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Supermarket Belongs to the Community

Supermarket belongs to the community. While Chef has the responsibility to keep it running and be stewards of its functionality, what it does and how it works is driven by the community. The chef/supermarket repository will continue to be where development of the Supermarket application takes place. Come be part of shaping the direction of Supermarket by opening issues and pull requests or by joining us on the Chef Mailing List.

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The mac_os_x cookbook has been deprecated

The mac_os_x cookbook has been deprecated and is no longer being maintained by its authors. Use of the mac_os_x cookbook is no longer recommended. You may find that the macos cookbook is a suitable alternative.


mac_os_x (11) Versions 1.2.0

Manage OS X user defaults settings

cookbook 'mac_os_x', '= 1.2.0'
cookbook 'mac_os_x', '= 1.2.0', :supermarket
knife supermarket install mac_os_x
knife supermarket download mac_os_x
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Manage Mac OS X user defaults system.



Tested on Mac OS X 10.6.8, should work on any version.



Manage the Mac OS X user defaults(1) system. The parameters to the resource are passed to the defaults command and the parameters follow convention of the OS X command. See the defaults(1) man page for detail on how the tool works.


  • :write: write the setting to the specified domain. Default.

Attribute Parameters

  • domain: The domain the defaults belong to. Required. Name attribute.
  • global: Whether the domain is global. Can be true or false. Default false.
  • key: The preference key. Required.
  • value: The value of the key. Required.
  • type: Value type of the preference key.
  • sudo: Set to true if the setting requires privileged access to modify. Default false.

value settings of 1, TRUE or true are treated as true by defaults(1), and are handled for truthiness in the provider.


The current version cannot handle plists or dictionaries.


Simple example that uses the domain, with a single key and value.

mac_os_x_userdefaults "enable time machine on unsupported volumes" do
  domain ""
  key "TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes"
  value "1"

Specify a global domain. Note that the key is not required for global domains.

mac_os_x_userdefaults "full keyboard access to all controls" do
  domain "AppleKeyboardUIMode"
  global true
  value "2"

A boolean type that uses truthiness (TRUE).

mac_os_x_userdefaults "finder expanded save dialogs" do
  domain "NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode"
  global true
  value "TRUE"
  type "bool"

A setting that uses an int (integer) type.

mac_os_x_userdefaults "enable OS X firewall" do
  domain "/Library/Preferences/"
  key "globalstate"
  value "1"
  type "int"

LWRP's can send notifications, so we can change the Dock, and then refresh it to take effect.

execute "killall Dock" do
  action :nothing

mac_os_x_userdefaults "set dock size" do
  domain ""
  type "integer"
  key "tilesize"
  value "20"
  notifies :run, "execute[killall Dock]"

This setting requires privileged access to modify, so tell it to use sudo. Note that this will prompt for the user password if sudo hasn't been modified for NOPASSWD.

mac_os_x_userdefaults "disable time machine normal schedule" do
  domain "/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/"
  key "Disabled"
  value "1"
  sudo true


Manages the property list (plist) preferences file with the cookbook_file Chef resource. Files will be dropped in Library/Preferences under the home directory of the user running Chef.


  • :create: create the file. Default.

Attribute Parameters

  • source: file name to use in the files directory of the cookbook. Name attribute.
  • cookbook: cookbook where the plist file is located.


Write the iTerm 2 preferences to ~/Library/Preferences/com.googlecode.iterm2.plist.

mac_os_x_plist_file "com.googlecode.iterm2.plist"


The recipes in this cookbook provide example usage of the defaults(1) LWRP, and have some useful system preference settings. They were originally based on work done in Pivotal Labs workstation management repository, though are new code given the LWRP rewrite.


Turns on:

  • auto hide
  • magnification

Turns off:

  • animation switching workspaces

Sets the tile size to really small.


Sets Finder save dialogs to expanded by default.


Enables the OS X firewall.


Enables keyboard access to all window controls. In other words, "Tab" will cycle focus to buttons instead of just text entry fields.


Set the default key repeat rate to fast and the delay to short.


Enables password protection for screensaver and sets the delay to ask for password.


Enable time machine to backup to unsupported devices like NAS drives or AFP shares.



  • add plist_file LWRP
  • add recipes for managing various useful user defaults

License and Author

Author:: Joshua Timberman (

Copyright 2011, Joshua Timberman

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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