It looks like I’ve figured out what is causing user’s home directories to be deleted…but hell if I know why. During my time learning how open directory works in a mac environment, I have moved things around between servers a bit. For awhile things were running on server1, then I had to move to server3…etc. I went back and whacked the profiles on all the machines and reinstalled new ones with the updated server settings…but I’m guessing that just whacking the profile doesn’t remove the login server settings. So then, when the new profile is installed the machines are now using 2 directory servers. What I don’t get though is that there is no directory service running on any server other than 3…so if it tries to authenticate against that server why does it let them in?
In any case, it appears to be a client problem which is causing me a huge problem. They probably have some flag set that says “create directory on login”. I wonder if it wouldn’t allow authentication if I actually enabled open directory on those servers with none of the users listed…hrm.