How to Import and Export Accounts with Workgroup Manager in Lion Server

You can use Lion Server’s Workgroup Manager to import and export account records. Periodically exporting accounts can help you restore your Open Directory domain if the worst should happen and your archive won’t restore the databases.

When you export user accounts from the archive process, user passwords aren’t ever exported from Workgroup Manager. In addition, the Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC), which controls single sign-on, can’t be exported.

Importing accounts can make a large influx of new users easier to manage. For example, a school may have a list of new students each fall taken from the registrar’s database, manipulated, and imported into Workgroup Manager. Third-party utilities, such as Passenger from MacinMind Software, can help massage the raw data into a format compatible with an Open Directory domain.

To import users in Workgroup Manager, choose Server→Import; then select a file and click the Import button.

Exporting accounts in Workgroup Manager is straightforward. Follow these steps to export a list of accounts:

  1. Click the lock icon on the right side of the Workgroup Manager window and enter the username and password of the directory administrator in the dialog; click the Authenticate button.

  2. Depending on the type of account you plan to export, click the Users, Groups, Computers, or Computer Groups tab below the globe icon.

  3. Select the accounts from the list you plan to export.

    Hold the cmd key to select more than one account.

  4. Choose Server→Export.

    A Save As dialog appears, allowing you to enter a name for the exported list of accounts and to select the location to save the file.

  5. Click the Export button.

    Repeat this process for each type of account — users, groups, computers, and computer groups — you’re exporting.

If you need to delete a number of accounts, you could also export the account lists before they’re deleted. This saves you time if any account is deleted in error or needs to be added again later.

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