Sharing Files on Your Mac Network in OS X 10.5

Set up file sharing with other mac users on your local network

Computer file sharing

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Creating and maintaining a home network is all about sharing resources. The most common shared resources are the files and folders on the various computers that belong to the network.

Sharing your files with other Mac computers is a relatively straightforward process. It involves enabling file sharing, selecting the folders you want to share, and selecting the users that will have access to the shared folders. With these three concepts in mind, let's set up file sharing.

This tip refers to sharing files using OS X 10.5 or later. If you're using an earlier version of OS X, refer to Sharing Files on Your Mac Network With OS X 10.4.

Enable File Sharing

  1. Click the System Preferences icon in the Dock.
  2. Click the Sharing icon in the Internet & Network section of the System Preferences window.
  3. Place a checkmark in the File Sharing box. After a few moments, a green dot should display, with text that says 'File Sharing: On.'

Select Folders to Share

Enabling file sharing doesn't do much good until you specify the folders that others can access.

  1. Click the + button below the Shared Folders list in the Sharing window.
  2. A Finder window will open, allowing you to browse your computer's file system.
  3. Browse to the folder you want others to be able to access. You can share any folder you have access rights to, but for practical reasons, it's best to share only folders in your Home directory. You can even create folders just for sharing, such as Homework or To Do.
  4. Select the folder you want to share, and click the Add button.
  5. Repeat the above steps for any other folders you want to share.

Access Rights: Adding Users

By default, you have access rights to your shared folder. But you will probably want others to be able to access that same folder.

  1. Click the ‘+’ button below the Users list in the Sharing window.
  2. A list of the user accounts on your Mac will appear.
      1. You can add any existing user on the list
        1. Select a user's name.
      2. Click the Select button to add the individual to the User list.
  3. You can also create new users to access your shared folders.
    1. Click the New Person button.
    2. Enter a user name.
    3. Enter a password.
    4. Renter the password to verify it.
    5. Click the Create Account button.
    6. The new user will be created and added to the Available User Accounts dialog box.
    7. Select the user you created from the list.
    8. Click the Select button to add this user to the User list.

Set Access Type

Now that you have a list of users who can access the shared folder, you can further control each user's access by modifying the ACLs (Access Control Lists), which specify the type of access that will be granted.

  1. Select a user from the User list in the Sharing window.
  2. To the right of the user, use the pop-up menu to select the type of access rights the user will have.
      1. Read Only. The user can view the files, but can't make changes to them, or add content to the shared folder.
      2. Read & Write. The user can read the files in the folder, as well as make changes to them, or add content to the folder.
      3. Write Only. (Drop Box) The user can't see any files in the shared folder, but can add new files to the shared folder.
  3. Make your selection from the menu.
  4. Repeat for each member of the Users list.
  5. Close the Sharing window when you're done