MacStadium Knowledge Base

Mac mini

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Does MacStadium require a server edition of the Mac mini for colocation?

The quad-core i7 model Mac mini was previously available in a server variant with redundant disk drives and either the Server version of OS X (up until OS X 10.7) or a copy of the macOS Server application in versions 10.8 and newer. macOS Server can be purchased from the App Store.

However, Apple removed the server model from the product offering with the Mac mini update in late 2014. We still offer subscriptions of the quad-core i7 Mac mini with redundant hard drives or with a SSD. For CPU-intensive tasks, the i7 Mac mini is the best value. You are free to colocate any model of Mac mini at MacStadium. See related articles for more details about colocation.

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How do I connect to my Mac the first time?

All Mac mini subscriptions are pre-configured to allow you to connect using the following methods:

  • macOS Screen Sharing: Open Safari and type vnc:// (replacing the IP address with one provided in your install ticket)
  • VNC: Download your favorite free VNC viewer/client such as Apple’s Remote Desktop app, RealVNC, TightVNC or others
  • SSH Terminal: Use your OS’s built in terminal, or download a SSH solution for Windows like PuTTY to gain console access

Once you have connected to your Mac for the first time, you can install other common remote access solutions such as SplashTop, TeamViewer, or LogMeIn.

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Is the Mac mini a good server?

With our custom rack infrastructure, remote hands capability, and network infrastructure expertise, the Mac mini is a viable server platform for any small to medium-sized business requiring managed Apple hardware running macOS in a data center. The Mac mini is an efficient and cost-effective server platform that performs very well with both Intel i5 and i7 CPU options. It holds its own against many other server platforms in its class, and while using less space with a fraction of the power footprint.

When Apple discontinued manufacture and sale of the Xserve blade servers, they published an Xserve to Mac mini transition guide sharing a positive opinion on utilizing the Mac mini as a server.

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I’m interested in a single Mac mini… what should I do?

The best option is to sign up online with a credit card - you’ll be up and running almost immediately. A dedicated mini will perform almost exactly like a mini sitting on your desk… just with more security, better uptime, and higher bandwidth. There is even a 24-hour trial so you can check performance and bandwidth.  

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Why won’t Java install on my hosted Mac?

Java looks for an actual display plugged into the Mac mini in order for it to install without error. However, none of the Mac servers in a data center environment like at MacStadium have physical displays connected.

As a solution, we have verified that installing a GPU enabler dongle — which we include as a free add-on to all Mac subscriptions — will convince macOS a display plugged in. This allows Java to install without error. Other benefits of the GPU enabler dongle including performance improvements and increased resolutions are noted in our blog.

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