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kk05629
Jan 24, 2010, 07:54 AM
Greetings...I have 2 macs at my home. I want to set up the 4 users to have their home folders on a "shared" drive on the iMac. Then they can log in from either mac and have access to their Home folder, desktop etc. After much research and many attempts...I cannot seem to get that to work.

So...Before I do any additional research...perhaps I should just ask the MacRumors community this:

Is centralized Home folders for access from multiple macs only available if the target mac is running OS X server?

Or can I accomplish this using my iMac as the target server for home folders?

When I point the users "Home Directory" (in advanced Options of the user's account) to the shared folder and try to login...I get an error message to the effect it cannot log me in. I suspect it is not seeing the shared drive during the initial portion of the login process. I do have the same account/password established on the iMac.

Any advise is appreciated.



calderone
Jan 25, 2010, 12:49 PM
What you should try, and I don't know if this will work, I can get back to you when I am at my server and a client, is the following.

1. (Optional) Create a DNS entry for your iMac, imac.example.com, or just use imac.local
2. When setting up the users, point to the iMacs address. So, afp://imac.example.com/Users. You do this in Workgroup Manager, not on the local machine.
3. Make sure you are sharing out of the Users Directory.
4. If you have existing user profiles, you will need to change permissions on them

I don't know if this will work. It is very theoretical. I will attempt this when I get home and see if it works. It really shouldn't be much different than pointing to a NAS, but I don't run this type of setup.

calderone
Jan 25, 2010, 05:58 PM
I played with this for awhile, and I was not able to get the above to work.

I also tried mounting the share and re-sharing it from the server. No dice. My guess is that it is a permissions issue. I tried many combinations of permissions with no luck.

Even if you got this working, I suppose I do not see the point. You are adding another layer that doesn't need to be there.

Maybe I misread your original post. Could you clarify which machine is the server and which are the clients. Where is the storage you want to have the home directories on? That would make this a bit more clear.

kk05629
Jan 28, 2010, 06:17 AM
Thank you for your response(s).

My goal is to use the iMac home folder as the home folder for the MacBook Pro when both macs have the same user account.

I set up a user account on the iMac called "Bill" with a home folder of users\bill on the iMac's hard drive.

The iMac file sharing is turned on and the iMac appears in the finder window as "iMac" on the MBP.

I set up a user account on the Macbook Pro called "Bill". I then went to the account options for the bill account on the MBP and pointed it's home folder to "iMac\users\bill".

When I log in...I get a cryptic error message stating I cannot log in. I suspect the MBP is not finding the connection to the iMac during the login on the MBP.

I am beginning to think that centralized home folders is something that is only available with OSX Server.

I apologize in advance if I am not using the correct terminology. I am 2 years into my Mac education (after 15 years on Windows) and I still struggle to feel comfortable with advanced configuration concepts I know how to do on Windows...but not on the Mac.

Any direction is appreciated.

mcprobie
Jan 28, 2010, 07:02 AM
I think you make it a little too complicated ...

You can make a network share on your macbook, move your home folder to this share and then make sure this share gets created (mounted) each time you log in ...

This is the best Mac OS can do (without using the OSX Server) as far as I know (someone correct me if I'm wrong)

I think though, it can sometimes happen that the share does not get mounted in time when you log in ... Mac OSX will revert to the local user folder (will recreate it I think, never tested this)

Anyway ... To make sure the share gets mounted each time you log in do following:

1) Map a drive to the share.
1) Run "Sytem Preferences"
2) Select "Accounts"
3)Select the User you want to change by double clicking
4) Click on "Login Items"
5) Drag your share over to the Login Items pane. That will add it.
6) Close "System Preferences"..

It will take some experimenting ... But it should work.

Found this info through Google in just a few minutes ... Just so you know it can be found again ;)

kk05629
Jan 29, 2010, 09:09 AM
MC...Thanks for your response. I did see that in my previous research/attempts. I did try adding the share to the login items...that did not seem to do it as I still got the error message when I attempted to login.

I will try again over the next few days. At this point I can see why this may not work in a regular OS X client...To Apple...it would cannibalize sales of OS X server or the Mac Mini Server.

I am also considering getting a copy of OS X server from ebay $200-$299 and install that on my iMac and make it the server. Or I may just bite the bullet and buy the Mac Mini Server...connect it to my TV and use a bluetooth mouse and keyboard so I can use the server as a 3rd mac to log into.

mcprobie
Jan 29, 2010, 09:33 AM
I wanted to point out quickly, that creating the same users on separate systems does not mean they are the same ... They still have different GUIDs ...

You should just create a share accessible by anyone, even guests (read only) and then make the home folders placed on this share secure. This way, to create the share each time, there's no need for initial security.

Maybe this is an issue too ?

Have fun ;)