Property Lists, Preferences and Profiles for Apple Administrators

Property Lists, Preferences and Profiles for Apple Administrators Summary

Property Lists, Preferences and Profiles for Apple Administrators

(New Update, June 2018!)

These three topics seem minor, but can be a major headache for Apple Administrators. Mastering them will make you a better Apple Administrator.
Property Lists are a common configuration file format on macOS and iOS. Learn about the file structure, file formats and the tools and scripting languages that you can use to read and edit Property Lists.
Preferences are special use case of property lists. Learn about the special considerations and tools you need to work with preferences. Also learn how you can read and change user and system preferences safely.
Configuration Profiles provide and manage pre-defined settings for users and computers on macOS and iOS. Whether you use Apple’s Profile Manager, a commercial Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution like Jamf Pro or Filewave, or an open source management system like Munki, you will learn how configuration profiles work and how you can build custom profiles for many solutions.
Table of Contents
What are Property Lists?
• XML Property List File format
• other File formats
Editing Property Lists
• Text Editors
• Xcode
• PlistEdit Pro
• PlistBuddy
• plutil
• Python
• AppleScript
• Swift
• Overview
• defaults Command
• Preference Domains
• Python
Configuration Profiles
• About Configuration Profiles
• Installing Profiles
• Creating Profiles
• On Hidden Files
• Internet Shortcut Files

Book Reviews


Broken1 star

I would love to read the book, but it won’t open. Just opens for a millisecond and crashes.15

Bruce Carter

Extraordinarily helpful with customizations5 star

This book was basically a lifesaver when it came to setting up custom configurations for our various student computer labs. First rate!55

Jim Ratliff

The book I was missing5 star

I’ve been working on and off, but in somewhat sophisticated ways, with plists and bash scripts to automate setting up preferences for about a year and a half. And I had figured a lot out by myself (drawing on the wisdom of the web), but pretty inefficiently and painfully. Briegel’s book, though, makes lots of things I struggled to figure out crystal clear, and resolves fundamental questions that elsewhere on the web stilled seem nebulous or in dispute. This is a great resource. It’s a text that covers fundamentals systematically. It will save you time and give you confidence.55

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