I'd like to script the action of creating a group via Users & Groups and binding it to the admin account and enabling remote login for the same group enabled service and support.

I'm vaguely familiar with commands like dscl - but I'm not sure if this is even the right command

I've seen sudo dscl localhost -append /Local/Default/Groups/thegroupname GroupMembership theusername - to add an admin user to a group BUT What should be put for GroupMembership - if this command is correct - The name of my group is Service and Support


To create a group, add some users and enabling remote login for the same group from scratch do the following:


Create group:

sudo dscl . create /Groups/servsupport

Add some details like real name, password etc.:

sudo dscl . create /Groups/servsupport RealName "Service and Support"
sudo dscl . create /Groups/servsupport passwd "*"
sudo dscl . create /Groups/servsupport gid 799

Use an unused groupID number as gid! You get a sorted list of used gids by entering:

dscl . list /Groups PrimaryGroupID | tr -s ' ' | sort -n -t ' ' -k2,2

There is also an answer somewhere at apple.stackexchange.com how to find the first free uid or gid greater than x and how to apply it to new groups or users.

Add an admin user (here I assume the user name is admin):

sudo dscl . create /Groups/servsupport GroupMembership admin

If you want to add a second user use the subcommand append:

sudo dscl . append /Groups/servsupport GroupMembership admin2

Test whether the group SSH Service ACL exists:

dscl . list /Groups PrimaryGroupID  | grep com.apple.access_ssh*

If the group doesn't exist create it similar as the Service and Support group:

sudo dscl . create /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh
sudo dscl . create /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh RealName "SSH Service ACL"
sudo dscl . create /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh passwd "*"
sudo dscl . create /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh gid 399

Add the group servsupport as nested group to the SSH Service ACL group if the SSH ACL is already enabled:

sudo dseditgroup -o edit -a servsupport -t group com.apple.access_ssh

or if SSH ACL are dsiabled:

sudo dseditgroup -o edit -a servsupport -t group com.apple.access_ssh-disabled

Enable remote login:

sudo systemsetup -setremotelogin on

A script doing essentially this except creating a new Service and Support group is available here: add_localadmins_to_ssh. The linked script requires slight mods to meet your requirements.

Based on the linked script I made a new one meeting your requirements. Take it with a grain of salt and test it thoroughly:


# set the input for lazy convenience
IFS=$' '

# We first need to test if the access_ssh group exists and create it if it doesn't

/usr/bin/dscl . list /Groups PrimaryGroupID  | grep com.apple.access_ssh* >  /dev/null 2>&1
if [[ $rc != 0 ]]; then
    /usr/bin/dscl . create /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh
    /usr/bin/dscl . create /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh RealName "SSH Service ACL"
    /usr/bin/dscl . create /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh passwd "*"
    /usr/bin/dscl . create /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh gid 399

# create  "Service and Support" group and add admin users

localadmins=$(/usr/bin/dscl . read /Groups/admin GroupMembership | awk -F': ' '{print $2}')

for account in `echo $localadmins`; do
    # add additional blocks like >> && ! [ "$account" == "username" ] << for additional exclusions
    if ! [ "$account" == "root" ] && ! [ "$account" == "itstech" ]; then
        userID=$(/usr/bin/dscl . read /Users/$account | grep GeneratedUID | awk '{print $2}')
        if [ "$userID" != "" ]; then
            # Test if the servsupport group exists and create it if it doesn't
            /usr/bin/dscl . read /Groups/servsupport > /dev/null 2>&1
            if [[ $sc != 0 ]]; then
                /usr/bin/dscl . create /Groups/servsupport
                /usr/bin/dscl . create /Groups/servsupport RealName "Service and Support"
                /usr/bin/dscl . create /Groups/servsupport passwd "*"
                /usr/bin/dscl . create /Groups/servsupport gid 799
            /usr/bin/dscl . append /Groups/servsupport GroupMembership "$userID"
            echo "$account has no local GUID"

# Add the "Service and Support" group as nested group to the SSH Service ACL group depending on the state of SSH Service ACL.

GroupState=$(/usr/bin/dscl . list /Groups RealName | grep "SSH Service ACL" | awk '{print $1}')
dseditgroup -o edit -a servsupport -t group $GroupState

if ! [ "$GroupState" == "com.apple.access_ssh" ]; then
    /usr/bin/dscl . change /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh-disabled RecordName com.apple.access_ssh-disabled com.apple.access_ssh

# Enable Remote Login service

systemsetup -setremotelogin on

In a managed environment (OpenDirectory or AD) with OD/AD users/groups with local admin access permissions it's much simpler.

If you've already created the group you can lookup the groupID and the group name (servsupport above) by right-clicking the group name in "Users & Groups".

  • This is a very cool and insightful post, huge thanks – user322985 Apr 4 '19 at 19:43
  • sudo dscl . create /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh gid 399 didn't work for me, but sudo dscl . create /Groups/com.apple.access_ssh PrimaryGroupID 399 did – screaming drills May 8 '20 at 17:44
  • @screamingdrills What's your system version (e.g. 10.15)? – klanomath May 9 '20 at 9:01
  • I tried it on High Sierra – screaming drills May 9 '20 at 16:53

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