The Mac mini Windows Hyper-V Server

I know a lot of people are wondering why on Earth I’d want to build a Windows server out of a Mac mini.

A few perfectly good reasons really :

  1. I wanted to see if it was possible.
  2. Was the performance any good?
  3. You can’t beat the size and power consumption
  4. It dual boots as a Mac!

I started with a perfectly good Mac mini. It’s a recent nvidia graphics Core 2 Duo model, 4Gb RAM and the standard 120Gb drive.

Mac mini

Voila, a Mac mini.

It was running a standard OS 10.6 install with a small Windows 7 Boot Camp partition. First of all I ran the Boot Camp Assistant and reverted back to full Mac volume to start with a clean slate. Then I created the largest Windows partition I could, which ended up being about 60Gb since I had a normal Mac install with extra apps.

Boot Camp Assistant

Boot Camp Assistant

I then tried my first install : the free Hyper-V Server. I wasn’t expecting this to work very well, as I assumed the pretty strict hardware requirements and lack of easy 3rd party driver capability would prevent it installing.

Nope. Worked a treat, as far as I could tell since it was an ugly text interface. But the ethernet worked and it downloaded updates from Microsoft.

Next step : A real Windows Server OS.

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