Migrating OSX computers from an old domain to a new one and keeping your users profile

  • So this is a bit of a rip from a blog that has this laid out, but their instructions kind of suck. With the blog you lose things, like file attributes. This is just a cleaner approach to doing this. But it's here if you want to read it.

    To start, backup the user profile, you can do this by backing up the profile to the computer you are working on, or to an external disk. I use an external disk as it keeps things clean.

    From an root terminal
    cp -Rapfv /Users/Username /Volumes/External/Username

    Once the profile backup is complete, delete the user profile from within System Preferences > Users & Groups (include the Home directory)

    Also in Users & Groups > Unbind the Apple computer from the old domain, and join the new one.

    Now would also be a good time to perform any updates if those are required.

    Reboot the laptop

    Once the laptop is restarted (and updated) and on the new domain. Have the user login to the Apple computer with their username.

    Once the user is logged, you now need to restore their old user profile. To do so, log out of the domain user account and use the local admin account to open a root terminal and run cp -Rvapf /Volumes/External/Username /Users/Username

    Lastly, if the username changes (likely it does) you need to set the user as the owner of their profile.

    chown -Rv Username /Users/Username

    Reboot once more and have the user confirm that everything looks good.

  • Fixed a small typo.