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Mac® Security Bible by Joe Kissell

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25.1. Comparing Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server

If you're already running Mac OS X Server, you may be intimately familiar with its design and what makes it different from the standard version of Mac OS X. But if you're considering whether to purchase it for your business or have been tasked with managing a Mac OS X Server installation someone else has set up, you may find it helpful to understand what you're getting yourself into. What makes Mac OS X Server different from plain old Mac OS X?

The first thing I want to clarify is that the standard version of Mac OS X — the one most people run — is not "Mac OS X Client." That is, the fact that there's a version of the operating system with "Server" in the name doesn't somehow imply that the other version is a client. Any operating system can act as either a client or a server (or both at the same time) for various activities, and that's certainly true of Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server. So, if I need to say something about the normal, non-server version of Mac OS X to distinguish it from Mac OS X Server, I use expressions such as "the standard version" or "regular" or "ordinary" Mac OS X. Apart from such uses, the statements that I make generally apply to both versions of the operating system.

In fact, it can hardly be otherwise because Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server are mostly identical. The multitude of Unix pieces that make up the core of the operating system — the Finder, the menu bar, the Dock, applications such as Mail and Address ...

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