Question : OS X Server 10.5 and OS X Laptops Joining accounts to Open Directory?

We recently started working for a School District that has 5 Xserves running OS X 10.5.  We are familiar with apple, but not so much with OS X server.  There are many users listed in work group manager, but we can't figure out how to get the laptops to use that account on the server.

If we look at the laptops with accounts already on them they are referred to as mobile accounts.  However, we have some new laptops that need to be setup for certain students.  we have already created those students accounts in work group manager on the server.  We also found the directory utility on the laptop and associated the laptop with the server in question.  The problem is we can't figure out for the life of us how to get the laptop to sue the open directory account?  We tried creating a matching account on the laptop, but that did not work.  How can we create an account that authenticates against the server on the laptop?  It must also be a mobile account as the students will need to use the laptops at home as well.  

Answer : OS X Server 10.5 and OS X Laptops Joining accounts to Open Directory?

Firstly - you need to go into Server Admin, enable open directory, and make one server an Open Directory Master (if you don't already have one).

Secondly - you need to go into Workgroup Manager which (by default) will show you authenticated as * to the local directory. Any changes you make here are specific to the server, eg local accounts. You need to click the little world icon with the down arrow and choose the OD. Usually this will show up as '/LDAPv3/', if it doesn't choose 'other' and browse to it. It will ask you to authenticate which will be the directory administrator account (not the local server account) that you were prompted to create/enter. If it doesn't prompt you, click the lock on the right-hand side to unlock it, entering authentication details when prompted. Once authenticated you will see a list of users (only two or three by default). Users created here are network users and accessible by your networked workstations. Create the required accounts/groups for your school.

Thirdly - On your workstations, log in as a local account with admin rights, open the 'directory utility', click the padlock (bottom left) and authenticate to unlock it. click the plus icon, choose to add an 'Open Directory' with the ip address or DNS name of your Open Direcory server from the first step. Then in 'System Preferences' , click 'Accounts', unlock the padlock and authenticate (if it's locked), click 'Login Options', and make sure 'Automatic Login' is disabled, and 'Display login window as' is set to 'Name and Password'. Reboot and try logging in using an account created in Step 2.
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