dockutil 2.0.0 is out

It has been a long time coming, but I finally made time to attempt to get dockutil working better with cfprefsd.

I decided to use defaults rather than PyObjC. ¬†Although in hindsight it probably doesn’t matter. ¬†They both have quirks when running as root.

But defaults actually does handle paths correctly, and dockutil has always used paths to the dock plist, so that fits well.

At some point we will likely need to change dockutil to take users or domains rather than paths so it works better with CFPreferences.

But for now we can stay with paths to preserve compatibility with existing scripts using dockutil.

I expect some bugs, so please test and report them on github.

dockutil 1.0 released

As a Mac sysadmin, I’ve had the need to manipulate the dock on hundreds of systems at a time.

I used to cobble together terrible shell scripts to do the job, but now thanks to plistlib and python, plist manipulation is really easy. I am releasing this utility free under the Apache 2.0 license. Hopefully some other sysadmins will find it useful.

dockutil is a command line utility for managing Mac OS X dock items.
It can add, replace, list, move, find, and delete dock items. It supports Applications, Folders, Stacks, and URLs. It can act on a specific dock plist or every dock plist in a folder of home directories.
It is compatible with Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard.

Download dockutil here.

Here is the usage information:

usage: dockutil -h
usage: dockutil --add (path to item) | (url) [--label (label)] [ folder_options ] [ position_options ] [ plist_location_specification ]
usage: dockutil --remove (dock item label) [ plist_location_specification ]
usage: dockutil --move (dock item label) position_options [ plist_location_specification ]
usage: dockutil --find (dock item label) [ plist_location_specification ]
usage: dockutil --list [ plist_location_specification ]

position_options:
--replacing (dock item label name) replaces the item with the given dock label or adds the item to the end if item to replace is not found
--position [ index_number | beginning | end | middle ] inserts the item at a fixed position: can be an position by index number or keyword
--after (dock item label name) inserts the item immediately after the given dock label or at the end if the item is not found
--before (dock item label name) inserts the item immediately before the given dock label or at the end if the item is not found
--section [ apps | others ] specifies whether the item should be added to the apps or others section

plist_location_specifications:
(path to a specific plist) default is the dock plist for current user
(path to a home directory)
--allhomes attempts to locate all home directories and perform the operation on each of them
--homeloc overrides the default /Users location for home directories

folder_options:
--view [grid|fan|list|automatic] stack view option
--display [folder|stack] how to display a folder's icon
--sort [name|dateadded|datemodified|datecreated|kind] sets sorting option for a folder view

Examples:
The following adds TextEdit.app to the end of the current user's dock:
dockutil --add /Applications/TextEdit.app

The following replaces Time Machine with TextEdit.app in the current user's dock:
dockutil --add /Applications/TextEdit.app --replacing 'Time Machine'

The following adds TextEdit.app after the item Time Machine in every user's dock on that machine:
dockutil --add /Applications/TextEdit.app --after 'Time Machine' --allhomes

The following adds ~/Downloads as a grid stack displayed as a folder for every user's dock on that machine:
dockutil --add '~/Downloads' --view grid --display folder --allhomes

The following adds a url dock item after the Downloads dock item for every user's dock on that machine:
dockutil --add vnc://miniserver.local --label 'Mini VNC' --after Downloads --allhomes

The following removes System Preferences from every user's dock on that machine:
dockutil --remove 'System Preferences' --allhomes

The following moves System Preferences to the second slot on every user's dock on that machine:
dockutil --move 'System Preferences' --position 2 --allhomes

The following finds any instance of iTunes in the specified home directory's dock:
dockutil --find iTunes /Users/jsmith

The following lists all dock items for all home directories at homeloc in the form: item(tab)path(tab)(section)tab(plist)
dockutil --list --homeloc /Volumes/RAID/Homes --allhomes

Notes:
When specifying a relative path like ~/Documents with the --allhomes option, ~/Documents must be quoted like '~/Documents' to get the item relative to each home

Bugs:
Names containing special characters like accent marks will fail

Contact:
Send bug reports and comments to kcrwfrd at gmail.