Prepare for changes to macOS Server

As hosted services have become widespread—and the need to keep software up to date is more important than ever—Apple is making some changes to macOS Server. 

Learn about current and future support

Apple will continue to develop and support macOS Server, which includes Open Directory, Profile Manager, and Xsan management. The most popular server features—Caching Server, File Sharing Server, and Time Machine Server—have been bundled with every installation of macOS High Sierra since its release in fall 2017, so that even more customers have access to these essential services at no extra cost.

In fall 2018, Apple will stop bundling open source services such as Calendar Server, Contacts Server, the Mail Server, DNS, DHCP, VPN Server, and Websites with macOS Server. Customers can get these same services directly from open-source providers. This way, macOS Server customers can install the most secure and up-to-date services as soon as they’re available. 

Because these open-source services are the same services that currently ship with macOS Server, customers will be able to run them with the same data on the same Mac computers. 

Prepare for the changes in macOS server

To help prepare for this transition, these open-source services are still included in macOS Server 5.6. For new installations of macOS Server, these services will no longer be visible in the sidebar of the Server app. Customers can access these services in new installations of macOS Server from the View menu in the Server app.

For existing macOS Server customers updating to macOS Server 5.6 from previous versions, macOS Server will be unaffected, and will continue to work as before. 

With the release of macOS Server 5.6, Apple is publishing documentation to help with this transition.

Supported Services

The following services are fully supported and visible by default in macOS Server 5.6:

  • Profile Manager
  • Open Directory
  • Xsan

Services Migrated from macOS Server to macOS High Sierra

These services are now available in macOS High Sierra, and can be found in System Preferences > Sharing:

  • File Server
  • Caching Server
  • Time Machine Server

Service status

This table shows the status of each macOS Server service, and available alternatives:

Service Status Alternatives
FTP Removed in Server 5.4 SFTP/SSH
Server Docs Removed in Server 5.4

iCloud Documents, Apache/WebDAV
DHCP Planned removal Fall 2018 for UI tools. bootpd, built into macOS
DNS Planned removal Fall 2018 BIND, Unbound, KnotDNS
VPN Planned removal Fall 2018 OpenVPN, SoftEther VPN, Tcpcrypt
Firewall Planned removal Fall 2018 for UI tools. pf firewall (built into macOS)
Mail Server Planned removal Fall 2018


Courier, KerioConnect

Calendar Planned removal Fall 2018 CalendarServer, DavMail, Radicale, Kerio Connect
Wiki Planned removal Fall 2018 MediaWiki, PmWiki, XWiki, Confluence, WordPress WMX files
Websites Planned removal Fall 2018 for UI tools. Apache HTTP Server (built into macOS), Nginx, Lighttpd
Contacts Planned removal Fall 2018 CalendarServer, DavMail, Citadel, Kerio Connect
Net Boot/Net Install Planned removal Fall 2018 for UI tools. BOOTP, TFTP, HTTP, NFS (all built into macOS), NetSUS, BSDPy
Messages Planned removal Fall 2018 ejabberd, Openfire, Prosody
Radius Planned removal Fall 2018 FreeRadius
Airport Management Planned removal Fall 2018 AirPort Utility

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