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10.5: Modify the login window with Workgroup Manager System 10.5
I have always liked the result of this hint (and others like it in 10.4) that allowed me to customize the login window, but a quick search of the archive seems to show that no such hint exists for 10.5 (although I grant that I didn't try this one in 10.5). The existing hints for Workgroup Server don't address the login window specifically. However, I have figured out how to make all sorts of modifications to the login window by using Apple's free Server Admin Tools.

To modify your login window, follow the instructions in this hint to download and install the Server Admin Tools and open Workgroup Manager. (Note that the link I provided in the previous paragraph will download the version for OS 10.5.5. There are other versions as well. Search for "server tools" if you need a different version.)

Now that you've set up Workgroup Manager, here's how to view and change your local settings:
  1. There are five tabs on the left side of the window: a person, several people, a rectangle, two rectangles, and a bullseye. They correspond to users, group's computers, computer groups, and "all records." (Your configuration may not show the bullseye. I may have turned that on in the app's preferences, but I can't remember.)
  2. Click the computers tab (rectangle). Click the lock button on the far right side of the window to authenticate so that you can do some editing. Once you've authenticated, the New Computer button in the toolbar should become clickable. Click it. It'll add a computer to the list called Untitled.
  3. On the right side of the window, in the General tab, give your computer a name and a short name (I chose Mac Mini and mini, respectively).
  4. In the Network tab, fill in the fields with your computer's ethernet MAC address and IP address. (I'm on a LAN, so I used my LAN IP address: In the lower-right corner of the window, click Save.
  5. Now, in the toolbar, click Preferences. Make sure that your computer (mini) is still selected in the computer list. The right side of the window should show several icons with labels. Click the one that says Login. That part of the window should change to a set of tabs with options. Select the Window tab.
  6. From here, you can change all sorts of settings. Change the Manage setting to Always. Be aware that Workgroup Manager does not necessarily import your current settings. Check all settings in the current tab, even the ones you didn't plan to modify, to make sure that they correspond to how you want them set.
  7. To change the login window so that it displays the time, change the Heading menu to Time. Click Apply Now, then click Done. That's it.
There are all sorts of other goodies in here that can be changed, but the standard disclaimer naturally applies: you can really mess up your system using Workgroup Manager, so don't change something unless you know what the effect will be (or you're feeling brave). It may be possible to edit only the settings you're interested in by clicking the Details tab when you're back to viewing all the preference icons, choosing the plist from the list, and deleting the keys in the plist that you didn't intend to modify (the list was empty before I altered anything). But I haven't tried that.
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10.5: Modify the login window with Workgroup Manager | 4 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Modify the login window with Workgroup Manager
Authored by: Solarusdude on Oct 06, '08 12:09:08PM

Those who have never worked with Workgroup Manager, this app is a great way to tighten access for certain accounts (especially the Guest account). You can customize the dock and also lock users out of certain System Preferences panels.

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10.5: Modify the login window with Workgroup Manager
Authored by: engelby on Oct 06, '08 12:33:06PM

Just a so you know... this part isn't adding anything to your Login Window. You can add to the login window by typing in a message to have on the login window, but all this is doing is setting the default heading. If you click where it says your computer name on the login window, it will cycle through all the headings.

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10.5: Modify the login window with Workgroup Manager
Authored by: e_whizz on Oct 08, '08 03:24:47AM
Engelby, just so YOU know (I invite you to actually test this hint).... this does indeed ADD another title to your login window. This additional title is in Black and is a little larger.

The headings under the Mac OS X are also still there (in light grey). You can even set the default one (I use IP address here...)

But there is a another way to acheive this. You can still find Bombich's LoginWindow Manager on the net.

Try this direct link, though bombich has reitred the software and may remove it at any time....


Tis program is quite old, but still works. It does have an error on startup (just click cancel), and you will encounter some errors if you wait more than 5minutes before applying your changes, auth error)

Alternatively, you can use the command line to set all of these options

defaults write /Library/Preferences/ 
With the following pairs of keys/values

    AdminHostInfo oneofthefollowing
    DesktopPicture "/Library/Desktop\ Pictures/Black & White/Pier.jpg"
    DisableConsoleAccess true/false
    HideAdminUsers false/true
    HideLocalUsers false/true
    Kiosk false/true
    LoginwindowText "If found please call Mr. Plow, Klondike-555"
    LoginwindowText-FontSize 18
    MasterPasswordHint "Just guess"
    PowerOffDisabled true/false
    RetriesUntilHint 3
    SHOWFULLNAME true/false
    StartupDelay 10
    showInputMenu true/false


defaults write /Library/Preferences/ LoginwindowText "If found please call Mr. Plow, Klondike-555"

Hope this helps....


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10.5: Modify the login window with Workgroup Manager
Authored by: Baby Bloc on Oct 22, '08 11:36:49PM

Is there a way to have the login screen tell me what the startup drive is? I don't know why I can't find that without logging in.

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