Web Settings Removed from Mac OS X with the Lion Server Release

If you’re familiar with previous versions of Mac OS X Server, in Lion Server you’ll notice that configuration of web services is no longer available in Server Admin. Apple removed the graphical interface to many of the settings for fine-tuning web service. If you know how to configure Apache and other relevant configuration files, most of these settings are still there. The locations of many files are different, however.

You may be interested in knowing what is no longer available in the server administration tools, so you’ll know when to go to the command line. Here’s a list of some of these items:

  • Maximum Attachment Size: Limiting the size of files that users can upload to wiki and blog pages.

  • Logging levels: You can’t set the level of detail (verbosity) in the amount of logging for web services.

  • External web Services: Specifying calendar and mail servers other than those running on your server to deliver these services to the wiki-based calendar and webmail.

  • Web Server Aliases: This lets you add domain-name-level aliases, such as www.myschool.edu.

  • URL Aliases and Redirects: These are aliases and redirects that point to a file or folder on the web server with a path. These are more specific than web server aliases.

  • CGI Execution: A way to turn on and off the enabling of Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts on your website.

  • Realms: Previously, you could add realms to limit access to a website. A realm can be a collection of files or directories on the website. You could create a realm that includes a portion of a website that only a group can access. Realms are often used with webDAV.

  • Maximum Simultaneous Connections: The default is 1,024 connections, but you can’t change it with the Server app. Connections doesn't refer to users; a web browser loading a single web page from your server can create multiple connections (the total number of connections for all the websites hosted on the server).

    If your server is accessible to the Internet, a lot of traffic can slow down the server. By lowering this number, you could prevent the server from being overburdened. Users receive a Server Is Busy message. On the flip side, if users are getting too many Server Is Busy messages, and your server isn’t slowing, you could raise the default setting.

  • Connection Timeout: This is the amount of time before an inactive user is disconnected from the server. The default is 300 seconds. A shorter timeout can free up resources for other users.

  • Minimum and Maximum Spare Servers: This refers to the number of idle service processes running. Idle server processes can increase performance by being ready when users need them but can bog down the server if there are too many. If the number of spare server processes drops below this minimum number, the server creates them. After the maximum is reached, the server stops adding spare server processes.

  • Number of Servers to Start: This is the number of spare server processes that are created at server startup. The default is 1.

  • Allow Persistent Connections: This is on by default because it reduces network traffic. It enables a web browser to make multiple server requests over a single connection. You can also change the maximum allowed persistent connections and the timeout length.

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