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Fri 02 Apr 2004
Panther Server Administration
Category : Technology/pantherserverreview.txt
It doesn't take too long to install the Panther Server. Even on an old iMac. Most of the stuff you'll find loaded on the hard disk will be familiar to any Mac user - except for the server-specific applications you see below.
Of the lot, the Server Admin, Workgroup Manager, and the Server Monitor are the key applications. You can run these on any Mac and these, together with the Terminal application, will allow you to administer the server machine remotely.
The Workgroup Manager is used to create new user accounts, organise them into groups, and set up their resource allocations, e.g., whether they're allowed to use the mail server, how much space they're allowed on the server hard disk, and, interestingly, how many pages they're allowed to print on each printer for whatever number of days (if this is what you want to control), among a few other features that I don't yet have the time to explore.
The Server Admin application allows the administrator to turn on or off Internet services (like the web, mail, print and ftp servers), and control their individual settings.
Finally, the Server Monitor is really meant for controlling the Xserve. Typically, the Xserve is placed on a server rack, without monitor or keyboard, and left in a server room. The Server Monitor allows the administrator to check on the physical state of Xserve - like its temperature and hard disk/memory utilisation - from wherever he happens to be.
Of course, he can also use the Terminal application to log in remotely to the server and do things from the command line.
So we'll be working with this beast on two levels - one on the surface using the admin apps, and another below the surface in the murky depths of Unix - and we'll see how these two interact.