Updating to Mavericks Server

We have a mini that we got to support a program to train undergrads in bioinformatics. Over the past week or so I’ve been working on updating it to run Mavericks and Mavericks Server.  I first decided to go with OSX servers back when I had a G5 blade running Panther Server for the user-friendly GUI management system. But since then OSX server has gotten to be steadily more annoying in that:

  • The Server and Server Admin apps have never been backward compatible with earlier versions. This means I have to do remote administration of older machines – some of which cannot be updated to the latest OK – through either ssh or vnc. The former defeats the purpose of having the GUI. The latter is sluggish.
  • The amount of control the admin gets over things has been steadily declining. In the first versions of Server, there that gave you pretty fine-grained control over configuration. That’s all gone.

So, as with Lion Server, which is what I’m upgrading from, I think I’m going to end up running everything via MacPorts, and not use the Server.app. Or look into converting it to a Linux Box.