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OS X Mountain Lion Server For Dummies by John Rizzo

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The Nightmare of Networked Notebooks

When notebook users take their notebook to another location, in or out of the office, what happens to the users’ authentication information and data when they disconnect from the network? How can the users continue to log in to their notebook and access their documents and other data away from the network directory and file sharing? The answer is the mobile account.

Unlike other accounts, a mobile account caches the user’s account credentials on the local hard drive. User data could be stored on the local hard drive or a network volume, but the local hard drive makes the most logical sense in this configuration.

To go even further, you can configure a mobile account to have a portable home folder. Building on the mobile account, a user’s home folder is synchronized between a server volume and the local drive. Synchronization occurs at login and at predetermined intervals. The directory administrator configures the intervals.

This choice gives notebook users freedom of movement while maintaining their data on the server and local drive.

Here are some other options for accounts and home folders that can be used for notebook clients:

check.png External account: Like a mobile account, but the user’s account data can be stored on any volume connected to the client, including an external USB or FireWire hard drive or a USB flash drive. That volume can be removed ...

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