I have some Mac OSX machines that i'm managing with an OS X server, clients are authenticated using Active Directory (golden triangle) and i'd like to disable version control for Pages/Numbers/Keynote as it doesn't work well with user profiles stored on an SMB share,

The commands that achieve this are as follows:

defaults write com.apple.iWork.Pages ApplePersistence -bool no
defaults write com.apple.iWork.Numbers ApplePersistence -bool no
defaults write com.apple.iWork.Keynote ApplePersistence -bool no

This setting appears to be per-user

I tried to save these into a logon script file with .sh extension, I chmod+x the file to allow me to import it into OS X server but it doesn't work :(

There's a section in OSX server under preferences which has a load of .plist files in there but I couldnt find any good documentation on how to use it ... and I can't locate the plist file for Pages itself..

Sorry for the poor description, i'm new to OS X administration in this environment

Thanks in advance

(This query is actually solved now but just FYI it was OX Mavericks 10.9.5 client and a Mac Mini running 10.9.5 with Server 3.1.2)

  • Importing something (like .sh or .plist) to your Mac OS X Server won't help much - iWorks probably isn't even installed on your server - if i understand the question correctly. Probably you want to add the .plists or .shs to the individual accounts. – klanomath Feb 20 '15 at 17:26
  • Can't you just ssh into the machines? This might just be the easiest solution… – Asmus Feb 20 '15 at 17:59
  • Please add the system version of your server and the clients – klanomath Feb 20 '15 at 19:13

The plists for the iWork suite are stored here:


with AppName: Pages, Numbers or Keynote.
Note: If you browse the folder "Containers" with the Finder the "directories" com.apple.iWork.pages and com.apple.iWork.numbers look like files but are indeed folders with file extensions like valid Pages or Numbers files (which are packages itself). Just right-click open -> Show Package Contents to dive deeper.

One way is to edit the files manually with nano or PlistEdit Pro:

Just add the following to the respective plist files:


Another way (depending on your setup) is to ssh to the machine/account and execute:

defaults write com.apple.iWork.AppName ApplePersistence -bool no
  • You can replace /user/accountname with ~/ for easier copying and pasting of commands – osxconor Feb 20 '15 at 21:05
  • @osxconor I don't really know BenSBB's server/client setup. "~/.." means "<myaccount>/.." so using "command ~/../something ~/../somethingelse " would modify his own account but not those of other users. – klanomath Feb 20 '15 at 21:15
  • I was assuming benSBB was ssh'ed to client machines or running an ARD 'send Unix command' at them. You are correct though. – osxconor Feb 20 '15 at 21:27
  • Thanks for the information about the paths! I was struggling to find the plist files myself .. I installed the WOrkgroup Manager app on one of the client machines and added the plist files from that path (Library/Containers/etc..) on to the Preference setting for a group containing the computers, works flawlessly and all computers now have versioning disabled for Pages, Keynote, Numbers ... many thanks! :) – BenSBB Feb 20 '15 at 22:49

A useful tool in these cases is Apple's "Apple Remote Desktop." This software allows you to manage groups of Macs and has a lot of things that it can do that are outside the scope of the question.

But, in your case I would select the Macs I want to run the command on [1], then go to the "Manage" menu and select "Send Unix Command..." that gives me a window that shows the selected computers and allows me to enter one or many unix command lines as well as choosing which user to run the commands as.

I can then either schedule the commands to be run on the selected machines later, or click the send command to run them now. I get feedback as to text returned by the commands.

1 - You do have to setup each Mac for Remote Desktop, instructions for that should be available either with the software or on Apple's website. But taking the time to setup a management tool like this is little compared to the time you can save using it.

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