The Server Application in Lion Server - dummies

The Server Application in Lion Server

By John Rizzo

For simpler networks served by OS X Lion Server, you can spend most of your server management time in the Server app. The Server app offers you quick access to configuration windows for users and the services they’re allowed to access.


The Server app enables you turn services on and off. You can assign user passwords and manage mail, calendar, and iChat servers. You can also change firewall settings and turn on remote access via a virtual private network. The Time Machine icon lets you set automated backups of server data.

Configure services and accounts with Lion Server app

To start up a service, click an icon under Services in the left sidebar. The pane at the right displays configuration options for that service. Click the big switch in the upper right to turn the service on or off. It may take a few seconds for the service to start.


You can also use the Server app to create user and group accounts. (Workgroup Manager can also create user accounts and gives you more configuration options.) Click Users or Groups under Accounts in the sidebar. You can then type user and group names and passwords.

The Server app includes built-in guidance to help you configure Lion Server. Click the Next Steps button in the lower left of the Server app to expand the window at the bottom. Several new buttons appear at the bottom of the window. Clicking one displays information about your server’s current setup and provides links to settings windows that will enable you to complete other tasks.


For example, the Server app tells you that the users added are local user accounts, residing only on the server Mac and not in a network directory. Clicking the Manage Network Users link in the text takes you to a screen where you can start setting up Open Directory.

Monitor your server and make general settings changes

The Server app provides several ways to view the status of your server. In the sidebar under Status are two items:

  • Alerts: Here, you find alerts that Lion Server can send you. You’re alerted to conditions of low disk space, possible virus-containing e-mail, expired SSL certificates, changes to network settings, and available software updates. You can also use this pane to designate an e-mail address where Lion Server can e-mail alerts to you.

  • Stats: Stats provides live graphs of your server’s processor usage, memory usage, and network traffic.

Under Hardware, you can click the name of your server to get access to four panes of information and some settings as well:

  • Overview: This pane provides information about the Mac model and hardware configuration, the version of Mac OS X Server, and how long the server has been running.

  • Settings: Here, you can change settings for remote login and administration, screen sharing, push notifications, and SSL certificates.

    A check box called Dedicate System Resources To Server Services should always be checked. Having it uncheck can slow server performance.

  • Network: This pane displays (and lets you change) the Mac’s computer name and the server’s hostname. It also displays the IP addresses of your network interfaces.

  • Storage: This pane displays the amount of free space on any storage devices attached to the server. It also lets you change permissions for shared folders.