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Take a look at ncutil.
Computer name (same as AppleTalk name):
ncutil setprop / computer-name some_name
ncutil -activate setprop / local-host-name some_name
James Reynolds University of Utah Student Computing Labs email@hidden 801-585-9811
I am an admin at a school with around 1200 Macs. Currently 99% of them are
still running OS9. One of my goals when starting here has been to move the
campus to OSX. I am familiar with UNIX. I run OSX as my primary OS. I do a
fair amount of scripting and configuring, but I am not really much of a
I have a working OSX deployment image running 10.2.8. The only thing that
doesn't fully work is the script that I created to set up the machine for lab
use. The script creates tracking scripts, location based automation scripts,
and also changes the name of the machine. The problem is that I need to
change the appletalk name of the machine from the command line and have it
stick. Changing the entry in /etc/hostconfig does not work. I have found the
file that contains the entry, which is:
/var/db/SystemConfiguration/preferences.xml. There are two entries that I am
<key>Network</key> <dict> <key>HostNames</key> <dict> <key>LocalHostName</key> <string>Unnamed-Machine</string> </dict> </dict> <key>System</key> <dict> <key>ComputerName</key> <string>This Machine is not named</string> <key>ComputerNameEncoding</key> <integer>0</integer> </dict>
Being that this is an XML file and one of the core config files I wanted to
use defaults. However there appears to be no listing for these keys in the
global listing of all things alterable with defaults write. Apparently there
is a registry that defaults accesses that contains a listing of keys and where
they may be found. I don't know where it is located. Also there should be a
command line XML editing utility somewhere so that "<command> -w
(write/read/whatever) <absolutepath> <key> <value>" should work. I have not
been able to find one. I had hoped this to be possible with defaults but it
does not seem that way. I'd make a script rewrite the file like I did in my
script with hostconfig, except for the fact that the file contains the MAC
address of the machine (which I can work around, but would rather not).
Basically I'd prefer to do this in a bit less hacked together fashion.
ps: I am more than willing to detail all of the changes that I have made.
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