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We just received a Mac Xserve (donated!) and now I have to find something to do with it. There are personal files scattered all over and a bunch of services running, so I'd like to just reinstall from scratch, but we didn't get any discs with it. And I can't find a place to download Leopard Server from Apple.

I've never installed Mac OS before. But it doesn't look like it uses product keys. So is there a way to reinstall it without the original disc?

The rest of our servers are running Ubuntu 10.04, so I'm also considering just torching Mac OS and installing Ubuntu. However, then it looks like I would have to fiddle with EFI.

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Ubuntu automatically handles the EFI bootloader. – Jeff Strunk Dec 20 '11 at 17:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The only way to get the download for 10.5 or 10.6 server from Apple is to become member of the Mac Developer program, which will offer this as a resource. However, this is not free.

An alternative would be to use Lion and Lion server if you use an Intel based machine, which you can download from the Mac App Store. However, to get the download, you will need at least MacOS Snow Leopard, as the App Store is not available for earlier versions of the OS.

Re keys: MacOS Server is the only MacOS variant that uses product keys. You can (and should) get the key from the Server Admin application if you manage to get hands of an Install CD for Leopard Server.

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