Running Panther Server: Automatic login not working

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
March 28th, 2004 • 3:48 am

This is a typical example of some basic functionality that’s not working right in an OS that is supposed to provide industrial-strength services.

My Xserve is located in a locked basement room at the university and I work at home, a 10-minute drive from there. The Xserve is also “locked” with the security key provided with the machine, because there are other people who can access this room and I don’t want them to be able to access the machine. In the event of a power outage, I have a UPS unit that turns off the Xserve after a little while. But how do I get it back up and running once the power is back on?

First of all, there is the issue of proper support for the “Restart automatically after a power failure” option in the System Preferences. It appears that this feature is not working right if the Xserve is used in combination with a UPS unit. Mac OS X Server 10.3.3 is supposed to have a new control pane with UPS settings, but I haven’t upgraded to that version yet, and anyway initial reports seem to indicate that things don’t work right yet.

But then, even if I send a colleague down to the basement after a power outage to press the Power button and restart the Xserve, there is the issue of what happens after that. This colleague doesn’t have the security key, so she can’t intervene. And I definitely need Mac OS X Server to automatically log in as the admin user, because several services are only started after login and FileMaker Pro 6 Unlimited requires it anyway.

In other words, I need Mac OS X Server’s automatic login feature to work properly. But that doesn’t seem to the case. There is a discussion about it on Apple’s Panther Server Usage forum, and the consensus seems to be that it’s a “touch and go” situation where it works for some people some of the time. Mmm. It’s not exactly what you would describe as a reliable feature.

Automatic login certainly doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried several times to restart the machine, and it stays stuck at the Login stage, even if the option to automatically login as the admin user is clearly checked in the “Users” control pane.

This is exactly the kind of thing that needs to be working right! Because of Apple’s carelessness, I dread the prospect of the next power outage (and it will happen sooner or later), because I will have to drive there to restart the server, or I might not even be available when it happens!

At least most outages around here happen in the winter time and we’re almost out of that period now. But still! Apple’d better get its groove on.

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.