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Difference between OSX and OSX server

Posted on 2006-06-16
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
What is the difference between the two? I have a web guy wanting to downgrade to OSX on our server. What can server do that just the vanilla can not?

Question by:martymihm
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LVL 13

Accepted Solution

Caseybea earned 500 total points
ID: 16921370
At the core, they're the same.   The primary difference is that the server comes with a bunch of great gui tools for managing the server-like components (i.e., Apache web server, user accounts, etc......).   In addition, the server includes apple file sharing capabilitiy, and licenses for it.     Below are two relevant quotes I found in apple discussion forums on this exact topic:

From an online discussion elsewhere, I found this quote that confirms my comments above:

"Apache and a number of other Linux applications are built into every OS X box. They're full versions (in the Linux world, there's really no such thing as "crippled", "shareware", "demo", or what have you). The benefits of OS X Server include pretty GUI frontends to most of these programs - customizing the mail and web server through pretty aqua windows. With enough effort and knowledge, everything possible via the GUI under OS X Server is possible under OS X Client."

From another discussion:

"As far as functionality goes:

The main thing that server does better then client in is applefilesharing. The client version has always been crippled both in speed and number of connections(10 I think).

Macintosh Manager. Its network user/group/machine managment program. Jag Server adds X client managment. dosent sound like you need it.

Netboot. Boot clients off the server. can be really cool.

Server has Apples Mail Server. Client has permissions set so that sendmail breaks and takes some getting around. Jag Server lets sendmail run without hassle.

so basically if all you want is an apache/mail server with a little file sharing then client will be fine. I dont think that you can get the Xserve without server though. And they are really cool boxes."

Expert Comment

ID: 16921481
Mac OS X Server is the server-oriented version of Apple Computer's desktop operating system, Mac OS X. It is based on the BSD-Unix-based operating system that Apple acquired from NeXT Computer and which formed the basis of the current Mac OS X.

The server version of Mac OS X provides additional features over the standard version, such as internet-based services like email or site hosting, or local network services such as the ability to manage networks of Macs and/or Windows PCs and provide services such as file and print sharing. Prior to Mac OS X, Apple's AppleShare software provided server applications such as file and printer sharing and user management.

Mac OS X Server leverages both open source technologies for provision of powerful standards-based services, and proprietary Apple applications for administration and for some additional services. Many services have aspects of both origins, such as Open Directory, which provides access to several powerful open source (and external proprietary) technologies from one simple, graphical interface.---Wikipedia
I hope this helps...Booda2us

LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 16925451
The server is setup as a SERVER for other clients of OSX -- and the clients are setup as a client.  They are as different as generals and privates.  One MANAGES the users, the other is just a user.

If this "web guy" wants to donwgrade, he needs to delete the server OSX from his system and install as a client, NOT a server.  They are not interchangeable.

Expert Comment

ID: 17070268
I'm interested
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 17073232
I'd vote for a split between the three people that answered, awarding points baded on depth of answer.   The question has certainly been answred a few different ways, in great detail.

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