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Additional Mac Storage/Backup/Media Server Configuration

Article ID = 51
Article Title = Additional Mac Storage/Backup/Media Server Configuration
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 19th October 2011
Article Last Updated = 8th September 2017
Article URL = http://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?51

Article Brief Description:
How to configure additional services on your basic Apple Mac server

Additional Storage/Backup/Media Server Configuration

Remote Management

Apple Remote Desktop
Use Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) 3.4 admin / client with computers running Mac OS X 10.4/10.5.
Use Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) 3.5.1 or later admin / client with computers running Mac OS X 10.6 or later.
Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) 3.5.1 Admin or later is available on the Mac App Store.
For Mac OS X 10.5 or later computers:
  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Sharing > tick "Remote Management".
  2. Select "Only these users:" and tick an admin user account in the list underneath.
  3. Click "Options…".
  4. Tick all the required remote access options in the list on the right.
  5. Click "OK".
  6. Run the ARD Admin software on your client computer and add the server to your computer list in the normal way.
For Mac OS X 10.4 computers:
  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Sharing > Services tab > tick "Apple Remote Desktop".
  2. Click the "Start" button and tick an admin user account in the list on the left.
  3. Tick all the required remote access options in the list on the right.
  4. Click "OK".
  5. If you wish to use VNC then click "Computer Settings…", tick "VNC viewers may control screen with password:" and set a password if required, click "OK".
  6. Run the ARD Admin software on your client computer and add the server to your computer list in the normal way.
Apple Screen Sharing / VNC Server
Apple Screen Sharing is only available on computers running Mac OS X 10.5 or later. If you want to share a Mac OS X 10.4 screen install Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) 3.4 client (see above) or use VNC (see below).
  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Sharing > tick "Screen Sharing".
  2. If you wish to set a security password for screen sharing click "Computer Settings…", tick "VNC viewers may control screen with password:" and set a password, click "OK".
  3. Select "Only these users:" and make sure "Administrators" is selected in the list underneath.
  4. To access the server using a client computer, on the client select "Connect to Server..." from the Finder's 'Go' menu.
  5. Enter "vnc://" followed by the IP address of your server.
  6. Click the "Connect" button.
  7. NOTE: You can launch the Screen Sharing program directly. The program is located at Macintosh HD > System > Library > CoreServices > Screen Sharing. You could even make an alias to the application and put it on your Desktop. When run you just need to enter the server's IP address for "Host" (no need for the "vnc://" prefix).
VNC Server software
(install on the server computer - albeit a basic VNC server is included in macOS / OS X / Mac OS X for free)
VNC Client software (install on the computers that you want to control the server with)
VNC Client software (Mac App Store so only compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later)
  • Remote Desktop - VNC Buy it now on the Mac App Store
  • Desktop Connect Buy it now on the Mac App Store
  • Screens - VNC Client Buy it now on the Mac App Store
  • Light Screen Sharing - Remote Desktop Buy it now on the Mac App Store
  • Jelly VNC Buy it now on the Mac App Store
Other remote access software/options:

File Sharing

Our Configuring A (Mac) Computer For Use As A Media/iTunes Server article details the setup for basic file sharing on a Mac. Here we present some advanced file sharing options.
  • If you are using Mac OS X 10.4 download and use Sharepoints.
  • If you are going to have multiple users we recommend using Mac OS X 10.5 or later as configuring file sharing is so much easier.
  • If you are likely to have more than 10 concurrent file sharing users you will need the macOS Server / OS X Server / server version of Mac OS X.
  • If you don't need multiple user access and you are on a private network consider just using the primary admin account for file sharing which will allow access to all hard disks/volumes.
Advanced Mac File Sharing (Mac OS X 10.5 or later)
  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > System > Accounts (or Users & Groups in Lion)
  2. Click the "+" button in the bottom left to create new user accounts as required.
  3. NOTE: You can create "sharing only" user accounts. When creating a new user account select "Sharing Only" from the 'New Account' pop-up menu.
  4. Go to System Preferences > Sharing and select File Sharing.
  5. On the right add folders (share points) and users with permissions as required.
  6. Click the "options…" button.
  7. Switch on Windows File Sharing and/or FTP sharing if required.
NOTE: To access the Mac server from a Windows PC you may need to login in the form of macservername\username.
NOTE: If you are using Mac OS X 10.5 or later, to get the Mac server showing up on a Windows PC network browser add a "NetBIOS Name" and "Workgroup" to System Preferences > Network > Ethernet > Advanced button > WINS tab.

Print Server

  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > System > Print & Fax (or Print & Scan in Lion) and add the printers that you want to share.
  2. Go to System Preferences > Sharing > tick "Printer Sharing".
  3. Tick the printers in the list on the right that you want to share.
NOTE: OS X 10.7 or later can also share scanners.

DVD and CD sharing

NOTE: This is especially useful if you have Mac computers without an optical drive e.g. MacBook Air or a Mac with an optical drive that doesn't work.
  1. Go to System Preferences > Sharing > tick "DVD or CD Sharing".
  2. Tick "Ask me before allowing others to use my DVD drive" if required.

Sharing Photos

  • Use a media server e.g. Plex (free and paid for versions available)
  • Use iCloud Photos with the Photos application
  • Use iPhoto - old versions of OS X / Mac OS X only:
    1. If iPhoto is not already installed, install it on the server (iPhoto is available on the Mac App Store for OS X 10.7 or later - £10.49)
    2. Open iPhoto and go to iPhoto menu > Preferences > Sharing
    3. Tick "Share my photos".
    4. Choose what to share, the iPhoto sharing name and enter a password if required.
    5. To access shared photos open iPhoto on a client computer.
    6. Go to iPhoto menu > Preferences > Sharing
    7. Tick "Look for shared photos".
    8. Close the preferences window.
    9. Share iPhoto libraries should appear in the photo list on the left of the main iPhoto window.

DNLA/UPnP Server

DLNA and UPnP are networking standards for streaming media between various types of devices on a network including the Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox and televisions.
NOTE: The Sony Playstation is DNLA compliant. The Microsoft Xbox is UPnP compliant.
DNLA/UPnP Server Software for Mac

Backup Server

You can use your basic server as a backup server.
  • You will need to set up File Sharing on the server.
  • To use the server as a Time Machine backup location you need to be running Mac OS X 10.5 or later on both the server and client(s). Time machine backups will fill the storage volume up before deleting old files so you are recommended to use a separate, dedicated storage volume for Time Machine backups.
  • If you want to backup Windows computers to the Mac server you will need to turn on Windows File Sharing.
  • If you do manual backups from your Mac client you may want to consider file/folder synchronisation software.
  • You could create dedicated folders on the server and then automate the backup of these folders offsite.
  • Mac client backup software products.
Server Backup Software

Archiving Server

You could use your basic server as an archive server.
  • You will probably need to set up File Sharing on the server.
  • How quickly and easily do you need access to the archives?
  • Consider what media you are going to use to archive your data to:
  • Consider the following:
    • How long will you need to keep the data for?
    • How will you open/read the data in the future?
    • NOTE: Files are no good if you don't have software to read them and it is not good to store data in proprietary/closed formats - use open/well known formats.
    • How quickly might you need access to the data? Immediately, within hours, days or weeks any of which will change your strategy.
    • How often do you generate data that needs to be archived and how much data?
    • A good archive strategy might require archiving both the data and the software to read the data files.

Archiving Products

Cataloguing Software
Compression/archiving Software
Optical Media Burning Software
  • Toast Burn (£14.99) Buy it now on the Mac App Store
  • Roxio Toast Titanium 15 Buy it now at Amazon UK
  • Roxio Toast Titanium 14 Buy it now at Amazon UK Buy it now at Amazon USA
  • DiscBlaze (£4.49) Buy it now on the Mac App Store
  • NTI Dragon Burn (£23.99) Buy it now on the Mac App Store
  • Burn (FREE)
  • Disco (FREE)
  • SimplyBurns (FREE)
  • NCH Express Burn (US$30-50)

PDF/Document Library (paperless office)

Once you have a basic server why not use it as a PDF/document library.
  1. First of all turn on File Sharing on the server.
  2. Create a dedicated folder/share point for the library of documents e.g. "Data Library".
  3. Set the required permissions for the dedicated folder/share point for the library of documents.
  4. If required, create subfolders for different types of data/documents e.g. "Manuals", "PDF", "Receipts", "Letters", etc.
  5. macOS / OS X / Mac OS X includes the Preview application which can open many document formats but you may need to install other document software e.g. Adobe Reader.
  6. Connect and use a document scanner to the server.
  7. Connect and use an archive drive dock or connector to the server and utilise cheap bare hard disks with anti-static storage cases.
  8. Install and use software to help you manage the documents/data.

Article Keywords: Mac OS X OSX 106 107 108 109 1010 1011 macOS 1012 1013 Snow Leopard Lion Mountain Lion Mavericks Yosemite El Capitan Sierra High Sierra macOSserver OSXserver OSX storage backup media music mp3 video DVD iTunes server configure configuration Remote Management access file sharing print scanner DVD CD iPhoto photo DNLA PlayStation 3 Xbox 360 Archiving archive archives PDF document library paperless office

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