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Mac OS X in a Nutshell by Chris Stone, Chuck Toporek, Jason McIntosh

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NetInfo User Interfaces

Mac OS X gives you many ways to modify the information inside NetInfo.

NetInfo Manager

This application, which you can find under /Applications/Utilities, provides a bare-bones view into the machine’s NetInfo database, displaying raw administrative information of directories full of key-value pairs without much in the way of documentation or explanation. Any user can run this application to browse the database, but only members of its admin group can make modifications to it.

See Section 12.4.2, later, for more about using this application.

Command-line utilities

Apple provides a suite of command-line utilities for working with NetInfo. You can use them interactively from the Terminal, or you can write Perl or shell scripts that invokes them and works with their plain-text output.

System Preferences

Several of the standard System Preference panes act as friendly interfaces to very specific sections of the NetInfo database. For example, the Login pane allows a user to modify his own account information as recorded in NetInfo. The Users pane lets an authenticated administrator similarly modify all the machine’s user accounts.

However, any changes made through them could also be made by using NetInfo Manager to directly manipulate the database’s /users/ directory. The panes simply provide friendly interfaces.

Tip

Apple’s Server Admin application provides another interactive view into NetInfo, which is similar to System Preferences except it is aimed specifically ...

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