It's a security thing.
A server should remain on all the time. That's kinda what it's designed for.
The first time you log in after a restart, it'll allow you to authenticate as anyone in case there's a problem.
After that, only the admin user is allowed to log in. That way network users can't 'do stuff' on your server willy nilly. Even though they may not have admin access to stuff, logging in via the GUI is the first step to being able to mess things up. The server should always remain on and remain at the login screen unless you're working on it.
I don't believe so. Perhaps you could create a local user with a home folder that exists on your network share?
It's a stretch, but it might be possible.
In system prefs. Create a new user. Ensure that they're an administrator.
Open up Server.app In the file sharing section, you'll need to give your new user full access to the home directory in question.
Back in System Prefs.
Right click on your new users' name.
Choose advanced options.
Under the home folder location field, type the path to your user's new home folder.
Click okay, and restart.
Hope it works!
Oddly, this almost solved my problem. Instead of giving a local user permissions to access to a given home directoty I gave the local user the same uid as a network user. The local user dispeared at login. I did the same to my local admin user, giving in the uid of the ldap administrator, I now always get only the 'Other...' prompt at the login screen.
EDIT: And the numptie of the week award goes to ME! I didn't think about switching the login prompt to the user/password boxes, which also solved the problem.