What's new in OS X Server (Mavericks)

Apple today released OS X Mavericks and OS X Server (Mavericks).

Now that the veil has been lifted we can share information on OS X Server (Mavericks). First up we will dig deeper into whats new in the third major release of the OS X Server app.

In the first of many posts, we will highlight what's new on the surface. Throughout links will be provided for detailed posts relating to specific service/feature changes and how to use them.


Server app has grown somewhat in the latest version. The standard window size increased by quite a bit and is now at roughly 962 x 624 pixels. Compared to the previous size of 750 x 510, the larger default window size is a welcome change.

Those that did not like the skeumorphism elements of prior versions will notice another change. Gone is the textured background areas. Less is more. Additional cues were taken from iOS on the choice of fonts, now also a more lighter variation. 

Sidebar changes were introduced. An Advanced section was added and several services moved here. DHCP, DNS, FTP, NetInstall, Open Directory, Software Update and Xsan all fall inside this new section. 

Exploring Server

We will look at each item as they appear in the sidebar of Server.



The very first item in the sidebar. We are calling this item 'Computer' as it will reflect the chosen computer name. A few minor changes here. The old Network tab's information is now folded into the Overview tab. Changing the Host or Computer name can now be done here. The other tabs remain as before.

Minor adjustments for Alerts. Only notable change fall under the Alert Types where S.M.A.R.T, Disk space and Disk unreachable are all combined under a single item called 'Disk'. 

Certificates and Logs

Neither one of these items received any noticeable changes. 


In line with OS X Mavericks' ability to easily monitor network usage per process (have a look at Activity Monitor), Stats is now able to show you usage for the Caching service and how much data it has served.  


Users and Groups

Both received a much needed feature enhancement. If you had a sizeable amount of users, you will be happy to know that you are now able to create user and group templates as well as assign keywords and notes. The search filter also gains the necessary ability to deal with keywords and notes. These features are not necessarily new. They are however new to the Server app. In previous versions it was possible to use the said features but you had to install Workgroup Manager, which is now officially 6-feet under (at least it appears that way). 

More on this topic please see: OS X Server (Mavericks): Manage Users & Groups



Expanding on previous abilities. The service is now capable of more than just caching of Mac Apps. In addition to Mac Apps, you are now able to cache iOS Apps, Books and Other. Where 'other' refers to Internet Recovery for Mac/iOS, iTunes U (Books & Apps).

Calendar, Contacts and Mail

All three services gain the ability to use Push Notifications. Calendar can send Push Notifications for calendar invitations. Contacts can be synced over internet and finally Mail is able to push mail over internet. 

File Sharing, Messages, Time Machine, Website and Wiki

None of these services received any changes when looked at purely from the Server app.

It is worth noting that File Sharing did see some changes deeper down. For more information: OS X Server (Mavericks): File Sharing [coming soon]

Profile Manager

The only addition is the ability to distribute via the newly revamped Volume Purchase Program. Server allows you to import a VPP service token. Unfortunately VPP is not available in South Africa and as a result we will not be covering VPP and Profile Manager. For more information on Profile Manager itself: OS X Server (Mavericks): Profile Manager. [coming soon]


Brand new service introduced for developer environments. It requires Xcode to be installed and offers an array of functionality for developers. More can be found here: OS X Server (Mavericks): Xcode Part 1  [a follow up Part 2 is coming soon]

Advanced Services

DHCP, DNS, FTP, NetInstall, Open Directory, Software Update and Xsan

None of the now called Advanced Services received any significant changes. All have been updated under the hood. Xsan still looks the same but is now at version 3.1. Changes to the inner workings of some of these services will be discussed separately.