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When I use defaults write domain key value the information is written to ~/Library/Preferences/domain.plist.

When I use the -currentHost flag, it has a higher priority then when I just use defaults without a specified host.

But where is the value actually written to? It is consistent between system startups, so it must be somewhere on the disk...

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If you use -currentHost with defaults it acts on .plist files in:

$HOME/Library/Preferences/ByHost/

As an example, I did not have a com.apple.finder plist file at that location and when I executed the following command, one was created at that location.

defaults -currentHost write com.apple.finder GoToField "/foobar"

$ defaults -currentHost read com.apple.finder GoToField
/foobar
$

Note the full file name contains a UUID however you do not need to include it when -currentHost is used, the normal naming is all that's needed as shown in the command line above.

Example: $HOME/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.finder.6966D045-28DC-544A-97C2-98CDB668DC8B.plist

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