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OS X Server: Upgrade and migration from Mountain Lion

Learn how to upgrade or migrate to OS X Server on Mavericks from OS X Server on Mountain Lion.

You can upgrade to OS X Server on Mavericks from OS X Server on Mountain Lion by installing OS X Mavericks first, then installing Server app v3.0.

To upgrade, first download and install Mavericks from the Mac App Store. Follow the instructions in the installer and in the Setup Assistant after installation. When the installation and setup is complete, you can purchase, download, and install Server from the Mac App Store. Open the Server app and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the upgrade.


You can migrate to OS X Server on Mavericks from OS X Server on Mountain Lion by using the Mavericks Setup Assistant or Migration Assistant application to migrate server data from one of the following sources:

  • A server connected in Target Disk Mode
  • A local hard drive or partition with OS X Server (Mountain Lion) installed
  • A local Time Machine backup of OS X Server (Mountain Lion)

Important: Migrating via a network connection, either from an existing server or a Time Machine backup, is not an available option for OS X Server.

When migration is complete, download and install Server from the Mac App Store (if it's not preinstalled). Open the Server app and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the server setup.


Important: If you open Server app before migrating server data, you will need to remove Server app before migrating and reinstall it afterward.

To upgrade or migrate a remote server, you must be able to control the server by using Screen Sharing or Apple Remote Desktop.

Note: If you are upgrading or migrating from Lion Server or Mac OS X Server v10.6, please see this article instead.

Service Data



Your service data and settings will be preserved completely when upgrading or migrating. Service data that is stored in the default location will remain in the default service data location inside the /Library/Server/ directory. Service data stored in an alternate location will remain in the alternate location.


Exception: You may need to re-enter your per-user mail storage quota after upgrading or migrating.

Planning your upgrade or migration



Important: Before starting any upgrade or migration, be sure that you have a complete and tested backup or clone of your working server installation and data.



Make sure that your target server meets the system requirements for both Mavericks and OS X Server. Be sure to install the latest version of OS X Server on the destination server. If the destination server is a new Mac mini or Mac Pro, you may need to use the Mac App Store to update your copy of OS X Server before migrating.



Make sure that any DNS or DHCP servers that your server relies on remain running during the process.



When upgrading an Open Directory master, follow the instructions in this article. If you have Open Directory replicas, upgrade or migrate the Open Directory master first and make sure it is up and running before migrating the replicas. While you’re upgrading the master, client computers can’t connect to it for Open Directory services. Clients may experience a delay finding an Open Directory replica server. You can avoid this delay by temporarily pointing the clients to a replica.



Last Modified: Oct 28, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Oct 28, 2013
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