We have local users running on stock MacBooks, but it's time to move up and start managing things.

Active Directory accounts are created for all users, and OSX Server is pushing the AD config profiles down to our hosts.

Our local users have rather complex development tools and environments installed locally to their account, so it would be preferred to preserve them.

Simply copying files over from the old account to the new mobile account does not work (as expected).

While I've seen suggestions to try Migration Assistant, it does seem to want to work for local accounts, and is instead expecting a time machine backup, or an import from a different machine. Both of these might end up being rather time consuming, when a better operation would be to simply rename the ~ directory to the same short_name of the AD user. But of course, this causes issues with keychains, application plists, and who knows what else.

I can accept having to recreate keychains and plists if necessary, but it would be preferred to have a short script that can be written to solve the migration with minimal user impact.

1 Answer 1


My suggestion was going to be Migration Assistant, however you'll need to make a backup ISO or time machine to import from, or another machine as you've mentioned.

There is unlikely to be a clean way of doing this honestly...

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