OS X Server: Setting up a remote server

You can set up a new Mac mini Server or Mac Pro with OS X Server by connecting to it via Screen Sharing or Apple Remote Desktop.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Before you start

Please note that the remote server does not need to have a display, keyboard, mouse, or trackpad connected.

  1. Prepare your DHCP server for the new server. If you have a DNS server, prepare it as well.
    If you have an Internet router, it’s probably your DHCP server. Your DNS server may be administered by your Internet service provider or a DNS hosting service, or it may be another server on your intranet. For more information, see DHCP server configuration for your server and Register the server’s Internet host name.
  2. Make sure the new server has an active connection to the same network as the administrator computer you’re using.
  3. If the server is off, turn it on.

When the server starts up, the Setup Assistant opens and waits for setup to begin. At this point you can connect to the server via Screen Sharing or Apple Remote Desktop.

Setting up the remote server

  1. On your administrator computer, look for the remote server in the Shared computer list of the Finder sidebar, or in the Scanner list in Remote Desktop. The new server may be listed with a name generated from the computer model and the Ethernet hardware address (the MAC address), or with a name from your DNS server.
  2. If the server you want to set up is listed in the Finder sidebar, double click it, then click Share Screen... in the upper-right corner of the Finder window.
  3. If the server you want to set up is listed in the Remote Desktop Scanner, select it, then click the Control icon in the Remote Desktop toolbar.
  4. When prompted for authentication, leave the user name blank and enter the remote server’s complete hardware serial number for the password. You can find the serial number on the case of the product, on the original product packaging, and on the original product receipt or invoice. For more information about finding the serial number, see How to find the serial number of your Apple hardware product. Match the capitalization of the serial number when you type it.
  5. When you have control of the remote server's screen, proceed through the Setup Assistant panes.
  6. After completing the Setup Assistant, open the Server app and follow the onscreen instructions to complete your server setup.
  7. Important: Complete all of the steps in the following sections to make sure that you can continue to remotely control your server. 
  8. Make sure that in the Server.app, the "Allow remote administration using Server" setting checkbox is checked. This will allow remote server administration via Server.app

Do not restart your server until you complete the following steps.

Adopting Server app

  1. On the server, open the Mac App Store.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID. OS X Server should appear in your purchase history. This is for verification only.
  3. On your administrator computer, open the Mac App Store.
  4. Sign in with the same Apple ID as in step 2.
  5. Go to the Purchases tab and install OS X Server.

Connecting the remote server using Server app

  1. Open Server app but do not click the Continue button in the "Welcome to Server" window. Instead, choose Connect to Server from the Manage menu.
  2. Choose your server from the list that appears, or click "Other Mac" and then click Continue.
  3. Enter the administrator name and password for the server you selected. Also enter the server's hostname or IP address if you selected "Other Mac" in step 2.
  4. Select the server by name in the Hardware list. Click on the Settings tab.
  5. Important: Both "Allow remote login" and "Enable screen sharing" will appear to be enabled, but they will both be disabled the first time you restart the server. To make either setting permanent, first uncheck and then recheck the box for it.

You can administer OS X Server (Mavericks) from a system running OS X Server (Mavericks). You can administer OS X Server (Mountain Lion) from a system running OS X Server (Mountain Lion) or OS X Server (Mavericks).

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