<

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x

Create a Custom Dock for OS X 10.7/10.8

Published on
8,525 Points
2,425 Views
1 Endorsement
Last Modified:
Approved
A common question or need, when setting-up a new Mac for someone would be to make all of the applications, installed, available from the dock. Many people often do not realize an application is installed unless it is in the dock.

Creating a custom dock for all of the users on a Mac is a very simple solution.

The first step is to create a user account, to model the dock we want to implement. Log in as that user and configure the dock as desired. I turn off large-scale magnification, show the indicator lights on the bottom of each application, and use the "Scale" minimize effect over the default "Genie" setting.

Once the dock is as-desired, log off and log in as the root user. The root account must be enabled from the Directory Services applet. OS X disables the root account by default as a security measure. MAKE SURE a long and complex password is given to the root account. Root has complete access to the system and any compromise there could be disastrous.

While logged-in as root, show hidden files for the system by entering the following in the terminal.

sudo defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

(Running the same command with NO in place of YES will hide the files again)

Restart the Finder by option-clicking the Finder icon in the dock, two hidden files will then appear on the desktop.

Go to your user's profile and get into the Library folder, then the Preferences folder.

Copy the com.apple.dock.plist file and paste it into the default user's profile at:

/System/Library/User\ Template/english.lproj/Library/Preferences/

Getting into the default user's profile can only be done from the root user account, which is why we enabled it. One "could" change the permissions on the "User Template" folder, but that is more work than it is worth.

Now, everyone who logs on to the Mac will get the custom dock that was set up before. This will apply to everyone who does not already have a profile on the Mac. Existing users, with profiles, will not have their dock changed.

For good measure, disable the root user account after it is no longer needed. Hackers will try to get in with root before they try any other account. Root exists on all Macs, independent of custom user accounts.
1
Comment
2 Comments
LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
Voted 'yes' above. Thanks, Firebar!
0
LVL 27

Author Comment

by:Jason Watkins
Hi,

Thanks for the vote up and for publishing the article!

Best regards
0

Featured Post

Big Business Goals? Which KPIs Will Help You

The most successful MSPs rely on metrics – known as key performance indicators (KPIs) – for making informed decisions that help their businesses thrive, rather than just survive. This eBook provides an overview of the most important KPIs used by top MSPs.

Join & Write a Comment

Discover the basics of using Outlook 2016 from office 365.
If you, like me, have a dislike for using Online Subscription anti-spam services, then this video series is for you. I have an inherent dislike of leaving decisions such as what is and what isn't spamming to other people or services for me and insis…

Keep in touch with Experts Exchange

Tech news and trends delivered to your inbox every month