Managing Macs in a Windows shop, part 4

Lauren Malhoit covers how to use the Software Update service with the server as well as setting up the Mac server as a print server.

In this installment of the Mac in a Windows shop series, I'll be writing about using the Software Update service with the server as well as setting up the Mac server as a print server. You can find the previous posts here:

You can set up the Software Update service (shown in Figure A) to work much like the WSUS (Windows Server Update Service) server does in the Windows world, in that you can either tell the server to immediately approve any updates or you can approve updates on a schedule and have them get pushed out to the Mac clients.

Figure A

Software Updates Using the Mac Server:

  1. Open the Server Admin App from the dock
  2. Select your Mac server and click on Settings.
  3. Click on the Services tab
  4. Put a check next to Software Update and click Save
  5. Highlight Software Update in the left pane and click on settings.
  6. Choose the appropriate options for your environment
  7. Start the service
  8. Click the Updates tab to view downloaded/copied updates (this may take several minutes to finish copying).
  9. Open Workgroup Manager (which is similar to Group Policy Management in Windows) from the Server folder under applications.
  10. Create a group of computers or select and existing one.
  11. Click on Preferences.
  12. Choose Software Update and click Always.
  13. Enter the software update server to use (ex:
  14. Click Apply Now and Done.

Depending on the option you chose, for instance if you didn't want all of the updates approved automatically, you will need to go back every so often (like you do with Windows Updates) and then enable the appropriate updates for your network. By using the Workgroup Manager, you are forcing the Mac clients to use the Mac server as the update server rather than the Apple Update servers on the internet.

Printing can also be done pretty easily. Many modern printers, especially Dell, do not have drivers available for newer versions of Mac. There are other options, though. You can use the LPD or IPP protocols with generic drivers and it seems to work pretty well. I decided to use my Mac server as a print server as well so that I could centralize the management of the printers, too.

Printing using the Mac Server:

  1. Open System Preferences on the Mac Server
  2. Click on Print and Scan to open the printer settings
  3. Click on the + sign to add printers and select Add Other Printer or Scanner
  4. Network Printers should automatically populate in the Magic Triangle configuration
  5. Most likely you will have to click on the IP tab to add non-apple printers, though, using either the IPP or the LPD protocols.
  6. Choose the protocol...I chose to use LPD.
  7. Enter the IP address of the printer you'd like to add
  8. Enter the name of the printer and Click Add (you can leave the generic driver)
  9. Now click on the Sharing Preferences button.
  10. Put a check next to printer sharing and select the appropriate printers.
  11. At the client, this printer should now be visible when you go to add printers via the Print and Scan item in System Preferences.
There are many other services available for configuration including: DHCP, DNS, Firewall, Mail and NAT. However, by using the Magic Triangle (as shown in Figure B) many of these services are not necessary because they are already set up using the Windows side of things (or perhaps other network equipment). Speaking of the Magic Triangle, the next and last post in this series will wrap everything up by showing how to include the Mac client in the AD/Mac configuration.

Figure B

By Lauren Malhoit

Lauren Malhoit has been in the IT field for over 10 years and has acquired several data center certifications. She's currently a Technology Evangelist for Cisco focusing on ACI and Nexus 9000. She has been writing for a few years for TechRepublic, Te...