We are running OSX Server 10.7.5 in our small office. On the machine, in the Server application, I have each employee setup as a user, with file sharing turned on.

This allows each employee to login to the server via Finder and access shared files.

Is it possible to allow these users to change their passwords somehow? Or is the only way to do it, to give the Admin their new password and he enters is into the Server app for that user (which is a horrible idea imo)?

Also, on our server, these users are NOT users on the OS itself, they are only users in the Server application. The only user on the OS is Administrator.

A while back at a different company I remember accessing an OSX File share via Finder and it asked me to change my password. So I thought there was an option for an Admin to set this for a user in the file sharing, but I can't find it anywhere. Basically looking for some sort of "Force user to change password on next login" checkbox...

  • You might get a better answer a Server Fault, as any linux tool for this will work on a mac. I suspect the feature you saw a long time ago has beem dropped, these days OS X server is just a light wrapper around UNIX, Apple has decided not to try and compete with Microsoft as they always did a far better job anyway. You need ro be able to write scripts to do anything custom on a UNIX server, I could put one together in an hour or so. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 18:33

2 Answers 2


I think you would need to make them actual users, and then give them screen sharing access to the system.

Or, you could give them SSH access and write some kind of shell script (perhaps embedded in an Automator/AppleScript application) that changes the password using unix tools.

Or, you could enable Apache server and write a PHP application that changes the password from a webpage. This is what I would do but it's only a good idea if you're capable of doing this in a secure fashion.

  • Are those seriously the only options? How does Apple actually expect a real business to expect to use OSX Server as a legit and secure server? Giving people unnecessary SSH or screen sharing access to a primary file server is opening up a world of potential security problems. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 16:36
  • 1
    The options are as good or better than any other UNIX platform. Microsoft is the only company in the world that offers GUI tools for this stuff as far as I know. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 18:19

The users should get a "Change Password" button in the authentication dialog when they connect to the server (see the screenshot in section 1 of this MacWorld article. If your users are set up to connect automatically, they may be skipping this dialog, but they should be able to manually disconnect and reconnect, and get the change password option.

You can also set a password policy to require users to change their passwords. The easiest way to do this is with Workgroup Manager, which in 10.7 is part of the Server Admin Tools package. Install it on the server, run Workgroup Manager, authenticate as the directory administrator, select the user(s) you want to force password changes for, then select the Advanced tab, click the Options button, and select "Password must: Be changed at next login".

Note: if the Options button is dimmed, you may not be authenticated as the right administrator. If I understand your setup right, you have Open Directory service set up as a master, and you'll have a separate Directory Administrator account you need to use here. Click the padlock near the top right of the WGM window, and reauthenticate as needed.

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