5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 26, 2011 8:57 AM by colinwebster
macink Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Currently we, family of four, are using a Mac Mini server and two Macbooks over a wifi network. The performance is not always great so in an attempt to improve it I have changed one user from a network user to a mobile user. The set-up was easy enough using the default settings and it created a mobile user on the macbooks. But the sync process is not stable.


This is  what happens testing the syncing by switching between the to laptops making only specific changes like creating a new file, change the dock or e-mail preferences,


- the sync process claims that local and network files are both changed, which should not the case.

- the sync process is slow, even with one small change it updates hundreds of files

- complete directories are gone on one of the laptops and the server

- the icon in the top of the screen sometimes claims that the laptop has never been synced.

- preferences are not synced between the laptops


In all it does not work. Do you use mobile users successfully in a similar environment?? Please share your experiances.





  • 1. Re: Who is using mobile accounts succesfully
    VincensoXFIN Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    I have been testing and trying out the mobile users for a while now. The environment is not quite the same, but maybe it could be compared at some level.


    Our institute has around 60 users total working in two offices / departments separated by 20km or so. Some of the people work in both departments, some just in one, so they need to be syncing files time to time to the different department. We only have 2/2MB connection between the departments, but 100/100 in our main office (gigabit infra in both departments). The connection speed turned out to perform very weakly for jus using the network home, so I thought, the mobile directories could work here. Yeah, they actually do. Still, there are few problems.


    I get reports of sync errors now and then, and the problems are mostly in iTunes, iMovie and iPhoto. Don't know, but they are the only problems for us. They just won't sync. I tried to bypass them but have not quite figured it out yet. Everything else seems to be syncing OK, and the 2MB connection is enough to change only the new/changed files over the internet.


    We have few laptop users as well, and until now, they have not reported any problems with sync.


    How did you configure your sync settings? I am using the default options what WGM suggested, and they seem to be working (mostly). Only thing I changed for 2nd department, is that the sync will happen only when logging in or out and between that with 1 hour delay. The home is created to the main volume. Account expiry is always managed, but homes are never deleted. User has the option to use only the network home, if inside our main department. All the Rules are always managed, but I did not change much, only tried to skip all iMovie and iTunes related, without success.


    Do you sync in the same network as the server (internally)? I don't see why the speed would be slow inside the same network, unless your servers network settings are off. Btw, the difference here is that we are using Mac Pro for server. I heard that Mini is kinda poor with the home syncing, it lacks the power. But I tested our mini server with home syncing without much of a problems some time ago, everything worked smoothly. But have not tried mobile users with the mini. And if you only have few clients, I don't see why the server  would be slow, because with mobile users you are mostly working locally.


    Maybe look into your DNS and network settings and check Mobility settings in WGM

  • 2. Re: Who is using mobile accounts succesfully
    macink Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your reaction, I still hope for a few more reactions. Nevertheless it pushed me ahead to do some more testing. As usual there are multiple problems to tackle. First there was a problem with the DNS as you suggested. After testing a different hardware configuration the settings were wrong. After fixing this the sync process cancelled half way and never completed. By copying the files manually it appeared that the calendar folder was causing the problem. After setting up the calendars from scratch the process worked and is still working on one MacBook. The movies, pictures and music folders are excluded in the WGM. Loging in and out takes about 1 to 2 minutes. 

    The next steps are to include the music and the other folders and to sync on the other (slower) MacBook. See what happens. I still like to make it work although it is for sure not out of the box. Depending if there are more reactions I will report the results.

  • 3. Re: Who is using mobile accounts succesfully
    macink Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    No further response so there are no more mobile accounts users out there. I will probably give up as well as the sync process does not work anymore.

  • 4. Re: Who is using mobile accounts succesfully
    Pamela Sudore Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Don't give Up ! I am using mobile accounts and would like to collaborate .

    Have you given up? Please advise where you are at.


  • 5. Re: Who is using mobile accounts succesfully
    colinwebster Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey Maclink,


    I have used PHD/Mobile accounts for a while, they are not very reliable but most issues can be resolved by deleting the filesync folder on the client machine (found in the users library Folder). You should then get a prompt asking you where the uptodate data is (netork or local) choose and resync.


    I tend to create a local admin account on each client, then if the PHD is playing up you can log in as local admin and delete the mobile user from system prefs/ accounts.


    I also tend to set up calendars and address books manually rather than allow the directory binding to do it, therefore simply adding a cal/card dav account to the apps.



    Another thing is that if you set your mobile user as an admin on the client machine the Sync preferences will be ingnored and the whole user account is synced, its best to have the mobile user as a non admin account.


    I Hope this helps.


    Message was edited by: colinwebster typos