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January 14, 2008

Leopard and Active Directory

Many of Mac users at the U of M are finding themselves now interacting with the University's central Active Directory service. A while back I took a shot at writing a utility using AppleScript Studio that would help smooth the process of configuring Kerberos, getting a ticket and mounting AD shares over smb in the Finder.

Under Leopard, the built-in process is now much simpler than the app I wrote and as such the only useful part anymore is the configuration utility. I've separated out that functionality and updated the configuration file it uses to work better with 10.5.

A beta build has been circulating and has tested well so far. If you'd like to try it out, you can download it from For the curious the utility merely pulls a copy of from my personal web space down to your computer at /Library/Preferences/ Both the utility and the file will be moving to the main UMNAD site soon.

Once run you can mount your shares by going to the Finder's Go menu and selecting Connect to Server... then enter in your shares in the Server Address: field in the form of smb://$ where dept is your server name (usually your department name) and share is your share name (often the same as your server name). I highly recommend clicking [ + ] to add your shares to the favorites list.

The Finder under 10.5 can now mount sub-directories at the root so if you had a personal folder at smb://$/people/me it would show up in the Finder as a server volume named "me".

There is a bug right now where the shares do not show up properly under the Finder's SHARED column in the Sidebar. My recommendation is to:

  1. Go into the Finder's Preferences
  2. Under the General tab:

    • enable Connected Servers under Show these items on the Desktop:.

  3. Under the Sidebar tab:

    • disable Connected Servers under SHARED.
    • under DEVICES enable the Computer item.

You can then see all your mounted shares on the desktop and by clicking on the name of your computer in the sidebar.


Welcome to APPLE-B. This is meant to be a companion piece to the ever-popular apple-l mailing list. Multiple authors will be able to submit tips, tricks and even ask the occasional question about Macs and how they're used at the University of Minnesota. Much of the content here will likely be courtesy of other fine publications on the web. Our main goal is to collect useful information for U of M Mac users.