Setting up multi-user logins (OS X Yosemite Server)

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by rj27, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. rj27 macrumors newbie


    Sep 11, 2015
    Hi, I'm wondering if I can ask some advice. I run a small video production company. We have a mac mini running OS X Yosemite Server in our office and currently it serves as a glorified NAS for our thunderbolt RAID drives and USB 3.0 backup drives. We've had it for a couple of months and it's working very well.

    At the moment our users are connecting their MacBooks via Finder to the Mac Mini's drives and editing from there. However, we've just bought two new iMacs to live permanently in the office. I want to set it up so that our team can log in to any of the iMacs and access their files, regardless of which machine they use. (e.g. set up their own Dropbox accounts, and so on, on the server account rather than downloading a copy to each machine.)

    I understand this is possible using Open Directory and the user accounts there. However, I am also wondering if it's possible to host software on the Mac Mini without having to also download and manage that on each machine. So, for example, I could install an app on the Mac Mini and make it available to both iMacs as well. It would save me the headache of logging into each machine and updating them each time a new version of FCP or the Creative Cloud apps is released. Any advice?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. DJLC macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    Mooresville, NC
    So you can definitely set up users in OD and use Mobile Accounts. At login the home folder will download from the server, at logout any changes will upload back to the server. You can also optionally do a manual sync while logged in. It's pretty robust and in my experience works well.

    As far as software, I think the only way to do something like you describe would be to host a NetBoot image on the server and boot the iMacs from that. In that model, you'd simply install updates on the image and a reboot would bring them down to the iMacs. But in practice it's probably easier to just manage the two iMacs on their own. Another alternative would be to look into Munki -- essentially an in-house App Store. You could host Adobe CC apps in that, thereby saving yourself from having to download it multiple times. The iMacs would pick it up as an update in the Managed Software Center.

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