When we first installed Leopard Server, we found that Spotlight wasn’t working on the server by default. A number of people have also found this to be true, and some people have suggested it may have something to do with installing on to a RAID 1 drive setup (as we did).

The following is a possibly solution to get Spotlight working if you are having this issue1.

  1. Login in to your server as an administrator.
  2. Open the Terminal application (in your /Applications/Utilities folder)
  3. Type the following exactly as written in to the Terminal:

    sudo rm /.metadata_never_index 


    It will ask you for your password. You may get a “file not found” error, as the file has only been reported as being there for some users. Regardless, move to step 4.

  4. Type the following in to the Terminal:

    sudo mdutil -i on / 


Spotlight in the right corner of the menu of your server login should indicate it is indexing, and before long will start working.

1. This post is based on a discussion in Apple Discussions, and fixed the problem we had been having with our server.

Leopard Server and Spotlight Problems

5 thoughts on “Leopard Server and Spotlight Problems

  • November 21, 2008 at 5:10 am

    This fixed my problem too. I also created a Raid 1 array on my xserve and installed the OS onto that.

  • February 14, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Wow, worked immediately. When I posted in the forums no one knew what to do.

  • June 18, 2009 at 3:58 am

    THANK YOU!! Spotlight did not work on a single HD Leopard installation either. It is fixed now.

  • November 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Many thanks – solved this most annoying problem

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