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In my office, we have 10 iMacs that are used by freelance graphic designers. Staff come and go so people will switch around and use different machines.

Our company email is set up using Google Apps and we like to have this set up with Apple's default mail client rather than using the web interface.

We also have a Mountain Lion server in our office that we want to use for network login.

My question is: Is there a way for a user to log on to any iMac on the network and straight away be able to pick up their email in Apple Mail without the need for Mail to rebuild the database?

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If you are willing to setup network accounts on the Mountain Lion server and your network infrastructure is fast enough to support it (ideally gigabit ethernet) that would be a good solution as every user will be able to login to access their home folder via the network account. However, this is very eaasy for me to say and not so easy to implement.

DNS has to be setup flawlessly and you have to enable Open Directory on the 10.8 Server. Then you use Profile Manager. You can view Apple's (limited) documentation here:

Once network accounts are configured, there are two options when a user logs in to their network account for the first time: connect to the network Home folder over the network OR mobile sync. The second option might be better so as to keep from overloading your server when many users are online at the same time. HTH

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Are you talking about simply accessing google webmail through the mail client or are you talking about accessing archived mail as well? Do they keep archived mail locally on their computer? As far as having mail automatically load the correct mail profile for the logged in user, you could look into using a login hook which is a script invoked by the loginwindow process that runs with root privileges and references the currently logged in user with the $1 parameter. Assuming your user email addresses look the same as their login names, you could have the script load an email profile via the login hook script. If you want users to be able to access archived email, I imaging you would have to keep their email databases on a network drive so that they could be accessed from any machine.

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