NetInfo Entries for Networked Home Directories

Using a networked home directory requires some non- or poorly-documented entries to be made to NetInfo. Apple assumes you will be using Mac OS X Server, which will take care of creating these entries for you, but if you are not using OS X Server, or are using the command line, then this should be helpful.

  1. Set up a network share, using a tool such as SharePoints. For the examples here, assume your share name is Users, which contains users' home directories.

    You also want to make sure the portmapper is running on the file server. Set RPCSERVER to -YES- in /etc/hostconfig, and either reboot, or start /usr/sbin/portmap as root. Not having this running may cause annoying pauses when accessing your network home directory.

  2. In the clients' NetInfo domain, create an entry in /mounts for the automounter to attach the share.

      "name" = ( "myserver:/Users" );
      "vfstype" = ( "url" );
      "dir" = ( "/Network/Servers" );
      "opts" = ( "url==afp://", "net" );

    After modifying NetInfo entries in /mounts, automount must be told to re-read its configuration. Send it a SIGHUP or reboot the affected client systems.

  3. In the NetInfo entry for the user (in this example, /users/joeuser), add and change properties to direct the system to use the above share. The new property is home_loc. You must also change the home property to point to the newly specified location.
      "name" = ( "joeuser" );
      "home_loc" = ( "<home_dir><url>afp://</url><path>joeuser</path></home_dir>" );
      "home" = ( "/Network/Servers/myserver/Users/joeuser" );