How to Configure the Mobile Home Folder on Lion Server - dummies

How to Configure the Mobile Home Folder on Lion Server

By John Rizzo

In Lion Server, use Workgroup Manager to set the network home folder and enable portable home synchronization. Remember, your server should already be bound to the shared directory or configured as an Open Directory master or replica

Here’s how:

  1. Open Workgroup Manager and connect to the shared directory.

  2. In Workgroup Manager, click the Accounts icon and then click the Users tab above the list of accounts.

    The Users tab is the icon represented by the single silhouetted figure — the leftmost tab.

  3. In the list of accounts under the tabs, click a user’s name and then click the Home tab on the right side of the Workgroup Manager window.

  4. Click the share point you previously created for user home folders and then click the Save button.

    You’ve set the location where the home folder will be stored on the network.


  5. Select the Computer Groups tab and then click the name of a group you want to use.

  6. Click the Preferences icon and then click the Mobility icon.

    If you haven’t yet, you need to set up account creation.

  7. Click the Rules tab.

    Here’s where you have a multitude of options for the portable home folders.

    The second subtab, Preferences Sync, controls synchronization of preference files from the user’s home folder. You come back to this in just a minute.

  8. Click the Home Sync subtab.

  9. Select Once or Always to set sync settings for each login or always, respectively, and then decide the intervals for sync by selecting one or more of the check boxes:

    • At Login: Sync occurs when the user logs in to her account. The user sees a progress bar while the sync is in progress.

    • At Logout: Sync occurs when the user logs out of her account. The user sees the same progress bar.

    • In the Background: An automatic sync occurs without any user notification.

    • Manually: Sync is triggered by the user from the user’s account in the Accounts pane of System Preferences or by the user’s selecting Sync Now from the Home Sync status menu when she is logged in.


  10. (Optional) Set the list of sync locations.

    Below the four options for when sync occurs are the locations that will sync. By default, these include the user’s home folder, indicated by the tilde (~) sign.

    Add locations to sync by clicking the plus (+) button and then typing the path in the new field. Select any location, and click the minus (–) button to remove that sync path. Click the ellipsis (. . .) button to open a new window, and select a location in the file system to sync.

  11. (Optional) Set the list of locations that won’t synchronize in the Skip Items That Match Any of the Following area.

    By default, several locations in the user’s home folder are skipped when sync occurs. Generally, these locations are unnecessary because they contain inconsequential files. The same plus, minus, and ellipsis buttons apply to this list.

  12. (Optional) Select the Merge with User’s Settings check box to combine the synchronization settings a user can set in the System Preferences Users & Groups pane (called the Account pane in versions of Mac OS X before Lion).

  13. Click the Preferences Sync subtab.

    The settings in Preferences Sync are similar to those in Home Sync but affect only preferences files. This tab is configured the same way as Home Sync (refer to Steps 9 through 11).

  14. (Optional) Click the Options subtab.

    To modify the background sync interval from its 20-minute default or to change the default for the Home Sync status menu, select Once or Always. Then modify the background interval and, if desired, deselect the Show Status in Menu Bar check box.


  15. Click the Apply Now button to save the settings.