I got a Mac Mini
08-06-2017, 08:12 PM,
Post: #1
I got a Mac Mini
A 2.3MHz i5 2011 one. I mainly got it to serve up iTunes content (to my AppleTV), and do some of the mundane stuff that I now (must) assign to my MacBook Air. Like downloading torrents and transcoding media.

But I'm also considering tasking it with (fairly light) server duties. Serve up the contents of my external drives, maybe provide VPN for our iOS devices when out of the house, that sort of thing. So: tips?
08-07-2017, 02:19 AM,
Post: #2
RE: I got a Mac Mini
* agedgruel waits for potardo's fascinating analysis
Clubbie Clubbie Clubbie Clubbie Clubbie Clubbie Clubbie Clubbie ClubbieClubbieClubbie



08-07-2017, 02:25 AM,
Post: #3
RE: I got a Mac Mini
>fascinating analysis
My logic is infallible. Resistance is futile.
08-07-2017, 03:29 AM,
Post: #4
RE: I got a Mac Mini
Stuff I ordered today: two Sandisk 256GB SSD's, dual drive mounting kit, 16GB RAM, Cat6 Ethernet cabling, HDMI cable, Apple Magic Keyboard, Apple Magic Mouse. Still on the fence about a LaCie 5big Thunderbolt 2. The externals I already own now will have to do, for now.
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
08-07-2017, 05:38 AM,
Post: #5
RE: I got a Mac Mini
I have similar needs/wants. I'd like a persistent home server for media files and other miscellaneous bric-a-brac. Since my Mac is a 2010 MBP, I don't like giving it duties that require it be always on the network. It usually is sleeping on my desk, but it's not suited to the task.

But I'm thinking about a VESA-mount iMac instead of a Mini. It'd be bolted to the wall at my desk and become my primary machine. My experience with multiple Macs is that I typically only take care of one, so it'll help me keep everything well maintained. My MBP would then be a secondary device for using on the porch or on trips.

As for a Mini, I had one at work... it didn't get much use. It was underpowered and underutilized. That's a vicious circle.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
08-07-2017, 05:54 AM, (This post was last modified: 08-07-2017, 05:56 AM by Gippy.)
Post: #6
RE: I got a Mac Mini
Other than the SSD and Ram upgrades I have only a suggestion to VESA mount the mini to your display if your display supports it.

I wouldn't mind having one. Like roo I'd like to have a "stationary" computer (and also have the same concerns of neglect). But I kind of also want a dual boot Linux/Windows machine for that. Linux to work, windows for games.
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
flickr | Stupid Blog | Twitter
08-07-2017, 06:49 AM,
Post: #7
RE: I got a Mac Mini
I'm going to run it headless. The keyboard and mouse are for initial setup, and because they'll be nice to have, just in case (and have use elsewhere, too). The HDMI cable is because I forgot to order one with AppleTV and got a cheap one now that shifts the box around. The Apple one is better quality and nice and supple. It'll let me use the TV for a monitor when the need arises, though.
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
08-07-2017, 10:28 PM,
Post: #8
RE: I got a Mac Mini
(08-07-2017, 02:25 AM)FuturDreamz Wrote: >fascinating analysis

This is the most intelligent thing you've ever posted here. 

On topic, I'm interested to see what recommendations are made here as I'm considering a similar move.
08-08-2017, 01:42 AM,
Post: #9
RE: I got a Mac Mini
I set up a Mac OS X Server (as it was then called) for a friend's small business, back in the good(?) old days of Snow Leopard and Lion. From what I remember, it was mostly smooth sailing, but there were frustrating little things where, for instance, network user accounts would be excruciatingly slow for no apparent reason.

I'm keen to find out to what extent that has all been improved.

I'm also thinking I'll run my bittorrents and media transcoding sessions in a VM, so I can keep them somewhat separate from the server. Anyone have thoughts on that? I found a blog post where someone ran vSphere on a (2012) Mini, but that's expensive and I fear a little much for my scrawny 2.3MHz i5. Maybe if I decide to up the ante and get a second (processing) server with more oomph. Are Mac Pro rubbish bins going for cheap, yet?
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
08-08-2017, 02:10 AM,
Post: #10
RE: I got a Mac Mini
(08-08-2017, 01:42 AM)Alien Wrote: I set up a Mac OS X Server (as it was then called) for a friend's small business, back in the good(?) old days of Snow Leopard and Lion. From what I remember, it was mostly smooth sailing, but there were frustrating little things where, for instance, network user accounts would be excruciatingly slow for no apparent reason.

I'm keen to find out to what extent that has all been improved.

I'm also thinking I'll run my bittorrents and media transcoding sessions in a VM, so I can keep them somewhat separate from the server. Anyone have thoughts on that? I found a blog post where someone ran vSphere on a (2012) Mini, but that's expensive and I fear a little much for my scrawny 2.3MHz i5. Maybe if I decide to up the ante and get a second (processing) server with more oomph. Are Mac Pro rubbish bins going for cheap, yet?
FWIW, I run a couple of VirtualBox VMs on my i3-2120 "server" without issue.

It's not integrated like vSphere, but I don't need it to be.
08-08-2017, 03:11 AM,
Post: #11
RE: I got a Mac Mini
I'm assuming you're running a bare-bones Linux or BSD to host the VMs? That'd probably be a good route to take. Since vSphere costs a thousand dollars and all you really need is a lean way to host something like VirtualBox.
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
08-08-2017, 03:51 AM,
Post: #12
RE: I got a Mac Mini
Are you going for full system isolation (ie: malicious download will kill the vm, not the server) or just to easily manage the services in the VM? If you only care about setup and management of services then Docker might be enough. But in all honesty setting up a VM is probably faster ;)
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
flickr | Stupid Blog | Twitter
08-08-2017, 03:55 AM,
Post: #13
RE: I got a Mac Mini
Mostly I have an aversion to running "user" crap on a server. So while I could just have active accounts for users on the server itself, and log into one and do my thing, having these walled off from the server itself seems like a good idea.

Also, dodgy software is dodgy and I would like to be able to just reboot the user land VM, rather than find out the server has locked up while I am away. (My commute takes me halfway across Yerp, so I'm not always on site to fix shit.)
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
08-08-2017, 05:04 AM,
Post: #14
RE: I got a Mac Mini
(08-08-2017, 03:11 AM)Alien Wrote: I'm assuming you're running a bare-bones Linux or BSD to host the VMs? That'd probably be a good route to take. Since vSphere costs a thousand dollars and all you really need is a lean way to host something like VirtualBox.

Yeah, the master machine is debian, run from a 7GB rootfs.

It took some thinking getting the port forwarding right, as it's not an "out of the box" solution, but I seem to have it under control.
08-09-2017, 04:09 AM,
Post: #15
RE: I got a Mac Mini
By the way, I'm thinking I will RAID0 the two SSD's, since the thing'll be hardwired to my Time Capsule, anyway. Casual Googling suggests I might see some serious disk I/O from doing that. Not that anything I'm planning on doing on that thing will be (storage) I/O bound, mind you. But hey, gotta have RAID on a server, no? And for this thing, RAID0 makes the most sense.
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
08-09-2017, 06:29 AM,
Post: #16
RE: I got a Mac Mini
(08-09-2017, 04:09 AM)Alien Wrote: By the way, I'm thinking I will RAID0 the two SSD's, since the thing'll be hardwired to my Time Capsule, anyway. Casual Googling suggests I might see some serious disk I/O from doing that. Not that anything I'm planning on doing on that thing will be (storage) I/O bound, mind you. But hey, gotta have RAID on a server, no? And for this thing, RAID0 makes the most sense.

I'd go JBOD with SSDs.  Save on the IO calls and extend the drive life.
08-09-2017, 11:41 AM,
Post: #17
RE: I got a Mac Mini
For that scenario you might consider just 2 separate drives. OSX is shit about letting you move the swap location, so have 1 drive for OS and Apps, then the other for files. This works out pretty well at home with image editing and the occasional VMWare session. I don't do anything else disk intensive, so that's the only anecdotal evidence I have to offer.
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
flickr | Stupid Blog | Twitter
08-09-2017, 03:56 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-09-2017, 03:57 PM by Alien.)
Post: #18
RE: I got a Mac Mini
But neither of those will give me the performance gains of RAID0, will they? I generally like JBOD, since my experience has always been, when I partition or use separate drives for system and data, that eventually I'll have room to spare on one while the other is running out. In that scenario, I could have sufficed with a 64GB system volume, maybe even a 32GB, I think.
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
08-09-2017, 03:58 PM,
Post: #19
RE: I got a Mac Mini
If I have time, I might do some testing on disk performance.
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
08-09-2017, 06:08 PM,
Post: #20
RE: I got a Mac Mini
Okay, I may be overgoogling all this because of anticipation anxiety, but what is stopping me from installing EXSi on, say, an HP Proliant dual 8-core Xeon server and running everything else I need in VM's? You can get some pretty serious server hardware for relatively little money, these days.

Well, apart from Apple's EULA forbidding running macOS, even virtual, on anything but Apple hardware. But I own so much Apple hardware, Tim Cook should be sending me insincere CRM-generated birthday greetings, so I see no moral objections.
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
08-09-2017, 08:59 PM,
Post: #21
RE: I got a Mac Mini
For a light duty home server, this sure is complicated.

I mean, I appreciate the exercise, but you're waaaaay more into this iTunes storage than I'd be.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
08-09-2017, 09:21 PM,
Post: #22
RE: I got a Mac Mini
I want to future-proof things as much as possible, and also I like to tinker.

Did some initial setting up, since I probably won't have the opportunity to install the SSD's soon, but we do want to enjoy pirated video content NAO.

[Image: Schermafbeelding_2017-08-09_om_12.30.32.png]

This is with the stock drive, which is a 500GB Toshiba MK5065GSXF:

[Image: Schermafbeelding_2017-08-09_om_12.33.10.png]

That's pretty pathetic.
08-09-2017, 11:37 PM,
Post: #23
RE: I got a Mac Mini
(08-09-2017, 03:56 PM)Alien Wrote: But neither of those will give me the performance gains of RAID0, will they? I generally like JBOD, since my experience has always been, when I partition or use separate drives for system and data, that eventually I'll have room to spare on one while the other is running out. In that scenario, I could have sufficed with a 64GB system volume, maybe even a 32GB, I think.

IIRC, the Mac Mini runs a SATA 3, which tops out at 6Gbps, so you most certainly will be saturating the bus with a single SSD.
08-10-2017, 03:54 PM,
Post: #24
RE: I got a Mac Mini
From what I see in the System Report, it's got dual SATA buses (at 6Gbps each). I'm expecting the SSD's and the mounting kit any day, now. So we'll know soon enough. I set the thing up, for now, with a clean Sierra install on the stock drive. It's backing up to my Time Capsule, so I'll probably just restore from that when I got the SSD's in. Then I'll try single SSD, JBOD and RAID0 and run the speed test again.
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
08-10-2017, 04:05 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-10-2017, 04:07 PM by Alien.)
Post: #25
RE: I got a Mac Mini
It's a good thing that the Magic Keyboard functions as a standard USB one when plugged into a Mac through the Lightening cable, because it's not supported in macOS before 10.11 and the Mini reverts to 10.7 when I do an internet recovery. Nice one, Apple. It's bad enough you can't set the machine up headless from the get-go; almost made me run out and buy a cheap USB keyboard like some sort of cave man.
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie
ClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbieClubbie


Forum Jump: