Portable home directories and mobile user accounts with Sierra
Apple published two articles about the state of portable home directories in Sierra: a knowledge base article about mobile user accounts and an institutional preparation guide for iOS 10 and Sierra. The takeaway is that portable home directories are no longer supported on Sierra. This means that a network home and its accompanying local home will no longer sync. This is probably for the best, as the technology was error prone.
For those admins wondering what will happen to the various types of network accounts when upgrading a desktop Mac to Sierra, wonder no more. I’ll break it down for you:
- A user with a network mobile account will no longer have a syncing home directory. The local home directory will contain whatever was in it at the time of the Sierra upgrade. The network home directory still exists, but updates to it will not be reflected on a Sierra desktop (and vice versa.) The mobile user will be able to login on or off the network.
- A user with a network account configured with a local home directory will have an independent home directory on each Mac. If this type of account is turned into a mobile account, the user will be able to login on or off the network.
- A user with a network account configured with a network home directory will give the user the ability to access his or her home from any Mac on the network. If this type of account is turned into a mobile account, an empty local home directory will be created. It won’t get synched with the network directory.