1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

Help linking iMacs via ethernet?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by anarchopath, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. macrumors member


    My office has 7 iMacs and 3 MacBooks. They're all linked to a hub via ethernet cables. How can I make it so each computer can browse and read/write the contents of the other computers?

    Maybe I'm terrible at searching, but I'm having trouble finding anything even remotely helpful on google. The closest I've found is sharing the Public folder, which is pretty far from the goal in many ways...
  2. macrumors G5


    Typically you would set up a server where everyone read and write data to.
  3. macrumors 65816


  4. macrumors demi-god


    Like others mentioned, the best way would be a central server or NAS device. But if you don't want to spend the money/time on that, it can be done with OS X existing file sharing.

    Go to the Sharing pane in System Prefs and turn on file sharing, then add the folders you want to share and add the users you want to share them with. You will need to do this with all ten machines. Then each machine would have a list in the Finder shared section of all the other machines and the folder shared from each machine. So every machine would have a list of the other nine systems on there.

    Not ideal or pretty, but it would work and is free.

  5. macrumors member


    Thanks everyone for your responses. So Weaselboy is mentioning exactly what I'm trying to accomplish. I've got sharing turned on and all the computers can see and each other. Not wired, but better than nothing, except it results in the following problems:

    The problem is I can't figure out how, from any given computer, to allow a specific user from another computer. It's like you get two unhelpful options: either anyone with a wireless mac can access our network, or else only users from a single computer can access files between other users on the same computer...
  6. macrumors demi-god


    I'm not following here. Turning this (file sharing) on should have nothing to do with wired vs. wireless. It just enables sharing on the local network, regardless of how the machine is attached to the network.

    Do you have wired on one network and wireless (wifi) on another or something?

    On each machine you need to click the plus sign (blue arrow here) to add each user you want to see the share on that machine.

  7. macrumors member


    I was just under the impression that there was a way to share (aka network?) via physical connection to our office hub, but turning on sharing seems to allow anyone in who has wireless access.

    I realize that, and it's precisely where I'm stuck. I only see users from whatever computer I'm working with, but the idea is to allow users from other computers. So for example, Molly on Receptionist Computer needs access to Technicians on Tech Desk Computer. You know, each computer has access to each other computer, but in a way that doesn't allow just anyone with wireless access.
  8. macrumors regular

    yeah, you can't setup interface specific sharing on OSX as far as I know

    furthermore you aren't going to get the kind of network segmentation you want with a hub. Is it even really a hub or is it a switch?

    if the devices are setup to work with ethernet, just turn the wifi off.
  9. macrumors demi-god


    That is correct. It does not matter if they are on wired or wireless, and there is no way to differentiate that way in sharing. Anybody on the network can see the shared folders if you have it setup that way.

    Look at my screen shot and you will see the default config allows anybody (Everyone) to Read Only. If you don't want that, change "Everyone" to no access and then add users one by one and give them full read/write access if that is what you want (and it sounds like you do). This way nobody on the network will see any of the shared folders unless you have given them permission.

    You need to manually add each user. Read this article in the section "Sharing with other people" in the last paragraph where it talks about adding a "New Person."

    Like I mentioned above, change Everyone to "no access" and that will limit access only to people you add manually.

    There are endless combinations here and you can fine tune it to exactly what you want.

    You could setup the Tech machine so only Molly has access to it and further restrict Molly to only certain folders, for example.

    Maybe write down what machines you have and who/how you want them to have access so you can visualize what you want... then run around to each machine and set it up.

    Like I said in my first post, this is not pretty or necessarily the easiest to manage, but for zero money and a little work it will do exactly what you want.

  10. macrumors member


    I apologize for not being clear, I'm not incredibly techy so I don't know the best language to use.

    So I understand the concept of sharing and permissions. The problem is the only users available to share with are users on any given computer. So the picture you posted would list each user on computer X, but no users from computers A, B, C, D, and so on. That wouldn't be a problem, except it's not clear how to make users on A, B, C etc. available to share with from computer.

    From the tutorial, clicking on the + button "will present a list of available users from a variety of resources." The problem is that none of the users on the other computers are listed, on users from the computer I'm on.
  11. macrumors regular

    you can't do what you want without a domain, you need to manually create local users for all the end users that would want to access the tech serve

    i.e. add them in system preferences > users, not in address book
  12. macrumors demi-god


    If you click New Person like in my screenshot above, you can manually add the user in there and it will create a new "share only" account. You don't need to even go into Users & Groups.

    No apology needed. This is confusing as all get out and the way to configure it is not intuitive at all.

    Like Frejazzman mentioned, you are not on a domain (local server), so you need to add each user manually to every machine. There will not be a list to choose from. If you click plus then New Person (blue arrow on my screen cap), then you will get the screen below. Enter a user name and password for each person you want to allow in the share. You can just make these up... does not have to be the same as their real account on their machine.

    If you do not require fine grain control of this, you can just turn off all sharing for "Everyone", then add one account in New Person and call it let's say "share"... then make up a password. Now give that one account the folder and read write access you want. Then go to each computer you want to share files from and repeat this.

    Now go to each computer you want to allow to access shared files and click each machine listed in shared in Finder and you will be prompted for the user name "share" and your password you made up.

    You can add as many shared accounts as you want on each machine. If one will do it, like I described, then that is all you need.

    You can see if you want to get elaborate you can. You could have Sally-A access only /Documents/schedules folder on machines B and C but not D. Have Mary-B access the entire /Documents folder on C, D, and E... and so on.

  13. macrumors member


    OK well I think I just bridged a language gap and had an epiphany. The 'network' is the wifi we're all connected on, which is password protected. So I share the home folder (and subfolders) of each computer to "everyone" and, bingo, problem solved!

    I've been under the impression "everyone" referred to anyone with a mac and wifi, but it's just everyone with a mac and wifi who's connected to our wifi connection (aka "network")

    Also, you are all incredible heroes and I'm thankful for your help :)

    If you happen to know anything about sharing via our hub and ethernet cables, which is much faster than wifi, feel free to point me toward info on that. Otherwise, consider (the main) problem solved, and thanks so much!
  14. macrumors demi-god


    Now you are onto it! :D

    One last question though. When we refer to "your network", as you have deduced, that means your "local" network... as in anybody on the same network router/hub in your office (normally). What is confusing me is you are saying people on the wired ethernet network cannot see shares of people on the wifi network, and vice versa? Is that the case? If you are all on the same router/hub, they should all be able to see each other to share if they are wired ethernet or wifi would not matter.

    Now it could be there is one hub that only the wired people are connected to and a second router on a different network (subnet) that the wireless users are on. If that is the case, they will not be able to see each other to share locally like I have described.
  15. macrumors member



    No, we can all see each other sharing on the same 'local network'. What I meant was that this sharing process is wireless, in that it doesn't require the ethernet cables which physically link us to the hub. I found this out by seeing the computers from my macbook which isn't wired into the hub (which gave me the epiphany, the 'network' is the wireless connection).

    I originally wanted to use a 'wired' network because it's much faster for data transfer, but also to eliminate the stress of having to find/add each other—although now it seems even a wired network (if it were possible) wouldn't make anything much simpler.
  16. macrumors regular

    well, a wired network would be faster than a wireless network. with cat5e and a good switch (I'm assuming you are just saying hub and don't mean a literal networking hub) you can transfer at 128 MB/s, I've found that wifi never reaches anywhere near it's stated maximum, but that depends on a lot of radio stuff.
  17. macrumors demi-god


    Right. It won't make setup of this any simpler. Like freejazz said, wired is much faster especially with larger file sizes. Let us know how you get along with setting this up and how it works out for your if you don't mind.
  18. macrumors member


    Thanks guys, will do.

    Also it's a pretty professional setup, we had some IT guys come in and do a lot of work to set up and connect us through what I imagine is a fairly respectable hub (switch?). If you have any tips on how to take advantage of the fact that we're all linked through that via cables instead of having to rely on the wifi, let me know. :)
  19. macrumors regular

    hubs and switches are actually two different things. hubs are (for your purposes) from 1994.

    turn off the wifi and you will default to sharing over the ethernet (osx should do this by default but never does in my experience), it will be faster. that's about the most I can offer you. Of course you can pay me and I'll come deploy a domain for you :p
  20. macrumors demi-god


    I assume from your question you have MacBook Pros with ethernet. You can make ethernet take priority in the network settings so that when ethernet and wifi are both detected it will use the ethernet connection. Go to the Network Pref pane and click the gear at the bottom left, then set service order... then drag around the connections to make ethernet first and wifi second.

    Also, you mentioned sharing the entire user folder. That would expose setting in ~/Library etc. to accidental tampering and might cause trouble. I would just share folders that have the actual data you want shared, like ~/Documents, ~/Photos, that kind of thing.

    A downside to just sharing with "Everyone" and not setting up even one share account with a password is this opens the shared folders on that machine up to anybody on the same local network, which is okay in your office. But if a user takes that machine out and connects to wifi at Starbucks or a hotel, anybody at that location on the local network (like others at Starbucks) will be able to see and access his shared folders. I would go to each machine and manually add a share account with a password, then give that to your users so they can login use it to see the shared folders on on another's machines. By not sharing with Everyone and only using the shared account your made, nobody at Starbucks will be able to access the shared folders.

  21. macrumors member


    1. Thanks for both of your ideas on how to use the wired network.

    I would like to add not share with "everyone" and instead only to users, but that concept is still boggling my mind. For some reason I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around it.

    So for example, say we have an arrangement as follows...
    Computer X has user A
    Computer Y has user B
    Computer Z has user C

    Do you mean to say that I can make an account named A on computer Y and share the contents of B with account A, then all of a sudden A from Computer X will have access, even though there was no unique identifying information other than an account name? I was also under the impression that the name might not necessarily matter, which is where everything just blew my mind and went over my head...
  22. macrumors demi-god


    Yes, that would work, but with multiple machines and users that is going to get very confusing. I am suggesting adding one shared account of the same name to each machine so all anybody needs to know is that one name and password.

    I will assume you want all users involved in this to see each others folders.

    When you turn on File Sharing everybody on the local network will see those machines in the Finder under Shared. What they will see is the "Computer Name" like in my screenshot. So change each machine involved to something meaningful. Like "Mary in Accounting" or "Doug in Sales."

    Now in that same Sharing screen on each computer you want to share from, change Everyone to no access, then manually add (posts 9+12 above) one shared user account and add the folders you want shared from that machine. For simplicity, make it the exact same user name and PW on each machine. For our example the user name is Q with password "test."

    Computer X (Mary in Accounting) has user A + (shared) user Q
    Computer Y (Doug in Sales) has user B + (shared) user Q
    Computer Z (Bob in Marketing) has user C + (shared) user Q

    When you are done it will look like my example above. You will give the user name Q and PW test to only those you want to have access to the folders. It can be anybody on the local network, not just Mary Doug, and Bob.

    Okay, now anybody on the local network will see "Mary in Accounting" etc. (all three machines) in the shared section of their Finder. They will be listed there one after the other. If Mary uses wifi at Starbucks everybody at Starbucks can see the "Mary in Accounting" as a shared resource. Anybody at Starbucks that clicks on her share will be asked for the user name and password, which of course they will not have... so Mary is safe.

    Back to the office. Like I said everybody can see all three machines in their Finder. Anybody in the office can click to access and they will get the user name and PW prompt. People you gave the user name and PW to will just enter it and they can access Mary's shared folders, for example

    Anybody local with the Q/test UN/PW combo can access the shared folders on one or all of these three machines.


Share This Page