also solved most issues with penetration testing out-of-the box. For webmail, consider "atMail Pro on-premises". atMail also has email auto-discovery making it compatible with email clients such as iOS, Mac, and Outlook. Ultimately, we replaced the Mac Server software with several Raspberry Pi devices; each configured to provide a different service like mail, http, SQL (behind a reverse-proxy firewall). Apple combined several server applications into this one software package which presents issues if maintenance has to occur on any single service during work hours. Finally, we had to turn off auto-updates; leaving the system vulnerable. Software updates would replace custom config files. This resulted in users whom visit the website, and Apple Server software would show the web-page stating that the website was offline. Updates over-wrote config files, and re-enabled HTTP Server (port 80). That again prevented MAMP pro from serving up pages. Eventually, it was uninstalled. Having a reliable Http server with MySQL was a core need and more important than other Apple Server features like email, iOS address book sharing, or VPN services.

Bye Bye Pros

In a similar move as Final Cut X, Apple apprently gives a clear message that Pro’s are not welcome, we used to run our entire office over Mac OS X Server, but after loosing myOffice Calendar twice I moved pretty much all services such as Calandar and Adresses to Google… at least it’s reliable, at the moment Ieven have trouble to get the file sharing to work properly… a bit of a disaster.

Apple OS X Server - Manage Apple Computers

The most useful tool box for all Network Engineers who are working with many Apple Computers.

Really painful...

The release was always full of bugs and not working very well. The new version is even more painful. Don’t install it a production systems - let’s wait for the .1 release…

Destroys custom git configuration again

… everytime they update the server it breaks my (really very simple and basic) custom git config. What it is this time - Ive not yet found out. Thank you Carbon Copy Cloner - this was just a test update. Im probably staying with Yosemite and OS X Server 4.1.5 for the time being...

This has now become indispensible for me

The update to 4.1.3 went very well even for Open Directory. I was running all services, except profile manger, xsan, and xcode and so far no problemes with the update to 4.1.3. Considering the trouble with versions up to server 3.0, this was now much better. However, there was also room for improvment: Ideal would have been to expand os x server to become an own-cloud server for things like safari/webbrowser bookmark synching, iwork files, photos, or idevice locations. Then it would be a five star product. The updates to Version 5.03/5.04 and then to Version 5.0.15 did not go as well as the previous update. While most services work, there are issues with server accounts and iOS sharing and the mail service. Server Accounts cannot be added as internet accounts on clients. iOS sharing logs say that Postgres cannot be accessed. The webmail software Roundcube does not seem to work properly. I would rate the 5.0.15 release an alpha, not even a beta release. The version number would suggest a more mature server, which clearly it is not. Personally, I think server 5 has too many bugs and is not yet ready.

the best version ’til today

it is the best version we got until today, I am satisfied with the performance. I still have one problem with VPN, by starting/restarting shows on but the service don’t start, nothing that with a easy script could not solve. just to know it, I am a home user, for professionals I can not give any feedback. I fully advice it for home users and small business

why we need to pay for upgrade?

While all the Apple’s updates are free, persons who already bought server 3.0 need to buy it again! it’s ridiculous! Should refound everybody who bought the same program a second time!


I am very dissapointed in Apple’s handling of rolling out this new version of Server coupled with the Free system upgrade to Yosemite. No where does it state clearly an upgrade to the new system version (Yosemite) will break OS X Server 3. Basicially I was forced into purchasing this upgrade or spending hours rolling back to Time Machine backups. It is VERY unlikely for the future I will upgrade to any new free OS upgrade due to this sneaky practice. I give it 3 stars only for the fact that upgrading went partially smoothly and seems to do what it is suppose to. I am still getting tons of console log errors though. (Not enough time has gone by to fully test all aspects.)

Developers Blocked

Hey Guys, you blocked me and I had to buy your stuff again, with no warnings before installing the Yosemite. A real shame and I because I have to continue working I had tu buy this version. Hope it works better, because the last version consumes a lot of memory and resources.

It’s 20 bucks :-)

Get over it! This is a major upgrade and you got 10.10 for free. I’m happy Apple continues to support development of OS X Server as this solution is perfectly suited to a small home or office and negates the need to spend hundreds on Windows Server. Run Linux if you want it for free.

Not the best but kinda works...

First thing that happens when I upgrade to 10.10… You need to buy this because apple. Then I buy this because apple. Then you install the new os x server and then suddenly you can never access your server remotely using the EXACT same OS and the EXACT same Even when I restart the server and the checkbox that says “allow remote administration using server”. Yeah thanks for another update that fixed nothing and yet broke even more of the stuff I spent months trying to get working again. TBH OS X server is hard to work with if it’s never programed correctly. If I could warn anyone, it would be that you all should wait for a few updates before upgrading all your servers to Yosemite becuase if you do you have to buy this which will break a few of your services. Apple you really need to step up and work harder with this server program, otherwise it’s just going to get worse. But now for the Good parts of this that put it to 3 stars. Install and upgrade is fast and easy like always and updating is easy too, Most services work correctly and the server still at least works but some of the things apple added could still use some work but the looks of the server app have not changed either and apple also has been adding to the security of servers and has added an option to only allow certain users from certain connections (Public or Local) to use the server. So that’s a little plus side. Long story short: Don’t buy this upgrade, yet… Wait for a few bugfixes and updates until you upgrade.

Disappointed with Apple.

Why was ver. 4 not a free upgrade from 3.2.2? Starting to wonder about Apples business practices more and more.

cheap shot

It’s the biggest cheap shot ever! Blocking Server 3.3.1 (WITCH CLEARY SAYD COMPATIBLE WITH YOSEMITE) and making us buy the 4th version…. wow…so lame

Pay for an Upgrade

I upgraded to 3.2.2, then upgraded to Yosemite. Server failed to work after that and App Store wouldn’t allow me to refresh. Had to install it on another computer (and pay). If I re-install it on the original computer, I might have to pay for it AGAIN!!!! Also, the licencing agreement is rather vague. It’s a Single Copy agreement, BUT on EACH Mac computer you own.

Nickel and Dimed

Like others, I feel nickel and dimed for this release; being locked out of the previous version was the low blow. I’d have happily continued to use it as the server itself remains on Mavericks, I just need a way to manage it remotely from stations running Yosemite. Signs of things to come?

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