Local MCX and Lion

If you’ve implemented Local MCX on your Leopard and/or Snow Leopard machines, you’ll be wondering if it works on Lion, too.

Some earlier posts on Local MCX:

The answer is yes – Local MCX works in Lion. There is one minor issue, though: if you are putting your local MCX version in an alternate local directory node (like /Local/MCX), you’ll need to know that Lion is a bit pickier about the contents of the directories of alternate local nodes.

If opendirectoryd on Lion doesn’t like your MCX node, it might look something like this:

> dscl /Local/MCX list /
Data source (/Local/MCX) is not valid.

It turns out this is pretty easy to remedy: Lion’s opendirectoryd requires that a local directory node have at the minimum a “users” and a “groups” subdirectory. So if either of these subdirectories are missing, simply create them and restart opendirectoryd (killall opendirectoryd). dscl should now recognize the node:

> mkdir -p /private/db/dslocal/nodes/MCX/users
> mkdir -p /private/db/dslocal/nodes/MCX/groups
> killall opendirectoryd
> dscl /Local/MCX list /

Explore posts in the same categories: General

14 Comments on “Local MCX and Lion”

  1. Shouldn’t it be
    mkdir -p /var/db/dslocal/nodes/MCX/users
    mkdir -p /var/db/dslocal/nodes/MCX/groups

    instead of /private/db/…

  2. GregN Says:


    We’re both wrong. It should be


    Though just /var/db will work.

  3. I also discovered that I needed to modify my custom search list as /BSD/local isn’t included (at least from what I can see) in 10.7. I updated it thusly:

    sudo dscl /Search -create / SearchPolicy CSPSearchPath
    sudo dscl /Search -create / CSPSearchPath /Local/Default /Local/MCX

    Without updating it, dscl threw an -14008 (eDSNodeNotFound) error and MCX settings would not apply as /Local/MCX was never added to the search path.

  4. […] preferences will perform just the same with this new/additional delivery method. I have used localMCX in Lion for Office2011 prefs without issue, and tested other Apple manually applying profiles with […]

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I have been using this technique for a while on 10.6 without issue. However, I recently started to migrate my settings to 10.7 and noticed the MCXCCacheGraph error was back in the log, even when I am using /Local/MCX for my settings. Any ideas?

    • GregN Says:

      I don’t see MCXCCacheGraph errors on my Lion machines. Are you sure you don’t have a local computer object in /private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/computers/ ?

      • Anonymous Says:

        I think something was being cached somewhere, as I did not get the error when I tried it again on another system. When I renamed my ‘dslocal’ computer object to something new, the error continued to refer to the old object name. Thanks.

        Any tips on deploying the /Library/Preferences/OpenDirectory/Configurations/Search.plist file to other 10.7 systems? It seems to contain a UUID, so I may need to switch to scripting it instead of just packing the files like I did in 10.6. Thanks again.

      • Anonymous: I have always scripted this for both 10.6 and 10.7. Here is the part of my script that modifies the search list in 10.7:

        sudo /usr/bin/dscl /Search -create / SearchPolicy CSPSearchPath
        sudo /usr/bin/dscl /Search -create / CSPSearchPath /Local/Default /Local/MCX

        Compare that with 10.6, which also includes /BSD/local:

        sudo /usr/bin/dscl /Search -create / SearchPolicy CSPSearchPath
        sudo /usr/bin/dscl /Search -create / CSPSearchPath /Local/Default /BSD/local /Local/MCX

      • GregN Says:

        I’ve seen no particular issues in my environment by installing a preconfigured /Library/Preferences/OpenDirectory/Configurations/Search.plist file.

  6. […] can read more about Local MCX here. (And yes, Local MCX still works in Mountain […]

  7. […] my last post, I asserted that Local MCX still works in Mountain Lion. And it does. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues to […]

  8. […] which can then be included by other groups/computers, either using Open Directory or a custom Local MCX deployment. For example, the loginwindow could be configured with a setting that’s […]

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