Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account System 10.5
If you're like me, you like Leopard's new guest account and how it is flushed of all data between logins. How nice it is for house guests to be able to log in while visiting, and have no remnants of their activity remain when they leave.

But that darn Dock. What guests are going to want to use Address Book or Garage Band? And for my guests who have never used a Mac before (most of them), where's the Web browser? What does Safari do? How nice it would be for the Guest account's Dock to have only Firefox in it. But if I change the Guest Dock, the Leopard default Dock comes back the next login. Here's a way to set up the Guest account's Dock however you like, and have it automatically come up at each login -- and this doesn't involve hacking the System folder like some other hints floating around out there.

Here's how to do it:
  1. Download and install the Leopard Server Admin Tools from Apple.
  2. Make sure the guest account is logged out.
  3. Open Workgroup Manager, which you just installed as part of step #1.
  4. Select the guest account and click Preferences in the tool bar.
  5. Click Dock on the right side. Click Manage Always at the top of the window. Add and remove the Dock items you want in your customized Dock.
  6. Uncheck Merge With User's Dock" at the bottom of the window.
  7. Quit Workgroup Manager.
Done! A custom Dock for the Guest account that comes up with each new login.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
    •    
  • Currently 3.57 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (7 votes cast)
 
[47,447 views]  

10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account | 18 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the '10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: bonaccij on Feb 14, '08 08:08:32AM
Tried this, but Workgroup Manager doesn't let you log into your computer if you aren't running server... Not sure how you did this... I have a screen shot .....

---
Jeffrey Bonacci
ACD, Partner
Manik Grafik

http://www.manikgrafik.com
jeffrey@manikgrafik.com

[ Reply to This | # ]

10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: macshome on Feb 14, '08 02:03:26PM

Once you launch WGM just select Server > View Directories to see the directory services that Mac has access to.

Your local DS will be there.

---
http://www.afp548.com
Breaking my server to save yours.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: BiL Castine on Feb 15, '08 05:40:34AM

use "localhost" as the server and a local admin username and password



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: chrisfriend on Feb 14, '08 08:22:46AM

I got it to work fine. The fact that it *did* work when I'm not running server was something I never would have expected. I entered 127.0.0.1 for the server address and used an admin name/password, and things worked wonderfully.

Better still, this didn't overwrite any of the other customizations I had made -- Workgroup Manager only adjusts the files it actually needs to change.

(Of course, tinkering with other settings for things like System Preference access is a nice added bonus to this whole process.)

Thanks for the time-saver!



[ Reply to This | # ]
/System/Library/User Template
Authored by: redjar on Feb 14, '08 08:36:46AM
You can customize every aspect of the guest account by setting it up, then copying all the prefs etc. to /System/Library/User Template
When the Guest account is generated, this is where it takes all the prefs from.

This may already be covered in another hint... but here's a couple details.

Here's a quick script to copy all the settings over (after first making a backup)

tar cfz /tmp/user_template_backup.tar.gz "/System/Library/User Template"
cp /Users/Guest/.DS_Store "/System/Library/User Template/English.lproj/.DS_Store"
rm -R "/System/Library/User Template/English.lproj/Pictures"
cp -R /Users/Guest/Pictures "/System/Library/User Template/English.lproj/Pictures"
rm -R "/System/Library/User Template/English.lproj/Library"
cp -R /Users/Guest/Library "/System/Library/User Template/English.lproj/Library"
rm -R "/System/Library/User Template/English.lproj/Desktop"
cp -R /Users/Guest/Desktop "/System/Library/User Template/English.lproj/Desktop"

We're now using the Guest account on our public machines.

More information is here:
http://www.michaelsmac.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=394

One gotcha is that whenever you create a new regular account on your machine, it also uses the User Template data. So it will also get these defaults. If you are concerned, make a backup of the virgin User Template folder and put that in place when you need to make a normal user account.

[ Reply to This | # ]
/System/Library/User Template
Authored by: Apfelmaennchen on Aug 02, '08 02:54:43AM

Sorry, but editing "/System/Library/User Template" is a REALLY cumbersome solution to the problem, since whenever you add another user, it will be "blessed" with the exact same layout as the guest user.
This is quite intolerable to me - besides, the tip from the original post really works nicely and when you click on the "Details" tab, you can add other plist-files as you please!
(The only thing, that doesn't work as expected so far is customisation of the mouse settings)
Cheers,
A



[ Reply to This | # ]
Re: /System/Library/User Template
Authored by: jiclark on Dec 04, '08 12:05:24PM

I hope someone is still following this thread...

I've been using this hint to get a small Library computer lab set up with custom Guest accounts. For the most part, the Workgroup Manager makes it really easy. HOWEVER, I'm struggling with how to get apps like Firefox and the M$oft Office suite to work in this way. Firefox, Word, etc. look for specific folders every time they open in the Guest account and (understandably) act like you're opening ‘em for the first time.

In short, there's got to be a way to combine the Workgroup Manager technique with actually editing the "User Template" contents, so that the Firefox ‘Profile' and the ‘Microsoft User Data' folders can be included in the User Template. Not to mention the fonts, etc. that Office wants installed...

Anyone have any suggestions for this??

Thanks!!
John



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: rmanke on Feb 14, '08 10:22:20AM

Is there a way to do this with a managed user?

I would like to restrict my kid's access to the network settings, and would like it if they didn't even see the icon for it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: googoo on Feb 14, '08 11:10:47AM

Try enabling Parental Controls for the kid's account in the Accounts pref pane.

-Mark



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: miniwarmth on Feb 14, '08 06:21:54PM

If you have setup the account as 'Managed with Parental Controls' then you should be able restrict your child's access quite easily. System Prefs->Accounts->Parental Controls- then click 'Only allow selected applications' then select(or don't add any of the Utilities or Network apps.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: TonyT on Feb 14, '08 02:58:44PM

" for my guests who have never used a Mac before (most of them)"

Well, Apple already thought of that! Just use "Simple Finder" for the Guest Account, and then enable Parental Controls, and select only FireFox (and whatever other app's you want your guests to use!)



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: BaldEagle on Feb 14, '08 03:58:05PM

Wow, yeah the simple finder tip is great, especially if you don't want to pay the $499 for the Leopard Server Admin Tools!!!



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: miniwarmth on Feb 14, '08 06:24:05PM

BaldEagle -

Actually, Server Admin Tools are free; click the link posted in the tip.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: gecko2 on Feb 15, '08 06:21:39AM

Well, Mac OS X Server costs $499

But the Server-Admin Tools are available for free on apples site



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: Solarusdude on Jun 01, '08 07:01:48PM

I've found the Workgroup Manager to be tremendously successful in customizing the dock for the guest account. One thing I've found is that things will work better if all your account settings for Guest are made entirely in Workgroup Manager. That is, if you've customized the dock in Workgroup Manager, any parental controls you set up should also be in Workgroup Manager and not from System Preferences.

Before doing that, I had the guest account set in System Preferences to use Simple Finder and was frustrated when the dock didn't respond to any of the changes I've made in Workgroup Manager. However, when I deleted all the parental controls for Guest in System Preferences and re-applied them in Workgroup Manager, I was able to use both Simple Finder and a customized dock.

One other thing that I ran into was that both Camino and Firefox run erratically in the Guest environment and I'm not sure why. Safari works fine, however.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Create a custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: jiclark on Nov 19, '08 07:14:36AM
FYI: there is now a version of the Server Admin Tools specific to 10.5.5:

http://support.apple.com/downloads/Server_Admin_Tools_10_5_5


[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Changing the username for the Guest Account?
Authored by: Celos on Dec 05, '08 09:56:17PM

Does anyone know of a way to rename the Guest account? I want to rename it to "Visitor" for a couple reasons. First, my parents and in-laws are used to it and any confusion is bad confusion when they want to use the computer.

Second, and more to the point, my (regular) username starts with Gu-, and on the login screen listing typing "Gu" selects "Guest". When I'm not paying particularly close attention (which is often), I type "Gu," hit Return to have it select the user and prompt me for my password, and instead it logs me in as Guest and I have to log back out and then login as myself.

It's frustrating. I've poked and Googled (though not yet tried the Workgroup Server tips in this thread for customizing the dock) and haven't found anything. Any ideas?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Snow Leopard custom Dock for the Guest account
Authored by: beej69 on Apr 17, '10 01:36:21PM

this tip mostly works for Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6), too, but one needs to download the correct version of Server Admin Tools (currently 10.6.3) from http://support.apple.com/downloads/ and then enable the display of the account "Guest Account" (UID 201) via View -> Show System Records



[ Reply to This | # ]