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Migrating from AppleShare IP to Macintosh OS X Server

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Tony Williams shares joys and frustrations from a recent Macintosh migration from AppleShare IP (ASIP) under OS 9 to OS X Server 10.3. Although Apple tried to make this process as painless as possible, there are still some problems.
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Recently I had to move a (small) number of servers from AppleShare IP (ASIP) under OS 9 to OS X Server 10.3. Although Apple has tried to make this process as painless as possible, there are still some problems. This article explains what I did, the problems I encountered, and the workarounds I used.


As always, I'd like to thank the other explorers at Mac OS X Hints and AFP548.com for both answers and questions.


We can actually cut the migration problem into three parts:

  • Migrating user and group information

  • Migrating share points

  • Migrating mail (if using IMAP)

I began with two servers running ASIP for mail and file sharing, and another box running OS 9 and FileMaker Pro. I would be replacing this setup with two OS X Server boxes and one box running OS X for FileMaker Pro.

Before even thinking about moving the old servers and services to OS X Server, I spent several days installing the operating system on a spare Mac, checking at each step what worked and what may have been broken. This trick allowed me to learn a great deal about topics such as LDAP, Kerberos, and storing Home folders on the server. I recommend this tactic to everyone; I ended up installing OS X Server on this trial box three times. The first time, I didn't have the DNS configured properly and Kerberos didn't install. The second time, I'd spent so much time adjusting and hacking that I was no longer sure whether any problems encountered were my fault. The third was the final practice run for the real install.

Here's the process I followed (and can now recommend) to prepare for migration:

  1. Back up everything. I copied the entire contents of the old server onto an external hard disk and then burned a DVD-ROM with all the data and the System Folder.

  2. Use the ASIP utilities to export a list of users and groups.

  3. Rebuild the mail database to make sure it's compact and free of errors.

  4. Back up the mail database again.

  5. Copy the entire contents of the internal hard disk to an external drive; make sure that both the server and a backup computer will boot off the drive and provide identical services to the original.


    This step provides an immediate backup if the install process fails. Also, with this setup, the OS X Migration tool can use the mail and user information. If you don't have this information on at least a different volume than your intended destination for the OS X Server install, you'll lose it when you reformat the drive for the new system.

  6. Add new names and IP addresses to the DNS servers for the new servers, so that the OS X install process will see them.

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