• United States

Remotely setting up Apple Xserve with a RAID controller

Jan 09, 20062 mins
Enterprise Applications

Our recently purchased Apple Xserve system has a hardware RAID controller but no video card. We found out that the normal system setup procedure requires another Macintosh system. We don’t have another Mac, and the console serial port isn’t active. Can we complete the system setup procedure in this situation?

It’s possible to do this with Apple Remote Desktop, but I don’t know how to turn that on from the command line so Windows VNC clients can connect.

You can use Secure Shell to log on and copy files to the Xserve, so try downloading a copy of OSXvnc for the Xserve, and a copy of RealVNC for the Windows client.

Two things make this challenging – first, you have to find the Xserve’s IP address when it boots, and then you have to unpack the OSXvnc disk image using diskutil on the Xserve. Documentation on mounting disk image files is available at

After the Xserve boots, it will use DHCP to obtain an IP address, so you can find the IP in your DHCP server’s client table. Once OSXvnc is installed on the server, you can use RealVNC to connect from the Windows PC, then use the OSX GUI server setup tools to complete the Xserve installation.