I have a MacBook Air (currently running Mavericks GM) and a Mac Mini server (running Snow Leopard Server) in my home. The Air uses a portable home directory kept on the Mini.

Over time, the two home directories have drifted, to the point where the home directories don't even get close to fully syncing overnight (through a gigabit switch and Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter). Even worse, when the sync daemon triggers it tends to resurrect old files which have been deleted or renamed. Basically, at this point the whole thing is just irrevocably broken.

I think I'd like to just cut the connection between the two directories and move forward with separate home directories on the two machines. How can I get my Air to abandon the idea of syncing its home directory with my server?

Alternatively, is there anything I can do that might fix my home directory syncing? I currently can't upgrade the server from Snow Leopard, but that's likely to change soon.

1 Answer 1


A high level approach to make the network account on the server as a local account on the MacBook Air would be to do the following:

  • Unbind the MacBook Air from the directory and delete this user from it.
  • Copy over the user's home folder from the server into /Users/ on the MacBook Air.
  • Create a new user with the same shortname as on the server.
  • Choose OK when OS X prompts you asking if you'd like to use the already existing home directory for this user. This will fix the permissions on all files for this user.
  • The home directory is actually already on the MacBook, since it's a mobile user. Would that change anything other than letting me skip the copy step? Oct 12, 2013 at 7:08
  • I included the copy step because you mentioned that the home directories had drifted away with time, just to ensure that you have everything from the server.
    – M K
    Oct 12, 2013 at 8:48
  • I did this today (sans the home folder copying, and with a SuperDuper clone just in case) and so far it seems to have worked beautifully. Thanks! Oct 12, 2013 at 23:01

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