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How to Set User’s Home Folder Location in Lion Server

With the user icon still selected on the left of the Lion Server Workgroup Manager, the Home tab gives you various options for setting the location of a user’s home folder:

  • Select None (the default) if the user shouldn’t have a home folder on the server. Select this option if the user doesn’t need to log in to a home folder — useful for an account that accesses only sharing or collaboration resources.

  • Select a directory (identified as a path) if you want the user to have a server-based home folder. Folders that appear here are shared folders that you previously configured as auto-mounted home folders on this server with the Server app or on another server bound to the directory.

    Although Lion Server’s admin tools don’t let you configure NFS shares, Podcast Producer configures its own home folder by using NFS.

  • The Disk Quota field is an upper limit on the amount of disk space that the folder can use. It applies to all data created by a user on the volume where the home folder exists, not just on the share point where the home folder is stored.

You won’t use the other buttons on this page much, but here’s what they do:

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  • Click the Add (+) button to add a new location for user home folders. In the dialog that appears, enter the Mac OS X Server/share point URL (this may be another server besides Lion Server), the path to the home folder, and the full path the Mac OS X client will use to access the home folder. The new location will be available to all users in the directory.

  • If users store only their home folders on the local Mac OS X computer, set the home folder to /Users. By doing so, regardless of where the user logs in, his home folder is in the local Users folder.

    If you don’t see a /Users folder in the list, and you want one, click the Add (+) button and then enter /Users/short name in the Full Path field. Leave the Mac OS X Server/Share Point URL and Path to Home Folder fields blank.

  • Next to the Add (+) button, three additional buttons exist for managing home-folder locations. The double-window button duplicates a home-folder location. The Minus (–) button deletes a home-folder location for all users in the directory but leaves the data intact in the home folders. The pencil button allows you to edit home-folder locations.

  • The Create Home Now button generates a new home folder at the specified location. This process doesn’t overwrite an existing home folder with the same short name. The home folder is created automatically the first time a user logs in if this button isn’t clicked, so creating a home folder from Workgroup Manager isn’t required.

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