First, an open letter to Apple:
Your own support technicians have acknowledged that there is a serious bug in Lion Server that causes permissions to become corrupted, which has been present since the initial release of 10.7. Despite doing my due diligence in applying updates as they are released, this problem still strikes randomly and without warning, bringing our company's production to a halt every time. Per your own technicians admission there is currently no way to prevent the corruption from happening, making our server little more than a ticking timebomb with an unpredictable fuse. The best any of your staff have been able to offer is advising me to reset all permissions on all files and directories back to default, remove all shares, and delete all users and groups, then reboot and set them all back up. This is downright absurd! As if that wasn't bad enough, this "fix" only works part of the time. When it doesn't work, your staff advises me to wipe the server completely and start over from scratch. Seriously?
I suppose you can't expect much more than that when you pay $50 for a "server". Any idea when you are going to get your proverbial poop together and fix your critically flawed product?
And now a few questions for the Support Community:
So has anyone managed to find a workaround for Apple's auto-corrupt "feature" they've added to file system permissions and sharing?
What about the part where you have to add a user/group two-to-ten times before it will finally stick in the Sharing & Permissions list? And the part where when it finally does stick, you have to change the Privilege to what you want another two-to-ten times before that will finally stick?
I'm almost afraid to ask, but is there a way to get Server.app > Storage and Finder > (shared item) > Get Info > Sharing & Permissions to agree so I don't have to set them both up separately, twice, to keep from immediately getting corrupted permissions?
Of course, I could always use terminal, but then I could have just bought a PC and installled Ubuntu Server...
The Backstory (for those who feel like an amusing read):
Originally, I had our shiny new Lion Mini server set up as an Open Directory box to manage our users and groups as well as our various file shares. This resulted in the above summarized problem occurring within a matter of hours. After quite literally days spent on the phone with Apple Support, and involvement by several different technicians and supervisors, the consensus was that I needed to format the drive and re-install from scratch. At the time I didn't think much of it since it was a brand new Mini server with a brand new OS (we were one of the first to try out Lion Server), and I hadn't done too much work getting it set up yet -- so I followed the advise and all appeared well... for about a day.
Then it happened again. More hours, technicians, supervisors and another format/reinstall went by, this time with the added advice that I forgo our plans to have an Open Directory server and just use the built-in users/groups. Since we're a smallish company, I again acquiesced and (re)built the server, from scratch, again, following Apple Support's recommendation to the letter. This appeared to work great, so over the course of several months we slowly moved terabytes of data from all of our workstations onto the server and began enjoying the extra productivity having a central repository afforded us.
Naturally, it happened again right after I finally got everything set up (files and shares that is, I had lost interest in iCal, iChat and AB server by this time). Fortuantely I was already running backups so it was a quick (hours instead of days) matter to rebuild the server, again.
Thank goodness they didn't screw up Time Machine.
So here I am again with a growing list of users that can't do their jobs because they can't open their files and/or can't save their files. This has all worked fine for about a month, and nothing has changed during that time. The server just decided on it's own that it will ignore all the permissions that have been laid down.
I suppose, in truth, real Lions do indeed act this way in the wild...
I fixed all my problems by making sure my DNS was solid and resetting Apache.
The following articles were used:
Solid DNS appearantly is the foundation on which everything falls back in OS X Server.
Hope this helps anyone...
p.s. The Mac Mini Server is NOT going back. 10.7.3 is also close to release, so I'm confident that it'll all work out for the better.