For some reason, some of our Lion Mac Minis are deciding they don’t like living on our Active Directory (throwing up a ‘node cannot be found’ error when you try and bind them). Now, instead of tearing my hair out in despair in trying to get it work, I’ve decided to lose the AD altogether. Instead, I’ve created a local account for the Mac (called ‘Teacher’) and used a shortname and password that can log onto the shared drive for the school. As the Mac is still bound to the Mac Server for preferences etc., it still mounts the shared drive on login and has all of my finely crafted .plist files. But because it’s not having to wait for two different servers before it can login, login wait times are shorter.
I suspect there may be some shortcomings for this approach, but it seems to be working ok so far!
I was listening the the most excellent Out of School podcast by Fraser Speirs and Bradley Chambers and was struck by a comment Chambers made about how they had gotten rid of their Active Directory in their school. Now this obviously doesn’t affect iPads, as they don’t need logging in etc, but what was interesting is how they just had local accounts for their Macs. Here’s why I’m interested…
- One of the annoying parts of using the Macs at the moment is waiting for network accounts to be available when you first turn them on, and then waiting for login to happen. This wouldn’t be a problem any more!
- Another annoying thing is the issues Macs seem to have if you leave a network account logged in for long periods of time. I leave my personal MacBook on all the time and it just wakes up fine, no problem. But network accounts seem to be a lot more unstable, so much so that I encourage teachers to turn off, or at least log off, their Mac at the end of every day.
- Now obviously one would still like the benefits of being able to manage the preferences on a Mac, even if one wasn’t using a directory. Now my understanding of Profile Manager is that it pushes preferences directly to a Mac without the need for a directory as such. Interesting and interestinger!