Lion Server tips

Recently setup Lion Server and it’s very different from previous OS X Server incarnations.  Mostly things went well, some things went amazingly well, but of course there were a couple stupid hiccups too.

The main one that gets me is that I turned on a number of services and always enabled SSL, using a self signed certificate because in this case I’m only providing service to a couple people where it’s trivial to accept the cert permanently.  When trying to access iCal Server either via the web or iCal itself I received varying messages.

From iCal on a Snow Leopard client I got “Then account information was not found. The server has not specified a calendar home for the account at [blah blah blah].”  Via a web connection I got “Calendar service is turned off” when it was clearly turned on (and rebooted, etc.)

The fix is to use the Server application, go to Hardware, then Settings.  Click Edit next to SSL Certificate.  Even though I had never edited this setting before, by default both Mail and Web had my self-signed cert selected and iChat, iCal, and Address Book did not.  After selecting the certificate I was able to access all services normally.

I do not know why Lion Server had those boxes unselected.  In future 10.7 server setups I will be interested to see whether this was a recurring issue or a one-time failure.

Lion Server feels unfinished.  I very much agree with “macshome” take on  They are trying to make a server OS iOS-simple and in many ways they’ve succeeded.  However there has to be all those settings accessible somewhere.  I hate that Server Admin Tools do not come on the server by default – what were they thinking?  Further, the lack of MySQL and relegation of so many functions to the command line borders on silly.  If I wanted command line I’d be running CentOS or debian or RHEL.  You know, sources with good package management, backports of security patches, and the knowledge Apple won’t unceremoniously overwrite your configs out of the blue.

It’s a love/hate relationship, what can I say?