OS X Server; standalones as OS X services

Bill Vlahos bvlahos at jpl.nasa.gov
Thu Jul 11 20:58:01 EDT 2002


On Thursday, July 11, 2002, at 05:12  PM, Dar Scott wrote:

> On Thursday, July 11, 2002, at 03:41 PM, Bill Vlahos wrote:
>> Considerations
>> 1. There is a built-in application called WatchDog which can be 
>> configured to autorestart an application if it should crash thereby 
>> assuring that your program would always be running. This would be 
>> similar to running as a service under Windows for all practical 
>> purposes.
> Will this start it the first time, that is, at boot?  Is this on 
> regular ol OS X, too?
To have any application autostart at boot simply add it to the Login 
Items in the System Preferences either by clicking the Add... button and 
selecting the file (either application or document) or, even easier, 
just drag the file icon to the Login Items window. This works with any 
version of OS X. For the geeks among us, this actually edits the file in 
the /User/Library/Preference/loginwindow.plist file which is an XML 
file. I haven't looked to see if WatchDog does this automatically but it 

On OS 9 or earlier, simply put the file or alias to the file in the 
Startup Items folder in the System Folder.

>> 2. GUI based applications require a display card which is an option 
>> for XServe so it may not be included in all XServe installations.
> Will GUI be ignored if there is no card or will it break something?
I'm told the XServe would need to have a video card or a GUI app won't 
run. I don't think the video card has to actually be connected to a 
monitor though.

>> 3. If a server app has a GUI the server needs to come up fully to the 
>> desktop which means that the server must log in automatically and then 
>> call the screen saver to provide the security lock. Revolution can 
>> certainly build non-GUI apps and they would not have this requirement.
> With Windows 2000 I have been able to run Rev-based services with a GUI 
> or with the GUI ignored.
> How do I make a non-GUI app with Revolution?  I always get a stack 
> showing.
I'll let others on this list answer this because I've never done it.
I'm a little old fashioned in that I like a server that I can see 
working by looking at it directly.

>> 4. Apple's server software in built in two parts. 1. A faceless 
>> non-GUI server app. and 2. Administrative front end which communicates 
>> over interfaces such as SSH, telnet, terminal, etc. and can be run on 
>> the server itself as well as a remote computer. This is probably a 
>> good model to follow and Revolution makes this pretty easy as it is 
>> cross-platform by nature.
> Cool!  I'm already splitting mine in two.  I'm using tcp/ip for 
> communication.
> My admin half is a GUI.  Based on what you are recommending, maybe it 
> (or a version) should also run over telnet or terminal.
That is exactly right. The idea is that the Admin functions work over 
whatever connection and platform you have access to even if that means 
running the Admin app on the server itself or serial connect to the 
built in XServe comm port. If you have a GUI admin app then that is the 
most feature rich way to go and if not you can telnet/SSH from any 
platform. Of course with Revolution your Admin app can work on any 
platform and communicate to your server via SSH or whatever.

> Wow!  Thanks for all the info, Bill!
You're welcome.

Bill Vlahos

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