How to Configure Lion Server - dummies

By John Rizzo

If you upgraded a Snow Leopard client or a Lion client to Lion Server, then you never saw the server setup assistant and the installation process left you with a server installation that is not configured. The installer gave your Mac a .local hostname, no Open Directory master, and no DNS configured.

Here’s how to change computer and hostnames, set up DNS, and create an Open Directory master. Follow these steps:

1In the Server app’s sidebar, select your server under Hardware and click the Network tab.

Notice the Edit buttons next to Computer Name and Host Name. You don’t need to click the first, because the Host Name Edit button brings up a server setup assistant that will let you change both.

2Click the Edit button next to Host Name

The setup assistant opens.

3Click the Continue button.

The Host Name dialog box appears.

4Make a selection in the Host Name dialog and click Continue.

Here are your choices:

Host Name for Local Network: Leaves things the way they are, with a hostname ending in .local for your server. With this setting, you can’t set up a network directory of accounts — all user accounts will be local accounts on the server Mac. Your users won’t be able to connect to the server from the Internet. This setting works for a small number of users but limits what you can do with the server.

Host Name for Private Network: Gives the Mac a hostname ending in .private (such as server.example.private). The setup assistant turns on and configures a network directory (creates an Open Directory master). It also configures DNS lookup for the IP address and the hostname. This setup doesn’t let people from the Internet access the server directly, but it does let users access the server from the Internet via a virtual private network (VPN).

Host Name for Internet: Enable you to set a fully qualified domain name that can identify your server on the Internet. This hostname takes the form

5In the Connecting to Your Mac dialog, edit the local computer name, the hostname, and (if necessary) the IP address; then click Continue.

The computer name is the name that Mac and iOS devices see when they connect. You can use the Change Network button to give the Mac a fixed (static) IP address, if you haven’t already.

The Next Steps area updates to reflect the new hostname and IP address. It also suggests that you turn on VPN and provides a link to the VPN pane. DNS has been set up, but you have to open Server Admin to see it.