Server Admin in OS X Lion Server - dummies

Server Admin in OS X Lion Server

By John Rizzo

Server Admin in OS X Lion Server handles more complex tasks than does the Server app. Server Admin provides more options and much more fine-grained control over the services it supports.

Server Admin also gives you access to services that aren’t available in the Server app, such as the DNS and push notification servers, firewall, and the software update server. Server Admin also can keep track of multiple servers and the services they’re running.


Configure services with Lion Server Admin

You can use Server Admin to configure and manage Lion Server’s many services, including Open Directory. To get Server Admin running for the first time, follow these steps:

  1. If you’re not already logged in to the server Mac, log in as the local administrator.

  2. Open Server Admin from the /Applications/Server folder.

  3. Double-click the name of a server in the left column to bring up the login screen.

    If you don’t see your server, click the Add (+) button in the lower left and select Add Server from the pop-up menu.

  4. Type the hostname of the server (if not already displayed) in the Address field and then enter the administrator’s username and password.

    For best results, always enter the server’s fully qualified hostname. You can also enter the server’s name ending in .local, if this is what you created when you installed Lion Server because DNS wasn’t running on your network.

  5. Click Connect.

    You’re now connected to the server and ready to manage its services. Click the triangle next to the server’s name to view an expanded list of enabled services.

If the service you want to configure doesn’t appear in the list, it isn’t turned on. In Server Admin, a service first needs to be turned on, and then it also needs to be started. Here’s how to turn a service on:

  1. In Server Admin, click your server in the sidebar to select it.

  2. Click the Settings icon in the toolbar and then click the Settings tab.

  3. Select the check box next to your service and click the Save button in the lower right.


    Your service should now appear in the left column under Services.

A dot next to each service in the list can be a few possible colors:

  • Clear: Service is enabled but not running.

  • Red: Service has an error.

  • Light green: Infrequent, shown sometimes as a service restarts.

  • Dark green: Service is running normally.

Typically, you want to configure settings for a service when it isn’t running (with a clear dot). After you’re finished with the settings, you can start the service running:

  1. Click the triangle to the left of your server to expand the list of services and then click the name of your service.

  2. Click the Start button in the lower left of the screen.

Monitor your server with Server Admin

Server Admin provides more monitoring features than the Server app. You can access them by clicking your server in the left column to select it. The General pane appears, providing information about the host Mac’s hardware and software configuration and status.

The Logs icon gives you access to several types of log files for the server. The Graphs icon provides live graphs of processor usage and network traffic. The Server Update icon lists the previous updates to Mac OS X Server and lets you update from this window.