Prior to shipping your Mac mini to us there are a few basic settings that you can pre-configure to ensure a quick turn around time with getting your mini online. When signing up you will receive an e-mail with your colocation settings along with shipping directions. Here is how to setup your Mac Mini properly for colocation and remote access via SSH and VNC. Please follow these 5 steps carefully.
1 – Setting the IP Address
Your welcome e-mail will have your IP address, Subnet, Gateway, and DNS server information. Enter this information manually into the network section of your system preferences (Apple Menu -> System Preferences). Please disable AirPort. If you are using more than one IP address you can use the “+” button below the interfaces to add an additional Ethernet interface.
2 – Setting SSH Access
SSH access will allow you to access your mini from a terminal. The connection is encrypted and talks over port 22 by default. Make sure to to open up the port you are using for SSH if you are running a firewall on your Mini.
To enable SSH access make sure “Remote Login” is checked in your Sharing preferences (Apple Menu -> System Preferences).
To access your machine you can enter the following command into a terminal window. For this example we’ll say the username on the mini is “administrator” and the name of the machine is “x.macminivault.com”.
3 – Setting VNC Access
To enable VNC access make sure “Screen Sharing” is checked in your Sharing preferences (Apple Menu -> System Preferences). Again as with the SSH access, you will need to make sure port 5900 is open with any firewall configuration.
To connect to your mini by VNC (Screen Sharing) use command+k and enter vnc://x.macminivault.com (x is just our example server, replace with your server name.)
4 – Disable Bonjour Advertising
When you are on a network with other Macs they appear effortless while browsing your network. This is great for a home or office environment but we prefer to have every Mini disable that feature in our datacenter. You can easily do that by following this Apple KB Article:
You can also disable Bonjour Advertisements with our preference pane:
5 – Setting Energy Preferences
This is mostly important for the “desktop” version of OS X. Ensure that the machine will not go to sleep and that it will power on automatically after power has been shutoff (remote reboot).
And as always – if you ever have any questions of concerns contact us and we’ll be able to assist you further.