Network file serving advice


I've just been charged with designing a mac service for our College and wondered what you guys did with regard to hosting home directories on a network file server, or is that not recommended?

We're quite a large Windows shop already and each new researcher will get a Mac but I'd like them to be able to log in (via AD) and get to their home area wherever that Mac is. We won't have any hardware running OS X server - so I guess SMB access is the way forward?

What about laptops, I've heard that Portable Home Directories are bad? How do you manage them, and how do you cope with folks who have a Mac desktop *and* laptop?

Thanks for any advice.


Contributor II

If they're not going to be swapping computers around (it sounds like they won't be), then you can just do mobile account (cached AD credentials) with a forced local home directory.

For those using both a desktop and a laptop - I'm fond of the "anything you need to be accessible from anywhere, save to a file server" method. But that's just my $0.02. PHDs are bad mojo in my opinion.



So, if I were to store user data on our existing Windows File Server, would my best bet be to soft link the whole /Users directory to the SMB share?