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Snow Leopard, Small Business Server 08, and Existing User Profiles

Posted on 2010-11-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi Experts,

I am trying to join a few Snow Leopard systems to my SBS 2008 Domain.  I am able to bind to Active Directory, and most things seem to be working.  I have a somewhat serious problem though:

The Mac's have been in use for sometime so the users have their own profiles already configured.  When I join to AD and then log on with my domain user name and password it creates a new local profile for that user, just as with Windows.  In Windows I would just rename the profile directory or use a tool like Profwiz to do the trick.  Anyone know how I could do it here?

I tried the same trick (rename the user's home directory on the Mac) followed by some chmod/chown attempts but no joy.

Help!

Thanks!
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Question by:dandnet
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Expert Comment

by:Britt Thompson
ID: 34225255
Renaming isn't going to work because the users have a new UID and old profile is attached to their old local UID. You may be able to get it to work eventually by running chown, changing the UID or chmod but I doubt it would work smoothly. You can log in with the new user and type "echo $UID" to see the ID of the new user and type "dscl . -list /Users UniqueID" to see the list of local users' ID's and attempt to chown/change the UID associated with the files: "sudo find . -path "./Volumes" -prune -o -user <old user id> -exec chown <user name> {} \; -print" but this will render the old account useless.

I recommend simply changing the permissions for the old user directory files that are needed and copying them over to the new profile...Desktop, Documents, Music, Movies... and maybe some specific preferences like bookmarks, com.apple.printpresets.plist and you'll have a much smoother transition as opposed to forcing an old profile to work. I've tried to make this work and I ALWAYS run into ridiculous permissions issues with the accounts.
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Expert Comment

by:dccj
ID: 34225972
My experience is that there is not enough gained for the effort trying to gets Macs to play on Windows domains. Better to just connect shared folders and printers using domain credentials.
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Author Comment

by:dandnet
ID: 34226407
Thank you, Renazonse.  Would be benficial for me to just copy the entire contents of /Lib/Preferences?
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Expert Comment

by:Britt Thompson
ID: 34226751
I wouldn't copy the entire preferences directory because you're going to have to alter the permissions on every file in there for it to work...if you want to give it a try you can always rename the newly created preferences folder and replaced it with the modded old prefs folder. I've just run into too much trouble in the past with trying to do that. The worst thing to lose is the keychains and that's not going to get migrated no matter what you do.
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Author Comment

by:dandnet
ID: 34227156
Thank you.  I actually meant HOMEDIR/Lib/Prefs....  I see what you are saying.  Maybe since it would be just that particular users preferences (and since only one user uses these machines) I'll give it a shot on one and see what happens?

Thanks again!
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Author Comment

by:dandnet
ID: 34276535
So I think I'll be taking ICCC's advice and forget adding the machines to AD.  I'll use IMAP for the email.

I'm replacing an OS X Leopard server so I need to know if there is anyway I can export the mail from the IMAP folders on it and import them into Exchange.

Any ideas?
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Accepted Solution

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dccj earned 1000 total points
ID: 34277651
According to Apple, the Snow Leopard email client  directly supports Exchange, so can't you just copy the emails into the Exchange folders? I'm naive on how Mac email clients work, so this may be a stupid question!
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Author Comment

by:dandnet
ID: 34278076
Snow Leopard supports Exchange, however if I do not authenticate via Active Directory I cannot use delegates (for Calendar) which is key for me.  Thanks anyway!
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Assisted Solution

by:Britt Thompson
Britt Thompson earned 1000 total points
ID: 34278108
dccj is correct, you can definitely just drag and drop the email from one account to another using IMAP or Exchange. If you were using Entourage or Outlook 2011 they support delegation and are highly operable as Exchange clients...the machines do not have to be joined to AD in that case.
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Expert Comment

by:dccj
ID: 34435143
Oh, last thing. Outlook 2011 only supports Exchange mode with Exchange 2010, not 2007 or 2003.
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