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I would like to have access to AFP Share from our clients possible as soon as the server's system is started, without one of the users needing to open a local session on it (on the server) first.

I'm not sure but I think it was working this way with previous versions of OS X (10.6 or 10.7, we're running the latest 10.8) : as soon as you got the login screen on the server, AFP Share(s) were accessible on the network.

To be as clear as possible, I'm NOT trying to have the AFP Share automounted on the clients. I'm already using scripts and launchd for this, and it's working absolutely fine (with the obvious exception of the clients having to wait for a user session to be opened on the server for the Share to become available).

The server is a 2013 iMac and the disk being shared is a Promise Pegasus R6 (a Thunderbolt RAID drive).

2014-04-09 : still the same with OS X 10.9.x, neither SMB nor AFP share are accessible before a user open a local session on the Mac computer acting as the file server.

2015-09-08 : I gave up on this as it is no longer relevant for us, but ditto for OS X 10.10.x

  • What version of Server.app is running on the Mac you want to host the share? This should work out of the box for both client and server - so perhaps something else is interfering... – bmike Apr 9 '14 at 14:03
  • Hi bmike. The Mac hosting the share is not running a server version of OSX but the base version of Mavericks (updated to 10.9.2). – duch Apr 9 '14 at 14:19
  • My thinking is that the drive doesn't get mounted until you log in. Have you tested making a share of a local folder and rebooting to see if that's the cause? – bmike Apr 9 '14 at 15:12
  • Your thinking is correct, the drive isn't mounted until user login. I managed to mount it on the share hosting Mac through SSH (diskutil mount /dev/diskXsX). I then need to issue the smbd command for the share to be available (we're using SMB on 10.9.2 as the throughput seems more stable than AFP on our setup). Is there a way to mount the local drive automatically even without a user logging in ? – duch Apr 10 '14 at 12:52
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I would set up a user to automatically log in and lock the screen immediately with a password (or as close to immediately as you care.) That will mount the external drive and start up sharin for all users.

Alternatively, you could drop the $20 on OS X server and have it mount shares at boot like you rightly expect a server to behave.

  • We should get a Mac Mini with OS X Server in a few months, that will probably solve the issue. I made the clients SSH into the server at user login to check wether the drive is properly mounted / shared and mount it if needed as a temporary (and ugly) fix. – duch Apr 10 '14 at 19:25
  • Love it. The mini are pretty great for basic services. – bmike Apr 10 '14 at 21:58

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