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onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1

Mac Mini as cloud server?

I just updated the OS to Mavericks.
And I was thinking of trying to set it up as a cloud server. But I'm not sure on how to do it or if it can be done.
I would need it to be accessed by both Windows and Mac users.

I goolged it but the results that I find tend to show nothing but OSX Server links. And I don't have the server edition loaded up.

So is it possible?
--
Photoshop these nuts in your mouth.


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11
What exactly do you want to host on the server? E-Mail? Files? Chat?

OS X Server is basically a GUI to configure the already built-in servers. It also enables the use of the more advanced Server Admin Tools. Depending on what you want to do, you may not need the full functionality of OS X Server.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
I simply would like to share files. Allowing users to have FULL access to create and delete as needed.

I'd also like to be able to access those shares via web page so that users on Windows, Mac, and iOS have access to them without the need of a VPN connection.

And since I didn't mention it, the OS on the mini is not a server version.
So that may be the thing that shoots this whole idea down.
--
Photoshop these nuts in your mouth.


Da Geek Kid

join:2003-10-11
::1
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Callcentric
Server version is over rated. you can download and install macports and then install full blown webserver like nginx and do what ever you please...
if you want ftp server you can also install pure-ftpd which is a full blown ftp server and again do what ever you please.
None of the things you mentioned here are that difficult to set up on any Mac. Sharing is just a click on the preferences. but if you would want a web interface you need to build one using a webserver. There are other ways. I know that HFS (»www.rejetto.com/hfs/) is an awesome app in windows and you can use that using crossover to run on your Mac. the greatest thing about Mac is that it can run anything and tweak it any which way you please...


Lazarus Long

join:2000-11-24
Saint Louis, MO
reply to onebadmofo
You just need to turn on AFP and SMB sharing, set up users and passwords. Share some folders and assign permissions.
--
Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it.


bbarrera
Premium,MVM
join:2000-10-23
Sacramento, CA
kudos:1
reply to onebadmofo
said by onebadmofo:

I simply would like to share files. Allowing users to have FULL access to create and delete as needed.

I'd also like to be able to access those shares via web page so that users on Windows, Mac, and iOS have access to them without the need of a VPN connection.

Server will save you time implementing a web server, so if time is money then it is probably worth the $20 to buy Server.

As Thinkdiff said, in many ways OS X Server is just a GUI to configure the built-in servers. There are some additional features, I think, but primarily it allows you to easily configure and use features bundled with every Mac.

I don't have much time and happy to have paid $20 for Server, primarily used for VPN and caching software updates.


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
reply to Da Geek Kid
said by Da Geek Kid:

Server version is over rated. you can download and install macports and then install full blown webserver like nginx and do what ever you please...
if you want ftp server you can also install pure-ftpd which is a full blown ftp server and again do what ever you please.
None of the things you mentioned here are that difficult to set up on any Mac. Sharing is just a click on the preferences. but if you would want a web interface you need to build one using a webserver. There are other ways. I know that HFS (»www.rejetto.com/hfs/) is an awesome app in windows and you can use that using crossover to run on your Mac. the greatest thing about Mac is that it can run anything and tweak it any which way you please...

I'd be stepping into an area that I have no experience in. And I have a feeling that after taking the many days to even understand that, the final results will be unimpressive and confusing to the regular dumb end user. A simple ftp type site is not something that is easily navigated, especially with end users who barely understand the words yes or no.

I guess what I'd like to do is just simply not possible. I'm slowly finding out that you cannot share files from a windows server via a webpage to both Windows and iOS users, and still have it look pleasing to the eye which in turn makes it easier for an end user to navigate and understand.

So my thought on the matter was to maybe try to use a third party app for the Mac mini, and use it as a "middle man" to the Windows network shares. but it seems as though that may not be possible either. But I haven't searched enough to come to that conclusion.
--
Photoshop these nuts in your mouth.


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
reply to bbarrera
said by bbarrera:

said by onebadmofo:

I simply would like to share files. Allowing users to have FULL access to create and delete as needed.

I'd also like to be able to access those shares via web page so that users on Windows, Mac, and iOS have access to them without the need of a VPN connection.

Server will save you time implementing a web server, so if time is money then it is probably worth the $20 to buy Server.

As Thinkdiff said, in many ways OS X Server is just a GUI to configure the built-in servers. There are some additional features, I think, but primarily it allows you to easily configure and use features bundled with every Mac.

I don't have much time and happy to have paid $20 for Server, primarily used for VPN and caching software updates.

Ah, so there isn't much to it then?
--
Photoshop these nuts in your mouth.

rugby
I think I know it all.
VIP
join:2000-09-26
Plainfield, IN
reply to onebadmofo
I would fire up a Synology box over a Mac Server for straight filesharing. You don't want to open the AFP/SMB ports on a firewall and forward them to your server. With The Synology you can do WebDAV over SSL and have pretty solid protection. Plus they're cheaper.


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to onebadmofo
I found this, and it seems pretty cool and easy to set up. But I'm not quite sure on what I'm doing since it's not working. And i've tried to share a windows network share, when that failed, I tried sharing a single folder on that Mac mini itself, and that failed as well.
»clickontyler.com/virtualhostx/
I found it when I found this...
»clickontyler.com/web-sharing/

I guess I just suck at this.
--
Photoshop these nuts in your mouth.


bbarrera
Premium,MVM
join:2000-10-23
Sacramento, CA
kudos:1
reply to onebadmofo
said by onebadmofo:

Ah, so there isn't much to it then?

Saved me a lot of time, $20 well spent on OS X Server. And that coming from someone capable of command-line setup of Apache web server and Postfix/Qmail mail server.

I have OS X Server installed, turned on webserver, made a simple web page, and now Windows/Linux/OSX computers can download files from that web page. I thought that is what you wanted?


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11
reply to onebadmofo
said by onebadmofo:

I found this, and it seems pretty cool and easy to set up. But I'm not quite sure on what I'm doing since it's not working. And i've tried to share a windows network share, when that failed, I tried sharing a single folder on that Mac mini itself, and that failed as well.
»clickontyler.com/virtualhostx/
I found it when I found this...
»clickontyler.com/web-sharing/

I guess I just suck at this.

That's just an app to configure the built-in web server, it seems. It has nothing to do with file management or file sharing. You would need a file management system to use with the webserver (or at the very least a webpage for it to serve in the shared directory)

There are a few PHP-based ones available, but I have no experience with any of them:
»extplorer.sourceforge.net/
»sourceforge.net/projects/phpfm/
»www.filerun.com/
»www.file-gator.com/

You should be very careful using these, though, as PHP exploits are pretty common. If this server is going to be available over the public internet, make sure you keep everything up to date.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
said by Thinkdiff:

said by onebadmofo:

I found this, and it seems pretty cool and easy to set up. But I'm not quite sure on what I'm doing since it's not working. And i've tried to share a windows network share, when that failed, I tried sharing a single folder on that Mac mini itself, and that failed as well.
»clickontyler.com/virtualhostx/
I found it when I found this...
»clickontyler.com/web-sharing/

I guess I just suck at this.

That's just an app to configure the built-in web server, it seems. It has nothing to do with file management or file sharing.

Ah damn. Well ok.

My brain is burning out. I'm doing too many different things at once and can't really focus anymore.

I'd like to get this working but damn I can't get into it.
--
Photoshop these nuts in your mouth.


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
reply to onebadmofo
Ok, so I have Server installed and I followed this tutorial to a "T".

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXSzKcez1ws


But when I type in the newly created site, which lets say is »mycloud.mynetworkdomain.com nothing happens, just that Safari can't open the page.

Since I'm very new at this, do I need to already have an existing website to link this to?
--
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Be unique...ya know, like everyone else.


mbernste
Boosted
Premium,MVM
join:2001-06-30
Piscataway, NJ
said by onebadmofo:

But when I type in the newly created site, which lets say is »mycloud.mynetworkdomain.com nothing happens, just that Safari can't open the page.

Did you either use a dynamic DNS service like DynDNS or purchase a domain through a service like Go Daddy?


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
Umm...neither?? After I posted the video I tried my jobs website but it still resulted in the same thing. I know our site isn't through godaddy though. ..though I'm thinking maybe we should, just for cost reasons. But that's another story.

When I set up the server, it actually gave me the option for it to set up DNS automatically. So I gave it the go ahead to do so. I'm sure this is where I'm going wrong. well...sort sure cause, I haven't ever done with this before.
--
Insert thoughtful/witty/meaningful/poetic/funny/deep/rude/stupid/random/comment here.
Be unique...ya know, like everyone else.


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

1 edit
So a few issues:

1. Do you actually have the domain name "mycloud.mynetworkdomain.com" registered, either through a regular DNS provider or through your local DNS? I don't think your local DNS server would be resolving "*.com" domains, though, so that's probably not the case.

2. If you do have the domain registered with a provider (sounds like you don't), is it pointing to your public IP address properly?

To verify DNS problems, open terminal and put it:
nslookup mycloud.mynetworkdomain.com

It should be able to resolve that name into your server's LAN or WAN IP address (depending on your setup). If that's not working, you have a DNS issue.

3. Are you using a router? If this is on a business network, do you have a public IP address assigned to the server or a private LAN address (192.168.x.x, 10.x.x.x, or 172.x.x.x)?

- If you are using a router, have you forwarded the appropriate ports (port 80 for web server) to the Mac Mini's LAN IP?

4. To verify simple connectivity, try connecting to your server using your IP address. If your Mac's IP is 192.168.1.100, try browsing to »192.168.1.100.

On the server itself, you can try »localhost/

edit: So I took a quick look at the video you posted (don't have the patience to watch video tutorials.. what ever happened to writing tutorials /rant), and it seems they assume you have a somewhat sophisticated DNS setup. He has his OS X server acting as the domain server for his domain name (macscreencaster.com), which means he can add a machine rule ("A record") right on OS X server and it'll work everywhere. I'm guessing you don't have it set up in this way.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


Count Zero
Obama-Biden 2012
Premium
join:2007-01-18
Winston Salem, NC
reply to onebadmofo
I use my mini to host a ton of stuff. My own email, web domain, calendars, notifications, ownCloud for file sharing, a wiki page we use for residency related stuff and chronosync for synchronizing my computers. It's very capable. Just max out the RAM and put an SSD in for the boot drive.


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
reply to Thinkdiff
said by Thinkdiff:

So a few issues:

1. Do you actually have the domain name "mycloud.mynetworkdomain.com" registered, either through a regular DNS provider or through your local DNS? I don't think your local DNS server would be resolving "*.com" domains, though, so that's probably not the case.

2. If you do have the domain registered with a provider (sounds like you don't), is it pointing to your public IP address properly?

To verify DNS problems, open terminal and put it:
nslookup mycloud.mynetworkdomain.com

It should be able to resolve that name into your server's LAN or WAN IP address (depending on your setup). If that's not working, you have a DNS issue.

3. Are you using a router? If this is on a business network, do you have a public IP address assigned to the server or a private LAN address (192.168.x.x, 10.x.x.x, or 172.x.x.x)?

- If you are using a router, have you forwarded the appropriate ports (port 80 for web server) to the Mac Mini's LAN IP?

4. To verify simple connectivity, try connecting to your server using your IP address. If your Mac's IP is 192.168.1.100, try browsing to »192.168.1.100.

On the server itself, you can try »localhost/

edit: So I took a quick look at the video you posted (don't have the patience to watch video tutorials.. what ever happened to writing tutorials /rant), and it seems they assume you have a somewhat sophisticated DNS setup. He has his OS X server acting as the domain server for his domain name (macscreencaster.com), which means he can add a machine rule ("A record") right on OS X server and it'll work everywhere. I'm guessing you don't have it set up in this way.

Thanks man, I go over this Monday when I'm back at work.
--
Insert thoughtful/witty/meaningful/poetic/funny/deep/rude/stupid/random/comment here.
Be unique...ya know, like everyone else.


Count Zero
Obama-Biden 2012
Premium
join:2007-01-18
Winston Salem, NC
reply to onebadmofo
I use OwnCloud but hosting it on a Mac is not supported due to a problem with the way it uses Unicode characters or something to that effect. It took me a few tries to get it working properly (and honestly I don't think I was doing anything differently - it finally just started working). I still can't get the LDAP backend working in Owncloud 7 even though it was working fine in 5 and 6...

Also it does sound like your server's DNS and hostname are not properly configured. Thinkdiff See Profile's instructions below are spot on. Another place to check is in the Website's panel of Server.app to make sure the default site pointing to the right space locally and in the URL.


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
reply to Thinkdiff
I replied within your post to make it flow easier.

Also let me apologize for my total ignorance on knowing even the easiest of things with this.

said by Thinkdiff:

So a few issues:

1. Do you actually have the domain name "mycloud.mynetworkdomain.com" registered, either through a regular DNS provider or through your local DNS? I don't think your local DNS server would be resolving "*.com" domains, though, so that's probably not the case.

No I don't actually have that domain name I used that as an example. We do have a website though, can i use that? (I would think 'no' but I'm not 100% sure)
------------------------------------------------------------------
2. If you do have the domain registered with a provider (sounds like you don't), is it pointing to your public IP address properly?

Again i think I may not be able to use the actual website we have here
-----------------------------------------------------------
To verify DNS problems, open terminal and put it:
nslookup mycloud.mynetworkdomain.com

It should be able to resolve that name into your server's LAN or WAN IP address (depending on your setup). If that's not working, you have a DNS issue.

I did this and got the local 127.0.0.1 IP for the server.
And 127.0.0.1#53 for the address.
Below those results, is this:

Non-authoritve answer:
Name: ourcloud.mars-inc.net
Address: 64.99.XX.XX

I'm not sure what that 64.99 address is since I didn't see that IP anywhere. And just so you know, the mars-inc.net is something I made up thinking that I could do that and it would be it's own site running from the Mac mini. ...is that not how it works?

----------------------------------------
3. Are you using a router? If this is on a business network, do you have a public IP address assigned to the server or a private LAN address (192.168.x.x, 10.x.x.x, or 172.x.x.x)?

Ok, this is on a business network. There is a public IP address assigned to the Server's IP. The server's IP is 172.X.XX.XX and the public IP to that is 198.251.XX.XX

- If you are using a router, have you forwarded the appropriate ports (port 80 for web server) to the Mac Mini's LAN IP?

Does this still apply to me even if the above is true? And if so, how do I do it?

4. To verify simple connectivity, try connecting to your server using your IP address. If your Mac's IP is 192.168.1.100, try browsing to »192.168.1.100.

This was successful using the Mac Mini's IP address. I was able to see the Welcome to OS X Server page.

On the server itself, you can try »localhost/

On the same Mac Mini which is where Server OSX is installed, this worked as well

edit: So I took a quick look at the video you posted (don't have the patience to watch video tutorials.. what ever happened to writing tutorials /rant), and it seems they assume you have a somewhat sophisticated DNS setup. He has his OS X server acting as the domain server for his domain name (macscreencaster.com), which means he can add a machine rule ("A record") right on OS X server and it'll work everywhere. I'm guessing you don't have it set up in this way.

Yeah the part where he adds a machine rule is probably where I'm losing it. Cause these is no such thing for me. What I have is an option to ad a Host Name. Which I assume is not the same. And when I go to add a Host Name, it needs to be in the format of... something.something. You can't just have a name there without the "." If you try without the "." it'll error out saying, "The Host name cannot be created without a name." So that throws me off as well.

Also this Mac Mini would only be used as a cloud server, nothing more. So since it's not serving up anything else (user accounts, email, calendars, etc.), maybe this tutorial doesn't quite pertain to my needs. ...i dunno.


Also, I've tried following this written tutorial (the basic Installation part) and I end up with the same results. So I HAVE to be doing something wrong.
»blog.macminicolo.net/post/303934···i-server


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11
Ok, so the issue is you picked a DNS name that already exists. Remove all the machine records you added to the DNS section of Server. If you set the Mac Mini's hostname to our cloud.mars-inc.net you should change that, too. You can use "anything.local" to satisfy the "something.something" requirement. ".local" is used for internal services on OS X by default.

If your company has a domain name, you'd have to talk to whoever is in charge of administering to add a "ourcloud.yourdomainname.com" A record that points to your Mac Mini's public IP (198.251.x.x). You would not have to make any changes on the Mac Mini.

If that's not possible or if you just want to get started without it, I suggest going to a free dynamic domain provider, such as »freedns.afraid.org. Register a new dynamic DNS name, point it to the public IP address of your Mac and then use that domain name to access your site.

As for port forwarding, if your company does 1:1 static NAT (they assigned a unique public IP address to your Mac Mini and that address isn't shared with any other computers), then you don't have to do anything. If the public IP is shared amongst different computers, you'll have to talk to your network admin.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
You know what sucks...knowing that I know a lot about computers and how to tear them down and rebuild them. We have a problem with our software, I'm fixing it with no hiccups. Problem with email, I'm on it. Problem with wifi or ethernet connectivity, got it covered.
You want to add a cloud server to your existing network? oh umm yeah...I can't do that cause I'm stupid.
I work in IT and have been doing it for over 9 years at this same place, and I have no clue what I'm doing here. I feel like such a moron.
And I think the whole thing boils down to me NEVER having to set up anything from scratch like this. Which sucks for me. So if you can actually help me get this up and running...this will be going on my resume. And I'll be doing it a few more time so I know that I KNOW how to do it.

said by Thinkdiff:

Ok, so the issue is you picked a DNS name that already exists. Remove all the machine records you added to the DNS section of Server. If you set the Mac Mini's hostname to our cloud.mars-inc.net you should change that, too. You can use "anything.local" to satisfy the "something.something" requirement. ".local" is used for internal services on OS X by default.

Hmm...ok And just so I'm tracking you correctly, I can't already use our current domainname.local...correct?

If your company has a domain name, you'd have to talk to whoever is in charge of administering to add a "ourcloud.yourdomainname.com" A record that points to your Mac Mini's public IP (198.251.x.x). You would not have to make any changes on the Mac Mini.

Here's where it's a bit odd to some people. I probably already have access to such things, but I wouldn't know how I would go about this. See we don't really segregate our network off to different positions in IT. Everyone has access to everything. But with that said, that domain name (record) would have to point to the Mac Mini's outside IP, correct?

If that's not possible or if you just want to get started without it, I suggest going to a free dynamic domain provider, such as »freedns.afraid.org. Register a new dynamic DNS name, point it to the public IP address of your Mac and then use that domain name to access your site.

I've gone to this site and created a domain name, but it showed up as broken. Also I'd have to get it registered and that requires a fee. BUT...I'm actually going to try using one of the many other registered names that already exist and see if that helps. And point it to the outside IP of the mac mini.

As for port forwarding, if your company does 1:1 static NAT (they assigned a unique public IP address to your Mac Mini and that address isn't shared with any other computers), then you don't have to do anything. If the public IP is shared amongst different computers, you'll have to talk to your network admin.

For this part one was assigned to the Mac Mini's IP just recently. They're calling it the "outside IP" ...same thing as a public IP correct?

Again, sorry for being so dumb on something I SHOULD know about. Well, at least I feel I should know about things like this.
--
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Be unique...ya know, like everyone else.


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
reply to onebadmofo
Whelp....apparently making sure the outside IP was in place on the freedns site was the key. I'm finally able to see the own cloud webpage. Now to see if I can finish the rest of the set up.

Thanks so much, thinkdiff
--
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Be unique...ya know, like everyone else.


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
Aaand I couldn't finish the rest of the set up cause it couldn't grab the user accounts from AD.

damn...I'm gonna scrap it and start over. I'm thinking that this can't be done in conjunction with a windows network. I also couldn't get on it from any other computer except the Mac mini.

--
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Be unique...ya know, like everyone else.

kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL
reply to onebadmofo
+1 for owncloud. I didn't know about the OSX hosting issues on owncloud, but I have an Amazon EC2 linux instance running owncloud using S3 for file storage and love it. Full support for all major OS and mobile OS.


onebadmofo
gat gnitsoP
Premium
join:2002-03-30
Reading, PA
kudos:1
said by kaila:

+1 for owncloud. I didn't know about the OSX hosting issues on owncloud, but I have an Amazon EC2 linux instance running owncloud using S3 for file storage and love it. Full support for all major OS and mobile OS.

I wanna be able to say I love it too. And from getting really close to it working, I think I would love it. But damn the set up is just mind boggling to me. Cause I need it to pull users from our AD so that they can log on using their windows credentials.
...wish I was more educated in this field.
--
Insert thoughtful/witty/meaningful/poetic/funny/deep/rude/stupid/random/comment here.
Be unique...ya know, like everyone else.

kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL
said by onebadmofo:

I wanna be able to say I love it too. And from getting really close to it working, I think I would love it. But damn the set up is just mind boggling to me.....

Understood. The default install is damn easy, but bringing-your-own DB significantly ups the initial setup and install complexity- which would be a requirement in your case, as the default SQLite DB can't handle much. Thankfully the documentation surrounding how to do this is well done.

I have no experience with AD as an admin, but owncloud does support it- »doc.owncloud.org/server/6.0/admi···dap.html And I am sure there are many posts on the owncloud forums about getting it to work.


WiseOwl

@comcast.net
reply to kaila
said by kaila:

.. I have an Amazon EC2 linux instance running owncloud using S3 for file storage and love it...

EC2? Why not save the $$ ($15mo minimum with EC2), and put it behind your LAN? Or go with dropbox @ $10mo for 100GB?

kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL
Why? It just made sense in this case and well worth it. S3 provides 11 nine's file durability (way more than any HD) and if the EC2 server dies or gets wonky, AWS will auto-magically kill it and spin up another one.

The EC2 server also does double duty as a Ubiquiti UniFi access point manager in addition to owncloud file serving duties. Plus it's a 3yr heavy reserved micro instance, so the usage cost is very low- ~$3.60mo (or 1/2 cent an hour). The S3 storage cost is 8.5 cents per GB additional.