[Solved] Open Directory management of screensaver preferences

Hi there ‚Äì we’ve created a screensaver with iScreensaver Designer 4.0 Pro and are trying to deploy it across a network of 50 or so Macs using Open Directory (OD) to manage the screensaver preference for the suite of Macs. Previously there has been no issue setting this to work using the on board Apple screen savers.

The OD server software is OS X 10.6.8, and the clients are either OS X 10.6.8 or (mostly) 10.8.5.

We need the screensaver to install for all users, and have ensured that it is going to HD/Library/Screensavers. The installed screen saver works without an issue when manually chosen from the screensaver settings in the system preferences, and works using both the installer or indeed dropping the *.saver file into the appropriate location.

However, once attempting to control the launch of the screensaver from the OD server it automatically resets the choice to being a random screensaver – no matter what I do. I have tested this in a multitude of scenarios including (but not exclusively) placing the *.saver file in different locations, ensuring that the file can be opened by all users by opening the permissions to the file and folder, testing as admin and a normal user…but the result is always the same – the OD server is unable to specify the *.saver file we created as the chosen screensaver.

As previously mentioned, all onboard Apple Screensavers work in the same scenario without an issue.

Is this something that you’ve seen before with other users? Is there perhaps a setting that we need to change when creating the screensaver in order to stop it being ignored / rejected by OD?

Many thanks,

Hi Chris,

Interesting question.

One thing to check first: we have seen cases where a screensaver, if it crashes, will cause the OS to remove it from the being the active screensaver, and revert to the default screensaver. Any chance this is happening?

Second : you say “Designer 4.0 Pro” – the current version is and we strongly urge you to re-build using the most recent version if you haven’t already.

If neither of those issues is relevant: can you say more about exactly how you are managing the screensaver settings under OD? As far as we know, the “selected” screensaver under 10.6 is determined by a plist that lives in the “ByHost” folder, which will look something like this:


where the As, Bs, Cs, and Ds are all a GUID specific to that mac and that login account.

Can you take a look at this and verify that your OD settings are correct?

Thanks for the tip - we’ve checked the OD settings as per the above and they seem ok. We manually recreated the ByHosts file in OD and briefly experienced it working, but it didn’t hold. So far the results are inconclusive, so we’re doing some more testing.

(We are using the latest version of the software - 4.5.0, and the screensaver itself doesn’t seem to be crashing.)