AFS Mac OS Tutorial

Revised: 7/13/2010

Because of recent bug fixes and improvements to the OpenAFS client for Mac OS X, we strongly urge anyone who had previously installed OpenAFS to upgrade to the newest version.  Please read all instructions before upgrading, as there is an incompatible file that could crash your computer.


1) Download the current installer from
2) Run the installer, and when asked enter the cell name ""
3) Configure settings in the OpenAFS Preference Pane

Basic Instructions

All Users:

You should always check for and install all Mac OS X updates before installing new software.  Please see Apple's instructions if you're unsure of how to update your operating system.

Upgrading AFS from an older version:

Because of recent changes made to both the OpenAFS installer, and third-party utilities, it is critical that you check for an incompatible file before upgrading to current versions of AFS.

The file is named AFSCommander.prefPane.  There are 2 possible places where this file could be...

First, go to the Finder, click on the "Go" menu and choose "Go to folder".  Type in "/Library/PreferencePanes" (without quotes) and click "Go".  If you see “AFSCommander.prefPane” in the window that opens, drag it to the Trash.

Again, click on the "Go" menu and choose "Go to folder".  Type in "~/Library/PreferencePanes" (without quotes) and click "Go".  If you see AFSCommander.prefPane in the window that opens, drag it to the Trash.

Finally, and this is critical, if you did have the AFSCommander.prefPane in either location, you MUST reboot your computer before proceeding.

After rebooting, you can download and install the newest OpenAFS client as described above.  If you need details on configuration, please see the detailed installation instructions.

Installing AFS for the first time:

Go to and download the newest version of OpenAFS for your system. 

For users with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), or 10.6 (Snow Leopard) we recommend that you install the newest OpenAFS 1.5.x client  (Currently and 1.5.75 respectively) 
For users with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) we recommend that you install the newest OpenAFS 1.4.x client  (Currently 1.4.11)


Run the OpenAFS.pkg installer.
The only option you need to set is the "local cell".  Type in "" (without quotes).
Do not enter anything in the "alias" field.
Click continue until the installation is complete.


Go to System Preferences (under the Apple Menu)
Click the OpenAFS icon (at the bottom, under "Other")
Choose the AFS configurations options you'd like to use.  A good default would be to select:
* AFS Menu
* Backgrounder
* Get Krb5 credential at login
* Use aklog

This set of options will display an AFS service menu (gold-padlock icon) in the upper right part of the system menu bar (near the clock, airport menu, etc).  The AFS menu can then be used to sign in to AFS ("Get New Token").  Note that you will be prompted for your "Kerberos credentials".

On Mac OS X 10.6, this is your CalNet ID followed by "@BERKELEY.EDU" (without quotes).  For example, jsmith@BERKELEY.EDU
On Mac OS X 10.5, you need to enter your CalNet ID (jsmith) in the name field, and "BERKELEY.EDU" in the "realm" field.


There are several ways to access AFS on the Mac, but generally the easiest is to have the AFS drive display on your Desktop.  If it isn't already, go to Finder > Preferences and select "Connected servers" under the “Show these items on Desktop” section.
And remember, AFS is always connected, but that doesn't mean you're signed in.  If you try to browse through the folders on AFS but get denied, check the gold-padlock icon to make sure you have tokens.

Detailed Instructions

For more detailed instructions with screen shots, download the pdf here

Please send questions and comments to