Managing Users and Groups

Mac OS X stores user and group information in the NetInfo database, under /users and /groups, respectively. (This is different than how most other Unix systems do it; see Chapter 9.)

Managing Users Through the Accounts Pane

While direct manipulation of NetInfo gives you the most control over user accounts, the Accounts preference pane, seen in Figure 11-2, contains controls for creating and deleting user accounts, as well as editing various properties associated with them.

The Accounts preference panel

Figure 11-2. The Accounts preference panel

The table on the left side of the Users tab page lists the system’s users, showing their name, login picture, and type (which is either normal user or admin). Double-clicking on a user’s row in this table lets you edit it.

The buttons down the pane’s right side affect the currently selected user or modify the list as a whole.

New User

This summons the sheet seen in Figure 11-3. You must provide a value for every field except for Password Hint. The sheet will choose a random picture for the new user; you can leave this be and allow the user to set his own picture through the My Account preferences pane.

The Login Options tab of the Accounts preference pane

Figure 11-3. The Login Options tab of the Accounts preference pane

The Name text field holds the user’s real, full name. Short Name is for the user’s ...

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