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What Apple Removed from Mac OS X Server 10.7

With Mac OS X Server 10.7, Apple made a decision to simplify administration and setup. Although it added some new features, Apple removed some features as well as some configuration options. Some of the old features look like they’re missing, but you can still access them via the command line if you know how to edit Unix configuration files.

You also don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for something that isn’t there. This describes where you can find services, as well as the main things you’ll no longer see in Lion Server.

Services moved from Server Admin to the Server app

Settings for AFP and SMB (now combined as file service) and web service are now only available in the Server app. Address Book, iCal, iChat, VPN, web, and wiki services are also now entirely in the Server app, and not in Server Admin. \

The drawback is that the Server app is simpler, providing far fewer configuration options than Server Admin, which means you can’t do as much with them as you could in Snow Leopard Server.

Services removed from Server Admin but not in the Server app

The missing service people complain about most is print server and management. The underlying CUPS printing engine is still there, but it’s no longer in the server tools. Apple provides two ways to set up printer sharing:

  • System Preferences: Here, you use the Print and Fax pane, as you would share a printer connected to a user’s Mac. You’d have to use screen sharing to do this from another Mac.

  • The CUPS web interface: Type http://localhost:631/ in a web browser, and you come up with the configuration page. This page gives you some configuration options not available in System Preferences.

Neither method is completely satisfactory. For example, you no longer have any way to set quotas for printers or users. And neither method ties in with a directory. Nor are these features available from the command line — they’ve been eliminated. The removal of as basic a service as print is a bit baffling. Apple has never provided a reasonable explanation as to why it removed the feature from Lion Server.

FTP file sharing is now only available by typing Unix commands. The same is true for NFS file sharing, which used to be an alternative to AFP and SMB. NFS is still in Lion Server because it’s used by NetBoot. You can still configure FTP and NFS in Terminal if you know how. But for most users, FTP and NFS file sharing is no longer an option.

More significant is the complete removal of the ability to set Mac OS X Server to act as a Primary Domain Controller for Windows climates. This feature isn’t available from the command line or anywhere else. What this means is that Lion Server simply doesn’t support Windows clients as well as Mac OS X Server 10.5 and 10.6. QuickTime Streaming server has also been eliminated from Lion Server.

Still, you still can do plenty with Lion Server such as Profile Manager for iOS devices.

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