My copy of Mac OS X Server arrived yesterday. Needless to say, I didn’t do anything else last night. Here’s an overview of my impressions:
There is very limited documentation that comes with the OS on CD, most of it had to do with installation and configuration. I installed it on my 9600/350 at home. Since this is an unsupported configuration, I had to bypass this part of the installer to get it to install. It, however, installed without issue.(I installed it on an external SCSI drive) After the lengthy install process(the machine reboots three times during the install), it booted without issue. It is very NeXtish, and those of you who have experience with that interface will find this one very easy to pick up. For the Mac User looking to learn it, it might be a bit intimidating at first. There are some of the Mac OS interface elements, but things don’t work like a Mac OS machine.
The OS is very repsonsive. I played with it for quite a while on it’s own. Getting Apache configured was very simple, and I had it serving Web pages for me within minutes. The OS doesn’t currently support serial ports, so in order to get access to the Internet via a modem you have set another machine up as a router. The Mac OS app that is included comes with a basic 8.5.1 install, and seemed very stable and compatible. It felt as fast as running the Mac OS directly on the machine. I ran several applications(Frontier, Fireworks 2, BBEdit, and Netscape) and everything worked the way I expected it to.
The command line interface was exactly what you would expect from any UNIX operating system. I didn’t go too crazy, but everything seemed to be where I expected it to be and to work the way I expected it to work.
Tonight, I will be setting it up as a file server and installing Samba so I can get my PC’s to share with it. I also want to figure out how to telnet into it as the root account.
Here are some resources I referred to in my experimentation.
Stepwise has the highest quality information and current news that I found. I’ve been referring to this site since they first announced Rhapsody.
Apple’s support site has good documentation and discussion boards that held the answers to many of my unanswered questions.
The MacOS Xclave has some news and current events stuff.
Mac OS X Tips and Tricks has solid information on the workings of the OS. I found the answers to two of my questions here.