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Can I use OS X Mobile Account Sync to make it easier for a user to move to a different mac and have their email, favorites and other settings available.

Posted on 2016-09-22
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Last Modified: 2016-10-23
I have about 10 users on iMacs that are all added to an AD domain. Generally, they work on the same machine all of the time, but occasionally, when they have a problem, I need to move them to a spare. If they all login using their AD accounts, can they move to a different machine and have their email and other settings already in place by using the Mobile Account Sync feature?

In general, is there a benefit to using Mobile Accounts on desktop Macs?
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Question by:Michael Gray
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Tim Lapin earned 250 total points
ID: 41810737
Not necessarily.

If you wish your users to be able to move from one machine to another with ease, perhaps a Network Account (with a network home folder) would do the trick.  Such an account authenticates against a network server AND will access the same home folder regardless of which machine he or she is using.

The single most basic requirement for the above to work is a fast and reliable network connection.  Any break in the connection will freeze or break the user's session.

A mobile account adds some redundancy by copying the user access rights as well as the home folder to the local machine.  This redundancy eliminates the problem of network loss.  The downside is that there is now a permanent duplicate record of that user's account on each machine that he or she uses.

Here is a link to a page that explains it quite well:
http://community.centrify.com/t5/Express-for-Mac-Tips-and-Tricks/The-Different-Types-of-Accounts-on-Mac-OS-X/ba-p/12324
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by:serialband
serialband earned 250 total points
ID: 41811928
Mobile accounts are generally used for Laptops.  It stores a permanent local account that authenticates to AD.  It's not what you want if the user needs to move from place to place.  You'll need an OD server to better manage home folders, or you'll need to get PowerBroker or Centrify to manage that to
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