Mac OS X Server: Setting up multiple locations for home directories.

Goal:

Simplify end of the school year server cleanup by separating student home directories into multiple automount share points according to graduation class year.

Example: All seniors home directories located in a 2006 share point, juniors in a 2007 share point, etc. At the end of the school year the graduating class share point is archived and deleted.

I also setup user id’s to include the graduation year. You can then sort by User ID and remove the entire graduating class at once.

Example: Alan Doe UID 2005001, Barb Doe UID 2005002, etc.

Problem:

Setting up OS X Server with 12+ automount share points causes the client machines to hang at login/logout or a blue screen at startup. Workgroup Manager doesn’t allow you to select a nested folder for home directory location.

Solution:

Use the Inspector in Workgroup Manager to alter the default settings. The following suggestion was submitted by Phillip Royer and is working for me so far (see note below):

  • Create a user

  • Enable the Inspector in Workgroup Manager

  • In the Inspector, edit the following four attribute properties:

    • HomeDirectory

    • NFSHomeDirectory

    • dsAttrtypeNative:apple-user-homeurl

    • dsAttrTypeNative:homeDirectory


    For each property either change the path (i.e. /Network/Servers/servername/sharename/extrafolder/username) to add the "extrafolder" in there, or edit the value between the <path> and </path> fields (i.e. <path>extrafolder/username</path>).

  • Save a preset for this user

  • Create new users with that preset selected in the dropdown

Note: This works fine for creating new users or importing users, but can't easily be applied to existing users. You'll either end up editing each user by hand or exporting them in Workgroup Manager, then importing them with the preset made earlier (losing passwords).

Following these instructions I setup a User Preset for each grade level, then import one grade level at a time using the appropriate preset.


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