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Apple Issues kill -9 on macOS Server

Apple has pulled the plug on macOS Server as of 21 April 2022, though the move should surprise no one, as Apple began signaling the end of macOS Server over 4 years ago (see “Apple to Deprecate Many macOS Server Services,” 26 January 2018). If you are still using macOS Server, you can continue to download and use the app on macOS 12 Monterey, but you should begin migrating to another solution. Thankfully, Apple built File Server, Caching Server, and Time Machine Server into macOS starting with 10.13 High Sierra, and the company published a guide to migrating from macOS Server last year. Given that the services remaining in macOS Server at the end were Profile Manager and Open Directory, we suspect that the release of the Apple Business Essentials device management system last month put the final nail in macOS Server’s coffin.

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Comments About Apple Issues kill -9 on macOS Server

Notable Replies

  1. Another useful point is that macOS still includes the Apache web server (at least Big Sur does). You need to manually configure it by editing configuration files, but it’s there and works.

  2. Well, I used Server starting with Tiger, when it cost $1k and was really hard to configure. It finally got to the point where it worked really well, and then Apple dumped it by removing most of the functionality I needed (DNS, VPN, Web Server, etc.) Coupled with Apple later abandoning their networking hardware, this was a big Middle Finger to small office/home office.

  3. Count me as one who is saddened - but not surprised - by this.

    At its best, Server offered a perfectly reasonably non-technical option for small businesses to run their own servers. We bought one of the first ever XServes in Australia and used it for more than 10 years. I think we ended up with 4 or 5 at one stage to run a publishing company with about 50 users.

    Our primary need was file sharing which we found very reliable - far more reliable than the current file sharing options on recent Mac OSes. We used many of the other services but for several years - since Apple started stripping services - have been installing our own versions of Apache, MySql etc.

    It’s clear Apple sees the cloud as the future but it’s still a shame for people who may want to run a small family server at home or a micro business who wants to keep their data and services in-house.

  4. Fleetsmith’s demise isn’t such a surprise as it’s the heart of the new Apple Business Essentials service they offer.

    My big question is OpenDirectory: what’s the replacement for that?

  5. I’m less technical than many here (…Tidbits great value, learning from all you smart guys…;-)…but would someone please parse the headline…

    What does “-9 on MacOS Server” mean?

  6. David,
    The command “kill -9” in *nix-based systems means roughly “terminate with extreme prejudice” (no chance of recovery).

  7. My older iMac ran Server in the iteration that was a $34 add on to the free MacOS X of that moment (I’m thinking Lion or Mountain Lion but now don’t recall). It was always a tantalizing gateway to running calendar and address directory servers, but I ended up capitulating to a couple of Google services. The machine’s network name is the remaining artifact of that time. I would have loved if they’d gone forward instead of stripping out services.

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