macOS Server 5.7.1
Apple has released macOS Server 5.7.1 with enhancements for Profile Manager, including configuring an Apple Business Manager account, installing App Store apps for tvOS, and configuring a variety of new restrictions, payloads, and commands. For macOS, the update’s added payload setting restrictions include allowances for proximity-based password sharing requests, password autofill, and software update installation for non-admin users. On the iOS side, Profile Manager now allows USB restricted mode, managed Contacts accounts to write to unmanaged accounts, and the capability to disable an eSIM on supervised devices.
macOS Server now requires macOS 10.14 Mojave. Note that Apple no longer bundles open-source services such as Calendar Server, Contacts Server, Mail Server, DNS, DHCP, VPN Server, and Websites with macOS Server—see“Apple to Deprecate Many macOS Server Services,” 26 January 2018. Apple has provided a migration guide for moving to open-source alternatives. ($19.99 new, free update, 106 MB, release notes, 10.14+)
This is the version that removes 90% of the ‘server’ functionality. What remains is focused on supporting Apple devices. This does keep the OpenDirectory stuff, but without a properly configured DNS, OD is a mess (voice of experience!)
Server used to be a great product for small businesses to establish a web presence and manage their internal resources. The user interface/configuration tool (Server.app) worked quite well, once you got DNS set up.
Apple has published a pretty good guide for replacing the now-deleted services: https://developer.apple.com/support/macos-server/macOS-Server-Service-Migration-Guide.pdf Be warned: migrating Web to the Apache Server looks to be a fair amount of work.
On the one hand, I understand Apple focusing on its Apple-specific products. On the other hand, I think Apple has done the community at large a substantial dis-service by abandoning small/home business as a market. And I think it’s appalling to charge the same $20 for a product that has -lost- most of its functionality. As someone else wrote on this topic, “Why should I buy Apple hardware for a SOHO server, if I have to invest all that time into configuring Open Source software? I can build a Linux server for a lot less money.”
(I’ve been running Server for SOHO use since Tiger, back when it cost $1000 and was a real bitch to configure.)
If anybody is interested in replacing the discontinued VPN server, after big fights also after the migration suggestions by Apple, I’ve landed on iVPN <https://macserve.org.uk >, which is a very simple GUI to the standard VPN server which is distributed with macOS. It works perfectly out of the box on Mojave, even if the development of iVPN stopped in 2016. Warmly advised!
I think the best solution for the immediate future is to run an older version of the macOS with an older version of OS X Server that still supports the subsequently deleted services. One doesn’t need a new Mac with the latest OS to operate a server, after all. In most cases an office server is not the primary working Mac. Of course if you don’t have older software on an older Mac, it might be hard to get the versions you need from Apple.
I’ve tried to get the older version from Apple… you need to have purchased it in the past, or you won’t get it.
That’s what I thought. The same applies to versions of the Mac OS/macOS. That said, I suspect that most people who would want to run an older version have purchased it in the past. If you have not, if you know someone who has, if they will let you use their Apple ID, on yours or on their computer, you can get a copy. I’ve done that with the OS for friends.
Very glad to read that iVPN is working for you on 10.14. I have not been able to get it to work. Using L2TP, the clients timeout and the server does not report any connection attempts. I’ve verified that the router firewall is not blocking traffic (and even turned off the firewall to test if that fixes it).
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