Setting up networked "Home" Folders in OS X Server....

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by kk05629, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. kk05629 macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Greetings…I recently purchased a Mac Mini Server with the goal of having "Networked" home folders that follow the user no matter which Mac the log into.

    My first attempt seems to have gone down in flames.

    I set the server up and it shows up in the Sidebar of my test client mac. I established a new server user account, then set that same account up locally on the test client mac. I set the local account to "join" the server via the login options. When I log into the account on the test client mac…the home folders are still local to the test client mac.

    Naively…I guess I was hoping there was an automated way to set this up or some clear documentation that came with the server I could reference.

    When I set the server up…I only enabled the FIle Sharing service. Do I need to enable other services to make networked home folders work? I suspect I may need to do something with WorkGroup Manager or Directory Admin.

    Obviously…I have an "Education" gap with OS X Server/Client configuration. Are there any good web resources/Books/Apple Services that I could use to get this Networked Home folders configured? Or does the MacRumors community have any advice/suggestions I can try?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    If you haven't read it, I'd recommend the User Management guide:

    I haven't tried just Home Folders, but if it is like mobile accounts, there is no client configuration as long as the client is bound to the server.

  3. JGruber macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2006
    To do it the right way, you need to have the following services enabled.
    AFP & Open Directory

    In Open Directory, you need to make a standalone server, which will be used to create the users you want to log in, and give you the ability to create user home folders on the server.

    It's not hard to do, but there is a lot of configuration involved to doing it the right way.

    It wouldn't hurt to read through the entire 10.6 server manual.
  4. merneric macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2004
    I did this exact thing a couple years ago for my home network as well.

    Although, eventually I still ended up sifting through all of the great apple documentation, I found that the best resources for the absolute noob that I was at the time, were the video tutorials available on

    There is a subscription fee, but I can vouch that it is well worth the cost. Its month to month, so once you get it all setup and running smoothly, you can cancel at anytime.

    Good Luck!

    PS As I remember, the most critial thing to get right was the DNS Service, and OS X Server seemed very very picky as to how this was set up. Luckily, the tutorial takes you through step by step on what to do.
  5. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    If there is a local account of the same name it won't use the home folder on the server. You need to delete the local account.

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