The Real Panther Gem: Server

I am really looking forward upgrading the OS X 10.2 Server installations at our university to 10.3. A thorough, while screenshot-less review of Joel Rennich at AFP548.com goes through the new features of the upgraded version and it all looks very promising. I am quite impressed how many open-source beasts have been tamed in the new black box: Kerberos, OpenLDAP, Postfix, Cyrus IMAP, Mailman, Squirrelmail, Samba. Add Apple‘s own improved AFP, NetBoot/NetInstall, Print Services and client/workgroup services and the basic UNIX services (like NFS, BIND, NAT, ipfw, PPTP) and you get a box full of up-to-date, tool-of-choice packages with a comprehensive administration interface. Not bad.

All this not only comes with a complete GUI for easy setup and control, it also brings on complete control via the command line for all these features as well. So you can do everything via ssh as well. Furthermore, full replication allows easy setup of backup servers. It is really impressive. Do these guys ever sleep?

However, my experiences with Mac OS X Server 10.2 has been mixed so far: many things just didn‘t work as expected and strange bugs were popping up here and there while basic functionality was usually stable and a lot better than the OS9-based predecessors. I will post my review here once I have tested the big cat.

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