Editing the Default User template in OS X

Sys admins use many techniques to modify OS X, some of them involve manipulating the Default User template, or the “English.lproj” folder. This method can be considered ruff around the edges, as their are more elegant methods. But each institution will have different needs & Not all OS X based deployments are designed for developers or students… You may end up designing your experience for a group of old ladies or Artists.. Myself and many other Sys admins have found this method works well.

You can use these instructions in order to customize the default user in OS X.

In the Accounts preference pane of  System Preferences create a new user. I will be calling mine ”test” without admin privileges. Logout and log back in as the new test user. begin making all the modifications that you need to the user. Once you have set everything the way you’d like, Run the following commands from the Terminal.

This command will synchronize your new Test user to the default user template.

sudo ditto -rsrc /Users/test /System/Library/User\ Template/English.lproj

This command will ensure the Permissions are correct.

 chown -R root /System/Library/User\ Template/English.lproj

Create a new “regular” user account and test to see if the home directory is created properly and apps behave as expected. You need to remove the user using the “Users” pref pane
 and you may need to manually delete the user’s home folder..

Remove the following items from your source image ( varies from version os OS X )

rm /private/var/db/BootCache.playlist
rm /private/var/db/volinfo.database
rm /private/var/vm/swap*
rm -r /Library/Caches/*
rm /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/NetworkInterfaces.plist

Remove Library/Caches in any homes as well.

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