User Accounts preferences on OS X allows separating User Accounts from the System files on the principal Hard Disk drive. I have attempted this configuration on three different mac computers. Unfortunately, this excellent idea has a short life expectancy, because inevitably user permissions become hopelessly compromised. After seeking support from Apple Care services, I was told that although Apple facilitates the utilization of this process in System Preferences, in practice it cannot supply the user any support when trouble arises.

It occurred to me, that putting a user account on a server and the system files on a client computer, the disruption of permissions could be avoided. Is this a feasible plan to implement on Snow Leopard and later OS?

  • How do the permissions get compromised, the only thin that Apple does for the user accounts is set the permission sin the ~ directory and the standard ones
    – mmmmmm
    Aug 1, 2013 at 13:02
  • I'm sorry if I am mistaken, are you using Directory Server?
    – Shane Hsu
    Aug 1, 2013 at 13:15
  • Sorry, been out of town.
    – user54323
    Aug 19, 2013 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


If you just link the home folders to a afp share, this does not work! You have to setup a directory server and maybe even a profil manager via the Server.app on your mini server.

  • At the time the question was posed, the computer was simply a mac mini running Snow Leopard. From your reply, I take it you are referring to a mac mini running the server app. Correct?
    – user54323
    Aug 9, 2013 at 19:47
  • yes, I referring to the server app/version. I think you need to upgrade to 10.7 or 10.8 and setup a Directory Server via the Server.app Aug 11, 2013 at 21:53
  • Since the original question was posted, I have a Mac mini running Mountain Lion and the Server app installed. I know zilch about servers. Fortunately the server app is straightforward, but I'm not too sure of myself.
    – user54323
    Aug 19, 2013 at 14:03

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