The State of Mac Computer Labs 2023

New Contributor III

Hey there,

It's that time again folks! We're revving up to upgrade our Mac computer labs at the university this summer. Last time, in 2019, we traded in our Network Accounts with mobile home folders for NoMAD Login when we upgraded from macOS Mojave to Big Sur. While the just-in-time user creation of NoMAD Login is certainly slick, the AD home folder mounted as a share instead of the symlinked home folder we could get with Network Accounts has caused some headaches since last time around. Namely, students have been accidentally saving files to the local storage, leading to a search party for their missing data and lots of time wasted that could have been better spent elsewhere.

I know that Network Accounts and linked home folders were far (very far) from perfect, but this file-saving mess was never an issue before. So here we are, ready to upgrade once again and looking to overhaul, or at the very least lightly revise our user management. That's where you come in, the infinitely competent and charming Jamf community! I'm dying to know:

  • How are you managing your computer labs and multi-user Macs? What technologies you use, what paradigms you follow etc. I'd like the juicy details about how users access their data!
  • Is there a best practice that you swear by? What's your secret sauce?
  • Last but not least, are you actually happy with how your environment is working? Let's keep it real, people.

I'm all ears, thank you kindly!


New Contributor III

I wish I could say that we have a better solution.  We are still using direct AD mappings but that will eventually need to change as AD moves to Azure/cloud.
.... eagerly watching the thread for ideas also.

New Contributor II

We still bind to the domain and tell users to not save locally in these instances. Running Monterey. I just run a script each month deleting profiles that havent been logged into in 2 weeks in classrooms, and then I wipe all profiles daily on full open area macs. We have Jamf Connect, but don't use it in/on multi user devices yet. I'm constantly looking for best practices to better that situation, so I'm also watching for other ideas.

I'm mostly happy with the plan as it is. Most of my gripes deal with the iMacs with Fusion drives they bought before I got here, and trying to make them faster.