7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 9, 2012 1:08 AM by CL Tech
CL Tech Level 1 (0 points)

A new issue has cropped up in our environment that sees a Users folder having its core folders names changed during a profile synchronisation that occurs when a user logs in or logs out.


Essentially everything is renamed with a -network suffix. So Documents becomes Documents-network, Desktop becomes Desktop-network etc and aliases for the redirection are also created. This seems to result in that the next time they login they cannot see network shares that are usually on the Desktop including the Dropbox.


Given the restrictions on the accounts the students cannot rename their folders (have verified this myself), and to return them to normal I have had to rename the folders via sudo terminal commands so I think I can safely dismiss user action as the culprit.


The Macs are wired up via Ethernet and Airport is disabled, additionally they are set so that they do not sleep so network connection should be consistent. All clients are on Snow Leopard 10.6.8.


The oddity about it is the seemingly random nature in which it occurs, it is not always the same person or same Mac which is why I suspect theres an area of fault in the synchronisation process.


We have had this setup for nearly 2 years without this problem occurring, it has only cropped up in the past few weeks.


For now I appear to be able to manage the problem since our Mac numbers are relatively low however I cannot continue to treat the symptom and need help in flushing out the cause of the problem.

Xserve (Early 2009), OS X Server
  • hoosierchick2012 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi CL --


    The reason you are getting -network behind the names is due to a sync conflict.  i.e. Workstation file is older than the server or vice versus.  Probably at one point in time, a selection was made to keep both files on a conflict (click happy people/kids) can do this -- and one of the settings is to make it the default.


    I forget where you change this option.  One thing that you can do to reset the sync -- is to remove ~/Library/FileSync folder as well as the hidden file .FileSync that is located in the root of the user's home folder.  I also push permissions back through the  folder as well.  I think jumping from machine to machine can sometimes corrupt permissions (depending on the state of the workstation last used).


    You can delete the -network files -- however, if they have stickies or a bookmark file, I'd keep both.  It is likely that the desired file is actually in the -network file.  The other one, is an empty and fresh file.


    You might also use sudo du -hs ./* on the root of the users directory -- this will tell you the file sizes of the home folders.  The bigger the home folder, the more likelyhood of having sync errors.


    Hope some of this info helps you --Hoosierchick

  • CL Tech Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay that makes sense, I have had a little look for the preference files and at the Sync preferences file in WGM.


    I have noticed some keys within it for default settings for conflict resolution that could be set.


    There is an option in that to say network home wins the conflict by default, is there any potential problem with setting it like that? E.g would modifying a document on the client machine create a conflict in the sync when logging out causing the older network version to be kept?

  • CL Tech Level 1 (0 points)

    Actually disregard my last reply. I have created 4 new keys in the homeSync to say when a user logs in network always wins conflicts and logout mobile homes win the conflict.


    Hopefully this will resolve the problem but time will tell.

  • CL Tech Level 1 (0 points)

    To update, I still appear to be having issues with the profile synchronisation. I purged all local accounts from the Macs as well as Server filesync folders.


    Still some users get a conflict resolution window despite settings in the com.apple.homeSync that is to stop this from happening. Some users still also get the -network prefix that would be expected should they choose copy.


    I do not believe the keys are incorrect but the keys relevant to this are as follows in Name, Type, Value


    Login Non-preference Sync Conflict Resolution    string   networkHomeWins

    Login Preference Sync Conflict Resolution    string   networkHomeWins

    Logout Non-preference Sync Conflict Resolution    string   mobileHomeWins

    Logout Preference Sync Conflict Resolution    string   mobileHomeWins


    Override Home Sync Prefs   boolean   true

    Override Preference Sync Prefs   boolean   true


    So the question would be, why after deleting sources of the old FileSync settings and forcing an override to the login/logout conflict resolution would both instances still occur?

  • iToaster Level 3 (735 points)

    To add to what hoosierchick2012 said I've also seen this behavior ( creation of -network files) when users get impatient waiting for sync to finish and cancel the sync

    Another cause can be incorrect time on client machimes

    This can happen with laptops when users let the battery go flat


    Another problem can be iPhoto library,  syncing it

    can cause issues mainly because the OS sees it as one giant file

    Users only have to open it and that's enough to cause a complete re sync

    Not so much of a problem if users only have a small  amount of photos

    Potentially a big problem when users have a lot of photos

  • CL Tech Level 1 (0 points)

    Well I can eliminate the first one since keys are in place to stop a sync cancel. Primarily the students are on iMacs so they are always powered connected via ethernet. There are macbooks for student use but they are hidden and wired into a monitor as such too always powered.


    I will look into the iPhoto Library area and recheck the clocks but they should all be getting the same time from the domain.

  • CL Tech Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay I have went through all the sync keys and purge of both FileSync again server and client side. The -network is definitely only created by the conflict resolution default to maintain 2 copies.


    The problem is there are keys in the com.apple.homeSync that I posted earlier should have eliminated this decision for the user, yet it doesn't.


    Other keys in the same file to disable sync cancellation work, as do items to include and exclude and when to synchronize, all are enforced.


    The only other keys I see left that can be added are to do with suppressing sync errors, but I wouldn't have thought conflict resolution would be classed as such which is why currently I have not added them.


    Any thoughts as to why the sync conflict resolution wouldn't be working? All keys are under the Always setting if that makes a difference.