Because of its UNIX underpinnings, easy-to-use secure file-sharing has always been a hallmark feature of Apple computers and OS X. Every copy of OS X comes with a preset sharing framework, specifically designed to easily allow you to share and receive files, documents, and folders, with other users on your network.
In this workshop segment, you will learn how to activate personal file sharing on your computer, and how to take advantage of the integrated Public an Dropbox folders in your Home directory.
Personal file sharing in OS X begins with your Public folder. Located in your Home directory (see above), the Public folder is designed to be the sharing interface of your computer to the other computers on your network.
Documents, files, and folders placed in your Public folder by you, will be accessible to the other users on your network. They will be able to copy and view your public items on their computers.
The first step in setting up personal file sharing on your computer will be to adjust the sharing settings of your Public folder:
DO THIS ►In a Finder window displaying your Home directory, select the Public folder (see above), and type Command-I (⌘-I) to display its information window (see left).
In the General panel of the folder’s information window, is a checkbox for enabling the sharing of the contents of your Public folder. The checkbox is titled “Shared folder” and its status indicates whether sharing for your Public folder is enabled or disabled.
DO THIS ►In the Public folder’s information window, click the checkbox titled Shared folder (see above left) to enable the sharing of the contents of your Public folder.
Once you have selected the checkbox in the information window, an alert sheet will appear (see below) reminding you to turn on File Sharing on your computer. NOTE: this alert sheet will not appear if File Sharing is already turned on for your computer.
DO THIS ►If the alert sheet is visible, press the Enable button in the sheet, to turn on the File Sharing service for your computer. You may now close the information window.
All of the controls and parameters for file sharing on your computer are displayed within the Sharing preference pane, located in the System Preferences application (see below).
Details regarding the relevant controls are described below:
This content segment is about how the other network users can access your shared items, and how they can share items with you.
The image below is of a Finder window on the computer of another user on your network. It shows how they access and view the contents of your shared Public folder.
As mentioned above, the Dropbox folder in your Public folder is a special folder to which other network users can copy items from their computers to your computer.
Because your Public folder may be accessed by multiple network users at the same time, your secure privacy settings dictate that network users who copy items to your Dropbox folder, are not allowed to see what items have been placed in the Dropbox folder by other network users. This way, only you are allowed to know what items have been shared with you.
When a network user copies an item to your Dropbox folder, the alert shown below appears, informing them of this privacy rule:
Of course, you always have access to the Dropbox folder within your Public folder (see below). NOTE: Folders whose contents are shared, will display a dark gray bar across the top of their Finder windows, indicating their status as a shared folder (see below).