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Server Applications

DNS Helper

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Current Version: 1.6 (November 7, 2003)

DNS Helper is a free application that takes the work out of configuring BIND, the DNS server built into Mac OS X. DNS Helper allows you to:

  • Create zone, domain, db.cache, and named.conf files for your BIND server without the need to understand the formatting of those files.
  • Set the needed permissions and ownership on the files after they are created.
  • Install the files for you into the active system.
  • Have total control over the DNS Server with the ability to start, stop, and reload BIND.
  • Set the DNS Server to start at boot time.
  • Read and save the system.log, filtering out the non-DNS Server related entries if desired.

Currently, DNS Helper does not do the following:

  • Edit or maintain existing files.

With the 1.5 release, DNS Helper became a full replacement for Mac OS X Server's Server Settings DNS module. Actually, it can do quite a bit more than the Apple software can as of Spring, 2003.

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Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Built Into Mac OS X

Mac OS X has a huge amount of TCP/IP-based server software built into it that I don't specifically cover here. Your "Sharing" Preference Pane allows you to enable and disable these services with a click of the mouse. The software running behind the scenes to provide many of these services is generally of the open source variety. The standard release of Mac OS X includes, among many others:

  • Apache httpd (web server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • Postfix (mail server; see Mac OS X Hints for more information).
  • tnftpd (FTP server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • OpenSSH (Secure Shell server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane via "Remote Login" but additionally configurable via selected applications listed on this page).
  • BIND (Domain Name System server; see Mac OS X Hints for more information).
  • Samba (Windows file sharing; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • XFree86 (X Window server; enabled via the "X11" application in your "Utilities" folder, if you elected to install it with Mac OS X).

Of course, Mac OS X Server includes many more, in addition to offering more recent versions of many of the above servers.

Related Links

Graham Orndorff has written a superb collection of articles on setting up email servers and secure email clients on Mac OS X.

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!