What are Alternatives to macOS Server?

Those overseeing several Apple devices avail themselves of macOS Server, which is a macOS app that gives access to a large variety of administration software tools and server’s functionality. The use of macOS Server allows administering several Mac machines from a single device, which is extremely convenient for a small home office. Furthermore, the add-on serves as a quick and convenient means of sharing information between Macs, iOS devices, and PCs, which streamlines workflow and increases safety. Taking into consideration the great functionality of the network managing app, many of its users have been surprised to discover that Apple attempts to revamp macOS Server. According to a recent company’s statement, a number of macOS Server’s features will be removed after the spring of 2018. The article provides essential information about the upcoming update and truncation of macOS Server and lists viable alternatives for those Mac users who rely on services that soon will be discontinued.

macos server
Source: itunes.apple.com


A support note recently issued by Apple has informed its users that the focus of macOS shifts to the management of computers and network storage. As a result, the company considers getting rid of the following services: Calendar, DHCP, Mail, NetInstall, DNS, Contacts, Messages, VPN, Websites, and Wiki. The macOS users should consider some alternatives to the services that will disappear in the upcoming update.


Those who are planning on using macOS Server in 2018 should be prepared for the inevitable reduction of the app’s services. The statement recently issued by Apple lists a number of alternatives for the deprecated services. The disappearing Calendar can be substituted with Calendar and Contacts Server, Radicale, and DavMail. Many administrators have also been using Kerio Connect, which provides the functionality of both Calendar and Contacts. When it comes to Websites, obvious alternatives are MAMP and Nginx. Apache will also be available on Macs. The disappearing NetInstall can be replaced with NetSUS which is completely free. Other alternatives are Imagr and BSDPy. Although it is regrettable that macOS Server users won’t be able to set up a virtual private network (VPN) after the issuance of the 2018 update, there are still decent alternatives. Some of them are SoftEther VPN, which also works under Windows and Linux, OpenVPN, and Tcpcrypt. Wiki can be replaced with MediaWiki, PmWiki, and XWiki. Openfire, ejabberd, and Prosody have the functionality of Messages. The alternatives to DHCP are Key, Dnsmasq, and FreeRADIUS.


In the short term, macOS Server users won’t experience any changes in the way they use the app. Those who already have services listed in the previous sections of the article will be able to continue using them. However, those who are only planning on setting up their servers should look for a viable alternative to macOS Server. Instead of solving the issue of ever-decreasing functionality by switching to a host of third-party apps, administrators are recommended to forego macOS Server altogether.

There are plenty of both free and paid options on the Apple App Store that are geared towards network professionals. That is why, instead of spending resources on setting up a server with the help of a waning macOS Server, they would be better off using a full-fledged solution.