Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Stop sharing of 'Public' folders Network
Once I had setup my sharepoints via the brilliant tip by 'dreness', I became somewhat irritated by the apparent inability to prevent sharing of users' Public folders.

I have a lot of user logins on my machine for various tasks. When hooking into to my OS X box from another machine, this made the volume list include 7 or 8 volumes when all I wanted to make available to guests were just two of the volumes – a technical resource and my music folder.

To disable the default sharing of public directory's you need to take a trip into NetInfo Manager (in Applications/Utilties). Read the rest of the article for the details on the exact steps.

Once in NetInfo select the "users� subdirectory. You will then see all of the users enabled on your machine. You will also see other users with the names daemon, nobody, root, and unknown – leave these alone as they system defined users and do not share a Public folder.

Select the user for whom you don't want to have the Public directory available over the network. Now scroll down right to the bottom of the lower box in NetInfo and you should see an entry named "sharedDir" with a value of "Public�.

Simply authenticate NetInfo (click the lock icon and enter your admin password) and change the "Public� entry to "<no entry>� (type exactly what you see in the quotes, but don't type the quotes). Repeat this step for all users for whom you don't want public folders to be visible (NetInfo will ask you to save each modifaction as you change from user to user). Make sure that NetInfo database is saved after you have made the final change.

Stop and then resart filesharing (I don't know if this step is necessary but I have just assumed so given that creating sharepoints requires this step) and then you will find that you are only sharing the Public folders and sharepoints that you want to.

PS if there is an obvious way whithin the GUI to do this then please let me know. I can't find it ;-).
  • Currently 4.25 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (4 votes cast)

Stop sharing of 'Public' folders | 8 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Stop sharing of 'Public' folders' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
what info?
Authored by: saint.duo on Nov 30, '01 03:26:38PM

exactly what is between the quotes? I just deleted "Public", using the delete key, and saved the changes. Now when I log into my machine, it still shows all of the users, but logging into a user that I deleted "Public" logs into their entire user folder.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Fixed the article...
Authored by: robg on Nov 30, '01 06:37:09PM

Sorry about that! I forgot to quote a couple HTML characters. The article is now right, and this method works (I just tested it).


[ Reply to This | # ]
unsharing public
Authored by: eagle_eyes on Nov 30, '01 07:04:05PM

Another way to unshare public folders is to use BatChmod to change the access level of the public folder. All that I did was not make it available to everyone and it no longer showed up on the list of mountable folders.

My only question... is there away to to not have the users own directory show up when they log in remotely via apple talk or TCP/IP?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Another way
Authored by: rave2k on Dec 01, '01 02:15:04AM

You can just remove the entire sharedDir entry, it has the same effect.

[ Reply to This | # ]
for multi-user environment
Authored by: jimr on Dec 02, '01 05:01:27AM
For management of a multi-user environment and setting a site policy, this is the way to go,

however, an individual user still has the capability to turn off sharing of the Public folder by setting the priveliges in Get info dialog.

Just turning off sharing of your individual Public folder to everyone is sufficient.

coincidentally, I had read a post on some other forum which made me aware that , in fact, though I was not allowing remote access of any kind, my Public folder was visible on the net.

So, the most important thing is the awareness factor.
This post also points out a critical difference between the "ordinary" Mac file sharing in OS9 and this current one. Guest access was activated in the guests tab and there was a specific checkbox which said "allow guests to connect" Now, "Public" is shared by default.

As some one else pointed out to me, "why do you think it is called PUBLIC?"

thanks for the wake-up call....

[ Reply to This | # ]
SharePoints 1.5
Authored by: mhorn on Dec 02, '01 06:48:41PM

SharePoints 1.5 now handles Public folder sharing management. You can download it at

Sorry for the commercial, but I thought people might like to try it out.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Error in hint
Authored by: Slaphead on Dec 03, '01 06:23:19AM

Where the hint reads "<no entry>" it should read "<no value>"

Sorry about the error and I'll be more careful in future.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Simple way to stop guest access.
Authored by: josephaw on Sep 17, '03 11:27:31AM
Follow this Mac OSX Hint article.
Click on the "Stop Guest Access Link"
MacOSXHint to stop sharing as guest. That'll do it, without deleting anything.

[ Reply to This | # ]