Open Directory for Editing Suites

I’m currently working on switching our edit suites over to an Open Directory authenticated setup, with centralized storage of permissions. The idea is that we want a student to be able to sit down at any Mac editing station and have the dock look the same, Final Cut behave the same, etc. I figured I’d offer a few tips for folks trying to do similar things.

I’m an Open Directory newbie. There’s plenty of documentation and training material out there, but often it’s overly complicated. For a setup like this, here’s a few things I’ve found helpful.

  1. In workgroup manager, make sure each user has a local home (/Users/username) and a network home (afp://server/sharename/username) and leave the network home highlighted.
  2. Create a group to assign the preferences to, and then make each editor a member of that group
  3. In mobility preferences for the group, be sure that you ‘always manage’ all of the sync options, even if you don’t intend to use background or manual sync
  4. Sync a non-existant folder in each of the important ‘home directory’ folders. Otherwise, folders like Music, Pictures, etc won’t exist for users on machines other than the one they do their first login on:

Picture 4-4

That’s pretty much it. You should be able to leave the OD server in ‘basic’ mode, and do all of your work within Workgroup Manager, aside from setting up the afp share. Then just add the server within Directory Utility on the clients and you’re set. Syncing is very quick and painless.

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