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Several of the preference panes on my Mac at work have are translucent and when I hover over them I get the following message:

Your system administrator has not given you access to this preference pane.

How is this configured? I'd like to do the same for my machine at home that my niece and nephew use.

Clarification: On my Mac at work: National IT for my organization created the original image (I'm with local IT). I'm guessing when they created the image they used some admin configuration tool (similar to Group Policy on windows?).

  • are you logged in as administrator? – Ruskes Apr 16 '13 at 15:13
  • Yes I am logged in as an administrator. – Daryl Gubler Apr 16 '13 at 15:59
  • I deleted my answer since I misunderstood your question. – Ruskes Apr 16 '13 at 17:20
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    Casper suite from JAMF Software does that. Obviously you won't use that tool at home, but looking into how they do it might give you some ideas. (parental controls might be more appropriate though) – Tim B Apr 16 '13 at 20:37
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Parental controls looks like a good answer for my needs.

However, what my work has used for restricting accounts is MCX policies applied through Workgroup Manager.

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There are a couple of really easy ways of having somehow restricted accounts, one with non-administrator privileges or one which has Parental Controls.

The first one is a regular account without the privileges of making changes on a system level, while the parented controlled accounts can be configured to have limited access to specific Applications, Resources and can even limit the hours of use.

To set a non-administrator account just don't check the Allow user to administer this computer under System Preferences / Users & Groups isit up is quite straightforward.

Setting a parental controled account is quite straightfoward too. To do so, just go to System Preferences / Parental Controls and follow the instructions.

Bear in mind that you'll need and administrator account to set up and manage either of these.

  • I guarantee I am an administrator on the box. Additionally, the Parental Controls pane is one the limited ones. Are there command line commands that could set those restrictions that would persist to all users, Admin and non-Admin alike? – Daryl Gubler Apr 16 '13 at 18:08
  • Who made those preference panes for you. – Ruskes Apr 16 '13 at 18:56
  • @DarylGubler I wrote that in a hurry and didn't make myself clear enough, as my intention was more to give you restricted account possibilities rather than discovering what kind of account you're running on. I'll edit my answer making this clear. – Thecafremo Apr 16 '13 at 18:59
  • @ Thecafremo: Sorry misunderstanding - thanks for the suggestion. @Buscar웃: National IT for my organization created the original image (I'm with local IT). I'm guessing when they created the image they used some admin configuration tool (similar to Group Policy on windows?). – Daryl Gubler Apr 16 '13 at 19:03
  • @DarylGubler Now e are getting close to it. Let me put that new info in to your question. Or you can do it. – Ruskes Apr 16 '13 at 19:09

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