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KB-3330: How to set up network home folders for Mac users in Zone Mode

Mac & PC Management Service ,  

26 July,16 at 05:42 PM

Applies to: Centrify Identity Service, Mac Edition

How can an AD user be configured to login to a Centrify-joined Mac system with a network home folder in Zone Mode?


  1. On a network file server, create a folder where all the network home directories will be created.
  2. Right-click on this folder and configure the following settings:
    Sharing tab > Permissions button > Remove "Everyone" > Add "Authenticated Users" > Select "Full Control" 
    User-added image
    Security tab > Add "Authenticated Users" > Select "Full Control" 

    (This is required for initial setup of the network home folders, limiting users to only be able to access their own home folders can be configured afterwards.)

    User-added image

  3. In ADUC, go to the AD user object and right-click and select their AD Properties:
    Profile tab > Home folder section > choose Connect > Enter the folder path in the format:
    \\ [fully qualified server hostname] \ [share path] \%username%
    E.g: \\\ShareFolderName\%username%
    (The username will be filled automatically in place of the %username% token)
    User-added image
  4. Once the user's AD properties are updated, the home folder will be automatically created on the network file server.
  5. Open up the Centrify DirectManage Access Manager / DirectControl console and navigate to the Zone where the AD user has been added.
  6. Right-click on the user's account and select Zone Profile, configure the home path to the following format:
    / [SMB/AFP] /%{user}/ [fully qualified server hostname] / [share path] /%{user}
    E.g: /SMB/%{user}/{user}
    (The username will be filled automatically in place of the %{user} token)
    User-added image

    This is the format used in Hierarchical Zones and can be inserted directly into the user profile's Home Directory attribute as well as the Zone Properties > "User Defaults" tab.
    If using the older Classic Zone, then the following format should be used instead for the "Default Values" tab:
    (Dollar-symbol instead of percentage-symbol)
    This will automatically substitute the user's name into the path for newly added users. For users already in Classic Zones - the user's username will need to be manually added into the path as there is no automatic substitution for existing Classic Zone paths.
  7. Go to the Mac and login as Local Admin 
  8. Open the Terminal and run:
    sudo adflush
  9. Verify that the AD users have now been configured with network home directories by running the command:
    adquery user -h ad_username
  10. The network home path will be shown in UNIX format:
To restrict access of the network home folders so that users can only get into their own network homes, please see the following KB:

For additional information not covered in this guide or troubleshooting assistance, please review the Centrify Online Help or Customer Support Portal at

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