Using OpenDirectory Computer lists with Apple Remote Desktop

23 11 2009

A long requested feature that I’ve wanted to see in ARD that emerged in version 3.2 (I believe) is to utilize OpenDirectory computer lists for my ARD administrator’s workstation.  A benefit to using this setup is a better management workflow.  Simply put, it is better to do a process once and have it propagate through all management tasks.

How does this work?  It require three items:

  1. An OpenDirectory System
  2. WorkGroup Manager
  3. Apple Remote Desktop

To start out, you will want to build a computer list in at least 10.5 via WorkGroup Manager.  You can not use a 10.4 computer list and upgrade it.  The reasoning behind this pertains to the directory services schema structure.  In 10.4, computer groups were stored in cn=computer_groups,dc=your,dc=domain.  In 10.5+, this was changed to a more robust computer list stored in cn=computer_lists,dc=your,dc=domain.  While you can change Directory Utility mappings and object classes, this is not recommended as this will impact WorkGroup Manager.

Ideally, all computers coming into your organization will automatically be added or bound to Open Directory.  This allows for managed client settings to be grouped and applied to computers in various methods, such as nested groups.  In addition to giving you a benefit of computer management via policies, these computer lists can now be leveraged in Apple Remote Desktop.

To complete the linking of ARD to OpenDirectory, open ARD and create  a new scanner.  From the scanner type, select “Directory Service”.  ARD will now query your OpenDirectory system via APIs and return a listing of computer lists.  You will need to ensure  computers  already exit in your “All Computers” list, but this will allow for a much easier route to create and utilize existing groups in your computer management process.




One response

23 11 2009
Open Directory Populated ARD Computer Lists | Krypted

[…] Note: Turns out Randy Saeks has also done an article on this topic. Find it here: […]

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