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Mac Thread, Could not connect to server.local in Technical; I have just started having a problem with my osxserver, it will not allow me to login to server admin, ...
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    Could not connect to server.local

    I have just started having a problem with my osxserver, it will not allow me to login to server admin, i get the following message

    could not connect to osxserver.local

    server admin was unable to connect to the server at osxserver.local

    I have browsed loads of forums but they all seem to point to a corrupted com.apple.servermgrd.plist, and suggest replacing the file, but i cannot find a file to replace it, it can apparently be found on the osx install dvd but i cant find it.

    Can any one offer a solution or fix.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    It's a known fact Macs do not like .local domains.

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    Its been fine for two years, and has only just done wrong

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    Hi

    @Michael

    I don't think the problem OP is experiencing has anything to do with the .local domain problem?

    Most domains will consist of at least two parts. The namespace e.g.: someplace and the domain suffix (or .TLD) earth. The third component of any domain will be the server's name offering a dedicated service. Using someplace again as the example that would be www. Putting the three together would give you the server's fully qualified domain name (or FQDN) www.someplace.earth.

    If all we're talking about is DNS then osxserver.local would not be a domain.

    What is often little understood about the platform is its multicast nature. When connecting any mac (including mac servers) to any network, they will announce and discover themselves (similar to the way NetBIOS does on the PCs) using Bonjour/Rendezvous. Bonjour is a zero-config protocol that makes it easy for non-IT savyy users to quickly setup any network using a switch and a few ethernet cables without the need or knowledge of a Server, Router, DHCP, DNS or anything else.

    The .local suffix was reserved for that purpose and all macs 'know' themselves firstly by their bonjour names. They can't fully resolve .local names as there would be nothing on the network that will translate those names to IP addresses and its reverse.

    Why is it then that macs have a problem with domains based around .local?

    In theory they shouldn't. In reality they can and often do. It all depends on how many namespaces you're using. If you're using a single namespace e.g.: someschool.local then don't be surprised if you see some random and intermittent problems. They can be made to disappear by properly configuring the DNS Service and massaging a setting on the workstations prior to binding to the domain.

    A double namespace e.g.: someschool.someauthority.local never gives a problem in my experience.

    A mac server will 'know' itself by it's bonjour name - osxserver.local, its FQDN - osxserver.someschool.com, its loopback address - 127.0.0.1 and its network IP address - 10.10.10.10. You should only use the server's bonjour name and loopback address on itself. Clearly you can't use the loopback address across the network and my advice is to use its bonjour name only on itself.

    @ajames

    Your problem may have nothing to do with the servermgrd daemon? It may be a keychain problem? Have you applied an update or reset the password recently or some time ago?

    HTH?

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)
    Last edited by AntonioRocco; 20th December 2012 at 04:17 PM.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioRocco View Post
    A double namespace e.g.: someschool.someauthority.local never gives a problem in my experience
    So you're sort of saying I am right in a way that someschool.local would probably be OK in a Windows environment but not a Mac environment?

    After re-reading the original problem it could be a whole combination of issues not allowing the administrator to logon.

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    Hi Michael

    Yes!

    I'd never use .local to form the basis of internal DNS services in an all Macintosh environment.

    In theory DNS itself does not 'care' what you use. The only 'requirement' is it must look like a valid .TLD. Using dot earth, dot here, dot now, dot private etc is actually fine and you're only limited by your imagination and the exclusion of .local of course!

    If it was me I'd use the institution's real world domain and configure the internal view to reflect the external one. IMHO it's simpler in the long run.

    If you did try to use .local (I've tried many times) you'd have all sorts of problems sooner rather than later. Even if you managed to get Apple's equivalent of Active Directory (Open Directory) to start it would not work well. Bits of it would work (sort of) and other bits won't. Eventually the whole LDAP structure would implode and become practically unusable. FWIW I've been to many all mac sites experiencing multiple issues that were using .local and once removed . . . "it just worked" (sic).

    I should clarify the advice I gave in the previous post:- On itself you can use either the server's IP address, fqdn, bonjour name or loopback address. For connections to the Server App, Server Admin (depending on OS version), WorkGroup Manager and DeployStudio (if installed) and wherever possible I always try to use the fqdn. Across the network and wherever possible, it's fqdn.

    HTH?

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)
    Last edited by AntonioRocco; 21st December 2012 at 09:56 AM.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I agree, and the original question did involve a .local so there could be numerous problems.

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