Posts Tagged ‘macosx server’


How-To deploy Mac OS X Server on a XServe without Video Card

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
posted by otioti

Well, we got our new XServe, but after that, I discovered that it doesn’t have any video card. So… how can I complete installation process?

Reading XServe User Guide, Chapter 2: Starting Up the Xserve, Local and Remote Software Setup, it explains we can configure and install server by different ways:

  • Screen Sharing: No way, it doesn’t work at the beginning
  • Server Assistant: No way, I can’t see anything without Video Card.
  • Apple Remote Desktop: Ok, but I don’t want to pay for something that I don’t use frequently.
  • VNC Viewer: No way, it isn’t installed on system, and i can’t activate it if i don’t run Screen Sharing Service
  • Connect to the serial port on XServe: Yep, I tried to access to Xserve using serial port, but it didn’t work for me. I used XServe Setup Guide, and I noted Serial Port Specifications. We’ll need a 9-pin D connector, and connect that cable to us Macbook/iMac using a Serial-USB conventer. It will create a new device called /dev/ttyUSB0 o something like that. Late, we just open a Terminal (Applications->Terminal) and write screen /dev/ttyUSB0. But, as I said, it didn’t work for me.

Ok, now I repeat: How can I connect to the server to configure it?

Easy, you’ll need:

  • Connect first network interface to your network, and ensure you have any dhcp service running on it.
  • Wait for dhcp lease and note IP that Xserve has configured.
  • Serial Number of your Xserve: From XServe User Guide: “Slide out the system information tag from the back panel by pulling the small tab.

Next, access to the server using SSH: ssh root@ip_xserve , and enter Serial Number as password. Then, we’ll start Screen Sharing service:

/System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -activate -configure -access -on -users admin -privs -all -restart -agent -menu

Ok, now we have Screen Sharing service running and we can use VNC Viewer app to access to server. On linux:

vncviewer ip_xserve

It will ask for a password, and we’ll enter Serial Number. Finally, we could finish installation process.

After reboot, Screen Sharing services won’t start. We’ll access again trought SSH and execute last command:

/System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -activate -configure -access -on -users admin -privs -all -restart -agent -menu

But, now we’ll need a Mac OS X to connect to server, because on Linux i received errors like in this thread: This is caused of VNC support isn’t activated running Apple Remote Desktop Agent.

So, using a Mac OS X, Finder->Go->Connect to Server and write vnc://ip_xserve. We could use root user with SerialNumber as password, or user created on Server Installation Assistant.

Enjoy 🙂

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