Apple Desktop User Home Directories on macOS High Sierra or later

The Apple desktop systems in the Physics Department running macOS Sierra 10.12.5 or previous are setup with network mounted user home directories. This means that when you login your home directory gets mounted from the Apple file server in /home/username. This is allows you to have the same files and settings on any Apple desktop system.

However the latest Apple desktop systems now only come with SSD or hybrid (Fusion) internal disks because of this any system running macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 or newer are setup with local user home directories stored on the internal system disk in /Users/username and have a hourly two-way file synchronisation between your local user home directory and your network user home directory on the file server.

Home Directory : /Users/username/
File Server Mount Point: /Volumes/username/

This feature is not available on systems which are used by multiple users for example compute servers or systems in the Teaching Lab.

PhysicsSync Automatic Hourly Two-Way Synchronisation on Local Home Directories

Once you have converted your system to use local home directories a two way synchronisation process will run to copy the contents of your local home directory into your home directory on the file server .e.g /Users/username/ <==> /Volumes/username/. This is so we have more than one backup copy of the data stored in your user account. To run the synchronisation manually type PhysicsSync into a terminal window.

A log file of when the synchronisation happens is in the following location:
A more detailed copy of what has been synchronised each time is in:
/Users/username/Library/Logs/PhysicsFFSync (date of sync).log

You may occasionally see a conflict with the synchronisation process and a FreeFileSync window appear. When this happens check which version of the file you wish to keep. More detailed instructions on FreeFile Sync can be found on there website:

If you wish to copy your user settings from your network home directory type PhysicSettings into a terminal window and then logout of the system. This should happen automatically when the system is upgraded.

Categories: Apple | Desktops | Mac | OS X