Home Drive Syncing

New Contributor III

As we look to deploy Macs, we want to make sure we can emulate the same options available to our users on Mac OS that they have on Windows. One of these is home drive syncing.

Everyone gets a personal network share, and on our laptops, this share synchronizes with the Documents folder in Windows 7.

I've set up a test machine with a mobile account for myself, and have set policies to enable the synchronization. This seems to synchronize the entire Mac home folder structure to the network share and saves the files in the root of the home folder on the Mac instead of just the documents folder.

Also, synchronizing on login/logout is painfully slow and would end up being more of a burden for our users in the end, compared to the transparent synchronization in Windows 7.

What kind of suggestions might there be to set this up in a better way?


Contributor III

How frequently are you looking to run this?

Can this be a prompt, or should it be automatic?

New Contributor II

For your Mobile account settings are you syncing the "Home Folder" or "Only Selected Folders"?

I am very curious as to what others say for Home Syncing best practices as I'm still experimenting with different ways. I have had the best luck with choosing Home Folders and letting it do one full sync, then I have the user go through the folder list and check only what they care about to cut down on sync times.

New Contributor II

Might be dumb question, but "Home Folder" does refer to the local Mac User folder right????? It looks for content locally and then syncs (pushes) to the network share and then syncs????

I ask because we typically have 2 scenarios:

1) New user with nothing on their network share on a freshly imaged Mac
2) Existing Windows user switching over to a freshly imaged Mac.

I guess I have confusion on how syncing works when you initially kick it off (push vs pull).

Does Apple have any detailed info on home sync best practices?

New Contributor III

Let's see if I can explain a little better:

Windows 7: Users have a network home drive that syncs to their Documents folder.

Mac OS: I want to replicate that. I've gotten the network home to sync to the local home, but it syncs to ~/ and I want it to sync to ~/Documents. Also, the built-in Mac OS mobile syncing is painfully slow.

Is there a way to do this better/faster/with more control of where the files sync to?

Contributor III

I was wanting to do something similar in our environment but never got anything that seemed really reliable or elegant. We have been working with Apple Professional services and they informed us that Apple deprecated the Home Sync feature in OS X 10.6 and it is no longer officially supported by Apple in OS X 10.7+. I would love to hear about what others are doing for this.

Contributor III

Bump. This is an interesting topic. Would love to know what others are doing. I know Crashplan comes up often.

New Contributor

There is very little Apple Documentation regarding MobileHome Syncing (to my knowledge)

Our HomeSync workflow basically goes like this:

  1. Bind to OD in an Administrator account
  2. Run via Remote Desktop: sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/ManagedClient.app/Contents/Resources/createmobileaccount -n <insert OD username here>
  3. Replace ~/Library/com.apple.homesync.plist (the plist that we use is modified with a few extra keys and set to sync every 50 minutes, suppress errors and MobileHome wins for conflicts)