Server 5.4 and macOS High Sierra: what’s new

With the new release of macOS High Sierra (10.13) apple performed upgrade also to Server app. First of all Apple suggest to update to macOS Server 5.4 after you upgrade to macOS High Sierra.

Unfortunately this update gives important changes to the services we are used to manage (see below for app changes). In fact, Caching Server, Time Machine Server and File Sharing advanced options are now built directly into macOS. This means that you can not managed these services anymore from the CLI (bad thing!). You’ll find all the settings in sharing preference panel.

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Apple Secure Transport or OpenSSL : this is the problem

The secure communication of data over a network represents the main aspect for who cares about his data. In order to get this, you can use different security protocols such as your own security protocols or other security APIs. Usually we can consider different security levels of this APIs like low-level (BSD sockets and Common Crypto) or higher-level APIs when they are available.

“The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol and its successor, the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, provide support for secure communication over a network. They are commonly used over TCP/IP connections such as the Internet. They use certificate-based authentication to ensure that you are communicating with a valid server, they validate data to prevent tampering, and they can use public-key cryptography to guard against eavesdropping or message forgery.” (Source: Apple Developer)

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Install SSL certificate on your mac server [renewal procedure updated]

What is SSL?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. SSL uses a combination of public key and symmetric key encryption to secure a connection between two machines. Typically, if a website wanted to encrypt data transmission between the server and the client, we need to purchase a SSL certificate that contains an encryption key that is placed on the server.

Why SSL encryption?

A part from security problems discussed above, there are many reasons you would need a SSL encryption.

As of January 1st 2017 SSL Encryption is now a ranking factor in Google’s Algorithm. Furthermore Chrome and Firefox will display a warning for any non secure HTTP page that contains a password field. Chrome’s warning will be more severe – on the left-hand side of the address bar it will read “Not Secure.” As a website owner, you need to consider the effects of your web users seeing that your site is “Not Secure”.

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