Enterprise Mac Managed Preferences / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


Many systems administrators on the Mac need a way to manage machine configuration after initial setup and deployment. Apple’s Managed Preferences system (also known as MCX) is under-documented, often misunderstood, and sometimes outright unknown by systems administrators. MCX is usually deployed in conjunction with an OS X server, but it can also be used in Windows environments or where no dedicated server exists at all.

Enterprise Mac Managed Preferences is the definitive guide to Apple’s Managed Client technology. With this book, you’ll get the following:

  • An example-driven guide to Mac OS X Managed Preferences/Client technology
  • Recipes for common use case studies and patterns
  • A targeted approach appropriate for any sys admin that manages Macs in an OS X or Windows environment

This is the only book that focuses on this facet of OS X exclusively. If you’re a sys admin, this book will take away much of the pain of working with OS X client systems. Even better, both of the authors are very involved in the Mac community—Greg Neagle is part of the MacEnterprise steering committee, and Ed Marczakis the executive editor and an author for MacTech magazine and a member of the Apple Consultants Network.

What you’ll learn

  • The Managed Preferences system and how to manage it
  • All about Directory Services and Local Directory Services
  • How to work with property list files
  • How to deliver files with Open Directory, ActiveDirectory, local scripts, third-party utilities, Puppet, LANRev, Casper, and more
  • How to work with compositing preferences, including the hierarchy of preferences
  • How to write a Plist for management, using Workgroup Manager and Dock Example
  • How and when to enforce Managed Preferences
  • How to understand manifests
  • What recipes to use and when
  • When, how, and where to use mcxquery, System Profiler, and MCX Cache flushing

Who this book is for

This book is for systems administrators using Mac clients.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Manage?
  2. What Is the Managed Preferences System?
  3. Understanding Directory Services
  4. Property List Files
  5. Writing a Property List for Management
  6. Delivering Managed Preferences
  7. Local MCX
  8. Compositing Preferences
  9. Enforcing Managed Preferences
  10. Preference Manifests and “Raw” Preferences
  11. Recipes
  12. Managing Mobile Accounts
  13. Troubleshooting Managed Preferences
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781430229377
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 8/18/2010
  • Edition description: 2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Marczak is key figure for Macintosh operations at Google. Ed is also the executive editor and an author for MacTech Magazine and a member of the Apple Consultants Network.

Greg Neagle is a senior systems engineer for a large animation studio. He serves on the board of directors of MacEnterprise.org and is a regular columnist for MacTech Magazine. Greg has presented several times on Macintosh management topics at Macworld San Francisco and Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference.

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