Getting Started with Apple silicon M1 as-a-Service

Apple silicon M1 as-a-Service - Overview

Scaleway Apple silicon M1 as-a-Service is built using the latest generation of Apple Mac mini hardware (fifth generation). They are powered by Apple’s M1 silicon, a powerful 8-core CPU running at up to 3.2 GHz. They are also equipped with a 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM for towering performances and revolutionary power efficiency.

Apple silicon M1 as-a-Service is designed for developing, building, testing, and signing applications for Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, Mac computers and much more. Mac mini M1 uses an advanced neural engine for up to 15x faster machine learning. Currently all our Mac minis are running the latest macOS: Big Sur (11.1).

Requirements

Operation Procedures

Several operations can be performed on Apple silicon M1 as-a-Service from the Scaleway Elements console. These include:

Creating a Mac mini M1

Important: Due to license constraints, the minimum lease for Apple silicon M1 as-a-Service is 24 hours. As a result, a Mac mini M1 can only be deleted after 24 hours have passed from when you initiated the lease.

1 . Click on Apple silicon in the Compute section of your Scaleway console.

2 . The Apple silicon M1 as-a-Service splash screen displays. Click Create a Mac mini M1:

3 . Enter the details for your Mac mini M1:

  • Select the geographical region in which your Mac mini M1 will be deployed.
  • Choose the macOS version you want to run on the Mac mini M1.
  • Select the hardware configuration for your Mac mini M1.
  • Enter a name for your Mac mini M1.

4 . Click Create a Mac mini M1 to launch the installation of your Apple silicon M1 as-a-Service.

Connecting to a Mac mini M1 using VNC

Virtual Network Computing (VNC), is a remote desktop-sharing protocol. It allows you to visualize the graphical screen output of a remote computer and to transfer local keyboard and mouse events to the remote computer by using a network connection. The protocol is platform-independent which means that various clients exist for Linux, Windows and macOS based computers.

To connect to your Mac mini M1 using VNC:

1 . Click on Apple silicon in the Compute section of your Scaleway console. The list of your Mac mini M1s displays.

2 . Click on the name of the machine you want to connect to:

3 . Your Mac mini M1 overview displays. Click the VNC button to launch a VNC session on your Mac mini M1:

4 . Your VNC client opens and you can log in the graphical environment of macOS using the default user m1 and your password.

Note: macOS may ask you for your password once logged into the VNC session. Change the keyboard layout of macOS to your computer’s local keyboard layout before entering the password. Click on U.S. keyboard in the top right corner, to display a list of all available keyboard layouts:

You are now logged in and can launch applications just as if you were using your Mac mini M1 locally.

Connecting to a Mac mini M1 using SSH

You can also connect directly to the terminal of your Mac mini M1 using the SSH protocol and your SSH key. Learn more about SSH keys.

1 . Click on Apple silicon in the Compute section of your Scaleway console. The list of your Mac mini M1s displays.

2 . Click on the name of the machine you want to connect to:

3 . Your Mac mini M1 overview displays. You can find your SSH connection information on your Mac mini M1 overview page:

Note: The default user to connect to your Mac mini M1 is called m1. The SSH command to connect is ssh m1@<your_mac_mini_m1_ip>.

Rebooting a Mac mini M1

In case your Mac mini M1 is not reachable or you want to perform a remote reboot on the machine, you can initate this from the Scaleway console.

1 . Click on Apple silicon in the Compute section of your Scaleway console.

2 . The list of your Mac mini M1s displays. Click on the name of the machine you want to reboot:

3 . Your Mac mini M1 overview displays. Scroll down to the Reboot Mac mini M1 section.

4 . Click the Reboot button.

5 . Click Reboot to confirm:

Important: Rebooting a Mac mini M1 is similar to pulling the electrical plug on a running computer, which can cause data corruption. To avoid data loss, shut down the OS before rebooting the machine.

Troubleshooting a Mac mini M1

Operating System Updates

To update the operating system installed on your Mac mini M1, you can use the softwareupdate tool.

1 . Get a list of all available updates by running the following command:

softwareupdate --list

2 . Install all available updates by running the following command:

sudo softwareupdate --install

Note: If you want to upgrade selected packages only, run the following command: softwareupdate --install package-name

Package Management with Homebrew

Homebrew is a package manager for macOS. It allows you to manage the packages installed on your Mac mini M1 and provides a way to install additional software on your machine.

1 . Install Homebrew by running the following command:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

2 . Update Homebrew by running the following command:

brew update

3 . Retrieve a list of all outdated packages on your system:

brew outdated

4 . Upgrade these packages to the lastest version available in Homebrew’s repositories:

brew upgrade

Note: If you want to upgrade selected packages only, run the following command: brew upgrade package-name

Disk encryption with Apple FileVault

Please ensure that Filevault is not enabled on your Mac mini M1. If enabled, it will prevent your system from booting.
To turn off Filevault, go to System Preferences click on Security, then FileVault, then click the button that says turn off FileVault.

Important: If FileVault is enabled and your Mac mini reboots for whatever reason, it will ask for the FileVault password during the boot process, before you can access the machine using VNC or SSH. You will not be able to restart it or to recover your data if FileVault is enabled!

Sending emails from Apple silicon M1 as-a-Service

For security reasons the SMTP ports on Apple silicon M1 as-a-Service machines are blocked. It is therefore not possible to send emails from your Mac mini M1.


Mac mini, macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries and regions. IOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used by Apple under license. Scaleway is not affiliated with Apple Inc.

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