Profile Manager, Custom Payloads Settings & MCXRedirector

I’ve recently bitten the bullet and decided to start converting all of my old Workgroup Manager settings and plists in to Profile Manager settings. Most of these are pretty simple GUI configurations, but I always had some custom plists in WGM for managing other things not covered by the GUI. In this first instalment, I’m going to be looking at converting old settings from in to something Profile Manager can understand!

I’ll start by saying that I decided to do these manually. I wanted to make sure they were as clean as possible, stripping out any old un-needed code (the clients I’m currently managing with WGM are on 10.6.8 – so overdue an upgrade!). I’ve seen people recommending converting existing plists so you can import them in to Profile Manager – I’m not going down that route. I’m going to be managing 10.10 clients using a 10.10 server install. I’ve done all the usual set up so that Profile Manager is ready to go, and I have a test client in there waiting for settings!

Open up Profile Manager and head to the computer (or in my case Computer/Device Group) that you want to set preferences for.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 09.35.03

Click Edit under the Settings tab and scroll down to the Custom Settings section. You can see I already have some custom settings in here – I may cover some of these in another post.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 09.36.02

Add a new Preference Domain and name it “”.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 09.38.11

Now, there are lots of things you can do here with regards to removing folders, or creating symbolic links. The main aim for me was to make sure that the Library folder didn’t get stored in the Active Directory home folder, so I had it redirect locally instead.

So the settings in the above screenshot show how to do this. Create a new Array, and name it ‘LoginRedirection’. Add a Child Item to that which will be named ‘Item 1’ type ‘Dictionary’ – you then want to add the Items in that you want to manage. So in this instance, the Action is to ‘deleteAndCreateSymLink’ determine the destination path and the original path.

You can also set ‘LogoutRedirection’ settings. In this example, I have the payload empty the users trash when they Logout using ‘deletePath’.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.05.34


Here are all of the options for the MCXRedirector values:

  • deleteAndCreateSymLink: Deletes the target folder in the home folder and creates a local symbolic link in its place.
  • renameAndCreateSymLink: Renames the target folder in the home folder and creates a local symbolic link in its place.
  • deletePath: Deletes the target folder in the home folder.
  • deleteSymLinkAndRestore: Deletes the symbolic link and restores the folder that was renamed by the renameAndCreateSymLink action.

Anything else people would like to see covered in Profile Manager? Drop a comment below.


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  • Simon

    Is anyone else running a 10.10 server with 10.10 clients yet using Profile Manager?

    I’ve hit a couple of snags mounting AD Home Directories in to the Dock – so if you have done this, please leave a comment for discussion. Thanks.

  • Aaron

    I’m looking to deploy 100+ iMacs and want to exclude ~Movies and ~Library from the syncing process on login and logout – will the above work?

    • Simon

      Hi Aaron,

      It will indeed.

  • Mark Miranda

    I have a need to modify the /etc/syslogd file to redirect desktop syslog entries to a centralized linux syslogd server. I could not think of a way to do this other than perhaps to use a launchd job that would periodically copy syslogd from a network location. I am not confident though that I can use a custom payload to create a new launchd job. Can you think of a way to accomplish either of these tasks via profile manager?