Desktop Applications using an AD

New Contributor III

I work in a computer lab that utilizes our AD. I was wondering if there was any way to make some sort of template so that each new user that logs on can automatically have applications such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop on the desktop specifically. Perhaps I've not looked hard enough but I thought I'd at least ask. Thank you


Honored Contributor II

MacOS does not really do application shortcuts on the desktop but its possible, though not as automatic as you want. You should just need to create a script that creates an alias of the apps you want on the users desktop. You can set the trigger to run on check in once per user. I would not rely on login hooks anymore as Apple deprecated them so it may be a bit delayed from the user log in for the icons to be placed on the desktop.


Though I may not be understanding your question as none of that would have anything to do with Active Directory.

Valued Contributor II

You could write a script that uses Dockutil to customize the dock. Using outset you can get that to run during each login. OS updates/upgrades could break that any time though so keep that in mind before going down that path.

+1 on @AJPinto's comment. Desktop shortcuts aren't really a macOS thing. You can create aliases for this purpose, but it's not worthwhile when the dock is in such close proximity as well as the launchpad. Some user education or posters in the lab may be a quick and dirty solution.

Contributor III

I add app icons to the dock after install. So first you make a policy that installs the app, and once you've detected the app as installed, another policy adds the icon to the dock - Settings>Computer management>dock icons to add, dock payload to apply to specific machines. 

I also remove Apple's app icons because they annoy me. It's not 200 proof, but it's good enough.