Safari defaults to: http://www.apple.com/startpage and I unable to change the default home page by modifying com.apple.safari.plist like in the other versions of OS X. I need the user templet homepage set to our home page - not Apples. Any idea how to modify this setting?
I still just create a package I apply at imaging time that writes a custom bookmarks.plist file to the User Templates directory. I know people frown on this because Apple could break this at anytime - but it's been working for years and still works with Sierra. 🙂
Likewise you could just have a package that drops your customized bookmarks.plist directly in the user's directory I suppose.
If you want to change it from User Template, try this. I have been using this on macOS Sierra and worked perfectly.
sudo defaults write /System/Library/User Template/English.lproj/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari HomePage -string "http://www.yoursite.com/"
If you want to change it for logged on user,
sudo defaults write ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari HomePage -string "http://www.yoursite.com/"
We recently came up on this issue, having used a Configuration Profile to set Safari Homepage, it worked fine, however this forces the Homepage so users can not change it.
Given the deprecation of MCX, where once/often/force management frequency was in our control, and how Configuration Profiles lack that control, we need a solution.
So we opened an AppleCare Enterprise ticket to put this on their plate, so they can respond and provide a manageable/supported solution.
I got a last minute/do-it-now mandate from our Marketing department to set the homepage for all new Macs. So, I set the home page with a configuration profile, and scoped it to a smart group for macs enrolled within the last 7 days. That satisfies Marketing's ask to have a default homepage, but allows users to change it (albeit they have to wait for the 7 days). It's not the most elegant way to solve the problem, but it was a quick and easy approach.
Re-enrollment is a bit of a sticky wicket, but I'll deal with that another day....