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i86
May 22, 2010, 11:03 AM
I need to set up network accounts, that will be accessible from many computers. I'd prefer a way that doesn't require Mac OS X Server (if there isn't one, please still post about one that needs it). If it can help, I have a Windows server (2003, I think), too.

I'd like to set up network accounts that all have the same auth info, store their files locally when you save them, but synchronize with a server in the background.



calderone
May 22, 2010, 11:54 AM
There is a difference between network accounts and network "sync" accounts.

The typical terminology is: Network account and Mobile account.

The main difference is that mobile accounts are cached on the local machine, reducing network strain. A network account is working directly off the server.

OS X Server, of course, can be set up with mobile accounts also referred to as Portable Home Directories or PHD.

While I have never done it. This can be done with an AD server and the OS X Active Directory Plugin. The basic setup would be:

1. Setup AD
2. Add User
3. Add the network home location to the "UNC Path" field in AD for the user
4. Bind the Mac to AD via Directory Utility
5. When binding, be sure to select these options:
"Create Mobile account at login" and "Use UNC path from Active Directory to derive network home location" (Wording may be different in 10.5 and under).
6. Once the user is logged in, you can setup file sync for the mobile account via the Systems Preferences ---> Accounts

Other solutions would be an application like ChronoSync (http://www.econtechnologies.com/pages/cs/chrono_overview.html). Of course, that is just sync and you wouldn't be using the same directory record.

i86
May 22, 2010, 08:20 PM
Thanks for your reply and its quickness.

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but are there any free (free as in freeware, not necessairily open source) AD modules for Windows Server or free standalone AD servers (either for Windows or for Mac)? Or is there a way to set up AD just with WinServ?