I'm trying to configure a home network with Windows 2008R2 and Windows 7 / Mac Mountain Lion clients. I have a separate NAS drive, which I want to host all home folders as well as a central store of music and photos.

I'm using DFS on the server to point to the appropriate NAS folders with the following directory structure:

\\server\LAN folders\ServerUsers   (maps to parent users folder)
\\server\LAN folders\CentralMusic  (maps to a single shared music folder)
\\server\LAN folders\CentralPhotos (maps to a single shared photo folder)

I've created group policies such that all users have their home profile under "ServerUsers", but "My Music" points to "CentralMusic" and "My Pictures" points to "CentralPhotos".

This is all working well on the Windows clients, but not for the Macs.

I've edited the user profiles on Server Manager and added a home folder setting to connect directly to the NAS:

Z: --> \\NASdrive\ServerUsers\Username

This nicely maps the "My Documents", "My Downloads" and "Desktop" folders, since they're all subfolders of this location, but I'm stuck with the "Music" and "Pictures" folders. The mac just saves all its content in a subfolder of the home folder rather than using the group policy redirection. I'm completely stuck on how to resolve this.

I suspect I could create an alias / symbolic link to map :

~/Pictures --> \\server\LAN folders\CentralPhotos

but I can't seem to make this work. If I create an alias through finder, it works until the next reboot when it can't find the destination. I haven't managed it through the terminal as I can't seem to work out how to specify the DFS destination.

Has anyone managed to make this work? Are the links the right solution, or is there something better I can do? I'm only talking about a handful of users / machines, so a degree of manual configuration on original set-up is acceptable, if not desirable.

Any suggestions very gratefully received.

1 Answer 1


Have managed to make this work using symbolic links - don't know if there is a better way - but would be interested to hear from anyone who can advise.

The process was somewhat manual, but could probably be automated by someone who knows what they're doing. Here's how I did it for Pictures:

  1. Log on to account on client mac
  2. From Finder, use Ctrl+K to connect to server and specify the path including the AD user name - i.e. smb://username@server/Path
  3. Through system preferences -> user -> login items add the share here, so you know that it will always be mounted at boot time
  4. Now for the tricky bit - I couldn't set up the links while logged on, so I logged off and logged on as another user on the client machine. I used a local account, but I think a network account would also have worked.
  5. Check that the network drive is mounted in finder - if not, repeat earlier actions using ctrl+K.
  6. In the terminal, you should be able to see the share mounted under /Volumes/ShareName - if you mounted it more than once, there'll be a numeric count after each one - you need to use the first one (i.e. without a number)
  7. Go to the home folder of the user you want to modify and delete the "Pictures" folder using sudo rm -rf Pictures
  8. Now create the symbolic link using sudo ln -s "/Volumes/ShareName/AnySubPathYouNeed" "Pictures"
  9. Log out
  10. Log into target account - and the link will be set up

The only problem I've seen with this so far is that you get a server connection warning if you log-in offline. Other than that, it seems to work.

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