Software

Apple whispers farewell to macOS Server

All the bits that make it a server are being deprecated

By Richard Chirgwin

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Apple appears to have all but killed macOS Server by deprecating most of what distinguishes it from a desktop OS.

The company slipped out news of the software's demise in a nondescript forum post that details how Cupertino plans to stop supporting DHCP, DNS, mail, messages, NetInstall, VPN, the Web server, the Wiki, as well as calendar and contact support. There's also a handy list of open source alternatives to each of these, so you can run them on proper, redundant, resilient server hardware.

“A number of services will be deprecated, and will be hidden on new installations of an update to macOS Server coming in spring 2018”, the statement said, and “These deprecated services will be removed in a future release of macOS Server, so those depending on them should consider alternatives, including hosted services”.

People who have already configured any of the death-note services get to keep using them through the spring 2018 macOS update, the note said.

Cupertino once had aspirations in the server business, hoping to carve out a slice of the enterprise, but it raised the white flag on server hardware back in 2010.

That made operating Mac-based server fleets a white-knuckle ride for admins – if you were hardy, you could use something like Mac Pros or Mac Minis as servers. Apple kept macOS Server alive for diehards and those with big investments in the niche applications it served, such as big video edit rigs. Apple's support note suggests such users are now so scarce they can be cut loose without consequence. ®

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