My Journey on Linux

In the eighties/nineties of the last century, I was working on VAX, Siemens/IBM, UNIX (several flavors) - ascii-based UI, then X-Windows, etc.
All of the work in 'terminal windows'. I had an Apple ][ with 'KIX' (I believe... - a UNIX thing), but was impressed by the GUI's that appeared

Today, I want/need a graphical UI (even when I'm using the terminal quite some time..)

Linux seems to be the new kid on the block when it comes to FMS - so, I installed Ubuntu (to get familiar) on a VM, as Claris came with a CentOS version of FMS I installed a VM with that and was running FMS with no problems.
Lately, I switched to Ubuntu 18 for FMS 19.x

While there have been no problems (besides of installing and updating FMS) under Cent OS, I had a big problem with the first Ubuntu installation - the whole VM went south while a linux upgrade was installed.. I did what I did in the eighties: 'See a Guru'... I found some - they said 'Yes, can happen'. Ummm

I have one important file on the FMS 19.3 on the Ubuntu machine - and after the upgrade to the latest Parallels, I could not install the Parallels-Tools, means I could no longer copy files from macOS to Ubuntu. There is a loop when installing the tools, no chance to finish. I can use the VM, but not transfer files using the GUI (Drag&Drop..).
I tried to sftp the file to a (working in order) ftp server, but Ubuntu could not connect (from macOS with no problems)

So, I'm on the end of that journey - I will stop Ubuntu now and hopefully not use that again.

I do know that Server Linux is ascii based UI - and that is really OK - but for me, it's done.
The FMS-updates are cumbersom under Ubuntu GUI, makes it easy as well to leave that platform

When time is money, the most efficient way to run FMS is (IMHO) a Mac Mini... (or go via hosting service if this is an option)



I had a slightly different journey with the FMS Ubuntu experiment, but with the same end result: no thanks!

To transfer files, I used "Cyberduck" FTP client and that worked well for transferring files between my mac and the Ubuntu VM I had installed on VMFusion. For me, however, getting the firewall to behave was another matter and I finally had to uninstall it. Even though the firewall reported all the ports were open, there were still problems.

So, for me, while FMS on Ubuntu might be a decent local-only testing machine when you don't care about security, I'd never use it in production on a real server.

I like you idea about the mac mini for FMS.

So either a mac mini for local FMS users or AWS (what I use) which also works perfectly and is straightforward to configure.

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I have CyberDuck as well - but could not connect, without finding out why..

I believe that it is in context with the older Ubuntu version for FMS - maybe the Parallels Tools are working with Ubuntu 20

(I got Ubuntu 18 for FMS)

Hi Markus,

I would not give up on this. I installed the Ubuntu on a Proxmox virtualization environment on a machine dedicated only to test setups. Look at Proxmox - Open-Source Server-Software
Installed FMS 19.3 and it didn't quit on me for the last weeks. The only file I copied from my Mac was the serverrequest.pem from/for my wildcard certificate. That was done by using Forklift and sftp. I think I started the ssh server on Ubuntu beforehand to get a connection. So after all stuff can be done from the macs terminal now which I feel better accustomed to. And of course copy/paste from websites/examples is easier.
As I didn't get into liking virtual macOS instances via Parallels or VMWare on a dedicated Mac a virtual Linux seems the way to go for me...

2 Cents from Holger


My local Cyberduck URL was: sftp:// Plus, user name and password. For me, that was VMFusion, not Parallels, but I doubt that's the difference.

I am using the "FMS-approved" Ubuntu 18.

Yes - this will run. But for me, it is too complicated (compared to the configuration with a MacMini or a hosting service)

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Important to note the virtualisation environment is a complicating factor. All of the pain-points you describe are associated with your VM hypervisor, not with the Linux install. Your hypervisor is an extra and separate layer of stuff.

Your "when time is money" statement equates running an OS on a physical machine and running a VM in a hypervisor. I appreciate that managing a VM environment can get messy and you are addressing that. But I also want to point out that your negative experience is with a setup in a VM environment, not with the Linux OS.

what I think the OP is writing about is being sent back to the 80s of the last century into an environment only accessed by cli tools. I only want to suffer from this if I see a benefit which in my case is odata and onprem testing with another hosting platform.

The hypervisor adds to this but the root is the Linux in itself as a geek or even pro system.

It's not necessary for the OP to relive the 80s and 90s.

The Ubuntu OS has desktop and server versions. If anyone wants to prioritise the ease of use provided by graphical UI they can do so by installing a desktop environment.

I booted Win 98 off my computer in 1998 because of its notorious instability that required frequent re-installs and moved to Linux (Suse distribution) which I kept until 2012. In 2010 I installed a Parallels Windows VM on top for working with FileMaker.
Linux itself was great and stable. The only thing that bothered me where package dependency conflicts making updates of application packages fail.
In 2012 bought a MacBook, not because I was frustrated with Linux, it was the better Hardware I was looking for. In the process I discovered MacOS and it takes much less time to maintain a Mac than a Linux machine - at least for me.
I also acquired a MacMini as a development server, running FMS. When my principal FM-using customer started using FM, I put FMS on a Mac Mini for them. My résumée is that for SMBs this combination is by far the most cost effective solution available on the market, provided the computing power of the Mac Mini can accommodate for a company’s needs.

There is one thing I did not really make clear:
If there is a hoster who serves by Linux, thats fine, thats the way to go! (There are customers who do not want that, that's why I said 'if it is an option')

Just for macOS and Windows user like me (FileMaker developers who concentrate on DB work with little knowledge in Linux-Server), it is too complicated - at least for me.

We have VMWare and Paralels here (some distributers around here only sell Parallels, that is the reason for both products) and for some work, a VM is the way to go (IMHO)

If one wants a pure, real machine for Linux (server), then there is no shop that sells it 'use it out of the box' like with macOS - makes it more complicate for users like me

I install systems to check those out, to become a bit familiar with. I failed with Linux

Testing new macOS, running older macOS, having a Windows 'machine' - this all goes via VM here. No problems, wether with VMWare nor with Parallels (with Windows 10, installing Parallels Tools is no problem)

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I'm into MacMini farming myself (10+ for different purposes, setups etc.) but in recent years I added NUC based computers for testing and runtime building. My take is maintaining the Mac horde is way easier - but after all I use the platform for 30 years now. I know I could do a setup with graphical desktop on Linux but I do not feel at home there (yet). I see FMS on Linux as a future setup we will have to deal with and get accustomend to. At my customers IT infrastructures this will be implemented far easier than a WinServer, MacMinis often lack the performance and MacPros... so no hesitation on my side, only pain :slight_smile:


I got about 8 Mini's here, different os, different FMS/FM versions. On customer's sites, Windows is common.

I also do believe that Linux will help us in the future when it comes to FMS - but then, I let that maintain via hosting service - but doing so, Linux becomes a black box for me )-:


Then you need to gear up :grinning:

There are a couple of FM server admin tools that you can use, built in FMP of course, to manage servers remotely.

sometimes, things happen just in time...
Yesterday, one of my Minis had a problem..

I'm copying files from the data/backups folder via 'ChronoSynk' to NAS and Thunderbolt-RAID. I'm checking the ChronoSynk log's every morning - and if the processing time is too long, it is also a hint that there are some processes on the Mac that are taking too much time. If this happens, I do a restart of that Mac (the Minis are running 24/7). btw - using FileMaker, that Mac (FMS) was still perfect, crispy

That was the case - so I logged in and that Mac was terrible slow, clicking on a folder took minutes until that folder became visible. A process was at 75+ percent (among other processes that took time as well).

Since there was an update available for the os (Catalina on that Mac), I've choosen to update, without separate restarting the Mac.

That Mac hung... no more finder icons, just the desktop and the preferences window, that was opened by me to select the update

At the moment, it is really busy here, crocodiles all around my head - therefore I left that Mac alone for a while.

As I came back to that Mac, it has been restarted, a message was on the screen that there was a problem that lead to a reboot. All fine! The Mac was fast again and the Catalina update could be installed smooth, painless

This is what I meant with the Ubuntu. There are lightyears between macOS and ubuntu

As my journey on Linux ended, I will also stop posting to this topic (-:


I can understrand Markus.

For me, Linux is my home. I love managing server without UI, my preferred server is debian. But, i spent a lot of time for get in this world and i spend time to be up-to-date. Updating a Linux is much, much different to mac or win. You have to know how repositories are working and what you will doing on deeper problems.

So, if you have enough knowledge, its really a good system for a server, but you have to reserve a part of your life for it and you have decide if its woth.

If you want to have all advantages, by a mac-mini. Then, you have unix / linux-like under the hood and you have the user-friendly UI.