How to Guides, Mac OS X, Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server 2011 Step by Step – Part 17: Windows Home Server and Apple Macs


[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Download the Windows Home Server 2011 Step by Step eBook Now

The following post is an excerpt from Windows Home Server 2011 Step by Step – We Got Served’s “missing manual” for Microsoft’s home server platform. Written by WGS’ resident Microsoft Windows Home Server MVPs Terry Walsh and Jim Clark, this 667 page guide to the world of WHS offers straightforward advice and guidance for beginners and home server experts alike.

The book is split into 25 chapters covering hardware, software, add-ins, apps, tips, tricks, advice, support and a whole lot more. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll get an ongoing series of bonus chapters over the coming weeks with more advanced projects to help to make the most of your home server.

Buy Windows Home Server 2011 Step by Step at WGS (£14.99) | at Amazon (£19.99/$30.00)


Increasingly, much to Microsoft’s concern I’m sure, Apple Macs are popping up in homes and offices across the world. No longer are many households exclusively Windows-based – there are now a variety of operating systems in play. With Windows Home Server 2011, Microsoft wisely took the decision to offer basic support for Apple’s operating system, Whilst not all of the platform’s features are available, but if you’re running Mac clients at home, you can certainly get those shiny slabs of aluminium and acrylic working together with WHS 2011.

In this chapter, we’ll walk through the features available to Mac users in the native Windows Home Server 2011 platform, and also discuss a third party add-in which further extends the feature set.


Installing the Mac Connector

We’ll start with a little bad news, though – Windows Home Server 2011 currently has some difficulties working with OS X 10.7 Lion (the latest edition of OS X). The platform officially supports OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Getting WHS 2011 to play nicely with OS X 10.7 requires a little work up front.

As you know, Windows Home Server has a Launchpad as its mini administration console. One of the new features in OS X Lion is called the Launchpad, which shows a view of all of your desktop apps. Guess what? The two applications clash (as their filenames are the same).

Hopefully, Microsoft will fix this issue in a future update for Windows Home Server 2011, but in the meantime, if you want to install the Mac Connector on OS X Lion, then there’s a couple of steps we need to perform in advance (You can ignore these if you’re running OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, but be advised that you may run into difficulties with the Mac Launchpad app if you choose to upgrade to Lion after installing WHS 2011). There’s a great thread with advice on this issue (


Pre-installation Steps For OS X Lion Users Only:

To workaround the conflict issue on OS X Lion, we need to change the filename of the Mac Launchpad application before installing the Windows Home Server 2011 Mac Connector. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Applications folder in OS X Finder
  2. Right click the Launchpad application and select Get Info.
  3. Open Sharing & Permissions and set the permission for Everyone to Read & Write
  4. Open Terminal (Applications > Utilities) and navigate to the Applications folder via the command cd /Applications
  5. Rename the Mac Launchpad app using the mvcommandmv “
  6. Reset the Sharing & Permissions for the Launchpad application.


Once this step is complete, we can get on with installing the Mac Connector. Installation of the Mac Connector is performed in exactly the same way as it’s installed on a PC. Open up Safari, or another web browser on your Mac, and in the address bar, type in http://servername/connect (where servername is the name of your server). If the server cannot be found (which can be an issue on the Mac), then try http://serveripaddress/connect where serveripaddress is the IP address of your server (e.g. or similar).

The Windows Home Server Connector installation page appears, titled Connect your computer to the server. You’ll see that Windows Home Server has already detected that you’re on your Mac, and is offering a link to download the correct version of the software. Click the link to download the file, and then run it.

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • 1fastrsx

    This not correct, Lion works fine if you have all the latest patches on your WHS 2011 server.  There is no need to rename the launchpad at all on the Mac

  • Brad Schafbuch

    No commenting on backups?  From my experience Lion breaks the TimeMachine backup to WHS.  There are workarounds involving running a linux box in a VM to get the correct drivers, but that’s too hacky for my tastes.

    At the least I believe you should update this to mention that and if there is a solution I’m unaware of I’d love to hear of it!

    • …and I quote: “The following post is an excerpt from Windows Home Server 2011 Step by Step – We Got Served’s “missing manual” for Microsoft’s home server platform.” Emphasis on the word “excerpt”. The full chapter has what you’re looking for here…

      • Brad Schafbuch

        Thanks Terry – skipped over that while reading quickly, thanks for the correction.

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