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Three Share Points that Apple Assumes You Need (But You Probably Don’t)

After a basic install of Mac OS X Server, the Share Points tab includes share points named Groups, Public, and Users. These are the default share points that Apple creates for storing group folders, folders available to all users, and home directories, respectively. You don’t need to use these default share points and can safely remove them and/or create other share points for the same purposes. Personally, I find the idea of a single Public share point, in particular, very limited and have never used it. Share points work best when configured for specific groups or users or specific purposes. Thus creating your own share points is often better than using the Public one.

Likewise, there are advantages to not using the default Users and Groups share points. Chief among these is the fact that home directories (and, to a lesser extent, group folders and share points of any kind) should be placed on disk arrays for increased performance, if possible, and they should be located on servers close to the workstations of the users who will be using them. By custom locating where these share points exist within a single server’s file system or across multiple servers in a network, you can enable a much improved user experience.

The exception to this rule is that the User’s share point is the default location for storing Windows profiles if a Mac OS X Server is functioning as a Windows domain controller. It can be time-consuming to configure alternate profile locations on the Open Directory master server for a network because you will be forced to manually create a profile folder for each user. For this reason, you may want to keep the User’s share point available if you plan to support Windows users (but you don’t need to use it to store home directories).

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