Figure 5-8. Using Workgroup Manager s inspector tab to look at raw directory data in Font

Encoder Quick Response Code in Font Figure 5-8. Using Workgroup Manager s inspector tab to look at raw directory data

Figure 5-8. Using Workgroup Manager s inspector tab to look at raw directory data
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CHAPTER 5: Writing a Property List for Management
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Ensure that the drop-down menu displays the type of directory record you re looking for, and choose the object. You should find a record named MCXSettings. Highlight that record and click the Edit button underneath the list of attributes. The screen in Figure 5-9 will appear.
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Figure 5-9. Editing the value of a directory record attribute in Workgroup Manager
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Ah ha! This is the result of our earlier work in the pure-GUI portion of Workgroup Manager: it did write an XML .plist file. It takes that .plist file and writes it to a record in the directory. Better yet, you can edit it here, too. This includes copy and paste. If you re using a third-party directory to manage your Mac OS X machines, and have extended the schema of its directory with the Apple extensions, don t ignore Workgroup Manager as a utility. You can still create your preferences using Workgroup Manager, inspect the raw data, copy it, and then paste it into the directory that your machines are actually bound to.
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NOTE: Speaking of directories, the directory you re using likely has an LDAP interface. This includes Apple s Open Directory, Microsoft s Active Directory, OpenLDAP, and others. If you re an advanced user, you may be tempted to use the ldapsearch command or other LDAP tools to reach into the directory and manipulate MCX data. The Apple tools actually encode and decode MCX data as needed, so you may not be successful. Outside of the ldapmodify command, to get a blob of information into a record, the standard array of ldap commands will be of little use when it comes to MCX attributes. Often, you ll need to get at these raw property lists in order to manage third-party, nonApple preferences.
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Managing Non-Apple Preferences
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As shown earlier in Figure 5-5, Workgroup Manager has many predefined categories of preferences. Inherently, though, these categories are limiting. Only the preferences that Apple thought to display are exposed (purposefully or otherwise). Additionally, there are many non-Apple preferences that you may want to manage. Thankfully, Apple did include a way to handle this. As mentioned in 4, preferences are part and parcel of Mac OS X s user defaults system. A well-behaved application will use the proper programming interface to save preferences according to Apple s guidelines and not come up with a new scheme of the developer's choosing. Fortunately, most every modern application will actually conform to the user defaults method. How do we allow Workgroup Manager to work with these non-Apple preferences After choosing an object to set preferences for and clicking the Preferences button in the toolbar (shown earlier in Figure 5-5), the default view presents the Overview panel. Choosing the Details tab on this panel reveals a way to add arbitrary preferences (Figure 5-10).
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Figure 5-10. Workgroup Manager s preference details tab allows you to add arbitrary preferences.
Using the Preference Details view, you can import preferences from any application that stores its preferences in the standard Apple .plist format. This includes third-party applications. We ll delve into this topic in more depth in 9, and 10, Recipes, contains several concrete examples that should solidify this for you.
The dscl Command
The dscl command----short for directory service command line ----is the command-line equivalent of Workgroup Manager. Some steps may be a bit more tedious, but there certainly is one huge advantage that dscl has over Workgroup Manager: the ability to be used in a script and automated. Of course, that doesn t mean you should ignore Workgroup Manager in favor of dscl; they complement each other nicely.
CHAPTER 5: Writing a Property List for Management
Originally introduced in Mac OS X 10.4, as of Mac OS X 10.5, the dscl utility gained specific extensions to handle MCX data. This coincided with another change in moving from 10.4 to 10.5: gone is the proprietary Apple-only NeXT-holdover of the NetInfo directory that existed prior to 10.5, replaced with the current local directory service based on open XML .plist files. dscl is your command-line interface to this directory. Let s look at how this command can be used to manipulate directory information.
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