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Question: Sharing Folders - Do I need Mac OS Server

I am currently using OneDrive to share work related documents with my colleague. However, I can access a native folder with the documents on, but she can't. She has to go into the web browser and access the online system.


I am currently looking at purchasing a Mac Mini to run as a server and whilst I do have some experience and training as a programmer, my knowledge of networking etc is limited.


My questions are:


Do I need a Mac Server to house documents that can be shared and accessed natively from MacBook Pro Late 2009 that runs El Capitan and my colleagues Macbook Air that runs High Sierra?


Or can this done without a server? Or both? Are there benefits to doing with or without the server?


And how do I set one or both up?


Kind Regards,


Bobby

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You don't need Server software to share folders/files. You can have common shares centralized (e.g. on a Mac mini) that client Macs can access. For example, you could setup a share (folder) on the Mac mini called WorkDocuments and allow Everyone permission to Read/Write to it. Or specify who has Read/Write permissions.

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Apr 20, 2018 9:16 AM in response to DnBBobby In response to DnBBobby

You don't need Server software to share folders/files. You can have common shares centralized (e.g. on a Mac mini) that client Macs can access. For example, you could setup a share (folder) on the Mac mini called WorkDocuments and allow Everyone permission to Read/Write to it. Or specify who has Read/Write permissions.

Apr 20, 2018 9:16 AM

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Apr 21, 2018 3:03 AM in response to keg55 In response to keg55

Thanks for your reply.


So just to confirm:

I can setup share folder on the Mac Mini or another Mac device (such as an iMac) and setup the permissions as you've described. I'm assuming that this will enable us to have native folders on my Mac and my colleagues mac?


Are they any tutorials for this that can you point me to?


Thanks again!


Bobby

Apr 21, 2018 3:03 AM

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Apr 21, 2018 6:16 AM in response to DnBBobby In response to DnBBobby

I'm assuming that this will enable us to have native folders on my Mac and my colleagues mac?


I guess I'm not sure what you want to do. I thought you wanted a centralized place to house files and folders that can be shared with other Macs. By defining your Mac mini as the "server" you can create shared folders to house files that any Mac can read/write. You simply go into System Preferences / Sharing on the Mac mini and add folders to share. Then set permissions appropriately. You would select the Mac mini in Finder, connect to it and see all the shared folders that you can edit.


If you want to just share your documents on your Mac with someone else, you can share those on your Mac. You wouldn't need another Mac (Mac mini) as a server.


If you Google File Sharing on a Mac, I'm sure you'll find documentation on how to do this with or without a server.

Apr 21, 2018 6:16 AM

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Apr 21, 2018 7:27 AM in response to keg55 In response to keg55

Sorry I guess I didn’t explain myself fully.


Basically, I want to have two or more Macs be able to access a shared drive in a native window. And to confirm what I mean by native with a normal Mac folder not having to use a seperate interface ie web browser for example like OneDrive.


I’m assuming that is what you answered the first time round?


Also would windows users be able to access the shared drive on the Mac mini?

Apr 21, 2018 7:27 AM

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Apr 21, 2018 8:47 AM in response to DnBBobby In response to DnBBobby

Ok. I think I understand and you don't need server software to do what you want.


In the /Users folder you will see a Shared folder. You could use this to share files from all Macs on your local network. You would set the permissions for Everyone to Read/Write. Every Mac has one of these but if you want to centralize ALL files that people can share you have to decide which Mac has the centralized Shared folder. Or if you want each Mac to share its Shared folder you can do that too so that there isn't a centralized folder but rather each person has files on their Mac that they want to share with everyone. All the Macs have to be on the same local area network (LAN)


For Windows I'm not sure. I think you have to have every Mac and Windows PC in a Workgroup.


Finder - to show Shared folder under the /Users folder

User uploaded file

System Preferences/Sharing View with the /Users/Shared folder being shared

User uploaded file

Apr 21, 2018 8:47 AM

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Apr 24, 2018 5:48 AM in response to keg55 In response to keg55

Okay. For a short term solution, I have done this with my MacBook Pro Mid 2009, running OS X El Capitan Version 10.11.6. The MacBook Air that is accessing these files is is running macOS High Sierra Version 10.13.4.


I have hit a minor issue, the Macbook Air, can't write to the folder, despite the permissions being given as read and write. It comes up and says click authenticate, but no option to do this. Is this because I'm running an older version of the OS? I am unable to get the new version, is it a case of this will be the case until I get a new Mac?


I've tried turning this round, sharing files from the MacBook Air, to the MacBook Pro, but same issue.


To confirm, by read and write, I tried opening a file in the Macbook Pro on the Air and it wouldn't let me save or edit the file.


Thanks again,


Bobby

Apr 24, 2018 5:48 AM

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Apr 24, 2018 6:21 AM in response to DnBBobby In response to DnBBobby

In my screen shots for Sharing you will see an Options button. You will also see that SMB is the network protocol needed to share files for my shares on Mac Mini Desktop. I believe with High Sierra, everything is SMB related - meaning your 10.11.6 system needs to authenticate using SMB to access shares on the 10.13.4 system. In the Options button you can set AFP and SMB. If your 10.11.6 system only has AFP specified then you need to also select SMB - and try again.


Have you tried using Finder / Go / Connect to Server and entering smb://<ip address>/<sharename> (e.g. smb://192.168.0.2/WorkFiles)


Some screen shots of what you setup might help me and others. Shots of System Preferences/Sharing and the Options button from both systems.

Apr 24, 2018 6:21 AM

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Apr 24, 2018 7:33 AM in response to DnBBobby In response to DnBBobby

Another thought.... Enable the Guest account on your 10.11.6 system and allow this account to open shares (system preferences / users & groups). Then on your 10.13.4 system, connect to the shares using Guest and see if you are OK.

Apr 24, 2018 7:33 AM

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Apr 24, 2018 9:29 AM in response to keg55 In response to keg55

I’ll get the screenshots to you shortly. I’m mobile at minute - what I did to solve it in the interim is grant permissions on the individual folder but I thought sharing the one folder should give permissions for all sub-folders underneath the main folder?

Apr 24, 2018 9:29 AM

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Apr 24, 2018 9:38 AM in response to DnBBobby In response to DnBBobby

grant permissions on the individual folder but I thought sharing the one folder should give permissions for all sub-folders underneath the main folder?

It should. But, you can right click on the Shared folder and select the option to replicate the permissions through the entire folder. I'm not on a Mac to give you the exact option.

Apr 24, 2018 9:38 AM

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Question: Sharing Folders - Do I need Mac OS Server