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November 18, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Apple is known for it’s well working hardware+software packages which work from the first moment on without any trouble and just a fast and painless configuration.

Unfortunately that is not the case with Leopard Server. New software is always buggy. So I decided to wait with the Leopard Server installation until Apple released 10.5.1. However, even 10.5.1 makes a lot of problems on a fresh installed system.

System: Apple XServe 2x 3GHz Intel Xeon

The system ran 10.4.10 before very smoothly. Instead of upgrading 10.4 to 10.5 I decided to do a clean install to avoid problems with the upgrade process.

First problem: the remote installation didn’t work, so I had to plug a screen, keyboard & mouse in the server room. Ok not a big deal and the rest of the setup worked well. Approximately one hour later and 10.5.0 was running.

The first thing I did was updating to 10.5.1 with the downloaded update package from the apple page. No problems with the update.

Now I wanted to configure the server as a gateway. Needed services: DHCP, NAT, Firewall.

While NAT and Firewall worked fine after starting, DHCP didn’t work at all. The Service indicator was green but still the clients didn’t get any IP-Addresses. The DHCP log showed:

can’t open /etc/bootptab (I do still get this message)
subnets: create failed, Invalid/missing ‘net_address’ property

the missing net_address property caused the issue.
Adding it by hand to
fixed the problem.

So at least the clients do get IP addresses and can access the internet.

A lot faster and stable is AFP now. One thing that works…wow! But the possibility to use a server disk as time machine destination didn’t want to work either. Have no fix for this so far.

Next problem: Software Update Server. Doesn’t work at all. There are a lot of people in the Apple Forums with the same issue. No fix so far.

Sometimes the Workgroup Manager tells me that my username/passwort are wrong. 5 minutes later it works. Again, don’t know what’s the problem there and can’t reproduce the error. Seems to be totally random!

Eventually I gave the Software Update Server up and stopped the service. It’s not really needed anyway and will get fixed with 10.5.2 hopefully.

So I went over to some more important services: iCal Server and Wiki Server.
Both refuse to work! The Web server crashes with the following message:

Nov 18 21:22:48 peacechild com.apple.wikid[6526]: Removing stale pidfile /var/run/wikid.pid
Nov 18 21:22:48 peacechild com.apple.launchd[1] (com.apple.wikid[6526]): Exited with exit code: 1
Nov 18 21:22:48 peacechild com.apple.launchd[1] (com.apple.wikid): Throttling respawn: Will start in 9 seconds

No fix so far. Didn’t spend a lot of time in this because I was sick of the whole Leopard Server.
Bugs over bugs. Some are ok and normal. But that many major problems with a freshly installed system???
Apple what did you do there? This is not a business-ready product!

Mac OS X Server Box

11 responses to “24 hours of Mac OS X Leopard Server”

  1. […] This article is related to 24 hours of Mac OS X Leopard Server. […]

  2. Philipp van der Torre says:

    Leopard Server is not worth being an Apple product. We and many other Apple clients lost costly hours due to this lousy software:

    Gateway Setup Assistant does not “see” all available Network Cards
    Posted: Nov 4, 2007 6:06 AM
    Reply Email

    I have just upgraded from OS X 10.4.10 Server to Leopard Server. Luckily I did a bootable disc clone of my old server hard disc using Carbon Copy Cloner, otherwise I would sit on a totally unusable server:

    Everything went really fine with the upgrade. This is the good news. The bad news is, the Server which formerly acted as a router between the local network and a broadband Internet connection (SDSL with a fixed public IP assigned to the OS X Server on network card 1 and local network connected to network card 2) stop working as a bridge between outside and local network.

    First of all, the moment I switch on the Firewall in OS X Leopard, DHCP still assigns IP-addresses to local machines that ask for it, but it stops sending the information on the router (which of course is the server itself). So this is stupid because having the Server on a direct connection to the Net on one network card, it is essential to have the Firewall up and running.

    Secondly, and it appears that THIS is the true problem here: NAT is definitively not working at all, however it is not giving ANY usable information in its log files of WHAT goes wrong.

    So we got two network cards: eth0 and eth1 where eth0 is connected to the public Internet (I named that network card “Internet” in the System Control Panel) and eth1 is the local internal network (which I named “internal Network”). I did this naming and setup in OS X 10.4.10 Server and also using the Gateway Setup Assistant of OS X 10.4.10, all was set up and running smoothly, including Firewall and VPN.

    AFTER the upgrade however, it stopped working and what is interesting: in the Server Admin Tool I cannot see any network card at all, I only see FireWire ports that are not used as network interfaces but that have external Hard Discs attached to it. There IS however ONE non-FireWire port which is called “Network” but the strange thing is: it is neither network card eth0 nor eth1.

    I tried using OS X Leopards Gateway Setup Assistant (I was rather puzzled that this programme seemed “missing” in OS X Leopard until I discovered it to be an integral part of the new Server Admin Tool under the NAT settings.

    Ok, I started the Assistant, and all I could see was this mysterious “Network” interface which is a) nonexistent and b) definitively not working. Apart from the FireWire ports that don’t act as Network Interfaces in my setup, there was NOTHING of the original network cards at all. These network cards however do appear with its name nicely in the new System Preference Pane for Networking. To the Server Admin Tool however they remain totally non-existant.

    So there is no chance I can try and “repair” the setup using the Gateway Setup Assistant at all and I suppose this is what is causing the entire problem with not working NAT and the missing Router information in DHCS on clients when Firewall is enabled as surely if these two interfaces do not show up in the Server Setup Tool, there is no way making them work in the first place.

    Is there any chance one could sort of “reset” the entire networking in OS X Leopard Server? The initial upgrade worked totally fine, no errors whatsoever in the Installation Log.

    The only other option I seem to have is to start again from scratch, delete the ENTIRE hard disc and start a migration instead of an upgrade…

    Any help highly appreciated.

  3. dsesvak says:

    I am actually having the same exact problem as Philipp van der Torre.

    I’m using Server 10.5.2 as a gateway, and not getting any sort of NAT traversal whatsoever. Client machines on the local network receive IP addresses and can resolve DNS properly, but will not load any webpages or engage in any network services.

    Server Admin reports that the DNS Service is creating a fetch as it should, and recognizes DHCP requests properly. Essentially it just refuses to NAT between its public IP and the local network machines.

    When I use the Gateway Setup Assistant under the NAT Service, it magically works (well, on the second or third try it did) on client machines, but when I change the network scheme away from the default 192.168.x.x to something less default, network connectivity on client machines abruptly ends. CLeint machines get IP addresses within the new scheme successfully, and resolve local DNS properly, but there is no network connectivity whatsoever on any client machine.

  4. Jarod says:

    As a ACSA (Apple Certified Systems Administrator), I am confirming that Leopard server is nowhere NEAR ready for deployment. Stick to Tiger Server 10.4.11 (UB) for now.

    Last lab test was tried with a clean install of Leopard Server 10.5.2.

  5. Mike says:

    A bit of advice…

    Some services do require tweaking, yes. This was also true in Tiger Server as well as other Platform Servers.
    To think it should jump out of the box and perform miracles is a crazy attitude. By miracles I mean there are thousands of configurations with this software. For it to accommodate everyone with no configuration would be a miracle. From reading some of the complaints that you posted, I can tell you didn’t do much reading of the manuals or any homework.


    Open Network System Preferences on the server. Pull down the Location menu and create a new location name it what you want. Under the list of network interfaces, find the settings button it’s a “gear”. Inside there is the option to Set service order. Make sure the built-in ethernet (if this is your internet connection) is at the top of the list by dragging it there. If en2 is a second ethernet port or other means, and will be giving out ip addresses to clients as a dhcp server, then make sure en2 is 2nd in the service order list. Apply and close. Test internet on server. Test internet on clients.

  6. Matthias says:

    I do appreciate your answer but I’m not really sure if you understand my blog post at all. It’s called “24 hours of …” so it does obviously show my first impression of Mac OS X Server at the time and no comprehensive review. Most of the problems mentioned I got fixed later on (after OS X updates). The post is several years old and is based on Mac OS X Server 10.5.1. I hope all those issues are gone by now but at the time the problems described were proper bugs and no misconfiguration on my side. Every time I installed Mac OS X Server it behaved differently with the initial configuration.

    The things I tried to get running prior this post were basic services with no special configuration. That’s no miracle and yes I can expect a complex server product to work out of the box in a default configuration! Especially from Apple because they claim all over the product website, that you don’t need any tech-staff to run Mac OS X Server Leopard!

    You must be such a big apple fan that you even praise there weaker products. You probably bought an Apple TV and still think it’s an awesome product ;)

  7. I’ve been searching for this exact information on this subject for a long time.

  8. mac leopard says:

    I am very pleasedto see that you are putting so much of effort for encouraging the readers with valueable posts like this, I have sent this post to my myspace accounts.

  9. not unless you installed a program for them …aside from the vpn client. However they can get a ton of info. Your public ip, where you went, how much data you moved, and which protocols you used.

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