Join Sean Colins for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding ByHost preferences, part of Imaging and Deploying Macintosh Computers.
Okay. In the realm of Gotchas here with Imaging, another, little thing that we need to consider is, ByHost preferences. If you've ever, tried Imaging on your own and you've seen the check boxes for how to deal with ByHost preferences, you may have wondered what they are. Well, here we go. Preference Settings, in the form of the .plist files. A .plist file is just a preference file, written in an XML ml or binary format with an extension at the end of the name that is just .plist, that's all it really is, nothing fancy there, but ByHost preferences are a little bit different from your standard type because they have the UUID of the machine.
On which they were created, the computer on which, the preference was, originally created, is embedded into the name of that .plist file and it's going to be ignored unless it is being read on, the system which created it. So, that's ByHost, a computer is a host, and these preferences are unique, ByHost, so that's sort of where that comes from. ByHost preferences, again, it's that UUID and that's pretty easy to change but, it's something that you just need to be aware of.
Again, it's a check box and if you don't know what it is, I'm not a big fan of, just checking check boxes because somebody tells you to. You kind of want to know what they are and what's going on there. But, deploy studio or system image utilities workflows have the ability to, read the UUID of the computer that's being imaged to, and lift that UUID out, put it into the ByHost preference that's being altered. And, therefore, make those ByHost preferences readable by the new system. This is a very useful thing in an imaging environment, because it's only going to be used by the computer that created it, or, if you've modified the ByHost files, of course, by the computer on which it's imaged.
So, you know, they're not very helpful if they're included in a master in a disk-to-disk based disk utility workflow, right, because, those files simply will be ignored by the computers that get the, image that you're laying down. So if you are doing disk-to-disk, based on a disk utility, workflow, great idea to go in to the user's folders and, delete these ByHost preferences. To give you a better idea of where these are and what they look like, I'm going to break out of the slides here, and we're going to go over and, I'm going to go to the Go menu here, in the Finder and we're going to hold down the Option key on the keyboard in order to see the library folder.
Now this is the home library folder, and we're going to navigate once we get in there. Down to our preferences folder. Once you're in Preferences, you can see here's folder that says ByHost. I'm going to view this as a list, and in order to make this easier to see, and I'm going to spread this out, using the separator in the title bar there, right next to name. And here you can see, I've got a whole bunch of preferences here, all ending in .plist, as I promised they would be. And, here you can see the UUID of the machine, or of the computer on which they were created.
And if I go to about this Mac, and I go to More Info, and I run a system report, that brings up the system information application. And here you can see, this is the hardware UUID of the computer itself. Which, should match and if it doesn't match then that would be the result of an imaging operation, but there you go, 7285d6, 7285d6. So, you can see that those UUID's do match up, and that is what's going on there. So, that explains for you what those ByHost preferences are.
And now you know that if you're using imaging software that can, you want to, ask them fix the ByHost preferences and computer specific files, for you.
- Exploring the monolithic and modular imaging methodologies
- Working with Fusion Drives and Recovery partitions
- Ensuring physical security and installing a firmware password
- Choosing source hardware
- Installing apps
- Building a complete monolithic master for imaging
- Deploying apps and accounts in a modular master system
- Building a base master
- Performing hard-drive-to-hard-drive imaging
- Exploring VLANs
- Performing network-to-network imaging
- Deploying using NetInstall or DeployStudio across a network