Home Sync Settings


We are currently trying to move away from WGM and move towards just managing all of our settings with Casper. The one setting that we are having a problem getting to work is Home Sync. This is mostly on 10.6 machines with managed preferences, but also have tried it on 10.7 machines with profiles and neither seem to work all that well.

We are just trying to sync the users Documents and Desktop folders. I am just wondering if anyone has gotten this to work and could give me some advice or if anyone has a better idea for how to do this. We were thinking of just writing a script in Self Service (rsync) and have people back up on their own.

Just wondering what other people are doing for backing up files, any ideas would be much appreciated.




Hi, we are just starting to look at this and wondered if you had any success and could share your findings?

Honored Contributor

I haven't quite tested this all that much but there is a binary nested in the Managed Client app in OS X called 'createmobileaccount.' This binary has options to create a mobile account, sync options, and home folder location, and so forth.

located here:

t-lark:Resources tlarkin$ pwd

basic usage:

t-lark:Resources tlarkin$ ./createmobileaccount 
createmobileaccount built Dec  8 2011 21:19:30
*** error: no arguments

usage: createmobileaccount -n username [-h homepath] [-P | [-p password]] [-e] [-q] [[-x] | [-X]] [[-s] | [-S]] [-u syncURL] [-t urlPath] [-v] 
-n username : user record name.
-h homepath : user home path; Default is "/Users/<username>".
-p password : user password.
-P : prompt for user password. A user password is required to create a FileVault home.
-e encrypt : encrypt new home with FileVault.
-q quota : max size in bytes of FileVault home.
-x : create as external account on non-boot volumes. Default.
-X : create as mobile account account non-boot volumes.
-s : set home sync on if home created.
-S : set home sync off if home created. Default.
-u syncURL : server target of home synchronization.
-t urlPath : additional path after syncURL.
-v : verbose output.

    createmobileaccount -n jsmith
    createmobileaccount -v -P -n jsmith
    createmobileaccount -vsxn jsmith -h /Volumes/HD3/jhome
    createmobileaccount -vsxn jsmith -h /Volumes/HD3/jhome -u nfs:/server.apple.com/bigs/homes -t myusers/macos/jhome

    - createmobileaccount must run as root.
    - If you do not specify a password, the account's cached password will be created during the account's first log in.

Then maybe you could use MCX settings to manage the home sync options of only grabbing the folders you need. I have never ran this outside of small testing, so I cannot say how it will work in production.

The other thing would be to look at cloud based storage and have an agent (or a third party software app) that automatically backs things up. You could also custom build some scripts as you said, but then you own the whole solution. Whatever you decide let us know.



New Contributor III

Hey Tom

That's crazy, where do you even start going about finding nested command tools like this? Respect.

I know dscl is another tool that inspects local mobile account but just wondering if there are edit/delete binaries of similar nature?


Contributor III
Contributor III


I named him on the mailing list Yoda

Strong with the force he is...