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alexreich
Aug 2, 2012, 03:00 AM
Hi all, Alex here.

With the price of OS X Server releases dropping drastically in recent years ($500 to $50, $50 to $20), I'm considering my first server software purchase via the Mac App Store for use in my home.

As you can see in my signature, I have a Mac mini running Mountain Lion, and I have a PowerMac G5 running Leopard and Tiger, as well as other Macs running OS X. A big issue I've had with all of these machines is keeping my user folders in sync. I can't ever have my home folder (the folder that contains Desktop, Documents, Downloads, and other folders) the same on all my machines, no matter how hard I try. And trying to keep them in sync myself feels redundant when I copy files from one machine to the next over and over and over.

With OS X Server, I know I can create accounts on the host machine, and then make them available as Networked Accounts that could be logged into by any Mac on my LAN. I feel like this could be the solution to my problem here, but before I purchase OS X Server from the Mac App Store I've gotta ask you guys a question.

If I create an account on the server, can I log into into it as a Networked Account on non-Mountain Lion machines over my LAN? Would I be able to log in to the accounts on the server from machines running 10.4-10.7?



PaulKemp
Aug 2, 2012, 04:13 AM
I've tried looking in the profile documentation for Lion Server and I didn't really get a clear answer as to how OS X Server handles the profiles. And what data is collected from the server when the user logs on.

However, you could use a cloud service like dropbox to keep your account files in sync. You could just link the folders to the dropbox folder on both computers and they would stay in sync and sync both ways.

In terminal.app:
ln -s /path/to/homeprofile /path/to/dropbox/homeprofile

This suggestion comes with no warranties, and you should of course back up everything always!

Cuckoo
Aug 2, 2012, 06:32 AM
Although I'm not quite sure I fully grasp your question, I beleve you're looking for a home-directory which 'travels' with you between systems throughout the house. If that is the case, then:

OSX server can do that, but read about it before you start building, it's good fun to make, but it isn't easy as pie...

if you're looking for either online (within your own network) and offline (without any network on a laptop for instance), then you're looking for a 'portable home directory' which works with soms limitations... read into that as well to see if it fits your needs.

alexreich
Aug 2, 2012, 01:54 PM
Although I'm not quite sure I fully grasp your question, I beleve you're looking for a home-directory which 'travels' with you between systems throughout the house. If that is the case, then:

OSX server can do that, but read about it before you start building, it's good fun to make, but it isn't easy as pie...

That's exactly what I want! I just want to make sure my systems that run older versions of OS X can take advantage of the networked accounts. It wouldn't help me much to set up a server with networked accounts if only machines with Mountain Lion can access it. Most of the computing in my home is done on 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard.

Cuckoo
Aug 2, 2012, 02:02 PM
maybe read this: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-configure-the-mobile-home-folder-on-lion-se.html

it should work between different OS X versions. Although not supported features won't be transferred. Basically it's just syncing data around