Has anyone figured out how to use Server.app on Catalina to manage web hosts on the local Mac?
It’s got to be possible, because the Server.app will show the controls if it sees that it was there from a previous install, but I did a clean install, so I’m trying to figure out how to ‘trick’ it into working for me.
I used to use the server.app for this but have not done so for a long time. When it added domains and hosts did it edit the /etc/hosts file? I have a very vague recollection of having to delete entries from /etc/hosts when I changed my FQDN. I kept getting intermittent errors (mostly 404) and I think my solution was to empty the /etc/hosts file before starting the setup process in the server.app again. Could editing /etc/hosts create the virtual hosts you need in server.app?
Server.app has been basically useless since High Sierra.It basically has been stripped of all traditional server functionality. It was only really useful in Sierra or earlier. Read the reviews and don’t bother with it.
I can confirm that they removed all web server functionality from the server.app after High Sierra. The other posters are correct. I used it a lot, and it is a shame they removed it for anyone on a new machine. There is no way to get it to work on newer versions of MacOS if you did a clean install.
Are you using the server as a test server for development? If it’s for development, an alternative with a full GUI is MAMP, and if you want advanced configurations MAMP Pro. I use Pro every day and it is really powerful; it makes configuring local servers and deploying websites child’s play.
No I’m actually wanting to use this for running a real server on a real Mac (my co-located mini with MacStadium neé MacMiniColo).
I’ve talked with the MAMP folks and the Virtual Host X developer and neither of them is really designed for that. They’re both basically meant to be testing environments. I think Virtual Host X now basically runs Linux VMs in Virtual Box to give you that Real Linux Server feel.
Which isn’t what I want. I want a Mac server. For my personal websites, macOS is perfectly suited, and the Server.app was great, it did everything I needed and hid all of the complexity I didn’t want to bother with.
If I have to basically configure everything on the command line anyway, I might as well get a shared account with Dreamhost or something, since they at least have web UIs for configuring websites. But at that point the question becomes “Do I really want to pay for a co-located Mac mini and a server?” The answer is no, and if the Mac mini is basically just running Dropbox, Hazel, etc then the usefulness of it does way downhill.
Which is a bummer, because I’ve really enjoyed having a co-located Mac and I’ve loved not having to deal with a Linux server, which I’ve done before and was happy to Not Do Anymore.
@cornchip I doubt there is enough demand for such an app. I would assume that the vast majority of people who are willing to run their own server (for any purpose) are generally comfortable with the command line to the point where having a GUI that is basically just a frontend for some CLI tools to be unnecessary.
You’re right about MAMP, it’s not designed for hosting a live site. I only use it for testing then deploying to a Linux host running in a data center. I also migrated the site I previously had running on a Mac server to a remote host after server.app support ended. It’s a shame, but Apple have clearly signalled that they have stopped supporting MacOS as a web server, and I wasn’t interested in manually configuring a server that is also being used as a mission critical file server at my work.