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I have a Mac mini which I normally use as remote desktop with my friends. Usually my mates only use a single application (e.g. Safari). In order to make my pc private (to me only) I want to disable the GUI and all the other ways through which someone can interact with my system. What I want is that they just have access to the single application they want to use and I want to disable the top context menu shown in the attached picture. Also, I want to disable the dock items and also the right click functionality.

How can I accomplish this on OS X?

enter image description here

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2 Answers 2

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You could create a separate account that friends remote logging in would connect to. This account would be a standard account you would then turn on parental controls. You can say to only use Safari and to prevent the dock from being modified. Apps page of Parental controls

Having a standard account prevents any system modifications or browsing of your personal files. Other settings Using this setting the user sees locked down system

Right clicking on desktop is not allowed, and there is no access outside of the user's folder except to public folders.

There is no way to disable the menu bar, but because they have limited abilities, the most they can do is log out of the user account.

There is a round about way for them to access the system preferences but it only allows personal customization. System settings are protected by admin username and password.

(splash top is a driver that I had to let in to stop bugging me. other programs can be allowed once or every time only with admin's user name and password).

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thank you so much this is exactly what i am looking for.But at this point I got another problem. Its like earlier I was adding a shell script in login items of user which fires application on user login automatically . But in case of Parental Control we are not getting login items option :(. –  prateeak ojha Mar 26 at 12:59
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@prateeakojha instead of using a shell script to launch on startup just go into the account with Parental Control off, add the applications to System Preferences>Users>Login Items. Then go back to your account and turn on parental controls and make sure yo give permission to those applications. Make sure to test it too. –  traisjames Mar 26 at 17:28
    
I tried doing it the same wy just keep my shell script in login item and it do works . Actully purpose of using shell script so that i can used if condition to launch particular application depends on user choice thank you :) –  prateeak ojha Mar 27 at 10:56

The closest I can think of in your case is to go to System Preferences > Parental Control and create a new account (or use the “Guest” account). Then, set the following restrictions (my OS is not in English, so the exact terms might be different):

Under Apps:

  • Use simplified Finder
  • Restrict applications, only checking Safari from the list.

Under Other:

  • Prevent password change

Then, log with the new account. Clean up whatever right-hand menu item you don’t want your friend to access by holding command while drag-and-dropping them out of the menu bar. Launch Safari (from the Apps folder in the dock) and log out without quitting Safari.

You might want to put Safari in fullscreen mode, but then it won’t appear on the first screen when people log in, they’d have to click its icon in the dock.


If you want to launch apps or scripts at startup, or if you want to edit any account preference, you can do the following:

  • Log into the controlled account
  • Inside the Finder, select Use the complete Finder under the Finder menu. The system asks for an administrator login/password.
  • Open a new window, go to Applications and launch the System Preferences. Select the Allow once button, then type once again your login/password.
  • Go to the Users and Groups preferences pane.
  • Click the lock, and enter administrator login/password (one last time!)
  • You can now edit this user opening items. You could add Safari or whatever script you need this user to launch at startup.

Alternatively, you can also create the controlled user, log in and setup the account to your liking, then log out and, from an administrator account, turn on parental control.

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thank you so much this is exactly what i am looking for.But at this point I got another problem. Its like earlier I was adding a shell script in login items of user which fires application on user login automatically . But in case of Parental Control we are not getting login items option :(. –  prateeak ojha Mar 26 at 12:59

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