Mac Mini as a file server


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 20, 2012
Hey everyone!

I've trolled long enough and thought I would post a question.

We are thinking of using a newer mac mini as our file server for our smallish office. It's basically just sharing an active folder around the office.

The office is mostly iMac's with a couple PC laptops. What I'm concerned about is the sharing with the Windows PCs.

Can I create on user on the mac mini and have everyone use those credentials through that user when accessing the share? Or do I have to create separate accounts for every person in the office?



macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
The Finger Lakes Region
Do you have any experience in running a server?

First look at the Apple site for Mac Mini Server. Then bookmark the site AFP548 because this site has many article on how to use OS X server.

Now remember in a server you can do either Microsoft's 'Active Directory' or the open 'Open Directory'. Also in the server if you know what you are doing and are allowed by your ISP to set up your own email server domain.
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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 20, 2012
We were looking at the server version but didn't really see any main benefits that would help us out. All we really need is a shared folder that the entire office can work from.

So what I'm getting from the above posts is that I can use the same user name and password for everyone in the office when first connecting to the shared folder?


macrumors 65816
Jan 26, 2008
Poznan, Poland
It doesn't make a lot sense to do an Active/Open Directory for a SOHO, I'd call it a bit overdone. Get the cheapest Mini of them all (no need for a server model), hook up a big external drive (even better - a small array you will run in mirroring mode so your data will be protected), set it up either:
- a single user with SMB (Windows sharing) privileges or
- accounts for all your co-workers and grant the SMB privileges accordingly,
have fun working.

Everything you actually need to enable folder sharing for Windows users is stuffed in System Preferences -> Sharing -> File Sharing -> Options.