I actually had a slightly not-unpleasant experience with Mac OS X, being used as a Unix server. Since I rail on how much I hate it as a server, I thought I would balance my own bias with a report to the contrary.
I was prepping a mini to run DJB-utilties – DNS, daemontools, Ucspi-tcp. It was not very painful to get them installed. I decided to run my stuff using launchd instead of daemontools, and that worked fine too. I tested it and killed some stuff and it came right back. Also tweaked the Postfix config to use some custom transports, and stay running – easy-peasy. No problems. Found some nice stuff on the internet about how to add users using something like dscl – and that didn’t hurt much at all. The odd piece of dated documentation here and there, but no biggee. Postfix was totally painless, just my weakness with that package that might’ve affected me if only slightly. I should note – and I bet this affects my report – that this was on a regular OS X workstation. When I used to program all day on a Mac OS X workstation which ran apache and php, I also had no problems from that setup.
And now to balance my prior balancing report – I also worked on a Mac OS X Server. And it fucking sucked. Again. Within days of my previous unhappy work with an OS X server – I think it was either Tuesday or last Tuesday – I’m working on another one that’s freaking out, and I can’t tell what’s going on, and the admin tools don’t work, and smoke is pouring out of the side of it, and gear teeth are flying out with sparks. It’s a mess. I keep wanting you to not hurt me, OS X Server, and you always do. Every time. I hate you. It’s like some horrible abusive relationship. I run away, seek counseling, go to a victim-of-abuse-by-os-x-server shelter, get my life together again, and then, months later, I think, “Hey, that OS X Server, he ain’t so bad…it was probably something I did, after all. I bet I can do better.” And then I’m making excuses about how I fell down the stairs and banged my eye into a doorknob again.
I also have redeveloped Braydix (as a necessity). Instead of building it against Firefox, I built it against WebKit, and saved literally 2 or 3 months of work. Holy shit! It’s no wonder that everyone uses WebKit as their base. My God, the difference! I also used the Qt toolkit, and was finally able to get rid of Xwindows, which I am sooooo stoked about. So the latest Braydix uses the Linux framebuffer and bops open a web browser right there. It boots up fast for me on my VirtualBox, but I sent an ISO to good ole Bryan and he wasn’t able to get it to do much without it panicking and dying. So a bit more work to do. Another thing I did was I jammed everything into the ‘initramfs’ and got rid of the whole concept of a root drive. Sooooooo freeing! And the result is a 33 MB ISO (which doesn’t yet work, but shhhhhh…). I’ve been trying to get it to run on this eeePC I have handy but so far, not quite. Just getting Grub on there was enough of a challenge. We’ll see how it goes.