Looking for validation that Profile Manager in Mountain Lion Server can be used to keep Portable (Mobile) Home Directories on multiple Macs in sync with one Network Home.

Users have "main" desktop iMacs and "secondary" MacBooks. We would like to keep their ~/Documents and ~/Library in sync on both machines. (Also need to sync /usr/local/, ~/.bashrc, ~/.rvmrc, etc. etc.)

Wondering, among other things, what happens when both machines are on and try to sync at same time?

Anyone tried this? Success? Pitfalls? Alternatives? Thoughts?


This is still a supported function.

It's something that needs care and tending (like any sync solution) when a burp causes problems, but Mountain Lion server hasn't made it better or worse than recent server versions (Lion, Snow Leopard) in the management and deployment of network home folders that sync.

If you allow multiple log in or true mobile syncing where a copy of the home folder gets literally copied to each Mac - then you will get a sync conflict dialog should there be three edits to the same file and the system can not systematically resolve the conflict.

In practice, the pre-deployed filters work well so that users become accustomed to not opening the same app on multiple computers once they start seeing merge dialogs. You can also modify the sync rules if you have particular problems with a specific software package/file or user.

  • Great, glad to hear it! Do you have a preference, offhand, on how to handle Mail? I'd assume we'd just let IMAP handle the syncing of mail between the different clients. Or should we try to sync ~/Library/Mail/ with Profile Manager? – Meltemi Dec 18 '12 at 20:37
  • Flip a coin and then revisit it in 3 months to see if you picked correctly? You'll likely have storage implications that force a decision about syncing Mail one way or the other. – bmike Dec 18 '12 at 20:42

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