Setting up Open Directory on Apple’s Mac OS X Server

Apple Store“Open Directory, Mac OS X’s native directory service, allows users to both manage local accounts and to create shared directory domains hosted by Mac OS X Server. With shared directory domains, administrators can create network accounts that can be used to log into computers and to access server-based resources throughout an organization’s network,” Ryan Faas reports for Computerworld.

“Open Directory leverages several powerful technologies, including OpenLDAP and Kerberos, to provide a secure and scalable environment. It provides single-sign on to services within a network, supplies powerful home directory options and sports an extremely comprehensive client management architecture,” Faas reports.

“Despite the complex technologies that make up Open Directory, Apple has made an incredible effort to make the platform easy to set up and manage. While this article isn’t a comprehensive manual for designing an Open Directory infrastructure, it is a guide to the basic configuration process,” Faas reports.

Full article here.


  1. Wooohooo. Just what I need for the house and kids.

    Just kidding.

    This is cool if you are working in med to large companies and need the type of directory and services this provides.

  2. Is Server expensive? Compared to what? Windows Server??? There IS a 10-user version of OS X Server for $499 or so. Were it in the $250 range as Coule desires I suspect many more of us would install it in place of the workstation version just so we could get more comfortable and familiar with it.

  3. Too bad that Apple dropped the ball on the OSX server. I am running one and have been running other PC platform servers for years.

    Why can Apple not make the admin of a web server at least as user friendly as any of the other PC/Linux based server control panels???????? Why?? why??

    And why is my OSX Tiger server randomly renaming the server name, by adding a -1 or -2 or -3 after the server volumne????

    Making it impossible for software to be developed to work on multiple machines logging into the same server.

    Shame on you Apple for dropping the ball, I will have to look for other platforms to host my sites.

  4. You people are out of your minds and obviously know nothing about OS X Server. It is the best and easiest server to use in enterprise and education. I really don’t know why this article has been posted here. We’ve been doing this for years in the IT industry. Using OD and AD with Mac OS X Server. If you don’t know anything about OS X Server then please don’t post a comment about it. The Apple Server Team kicks ass. Keep up the good work.

  5. Mac Tech is 100% right on this.
    Apple XServe/XSAN rock the house.
    And of those Wintel IT Weenies, AD/OD makes Macs rock in the enterprise.
    It’s cheap, and it works like a mofo.

    You who don’t know about it or use it should just STFU now.

  6. I feel I must comment and say MacGuy you need to do a bit of revision before saying OS X Server is rubbish, because my experience is quite the opposite. I’ve set up loads of XServes and they are without doubt the fastest, most reliable servers. OS X Server is incredible.

    Your server is renaming itself? If you are running it as a PC domain master make sure that the domain is NOT the same name as the server itself. Although OS X Server allows you to do this, it can cause all sorts of problems, like the one you are describing. Rename the server, not the domain – much easier.

    As for OpenDirectory, Kerberos etc. it runs like clockwork, as long as you have reverse DNS set up properly. If you don’t have reverse DNS set up, you can have major problems, especially with Kerberos.

    Despite all I have said above, OS X Server is, hands down, the best server on the planet.

    My £0.02

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