How do I use an older Mac Pro as a server?

Joe McInerney October 6, 2011

I have an older Intel Mac Pro running the latest Snow Leopard that we don’t use anymore. It has four internal bays. There has to be a way for us to use it for file backups, a server, or even an iTunes server for my small department of four people. Any advice?

  1. Mike
    October 7, 2011 at 10:16 am

    As Mjevolve pointed out the Mac OS X client version already has Filesharing (along with some other options) built in.

    You can activate basic Filesharing for both, other Mac's and Windows/Linux (via SMB) within System Preferences > Sharing

    When you do Filesharing you probably want users to have their own login. You can do this by creating various local user accounts. The more elegant version however is using the local directory.
    1. download and install the Server Admin Tools
    2. open up the Workgroup Manager
    3. connect to "localhost" using your admins account name (or shortname) and password
    Warning: in this particular case both name and password are case sensitive!

    Now you should see your local directory where you can create new users and groups for the Filesharing service. Obviously you will have to add them within the Sharing Preferences for the shared folder(s).

    You can find more ressources at the following links
    Maclife - Create a Cheap Server
    DIY Mac Server

    For more advanced stuff should take a look at the Mac OS Forge and Mac Ports.

    Stuff like an iTunes server or Time Machine server are not built into the client version of Mac OS X but in general the tutorials for other UNIX systems should apply here.

  2. Mjevolve
    October 7, 2011 at 6:19 am

    hello joe , 
    yes you sure can .

    as the steps required can be quite elaborate ,
    please read these very well written articles on Lifehacker on setting up a personal home server and get it up and running . easily .

    >Set up a personal, home SSH server (  )

    >and as you say it runs snow leopard , it already has the tools in it to enable its use as a server . (   )

    hope it helps ...