Feature comparison OS X Server vs Nethserver: anything missing?

#OS X Server vs. Nethserver

##Service comparison
OS X Server out-of-the-box versus Nethserver one-click-install.

The first table shows all services provided by OS X Server and the comparable services (if available) in Nethserver.

The second table shows the additional services available in Nethserver.

Keep in mind that I am comparing out-of-the-box OS X Server with Nethserver one-click-install services!

Table 1

Table 2

So, what is currently missing from Nethserver compared to OS X Server that is (in my opinion!) important for SMB or SOHO users**** ? :

  • Time Machine (which depends on the availablility of AFP and Bonjour/mDNS/Avahi);
  • Webservices (vHost management) either Apache or Nginx;
  • Wiki and WebDAV.

(Jim already wrote a forumpost regarding the installation of Netatalk on Nethserver - Trying to install Netatalk on NethServer - but obviously a oneclick install is preferable to make Nethserver a true replacement of OS X Server)

Profile Manager (Apple device management incl. MDM for iOS devices), NetInstall (providing NetBoot images), Software Update Services, Xcode Server and Xsan are - again from my perspective - not relevant for the primary audience Apple is targeting with OS X Server (services reminding of Apple Xserver history . . . ).

The services available in Nethserver but not in OS X Server, especially the groupware and print server services are a great plus!

One wish regarding the print service, add AirPrint, to make it possible to use non-airprint capable printers from iOS devices.
On Debian AirPrint functionality is provided by the following packages: avahi-daemon avahi-discover libnss-mdns cups cups-pdf gutenprint pycups avahi python2.

For me personally it is not a problem to experiment and add the mentioned ‘missing’ functionality from the commandline.
For most potential OS X Server users however, this is not the case. To make Nethserver a true OS X Server alternative (more stability, better reliablilty) adding the mentioned missing services as a one-click install and adding them to the WebUI really is a good idea.

  • Caching webcontent and software updates

** Nethserver, in its current stable incarnation, does not provide the level of control for vhosts in an easy to use GUI comparable to qwhat OS X Server provides

*** OpenLDAPand Kerberos covered in Apple sauce

**** Users having a single dedicated server machine running either OS X Server or Nethserver providing network services to a small (…) group of users.


That’s a good report from Apple Users perspective! Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it!

  • Time Machine: we need to implement @jim’s requests
  • Webservices: with our Virtualhost panel we’re on the right track.
  • Wiki: check out this please Nethserver-dokuwiki needs testers
  • WebDAV: what do you mean? OwnCloud/NextCloud already support it

Please go on! It might be interesting to cover all these features :slight_smile:



Fisrt of all, I ant want to thank @jaapvdv.
Since I start here, in the community, I try to convince that make Nethserver more Mac OS user friendly can be a good thing… With this kind of argumentation, and demand from community members, it will be easier :smile:
And thank again to show that my experimentations are a public utility :blush:

A package Nethserver-avahi already exist… We only have to invertigate where is it and to make it available in the center sofware, it can be realy easy to make a one click install.
Avahi as a standalone package in the software center

For the Netatalk and AFP share, ir’s more complicate to implemant as one click install…
I imagine this scenario:
1 - make a nethserver package to instal and configure the firewall ( open the port for all green subnet).
2- use the actual Smb share module to define what to share with what "rights"
3- make a button to set the previous definition as a AFP share.

I waiting impatient a good wiki developer documentation to make the first point ( subliminal message inside :wink: ) to make a nethserver-netatalk package.
Or a developer help to do this point

The second point already exist.
The third point is to define entirely…

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My pleasure!

DokuWiki is already running in a Debian VM on one of my ESXi hosts!

Wiki and WebDAV is the service name used by Apple!

Well, I already have an AirPrint server running on one of my Debian VM’s.

I’ll have to find the time (and server CPU/memory capacity) to setup a (couple of) Nethserver VM’s to test all of this stuff.

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I had already an Airprint printer, but it could be really interesting to adapt Nethserver to have this function.

Can you tell me more? Plaese.

Something I missed previously:

OS X Server has the capability to define one server as directory master and the other server(s) as slave. All part of the Open Directory service.

If the OD database off the master gets corrupted it is possible to ‘promote’ a slave to master.

I always prefer to not ‘put all eggs into one basket’.

So if Nethserver could/would provide this kind of master-slave capability it would be pretty ease to use a Nethserver machine to provide mail and SOGo (webmail/CalDAV/CardDAV) services and another for instance for web and wiki and maybe a third for file services and own- /nextCloud, where all three are using the master LDAP db on the mailserver machine.
(machine can obviously also be a virtual machine)

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Try this:




or this:

I followed one of these instructions to configure a Debian VM.


I reborn this thread to talk about some difference now…

With MacOs Sierra, Apple killed the Apple File Protocol! This one is not necessary anymore.
Even a Time Machine backup can be done over a SMB share.
I’m looking around this to implement my own TM backup on Nethserver…
I will upped my own wiki page about this subject.

For the Profile Manager, MacOS support OpenLdap, and a rapid search show result about iOS could support too.

I ill look this point too :slight_smile:

For the two last point the wiki and webdav, these two point now already exist with the docuwiki and Nextcloud.

Sounds interesting, please share with us your screenshots so we can document the process.

With MacOs Sierra, Apple killed the Apple File Protocol! This one is not necessary anymore.
Even a Time Machine backup can be done over a SMB share.

Well, Apple does no longer develops AFP and prefers SMB, but both macOS and macOS Server still support AFP for file sharing and will probably continue to do so for the next couple of years, if only for backward compatibility.

So to say AFP is no longer necessary in a server product . . . .

Ehi @jaapvdv happy to see you still around. What’s up? Did you install any new NethServer in the Netherlands?

RH dropped support for appletalk since the release of rhel5 (now 7)
afp is useless nowadays, cifs is the way to go

Hi Alessio,

Yes, currently upgrading my 6.9 install to 7.3.1611 :wink:

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RH dropped support for appletalk since the release of rhel5 (now 7)
afp is useless nowadays, cifs is the way to go

Well I wouldn’t put it as blunt as that, but when it comes to adding AFP support to NethServer you are absolutely correct.

Those who need AFP / netatalk can install using Jim’s howto!

And I repeat here, AFP isn’t required anymore in MacOs Sierra.

Look this https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25585?locale=en_US

Netatalk is little different, it’s the mDNS implementation…
For now, I don’t install, and all seem to work perfectly… even printing :wink:

I’m just have a few issues for setting up samba and a folder share

True, but not all Mac-users / -shops have upgraded to Sierra


Sure, I will modify this point in the doc…
Thank you :slight_smile: