How to Create Computer and Computer Group Accounts in Lion Server

Computer and computer groups can streamline management of client management preferences in Lion Server if you plan on using managed preferences.

Managed Preferences for Mac OS X (MCX) is a powerful feature that allows Lion Server to manage system, user, and applications preferences on Macs connected, or bound, to an Open Directory domain. With MCX, a Mac client can automatically load predefined settings from the central server. You can also define which applications can run.

You can make a lot of the same settings with Profile Manager, but only with Lion clients. With MCX, you can do this with any version of Mac OS X.

You could create a new computer account by selecting the Computer tab (square icon) in Workgroup Manager and then clicking the New Computer icon in the toolbar. However, you then need to type the Ethernet ID to identify the computer. It’s easier to first create a computer group and then browse the list of bound computers to add the computer to the list, creating a computer account by default.

Here’s how to create a computer group and add computer accounts:

  1. In Workgroup Manager, click the lock icon to authenticate as the directory administrator and enter the username and password of the directory administrator in the dialog; click the Authenticate button.

  2. Click the Computer Groups tab (two overlapping squares) below the globe icon and then click the New Computer Group icon in the toolbar.

    A new computer group named Untitled 1 is created. If Untitled 1 already exists, the new group is named Untitled 2, and so on. Much like a group of user accounts, a computer group has Name, Short Name, Group ID (GID), and Comment fields in the Basic tab of Workgroup Manager.

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  3. Enter a name for the computer group.

    The short name is generated automatically based on the Name field. The Group ID (GID) will be created for you.

  4. Click the Members tab to add computers to the group.

    Click the Add (+) button in the Members tab to add computers or existing computer groups to the new group or click the ellipsis (. . .) button to select computers already bound to the directory to add to the computer group.

  5. Click the Add button.

You now have members in a computer group. Click the Computer Accounts tab (a single square) in Workgroup Manager and notice that the computer you added now has a computer account also.

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