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How to Edit User Accounts and Join Groups with the Server App in Lion Server

The Server app in Mac OS X Lion Server has a user account pane where you can edit some of the information you originally entered, add some new information, and add the user to groups.

In the Users pane, double-click a user to bring up the account’s window. Notice that it differs from the New User setup window.

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There are several things you can do. You can edit the e-mail address or add one. You can make the user an administrator or remove that privilege. You can set the location of a user’s home folder. In the Home Folder pop-up menu, Local Only means that the home folder is on the user’s computer. Other choices are home folders that you set up in the file sharing service.

But there are also some things you can’t do in this Users pane. Although you can edit the full name, you can’t change the short name. So if you change the user’s name to John Barlow, the short name would still be roberthunter.

Apple doesn’t want people to change short names, because it can create problems if you’ve already done a lot of configuring of services. Although you can’t change the short name in this pane, it can be done elswhere.

There is also no way to add contact information besides the e-mail address. The Open Directory database can store the user’s chat address(es), street address, phone numbers, and other information about him. To add this information, you have to use Workgroup Manager.

The other thing you can do in this pane is designate multiple groups that the user can be a member of. (When you edit a group account, you can designate multiple users to be a member of one group.) Here’s how to add one or more groups to a user from the user’s editing pane:

  1. Click the Add (+) button below the Groups field.

    An empty field containing the cursor appears in the Groups box. When you start typing the name of a group, a drop-down menu appears, listing groups that begin with (or are close to) the letters you’ve typed. But included in the list is the word Browse. Selecting Browse brings up a list of all groups.

  2. Start typing the word browse and hit the Return key.

    A window lists all existing groups — easier than typing group names one at a time.

  3. In the window listing groups, select a group or cmd-click to select multiple groups and drag them into the main window’s Groups box.

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  4. Close the small window with the groups list and click the Done button in the main window.

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