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10.5 Server: Force certain folders into managed clients' Docks OS X Server
I have recently discovered a solution to a long-time annoyance of mine with 10.5 server and managed preferences for 10.5/10.4 clients: How to force the Applications and Downloads folders into the Dock.

I 'took apart' and examined the com.apple.dock.plist file and found the options for the Applications folder and the Downloads folders. If you simply place these folders into the Workgroup Manager (WGM) area for dock preferences, you end up with a broken downloads folder and an Applications folder that won't show its contents. Instead, when you click on Applications in 10.5, you just get a new window instead of the list of its contents.

The secret is to take a com.apple.dock.plist file and take out everything but the entries for Applications and Downloads. Use this file in the Details tab of preferences plists that you can force out -- don't forget to make it 'always' for enforcement. After that, go back to the Dock preference area in WGM and finish your settings, including the Documents folder and any apps you want to see on the dock.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.5 Server: Force certain folders into managed clients' Docks
Authored by: Creator1326 on Jun 18, '09 08:22:03PM
I am the submitter of this tip and you can download my com.apple.dock.plist file here: http://www.jdchs.org/downloads/com.apple.dock.plist.zip It already has Applications and Downloads set in it.

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