A Possible Successor to macOS Server

Graphic displaying the Zentyal server dashboard on a Mac
Screen shot of Zentyal Dashboard, courtesy of Zentyal

There’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon for small and medium-sized businesses that use macOS Server to provide services like DNS, email, calendaring, file sharing, web serving and more. After Apple dropped full support for macOS Server, many system administrators were left scrambling for a solution to cover their business needs. Now a group is looking at porting Zentyal Server (a popular Linux server distribution) to macOS to offer a solution to those in need of a Mac-based server.

The project is being touted on Indiegogo as a way to give Mac server admins a native Mac solution rather than needing to support a Linux server as well. It’s a perfect time for a Mac-based server solution, what with Apple’s recent announcement of the new Mac Pro as powerful hardware for large company deployments.

For smaller businesses, macOS Server used to run well on a Mac mini. It may be too early to tell what the performance of Zentyal Server would be like on a Mac mini, but with a 25-user license estimated at $199, the two could make a fine match.

A pre-owned 2014 Mac mini with a base price of $449 makes an excellent small office “headless server” (no monitor), while larger businesses with a need for more capacity and speed would find a “trash can” Mac Pro a bargain starting at $1,679.

All of this is dependent on the ability of the crowdfunding campaign to raise enough funds to at least begin work on the Zentyal Server port, so it’s not a done deal. At least there’s a possibility that a Mac-based server solution may arrive soon.


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  • As someone not happy with anything with the work ‘cloud’ in in it, I run a home server for family calendars and other services and have been reduced to using a fairly old version of MacOS to do this as server has become more lobotomised. I would certainly welcome such a solution!