On 08/03/2012 03:52 AM, Kurt Bigler wrote:
Geez, people are always so opinionatedly curious.  Does it every occur to
anyone that some people are different than other people, and that that, as
well as technical issues can actually influence choices?  I don't pretend to
be purely rational.  Have you all tried using OSX for a server?   Or do you
just "know" thing about it?

I've worked on Xserves as recently as a year ago. To be honest, I was considering putting Linux on them, as Apple has discontinued the Xserve (and thus OSX development on them). Not a bad piece of gear though, as most Apple stuff is.

I'm not "bent" on it, but I'd like to try it,
and believe I can afford to, since I have various outs if it doesn't work.
There are some "because" things that I can list here, but my point might be
better made if you considered these secondary to the desire to try things.

If you simply want to try to do it, more power to you. I don't know of any reason why you couldn't port QMT to it. (IOW, build your own QMT that would run on it).

My "reasons" for Mac:

* After the UNIVAC 1108, the IBM 360, the PDP-11, and the Apple II, the Mac
was my next computer, and is what I've used ever since except to run my
server, or when I am forced to use Windows because in fact I have to develop
for it.

That explains why you're partial to doing this on OSX, which is to be expected.

(I started on a PDP-7 btw).

* I think Windows sucks bad, and I like UNIX only without a UI.  I'm very
good in vi.  But for running my server this time I'd like to try a UI for a
for vanilla file management and such, and I don't think I want it to be
either Gnome or KDE, because I've never liked them enough to try to learn
them.  I won't mention X-Windows.  Apple Remote Desktop has some problems
but they seem not bad for a server without its own display, and I can always
use a different remote desktop if needed.

If you're only looking for file management in a UI, I'd try a text based one such as Vifm or Midnight Commander, as opposed to a GUI.

* I expected it might likely work well enough for me, and therefore will
expand use of my familiar desktop into at least a portion of my
server-related work, creating a smoother overall workflow.

I think this is an unrealistic expectation, in some senses. It doesn't matter much which desktop platform you use to manage servers. You only really need a web browser and ssh. Unfortunately for some, a good bit of server admin work is CLI. Since you know vi though, you should be pretty much home free.

* I have a *new* (fairly new) Mac mini Server and have several things up and
running on it.  qmail+vpopmail is the only major requirement I haven't
tackled yet.

So I don't get credit for guessing you have a Mac Mini? ;)

* Curiously the first point you mention "some sort of raid" is one reason I
want to use OSX, because I really like SoftRAID, which runs only on the Mac.
It is installed at home on all my Macs, and I'm quite fond of it and use it
at levels that most customers don't touch.  And there are some features
planned for the future that I'm quite excited about.  I've had terrible
experiences with Apple RAID in the past and also would not want to use
Apple's own drivers for data I care about.

That should be fine. I'm partial to software raid myself, but I do it all with the mdadm CLI utility. I'm sure that SoftRAID is slicker.


I would consider running QMT in a VM, but would rather avoid a VM.  I've
never touched CentOS.

Not a big deal. It's much like the CLI in OSX. Things are in different places is all. You really don't need to concern yourself with most of that though. Much less than if you try to roll your own on OSX.

My "distro" of choice still would be Mac-native.

Obviously BSD would be closest. With QMT you really don't need to know much about the OS though. Everything's scripted.

I suppose I would try building from sources and see what happens.

That's an option. It's a very long row to hoe though. There are many fine points to running qmail, as I'm sure you're aware. Are you planning on running daemontools and ucspi-tcp? That could get ugly on OSX. If I were to do this, I'd look at using OSX's launchd (or whatever else your version may use).

I really
don't want my *entire* server in a VM (just qmail+vpopmail if really

Your QMT server would be the only part that's in a VM. The rest of your present server would remain as-is.

and also really don't want multiple IP's, and suspect sharing a
single IP with host and mail VM would be problematic.

There's no problem with this. Virtualization software can provide NAT for the VM's nic(s).

I already have native
Apache, SQL, PHP, etc. and figure it is a good thing to leave it that way if
I want to "try" Mac for whatever it may be worth.

The host and VM would be totally separate software wise, so no problem there. In fact, having the mail server in a VM eliminates potential conflicts with other software that may use such services. It should be no surprise that the server industry (if there is such a thing) has made big moves toward virtualization for nearly a decade now.

But if the whole idea doesn't work maybe I will just install some linux on
my Mac mini.  But in that case I suppose I could put the whole thing in a
linux VM under MacOSX and run SoftRAID in the Mac host.

That's what I'd do. You could use Fusion or Parallels.

It is just not
stuff I'd thought through since I naively didn't expect Mac to be such a
problem.  If it really is such a problem, then I guess the "why Mac"
questions may be sensible.  It just surprises me.

I don't think that it'll be a problem putting QMT on a Mac. It's just that it would take quite a bit of work. QMT on a VM on a MacMini, should take you less than one day. I think I could have one done by the end of the day today.

How much time do you want to spend on it? (At our age, that's a serious question.)

-Eric 'shubes'


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