Real newb questions about OS X Server

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by AdvocateUK, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. AdvocateUK macrumors regular

    AdvocateUK

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Billingham, United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi all,

    Well with Server going for such a low price, and with the purchase of a new Air to use as my main machine, I thought it was high time I made a bit more use of the Mac Pro, that is now more or less sitting idle.

    My idea was that =(due to the Airs limited disk space) I could set up users on OS X Lion server and have them log in from any Mac attached to the network. The plan being that their home folders would reside on the Mac Pro running server and NOT be created on the remote machine (i.e. my Air)

    I just can't seem to get this working though, can anyone give me a step by step on how to achieve this please?

    Many thanks

    Alistair
     
  2. AdvocateUK thread starter macrumors regular

    AdvocateUK

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Billingham, United Kingdom
    #2
    Just to clarify my original post a little bit.

    We have three computers in the house, a Mac Pro (running Lion Server), an iMac (running Lion) and a MacBook Air (running Lion).

    My parents both have accounts on the iMac. Only I have an account on the Air.

    I'd like my parents to be able to log into the iMac and have their files stored locally, which are then mirrored onto the server so that when they log into my MacBook Air, they do so via a Network login and their home folders reside on the Mac Pro, syncing back any changes to the iMac.

    Is this even possible?

    Thanks in advance

    Alistair
     
  3. AtomicGrog, Aug 23, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011

    AtomicGrog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #3
    I run a mac mini with lion server, everyone in the house (using 2 IMac's, a mini and a MacBook) successfully use OD (Open Directory i.e. Network logons) so you should be able to do that without problems.

    As the pro is the server you should be able to service the home drives from it without any hassle however i'm not aware of any native replication of change... you'll probably need to setup a scripted task of some form to achieve this, possible automated backup software?

    I personally dont do that, I rely on the Time Machine software to replicate to an attached drive elsewhere on my network.

    My tip from my perspective is avoid wireless like the plague... the biggest challenges are around not having a wifi connection and hence not being able to log onto the clients... Wired is infinitely more stable.
     
  4. Mattie Num Nums macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Setup OD and then make sure it creates a Mobile Account. Setup Mobile Account syncing either locally or via policy. This will cache files locally as well as sync either at login, logout, or at a desired time.
     
  5. AdvocateUK thread starter macrumors regular

    AdvocateUK

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Billingham, United Kingdom
    #5
    Thanks for the reply Mattie, can you tell me how I do this?
     
  6. Mattie Num Nums macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Ill give you a place to start.

    * Setup OSX Lion Server
    * Enable Open Directory
    * Setup your users and groups in Work Group Manager
    * On each computer bind them to your Open Directory Server (System Preferences -> Accounts -> Login Options
    * When you are setting up the accounts make sure "Mobile Accounts" is active or enabled (this is the key to syncing the data from the local machine to the server and allowing the credentials to be cached.)
    * On each individual machine you can setup Mobile Syncing or make an MCX that automatically does this.

    Now you have a bound open directory computer with mobile home syncing.

    If you need some more help here are some things you can google to get you steered in the right direction.

    Setting Up Open Directory, Mobile Home Folders OSX, Binding Open Directory, Work Group Manager, and Mobile Home Sync.

    Enjoy! Its a fun learning process!
     
  7. AdvocateUK thread starter macrumors regular

    AdvocateUK

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Billingham, United Kingdom
    #7
    Thanks for the help Mattie but I think Active Directory is broken in Lion/Lion Server.

    I have started the Open (Active?) Directory Service, created all my users, enabled device management, configured profiles and still I cannot use "Mobile Accounts".

    I give up *sigh*
     
  8. sshefer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    #8
    Here's some more info, but for detailed guides check out WazMac - even though it's about 10.6 not much has changed.

    - Vanilla Lion Server Install
    - Setup machine to host DNS (Topic 2 at linked site)
    - Enable OPEN Directory (Topic 6 at linked site)
    - Setup users and mobile accounts (select a HD for users to use as home directory)
    - Bind individual machines to server - the key here being to set the server's IP address as the first DNS entry and then bind using the server's local address

    If this seems complicated just follow the guides I linked to. Very simple setup and once it's done you can use a ton of other features (Time Machine, Update Server (download apple software updates once and allow client machines to update MUCH faster), and bootable image (so you can add a new machine, select the image and be setup in a matter of minutes)).

    Some really nice features - hope you find the guide useful. I've yet to find anything new in Lion besides it's ability to bring Windows Vista/7 machines into the network.
     

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