Mac OS X 10.4 Home Sync Feature

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,463
8,522
One reader noted the existance of a "Home Sync" menu extra in the final version of Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger):

System -> Library -> CoreServices -> Menu Extras

"HomeSync.menu" enables a menu that gives you options to "Sync Home Now" and open "Home Sync Preferences". HomeSync is, however, a new feature in Mac OS X 10.4 Server and not enabled in the client version.

The feature mentioned here by O'Reilly when describing Tiger Server:

Apple begs to differ, and brings back one of the last truly missed features of OS 9: Portable Home Directories. Sure, Macintosh Manager made this possible back in the day, we've missed it since the bad old days, but now it's back and ready for action. It allows for full home directory syncing with the primary server, giving you the ability to check out, re-sync, and check in your home folder.

Readers will be reminded of a previous unrealized feature of Panther called "Home on iPod" which promised similar features. Details about Home on iPod were posted by Apple on their Panther feature pages but were quickly removed after their discovery. This feature promised to give users the ability to carry their home directory, files and apps on your iPod or any Firewire drive.
 

Crunchy

macrumors member
Aug 6, 2004
36
0
Kansas
Great feature

I don't understand why Apple is delaying this feature, unless it's because they think the iPod hard drives can't take the heat. I have a TiBook and a PowerMac G5 at work, and I'd love to keep the Documents folder synched, as I write in my office, the library, on the road, and at home. It's really annoying to have to email copies back and forth. My trusty old 1G iPod would do the trick here with this feature.

Or they could make .Mac take care of this, and then I might bother to subscribe...
 

morrisce

macrumors newbie
May 14, 2005
7
0
This is not a hidden feature or a feature to be used in the future.

This is a feature to be used with a Tiger Server. You can create what you call a mobile account on a local machine that will sync up with an LDAP account on a Tiger Server. You then sync your files up with the server every time you log into the machine while on the network where your server lies. You can take your laptop home and work on stuff, and then sync back up to the server at your work, so your network home directory is kept updated. Check out the pic attached to see how it is used.

Home Syncing is just a new feature in Tiger Server. Mobile accounts could be created from a Panther Server, but your files would just sit on the local machine. Leaving my files unavailable from other network machines. This is a feature that I plan to put into use in our school district.
 

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pubwvj

macrumors 68000
Oct 1, 2004
1,891
202
Mountains of Vermont
Crunchy said:
they could make .Mac take care of this
No, no, no...! Not the dreaded .Mac again! I don't want to have to use .Mac to do this. I want Syncing to happen locally. Apple can offer .Mac but don't try to force users to use it.
 

aswitcher

macrumors 603
Oct 8, 2003
5,351
14
Canberra OZ
I really wated this to allow me to keep a backup of my account on my ipod and to use that when attached to friends makes rather than just "dumb" file sharing.
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,106
73
Solon, OH
This is a GREAT feature for Tiger Server users. It's FAR less clumsy than the Windows implementation - that's for sure (under Windows, with roaming profiles enabled, it can take 30+ minutes just to log on if your profile is large; this is because Windows can't keep the profile on the server - instead, it copies the whole thing to your hard drive every time).
 

artistry

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2003
107
0
Brighton, UK
Had it 'working' for a while

We've had this enabled on our university test machines for a few days, seeing how it could be used for students.
 

mayo2ca

macrumors newbie
Jan 22, 2005
5
0
What about non-tiger networks?

Have anyone tried this on a network without Tiger server but with LDAP accounts and network mounted drives?

I'd test it, but I'm having issues making Tiger talk to my LDAP server.

m
 

morrisce

macrumors newbie
May 14, 2005
7
0
mayo2ca said:
Have anyone tried this on a network without Tiger server but with LDAP accounts and network mounted drives?

I'd test it, but I'm having issues making Tiger talk to my LDAP server.

m

This feature is configured in Workgroup Manager for Tiger Server. You will more than likely have to have a Tiger Server to use it. Below is a screenshot from Workgroup Manager.
 

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dhave_config

macrumors newbie
May 14, 2005
3
0
You don't have to have Tiger Server.

Any LDAP server that you can write the appropriate settings into to create a mobile user account will work, just like all other account settings.

I can't believe this got posted... :) It's one of the most touted features of Tiger Server... even though most settings are on the client.

Note that you can do this with Workgroup Manager (for 10.4) and OS X Server 10.3.x, you only need 10.4 on the client, as that controls the actual syncing.
 

mayo2ca

macrumors newbie
Jan 22, 2005
5
0
morrisce said:
it's just so much easier with 10.4 server :)
True that, but it sure beats having to buy another box to be Tiger Server and the server version of Tiger itself :)

My original question, though, was more targeted at 'how' Tiger client determines if a account is mobile or not. Does it need extra attributes in the directory (as dhave_config mentions), or does it consider any account that's LDAP+mounted directory to be mobile. (Given I've seen reports that this works with AD as well) Ah well, I'll go play with this as soon as I figure out why Tiger won't bind to my LDAP server properly.

I was surprised how many things I could get Panther to do without Panther Server, thanks to OpenDirectory being more or less just OpenLDAP with few extra schemas, that Apple gives out anyway.
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
I would prefer a simple home on iPod feature, so you can go from Mac to Mac bringing your home dir with you, and leaving no trace on each computer.

No synching or anything - there is nothing to sync, since there is only one copy: your iPod.

Edit: ideally you wouldn't have to reboot the Mac. You just plug your iPod in to the Firewire port, and your name is added to the Fast user switch menu. You switch users, do your thing, and log out. The other user who was there before you plugged in can then resume.
 

poundsmack

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2005
287
0
broken_keyboard said:
I would prefer a simple home on iPod feature, so you can go from Mac to Mac bringing your home dir with you, and leaving no trace on each computer.

No synching or anything - there is nothing to sync, since there is only one copy: your iPod.

while a great idea it would imply you have an iPod, some of us do not still. though i do much like your idea.
 

mayo2ca

macrumors newbie
Jan 22, 2005
5
0
broken_keyboard said:
I would prefer a simple home on iPod feature, so you can go from Mac to Mac bringing your home dir with you, and leaving no trace on each computer.
The iPod drives are quite slow. I wouldn't want to do this unless they started using 4200rpm or faster drives. Plus, the iPod and the drive in it was not made for extensive (or constant) read/writes. It easily overheats and it's life can get very shortened when you use it as regular drive.

m
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
poundsmack said:
while a great idea it would imply you have an iPod, some of us do not still. though i do much like your idea.
I think it is the real reason for the iPod. The whole music thing is just an excuse to get people to carry hard drives around, which will ultimately become their entire home dirs.

Just look at the name: iPod - doesn't say anything about music. (but neither does Walkman I suppose...)
 

earthsaver

macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2003
21
0
found mobility code but can't find activation point

So, I found inside AccountsPref.nib the interface components for Mobility, which is supposed to be located inside the Password tab of the Accounts preference pane. However, I can't figure out what to tell the computer to make it show itself. Any ideas from developers?
 

dhave_config

macrumors newbie
May 14, 2005
3
0
The easiest way is to do it with a 10.4 server box and dump the user record, or read the apple schema additions enough to understand how to incorporate it into OpenLDAP. :)

Basically the user you're logged into the local machine as needs to think that it is a 'mobile user account', which is effectively a local NetInfo clone of a network user account, and the OS knows how to keep the accounts in sync.

Then you just need the various MCX flags set so that the home directory is set to sync.

piece of piss. :)

mmm... account on ipod. Hold that thought.
 

scotty321

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2003
163
73
Los Angeles, CA
Crunchy said:
I don't understand why Apple is delaying this feature, unless it's because they think the iPod hard drives can't take the heat. I have a TiBook and a PowerMac G5 at work, and I'd love to keep the Documents folder synched, as I write in my office, the library, on the road, and at home. It's really annoying to have to email copies back and forth. My trusty old 1G iPod would do the trick here with this feature.

Or they could make .Mac take care of this, and then I might bother to subscribe...
Hold on a second here -- .Mac already does do this with its iDisk feature, which you can keep synchronized across multiple Macs... and you can continue to use the contents of your iDisk even when you don't have an Internet connection! (See your .Mac system preferences.)

The ONLY problem with using iDisk for storing all of your documents is that it is limited in space -- your maximum amount of space is 1 GB. That's a huge bummer.