Apple Canadian Settings through MCX

Background

I was tired of looking at my end-user’s screens and calling up “Managed Software Center” rather than “Managed Software Centre.” I figured I would enforce both the system-wide language setting, as well as enforce keyboard layouts to include both Canadian English and Hebrew.

Those are kept in two files.

com.apple.HIToolbox.plist holds the Keyboard settings
.GlobalPreferences.plist holds the language settings

The leading . means that it’s an invisible file, but you can use the terminal to copy it to another location:

cp ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist /PATH/TO/GlobalPreferences.plist

If you notice that in the second path, I removed the leading . to make it visible.

.Plist setup

The keyboard settings file just need to be setup on a test machine, and then copied, and it will work as is.

When I set it up with the Canadian English keyboard and Hebrew keyboard, it looks like this…

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC “-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd”>
<plist version=”1.0″>
<dict>
<key>AppleCurrentKeyboardLayoutInputSourceID</key>
<string>com.apple.keylayout.Canadian</string>
<key>AppleDateResID</key>
<dict>
<key>smRoman</key>
<integer>0</integer>
</dict>
<key>AppleEnabledInputSources</key>
<array>
<dict>
<key>InputSourceKind</key>
<string>Keyboard Layout</string>
<key>KeyboardLayout ID</key>
<integer>29</integer>
<key>KeyboardLayout Name</key>
<string>Canadian</string>
</dict>
<dict>
<key>InputSourceKind</key>
<string>Keyboard Layout</string>
<key>KeyboardLayout ID</key>
<integer>-18432</integer>
<key>KeyboardLayout Name</key>
<string>Hebrew</string>
</dict>
</array>
<key>AppleInputSourceHistory</key>
<array>
<dict>
<key>InputSourceKind</key>
<string>Keyboard Layout</string>
<key>KeyboardLayout ID</key>
<integer>29</integer>
<key>KeyboardLayout Name</key>
<string>Canadian</string>
</dict>
</array>
<key>AppleNumberResID</key>
<dict>
<key>smRoman</key>
<integer>0</integer>
</dict>
<key>AppleSelectedInputSources</key>
<array>
<dict>
<key>InputSourceKind</key>
<string>Keyboard Layout</string>
<key>KeyboardLayout ID</key>
<integer>29</integer>
<key>KeyboardLayout Name</key>
<string>Canadian</string>
</dict>
</array>
<key>AppleTimeResID</key>
<dict>
<key>smRoman</key>
<integer>0</integer>
</dict>
</dict>
</plist>

The GlobalPreferences.plist had a lot of superfluous settings in it that could be eliminated. So I slimmed it down to as follows. As you can see, AppleLanguages is an array with many entries and it starts with “en-CA”, or Canadian English, then American English, Hebrew, and then French. The rest is superfluous.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC “-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd”>
<plist version=”1.0″>
<dict>
<key>AppleLanguages</key>
<array>
<string>en-CA</string>
<string>en</string>
<string>he</string>
<string>fr</string>
<string>de</string>
<string>zh-Hans</string>
<string>zh-Hant</string>
<string>ja</string>
<string>es</string>
<string>it</string>
<string>nl</string>
<string>ko</string>
<string>pt</string>
<string>pt-PT</string>
<string>da</string>
<string>fi</string>
<string>nb</string>
<string>sv</string>
<string>ru</string>
<string>pl</string>
<string>tr</string>
<string>ar</string>
<string>th</string>
<string>cs</string>
<string>hu</string>
<string>ca</string>
<string>hr</string>
<string>el</string>
<string>ro</string>
<string>sk</string>
<string>uk</string>
<string>id</string>
<string>ms</string>
<string>vi</string>
</array>
</dict>
</plist>

You’ll then need to rename the file to include the leading . using the cp tool in the terminal.

Convert to PKG and Deployment

For deployment, I use a wonderful open source program called Munki. You can use anything that will deploy profiles. Munki doesn’t, but it deploys pkg files.

To make this MCX file I need two programs developed by Tim Sutton, mcxToProfile and make-profile-pkg.

I’ve got those two setup on my Munki server

./PATH/TO/mcxToProfile.py –plist /PATH/TO/com.apple.HIToolbox.plist –plist/PATH/TO/.GlobalPreferences.plist -i Canada\ Settings -g Organization -o /PATH/TOCanadaSettings.mobileconfig –displayname ‘Canadian Settings’ -m Once

What this is doing is calling to the python script mcxToProfile, telling it to pick up the two plists com.HIToolbox.plist and .GlobalPrefernces.plist, telling it to identify as “Canada Settings” with the organization name “Organization.” Then it uses -o to know where to spit the mobileconfig file to, including a display name and how to be managed. I want my end users to be able to customize it after first use, so we use the Once flag.

This output my .mobileconfig file. So I could quickly double-click on it and it works! However, that’s not going to help me deploy it to 200+ computers. So I need to get it into Munki, first it needs to be a PKG.

./PATH/TO/make_profile_pkg.py -m /PATH/TO/CanadaSettings.mobileconfig

This python script is pretty straightforward. You call it, tell it that you want it to dump into your Munki repo (-m) and then tell it the path to your mobileconfig file. A few seconds later, it’s in your repo and a duplicate PKG is in the directory that your mobileconfig is sitting at.

Now all you need to do is throw it into the appropriate testing manifest, make sure it works, and then slowly roll it out to your fleet.

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: