Tested with 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7
As we were switching our environment to a centralized Windows Directory and File Server System, we ran across a problem with setting some default settings for some of our users. we were using a 10.5 Server as a Preference Server to lock down what applications a student could access, to add programs to a users dock, etc. but there were somethings that we were not able to set that we wanted to, like showing Connected Servers on the Desktop or modifying what is shown is the sidebar. This hadn’t been an issue in the past since with an OS X server, the users settings follow them between computers, so the building tech would do it once and it would follow that user. We were not doing this in the new environment, so the setting became User&computer Specific. The below steps set the default settings that are used the first time that a user logs on to create their local profile.
Below are the steps that we took to set this for users.
1) Login as someone with admin access on the machine
2) Enable Root user
- i. Open Net Info Manager (in Utilities)
- ii. Security –> Enable Root User
- iii. Set a password for the root user
- i. Open Directory Utility
- ii. Unlock Directory Utility
- iii. Edit -> Enable Root User
- iv. Set a password for the root user
3) Create a User named Bob
4) Log in as Bob and set any settings. i.e. remove items from the doc, set Firefox as Default, set Firefox’s Homepage, Finder Settings,etc.
5) Logout of Bob
6) Login as someone with admin access
7) Open terminal
8) Enter the following commands (tab completion is your friend!)
su (enter the password you set for root)
cd /System/Library/User\ Template/English.lproj [before 10.5, the path is /System/Library/usertemplate/English.lproj
cp –rv ~Bob/* .
cp –rv ~Bob/.Trash . (10.4 only)
cp –rv ~Bob/.DS_Store .
cp –rv ~Bob/.CFUserTextEncoding .
9) remove the Bob user from the local machine