Open Directory Questions

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Dizzy810, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Dizzy810 macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hey everyone,

    I am taking delivery today of a new Mini running server. This will be used for a home network. I plan on using open directory for my Macbook Pro. I am also going to use it to serve media to my 3 AppleTV's. I know I have to have iTunes running in order for the AppleTV's to see the media shares.

    My question is that if I log into the Mini and leave iTunes running, then am I going to be able to log into my account on my Macbook Pro? I'm thinking that its not going to allow me to be logged into the same account on two computers. If it doesn't allow me to do this, then what are the best options for what I want?

    The reason I am trying to run Open Directory is because I currently have an iMac and I am sick of always trying to keep the files in sync with my Macbook and trying to figure out which one has the most up to date version of a file.

    My next question is that I have a Synology Diskstation that I use for my media. Would it work well for me to have my user home folders stored on it through iSCSI?

    My last question is is it a good idea to set up a local admin account on each machine for any problems that might arrise?

    Thanks everyone for your assistance.
  2. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: OD and logins...

    Hi Dizzy810,

    You most certainly can login from two different machines to the same account, if that is what you are asking? If you are asking if you can run iTunes from an account using the same iTunes Library, and then attempt to run iTunes using the same iTunes Library but from a different machine/account, I don't believe you can do this. If you need to do this, I would suggest duplicating the iTunes Library and then each account has its own copy of the iTunes Library to connect to separately.

    You can also Screen Share (VNC/ARD) from your laptop to your Mac mini and have one account logged in on the Mac mini running iTunes on one Library, and the Screen Share from your laptop can log in as a different account and run iTunes on a second Library simultaneously.

    Hope this helps,
  3. Dizzy810 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2009

    Thanks for the help. Yes, I was asking if you can log into the same user account on two different machines at the same time. I guess that solves my biggest question.

    Do you have any insight into my other questions?
  4. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: OD and ...


    Yes, OD can be setup so that each of your user accounts has just a single home directory and so therefore there would be nothing to sync as you are always using the same home directory even from different machines. And from anywhere on the Internet you could VPN into to your home network and still login with the same OD home directory. In a pinch when you don't have Internet connectivity and thus cannot login to your OD account, then your laptop uses its own local home directory, and in this case you would have to worry about syncing.

    I recently suggested in another post using one of the version control systems as a backup scheme, but it also would work very nicely as a syncing scheme automatically "merging" the "same" files modified on different machines for you. This would actually work fairly nicely --- why, in fact, this is exactly what I do. I use either git or svn (subversion) to generate a repository and then "check out" local copies of my work on each machine that I use. I can edit the work on any machine, and then commit my edits from any machine, and the git/svn routines merge my edits and keep all the machines up-to-date with the latest modifications. I don't have to remember what needs to be synced and what doesn't, git/svn does this for me.

    Just some alternative thoughts...

  5. DJLC macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    Mooresville, NC
    I think you'll be very happy using OpenDirectory for this. I have a similar setup at work — an iMac in my office and a MacBook Air to use around the building. We use mobile home directories — a copy is stored on the server, and changes get synced to it. If I take my MacBook home, I can still login without any VPN mess. When I get back to work, it syncs all changed files with the server, which then syncs it down to my iMac.

    You could easily put your network home directories on an external drive, and some interfaces may make it quicker than the internal. Just remember to save a drive for server backups!

Share This Page