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The subject says it all. A client I have has a relatively ancient Xserve (2009 model I believe) that is running Mac OS X 10.6.8 Server. We’ve been able to remote into the system without issue in the past, but in the past 6 months odd things have happened.

While the server is never down—meaning it still responds to pings & even file sharing as well as the print server is active/usable—for undetermined reasons the VNC & Remote Desktop capabilities suddenly become unreachable from any system: Mac or Windows using VNC or Apple Remote Desktop doesn’t help.

What I have been able to do in the past is SSH in and restart the ARDAgent like this:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -restart -agent

Which cleared things up right away. But in the last week I suddenly can’t even get in via SSH.

I am 100% positive the machine is still alive & working since I kicked off a fairly huge data transfer process via AFP 2 weeks ago that is clearly still going since data is still being received by the remote machine.

So why can’t I get in via SSH or ARD/VNC? There is also a basic web page setup on the server I cannot reach as well via port 80 which worked fine before. Could the actual server software on the system have crashed? If so, why are the following ports still showing as active when running an nmap scan; hostname & IP changed for privacy but all output accurate:

nmap the_hostname_of_the_server -p0-8000
Starting Nmap 5.21 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2014-10-18 15:04 EDT
Nmap scan report for the_hostname_of_the_server (123.456.789.0)
Host is up (0.0031s latency).
rDNS record for 123.456.789.0: the_hostname_of_the_server
Not shown: 990 closed ports
PORT     STATE    SERVICE
22/tcp   open     ssh
25/tcp   open     smtp
80/tcp   open     http
88/tcp   open     kerberos-sec
139/tcp  open     netbios-ssn
311/tcp  open     asip-webadmin
445/tcp  open     microsoft-ds
548/tcp  open     afp
587/tcp  open     submission
625/tcp  open     apple-xsrvr-admin
631/tcp  open     ipp
5900/tcp filtered vnc

And here is the output of an SSH session with the -v option set for verbose output:

ssh -v jakegould@the_hostname_of_the_server 
OpenSSH_5.9p1 Debian-5ubuntu1.4, OpenSSL 1.0.1 14 Mar 2012
debug1: Reading configuration data /etc/ssh/ssh_config
debug1: /etc/ssh/ssh_config line 19: Applying options for *
debug1: Connecting to the_hostname_of_the_server [123.456.789.0] port 22.
debug1: Connection established.
debug1: identity file /home/jakegould/.ssh/id_rsa type -1
debug1: identity file /home/jakegould/.ssh/id_rsa-cert type -1
debug1: identity file /home/jakegould/.ssh/id_dsa type -1
debug1: identity file /home/jakegould/.ssh/id_dsa-cert type -1
debug1: identity file /home/jakegould/.ssh/id_ecdsa type -1
debug1: identity file /home/jakegould/.ssh/id_ecdsa-cert type -1

That’s basically all that I get when I attempt to SSH into the server. It hangs and hangs and hangs forever until I force an exit via hitting control+c.

I am fairly certain rebooting this server after it deals with my file transfer will bring services back up, but is there anything else I could do to get services back up & running other than a reboot? Or do I have the choice of hard reboot or being onsite plugging in a keyboard & monitor to then force services back up on site?

To be completely fair, this server is pretty much on it’s way out and is only being used for boring utility transfers; behind the scenes stuff a Linux box could probably handle. The Finder crashes for odd reasons & there are times we must physically give the “one finger salute” to get it to work again. So I don’t want to spend too much time dealing with a “lame duck”, but it would be nice to know if there is something else that could be done to restore at least remote SSH connectivity.

  • 1
    Can you ssh with the -v option for verbose and post the output? – sardean Oct 19 '14 at 1:45
  • @dean Added ssh -v output; should have from the beginning. – JakeGould Oct 19 '14 at 1:56

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