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techguy20
Aug 27, 2012, 10:51 AM
So I have a nice Mac Pro that I use for all of my day-to-day things, running the regular version of Mountain Lion.

I'm considering picking up an MB Air in the next few weeks to use for school. But, I'd like to keep all my files updated on my Mac Pro.

So, I'm wondering if I buy ML Server and install it on the Mac Pro and the Air, would I be able to login to my account on the Pro from the Air? Of course, I'd leave the Mac Pro on when I'm out with the Air, and both would always have internet connections.

Could I then work on the Air, but logged into my main account via the Pro, so all files are not stored locally on the Air, but rather are kept up-to-date on the Pro?

I could just work locally on the Air and then copy the updated files to the Pro when I need them there (or even create an AppleScript to do it automatically), but I think that just working directly would be much easier.


What do you think? I've never used OS X Server, so any advice on whether this is possible, and how difficult it would be to set up would be helpful. Thanks in advance! :apple:



talmy
Aug 27, 2012, 10:58 AM
You could, using VPN and setting up a DYNDNS account so your home is reachable. But using a remote system for data storage is too slow to be useful. It's better to consider services like DropBox, or manually synchronize with Chronosync. You might also want to look at the program Sharetool instead of server software.

techguy20
Aug 27, 2012, 11:05 AM
Thanks for the quick response.

I'd be primarily on the school's network, which would get me 20+ Mbps on both ends, and I would mostly be just working with Word docs. Do you still think that it would be pretty sluggish?

Also, if I went my original route, would I need to install OS X server on both machines, or just the Pro?


Sharetool looks awesome, and I'm definitely going to check that out as well.

justinmancini
Aug 27, 2012, 02:56 PM
Install server on just the pro, set up active directory, create an account, login to said account on the portable machine, and then go to system preferences and then accounts. There will be an option to create a mobile account. This will create a home folder on the air that synchronizes with the home folder on the pro.

Doing it this way you don't need an internet connection to use the portable machine. But you'll obviously have to make sure to sync the machines (This can happen automatically at login/logout, or can be done manually). I'd recommend plugging ethernet into the portable (I assume you have one in the pro already) when syncing. I set the same thing up a couple days ago between my mac mini server and macbook air, and it wasn't too quick over wifi.

talmy
Aug 27, 2012, 03:02 PM
Thanks for the quick response.

I'd be primarily on the school's network, which would get me 20+ Mbps on both ends, and I would mostly be just working with Word docs. Do you still think that it would be pretty sluggish?


It would be about 1/20 the speed of a local connection. You may also have trouble doing this on your school's network -- ask first!

techguy20
Aug 27, 2012, 04:20 PM
Install server on just the pro, set up active directory, create an account, login to said account on the portable machine, and then go to system preferences and then accounts. There will be an option to create a mobile account. This will create a home folder on the air that synchronizes with the home folder on the pro.

Doing it this way you don't need an internet connection to use the portable machine. But you'll obviously have to make sure to sync the machines (This can happen automatically at login/logout, or can be done manually). I'd recommend plugging ethernet into the portable (I assume you have one in the pro already) when syncing. I set the same thing up a couple days ago between my mac mini server and macbook air, and it wasn't too quick over wifi.

Thanks... something like that is exactly what I'm looking for, and it seems to do what Sharetool does as well.

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It would be about 1/20 the speed of a local connection. You may also have trouble doing this on your school's network -- ask first!

Will do after I check out the other options. Thanks again!

justinmancini
Aug 27, 2012, 08:37 PM
Never heard of sharetool, but to get all the features I see on the website, you'd need to set up a VPN. No big deal if you're already setting up a server to run active directory though.

talmy
Aug 28, 2012, 09:40 AM
Never heard of sharetool, but to get all the features I see on the website, you'd need to set up a VPN. No big deal if you're already setting up a server to run active directory though.

Sharepoint works through a VPN connection if you have it set up, but doesn't require it. I tried it for a while to get Bonjour connections to home (VPN doesn't tunnel Bonjour, unfortunately) and while it worked fine and was very easy to set up, I decided that I really didn't need Bonjour so I didn't purchase the product.

Bonjour allows you to browse computers on your LAN in Finder and print to your printer, and do TimeMachine backups remotely. I was only using SSH, VNC ("Screen Sharing"), and Windows Remote Desktop (to a Windows VM) and none of these required Bonjour.