Chapter 36. Managed Preferences

In This Chapter

  • Introduction to managed preferences

  • Planning managed preferences

  • Managed preferences setup and configuration

  • Monitoring managed preferences

A central element to managing client computers and users in Mac OS X Server is the principle of managed preferences. Building on the mechanism of application and system preferences in Mac OS X, which store configuration settings in standardized XML files, managed preferences enable administrators to either set or force specific configurations for network users, groups of users or computers, or across groups of computers.

Using managed preferences, an organization can centrally automate the setup of a customized user environment tailored to specific users or to defined computers. Managed preferences can also be used to enforce security policy, preventing users from installing or launching applications and even turning off hardware features, such as Bluetooth or optical disk burning.

Using managed preferences requires network machines to be bound to a directory domain. When the machines start up, they obtain and apply any managed preferences defined for their computer account and any managed computer groups that their computer account belongs to from the directory.

When a user logs in, he or she is presented with a selection of managed groups, known as workgroups, which may be used to apply additional managed preferences to the login session. Any managed preferences configured for the user's own individual ...

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