Editing Property Lists with plutil

I stumbled over these option this morning. I do not know when they were introduced, but I can see the options in 10.11 and 10.12. You can see them yourself with plutil -help. (The options are not listed in the man page.) Note: Managing and editing Property List files and preferences is covered in much more detail … Continue reading Editing Property Lists with plutil

Demystifying `root` on macOS, Part 2 — The `sudo` Command

As mentioned before, the recommended way of gaining super user privileges from the command line in macOS is the sudo command. The name means ‘super user do’ and will perform the following command with root privileges after verifying the user running sudo has the permission to do so. Part 1: Demystifying root Part 2: The … Continue reading Demystifying `root` on macOS, Part 2 — The `sudo` Command

defaults – the Plist Killer

Last week, fellow MacAdmin Kyle Crawford has discovered that on macOS High Sierra the defaults will delete a property list file with invalid plist/XML syntax, even when you just attempt to read data. Erik Holtham has a more detailed OpenRadar bug. Patrik Wardle has found the relevant code, which deletes the file when it doesn’t … Continue reading defaults – the Plist Killer

Parse Binary Property Lists in Finder Metadata

For more info on plutil and everything property list related read my book: ‘Property Lists, Preferences and Profiles for Apple Administrators’ macOS and Finder use extended attributes to store plenty of extra information about files. For example, when you download a file in Safari, it stores when a file was downloaded and which website and … Continue reading Parse Binary Property Lists in Finder Metadata

Relocatable Package Installers and quickpkg Update

In my book “Packaging for Apple Administrators” I show a great use of pkgbuild to wrap an application in a package installer: $ pkgbuild –component /Applications/Numbers.app Numbers.pkg If the application is not already in the /Applications folder, you have to add the –install-location: $ pkgbuild –component /Volumes/Firefox/Firefox.app –install-location /Applications Firefox.pkg This is great and wonderful, … Continue reading Relocatable Package Installers and quickpkg Update

Terminal and the Clipboard

Continuing in my informal series of Terminal articles, I’d like to visit two tools that help interact from the shell to a particular part of the macOS UI: the clipboard. The clipboard is the ‘place’ where macOS stores anything you cut (⌘X) or copy (⌘C). Later the system reads from the clipboard (and possibly converts … Continue reading Terminal and the Clipboard