Edit (tl;dr): I think I may have found the "error" - Guest access was turned off on the /Homes directory. I turned it on and now I can login as a network user. Can someone explain why this is necessary, if indeed it is, and how it's not a security risk?

Mountain Lion Server is having trouble resolving the path for the Home folder when Network users try logging directly into machine.

Using Workgroup Manager I can see my user's home is set up as:

Home URL: afp://myserver.mydomain.com/Homes/meltemi
Full Path: /Network/Servers/myserver.mydomain.com/Homes/meltemi

But I'm unable to log in from Mac Login screen because of an "error". The following gets output to console (full output below):

2/6/13 10:56:05.881 AM  authorizationhost[11031]    ERROR | -[HomeDirMounter mountNetworkHomeWithURL:attributes:dirPath:username:] | PremountHomeDirectoryWithAuthentication( url=afp://myserver.mydomain.com/Homes, homedir=/Network/Servers/myserver.mydomain.com/Homes/meltemi, name=meltemi ) returned 64

However I can ssh into the server but the home folder, again, can't be found:

myserver$ ssh myserver.mydomain.com
Last login: Wed Jan  9 09:37:01 2013 from
Could not chdir to home directory /Network/Servers/myserver.mydomain.com/Homes/meltemi: No such file or directory
myserver% cd /Network/Servers/myserver.mydomain.com/Homes 
myserver% ls -al
total 0
drwxr-xr-x  2 meltemi  nobody   68 Feb  6 10:32 .
drwxr-xr-x  3 root     wheel   102 Feb  6 10:32 ..

But it is clearly there at the root of the server (and made 'available for home directories over AFP' in Server.app:

myserver% ls -l /Homes
total 0
drwxr-xr-x+ 22 meltemi  staff  748 Feb  4 23:23 meltemi
  • Are ACLs set against the directory perhaps? (ls -le) – Rob Moir Feb 6 '13 at 19:20

Guest access must be enabled on the share point used for home directories as no user will be authenticated at the time it searches for the home path to verify it (in your case, it's still lookin for /Network/Servers/myserver.mydomain.com/Homes/ even though it's on the same server). It then mounts the home folder as the appropriate user when it's verified its path.

  • I see. So for OS X Server to be truly secure the network the server is connected to must also be 100% secure? This can't be right!?! – Meltemi Feb 6 '13 at 21:33
  • If public folders (again, you're connecting as Guest, so you can only see home folder names & Public folders) on your file server provide access to sensitive data, then you should be striving for a secure network. If exposing usernames (via home folder names) is an issue, you should also be striving for a secure network. – morgant Mar 28 '13 at 13:56

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