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I'm having an issue with file sharing in Lion using the default system pref pane. Although the list shows no share points, i can see that my home folder, and Macintosh HD are being shared, despite my empty list. Does anyone know how to 'reset' ALL file sharing options, or possible the .plist file associated with sharing services on the mac.

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The simple act of clicking the "File Sharing" check box will allow the following things to happen.

  • Any user account can connect to the machine and access their own home folder, as well as the public folders on any other user account.
  • Any administrator users can access the boot disk.

The list of shared folders in the preference pane is for fine-tuning access to public folders and defining customized share points.

You can fine-tune the basic share points with Mac OS X Lion Server, which is available as a software package from the App Store nowadays. It's not terribly practical to try to hack this yourself on the command line. While it may be possible to just mess with the server daemon's configuration files, it may be more trouble than its worth when you could just disable the built-in server and install Netatalk.

Really, the easiest option if you just want to open up parts of your computer to specific logins, would be to create "sharing only" user accounts, allow them access to specific share points that you manually define in System Preferences, and disallow them access to the public folders.

  • thumbs up for the great answer, i never knew about this automatic sharing of user folders when logged as the respective user, and boot disk sharing if logged as an admin. I thought this was some freak runaway of my settings, but if it's intentional, i don't mind it. – Alexander Aug 23 '11 at 14:58

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