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Full Access File Sharing and Support for Groups

Although managing groups and user preferences can be done using Workgroup Manager’s local directory mode, configuring file sharing cannot. However, for this purpose, there is a donation-ware tool called Sharepoints. Sharepoints has been around almost as long as Mac OS X and it enables you to not only share folders outside of the Public folders in Mac OS X but it also enables you to designate which public folders (if any are shared). Sharepoints can also be used as an option for creating local and managing local groups.

Sharepoints has a solid history and a clean interface. It can be used to manage Mac OS X and Windows file sharing. When configuring file sharing, Sharepoints offers many of the same functionality for each file service that is found in Mac OS X Server’s Server Admin application—including logging, automatic disconnect of idle users, and the use of a WINS server and workgroup assignment for Windows file sharing.

Sharepoints also is designed to enable the creation of user accounts used solely for file sharing. Although it does create these accounts, they can be used to log in to a computer from the Mac OS X login window, although they do not have a home directory and as such don’t function properly. However, they do provide access to the computer, which is something that isn’t implied in Sharepoints’ documentation.

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