Aalto Public Mac

Mac computers in classrooms and elsewhere in shared use are known as "public" Macs.

Since February 2023 Aalto public Macs are getting a configuration that differs a lot from the old way.

Aalto Macs are managed with a modern MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution. This allows us to use up-to-date macOS versions like Ventura, quite unlike in the old legacy solution.

At the same time we're moving away from network-based home directories and are using local home folders in the computers.

The new system does not use network home folders. When you log in, a new local user account is created. This account is automatically removed every night and also when the next user logs in to the same machine. This means you can log out and back in in the same day and the account is still there, but only if nobody else has logged in meanwhile. Don't count on it.

Please make sure that you store your files somewhere. For example to the "Home" file server. That's where your old-style network home is. You can and should still use it. You just connect to it manually when you want to.

OneDrive is also a fine option.

The local account is not deleted if you're still logged in. This means that if you leave a long rendering job overnight that saves to local disk, it should still be there in the morning. Of course it would be safer to render directly to Home server or OneDrive.

Public Mac login screen
Aalto Public Mac login screen
Public Mac login screen
Login screen

Use your Aalto email to log in:

[email protected] with Aalto password

Temp view after successfull login
Don't mind the temporary black

The screen goes black for a bit while Mac prepares the local account for you

You're greeted with a reminder to mind your data
Welcome to the new desktop

You're reminded of the temporal nature of your visit to the Mac.

Pointers to Home server and OneDrive
Home server in Dock and OneDrive in menubar

The globe icon in the Dock points to Home file server.

After launching OneDrive, it is visible in the menubar.

Finder making sure that you want to connect to file server
macOS makes sure you're aware what you did a second ago

When you connect to file server macOS wants to make sure that you're aware what's going on. It's normat. macOS Ventura will also tell you when you're copying from one application to another. That may feel a bit patronizing, but this way you can tell if some other application is listening to copy/paste and stealing your data. This has already exposed some greedy applications.

Warning you get when an app accesses Documents the first time
OneDrive would want to have permission to Documents folder

Also part of this security mindset, Ventura tells you if an application wants to access on its own Documents, Desktop, Downloads, removable media and so on. Something to get used to.

Session locked
Mac locked while you have a break

The screen locks when you're idle for a while. You can also lock it the from Apple menu when you go to break like lunch. But don't forgot to unlock the Mac when you're done with it! 

After storing your files, remember to Log out.

Use file sharing to access home folder server
Use file sharing, see files in server

FAQ Where are the old Mac classroom files

Files from legacy Mac classroom are in the fileserver "home" (AKA You can mount the old network home folder from the shortcut in the Dock. Or you can connect to home from Mac's menu Go -> Connect to Server…
Note that the name of the old Mac network home folder is "Data".
In the same server there are folders for Windows and Linux homes too.

This service is provided by:

IT Services

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