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If I build out a Mac OSX Server install on a Mac Mini and then when it's ready for production I image the disks to an XServe, is there any reason the resulting system won't just work? Assuming I'm able to keep the same IP address are there any other issues I should be aware of? I'll be running minimal services, just AFP, SMB and Open Directory.

TMI: My Intel XServe is full of cruft. Was originally a G4 XServe running 10.3, upgraded to 10.4 then migrated to 10.5 on the Intel XServe. I'd like a clean start, but can't spare the XServe downtime while I build out the install, can I just use a Mac Mini for dev and then switch to the XServe for production.

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since they are both intel, it should work immediately assuming you're not going to utilize hardware raid, then it might get a littly messy. I'd give a shot to removing the drive from the sled and using carbon copy cloner to get the install over. – SpacemanSpiff Jan 11 '11 at 20:24
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The only thing I know of to watch out for is the difference in network interfaces. Since en1 will be a wireless interface on the Mini, it'll be configured as such the first time you boot the Mini. If you then boot the same volume (or a clone) on an XServe, and en1 is suddenly the second physical ethernet, it can have trouble reconfiguring to match the new reality. I haven't tried this in quite a while, so I'm not sure how well Snow Leopard copes, but IIRC you used to have to blow away /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/NetworkInterfaces.plist to get it to work right. Or that may completely destroy the network setup, I haven't tried in a long time...

Do you have a Mac Pro to build the new server config on? Since those also have two (physical) ethernet ports, it'd avoid this issue entirely.

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If you can use MacOS X Server 10.6, you could use the Server Migration wizard and have a clean migration over to the Intel XServe

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I can't think of a reason this shouldn't work.

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Yes it will. I've done this with OS X client no end of times and client and server OS are the same at the bottom. – RobM Jan 11 '11 at 21:45

Actually I believe you need to set up LOM because only XServe has (had) a proper hardware. Server monitor will IMHO refuse to work without proper LOM settings

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It might not work if your serial number is hardware specific but besides that I can't think of anything. It should just recognize the new hardware.

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