10.5: Manage users and groups using a GUI tool

Nov 09, '07 07:30:00AM

Contributed by: bfad

With the upgrade to Leopard, Netinfo Utility is nowhere to be found. The thing I found most useful about Netinfo Utility was the ability to modify user and group information. I have often used it to add myself to some of the System groups. In Leopard, you can create and manage users and groups from the Accounts System Preference, but there's no way to view or modify the built-in users and groups.

Doing some research, I discovered Netinfo had gone the way of the dodo and that everything was built on Directory Service Nodes, which got me thinking of Mac OS X Server. In fact, you can use the Workgroup Manager from the Server Admin Tools to view and edit system accounts. Here's how:

  1. Download the Server Admin Tools for 10.5 directly from Apple.
  2. Install the server tools and then launch Workgroup Manager (/Applications » Server » Workgroup Manager).
  3. When prompted, put in localhost (without the quotes) for the address, and your admin user name and password in the appropriate fields and then hit connect. [robg adds: A comment on our queue review site indicates you can just use the Server » View Directories menu item.]
  4. You'll get a warning about working in a local directory node; just ignore that and press OK.
  5. The Accounts option should be highlighted in the toolbar, and you should see the users you've created on your machine. Above the search box are tab buttons for users and groups, and to other tabs we'll ignore.
  6. Choose View » Show System Users and Groups from the menu to see all users and groups on your machine.
  7. You can now edit many of the options you could change in the old Netinfo. For example, in the groups tab you can go to the Members area to add or remove users
Warning: You should not play around with these settings if you don't know what you're doing. It is possible to break certain parts of the operating system, or to render it unusable. This hint is meant to give people who were used to using Netinfo Utility for specific purposes a different GUI for accomplishing the same thing in Leopard.

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