How much difference is there between Mac OS X Lion Server and Snow Leopard Server?


The price for Lion has decreased dramatically. Its costs is literally 10% that of Snow Leopard. How different is Lion and is it worth upgrading?

Topic: Software
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One thing that will give you plenty of time to think about the differences is the installation.  Unusual for an enterprise application, the only way to install Lion Server is as a self-installing download from Mac App Store.  A 4GB OS client installer to start, plus megabyte upon megabyte of server components, with no way to create your own bootable installation DVD.  Hmmmmm.  


After you install it, you will get a chance to see why Lion Server costs 10% of what Snow Leopard does.  There is a change to the PDC that had supported Windows clients, resulting in less support.  You also loose the ability to prioritize printers in a printer pool and set quotas for individual printers and users.   You also had better beef up on your Unix commands, because that is the only way to use NFS now.  MySQL has also been replaced with PostgreSQL, which I suppose one could look at as either a positive or negative.  All in all, this is a pared down sequel to Snow Leopard Server, and I wouldn't be quick to make the change to Lion.  

Sudip Kar
Vote Up (26)


The Snow Leopard is the same or the code for Mac OS X 10.6, and it is the first release. While the Lion is the upgraded version, the code for Mac OS  X 10.7. It is the latest version.

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Vote Up (24)

Here's an interesting comparison of the two:

Lion Server compared to Snow Leopard Server

Lion Server really trimmed the fat, and Apple appears to have gotten so carried away they trimmed some of the good meat as well. If you’re looking for a GUI with lots of options, go with Snow Leopard Server. If you want the most streamlined experience you can get and only need to do basic web hosting, go with Lion. If you’re comfortable with Terminal and the command line, I’d suggest going with Lion because the GUI won’t get in your way as much and you probably already know what you’re doing.

I will be experimenting with Lion server for a while before I try and upgrade from Snow Leopard Server (if I upgrade). And if I decide to upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion, I will definitely do a clean install… so many things have changed, I can foresee a lot of configuration problems arising from upgrades."

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