Apple is deprecating a significant portion of essential network services included in macOS Server this year, as outlined in a published support statement titled "Prepare for changes to macOS Server". Apple's note reads:

macos server

macOS Server is changing to focus more on management of computers, devices, and storage on your network. As a result, some changes are coming in how Server works. A number of services will be deprecated, and will be hidden on new installations of an update to macOS Server coming in spring 2018.

The note goes on to list a series of deprecated services that will be removed in a future release of macOS Server, including calendar and contact support, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Domain Name Services (DNS), mail, instant messages, virtual private networking (VPN), NetInstall, Web server, and the Wiki.

Apple assures users who have already configured any of the listed services that they will be able to use them in the spring 2018 macOS Server update, but the statement signs off by linking to a number of alternative services, including hosted services, that macOS Server users should consider as viable replacements to the features it is killing off.

Apple halted its presence in the server hardware space back in 2010, when Steve Jobs announced the company was ending its line of Xserve rackmount servers, which were first introduced in May, 2002. At the time, the two alternative server solutions to Xserve that Apple offered included the Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server and the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server.

Today, macOS Server version 5.5 retails for $19.99 on the App Store, as an addition to the standard desktop version of macOS High Sierra.

(Thanks, Ankush!)

Top Rated Comments

cogitodexter Avatar
50 months ago
Oh this is ridiculous!

Bang goes my mac mini based web server and now I have to invest a fortune in other hardware so I can run Windows Server which I don't want to do. Does Apple *WANT* to alienate its professional users?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
StrangeNoises Avatar
50 months ago
In short, install Linux, where most of these alternatives are included as part of the distribution. Running them on macOS isn't going to be any friendlier, which was always the only point in Server, and in fact probably less so. In any case, "install linux" is usually the best answer to what to do with Macs that Apple deem "obsolete" and which can't run the latest MacOS. cf: my 2005 G4 Mac Mini still running the latest Ubuntu... (Although sadly it's slower than a Raspbery Pi...)
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glmnet1 Avatar
50 months ago
A server without all these services seem pretty useless to me. One could still install alternative software on the Terminal but then why not simply use a Linux distribution.

Are the features for the "management of computers, devices, and storage on your network" really useful on macOS Server?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
50 months ago
At WWDC: "And now onto macOS Server: this year, we've made it thinner than ever before! You're welcome!"
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peter2 Avatar
50 months ago
This move is incredibly short-sighted from Apple (like many other things Apple does lately). Granted, the Server per se certainly makes no money for Apple, but is an important part of the ecosystem. Once they remove the pieces that allow one to stay out of Linux / Windows completely, they remove, for many, the need to run macOS altogether.

Once those services are gone, my work (20+ macs) will just switch to all Windows or all Linux solution. As the person responsible for IT here, I have no desire to try to glue bits and pieces from different vendors. I guess I am not alone.

Shortly after that, I will switch away from iPhone (as there are other better options for non-macOS ecosystems) and my whole family's iPhones and iPads (which I administer) will follow.

Well done Apple!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
obitow Avatar
50 months ago
Linux has been the best option for these for quite some time anyway.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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