How and when to use FUT and FEU or Both

New Contributor III

I went through the 2 day training recently for jamf suite. As days go by and I set up my test environments some questions arise. I am hoping someone out there can clarify the difference between FUT and FEU settings. After the training I'm left with these impressions hopefully someone can help clarify.

FUT: you check off this setting when deploying a policy with an application to a new user.

FUT & FEU: Used when deploying an upgrade to an application to an existing user for example: user already has Firefox or chrome and I deploy and upgrade but I don't want to replace their user data.

When do I check off FEU ONLY, When do I check off FUT ONLY and when do I check off BOTH FUT & FEU?

I would appreciate if anyone can help clarify this because it's frustrating not having a straight answer.

Thanks you in advance.



FUT = Fill User Template
FEU = Fill Existing Users

The User Template is a set of files and folders copied to all new users the first time they each log in. It's located in /System/Library/User Template/ and contains:

  • Desktop
  • Documents
  • Downloads
  • Library
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Public

Rules of thumb:

  1. Select FUT when you want to fill the User Template with files or settings for user accounts that don't yet exist on a Mac.
  2. Select FEU when you want to add (or overwrite) files or settings for user accounts that do already exist on a Mac.
  3. Don't select FEU if you're just populating default settings for new users. For example, if your package contains both the Firefox application and preferences and you want to upgrade all your machines, select only FUT to avoid overwriting anyone's existing preferences, bookmarks, etc.
  4. Rarely will you ever only choose FEU. A user's files and preferences are his own. Best practice is not to try to manage their content and settings.
  5. Create separate packages for applications and preferences. This allows you to remove and/or upgrade applications without affecting preferences. It's also a practice that aligns with the idea of thin imaging where you build a system piece by piece.

New Contributor III

@talkingmoose This is great thank you so much for this break down. I do have one last question, in what situation will you select both settings? Just curious?

Valued Contributor


Here's an example from where I am - a lecturer wants a sample document to be placed on each students desktop in a lab. I place the document on a desktop, run Composer and make a disk image of it. I then upload to the jss using casper admin.

Now if this was a lab I was just reimaging, I could tick the FUT field for the DMG in Casper Admin as none of the students have logged on yet then add the DMG to my configuration.

If the lab has already been imaged and is up and running and many students have logged on already, I would tick both FEU and FUT. I would then deploy using casper remote to the lab machines. This way I cover the students who already have logged in (FEU) and future ones (FUT).

In real life you find that some software installs pieces just into the profile of the person installing. If you capture the installation with composer, then you can use FEU and FUT to place the same pieces in the other users or future users



Honored Contributor II
Honored Contributor II

We would tick both if we want the file being deployed to apply to all existing users home folders, and to any subsequent new users that login.

That being said, we're finding ourselves using this feature less and less recently. On some of our deployments this year we've only used it for one or two apps. Everything else is either a config profile, or something unique to the vendor, like CCK with Firefox.

As Apple are introducing SIP and are starting to prevent writing data to system areas, getting away from FUT and FUE as much as possible would be a good move.

New Contributor III

@talkingmoose Thank you for your help @dlondon Thank you for your help @davidacland Thank you for your help

Valued Contributor II

Im trying to build a DMG that will be deployed at imaging time suing FUT (Fill User Template.) The contents are a few user settings that I want to be avaialble to any new user account, located in ~/Library (i.e.; in the ~/Library/Application Support folder, ~/Library/Preferences folder etc)

The result doesn't appear to be working. I dont end up with the custom settings in /System/Library/User Template. What I end up with is a directory literally named "template" at the root of the /Users directory.

The .DMG in question is configured to "FIll user template (FUT)" in Casper Admin.

I just rebuilt the DMG in Composer again. Does the folder hierarchy look correct? I suspect this is my issue.

(I know SIP is a factor, but the contents of the User Template can still be modified & customized at this time - one of the only remaining System folders I think)


Honored Contributor II
Honored Contributor II

Hi @dstranathan

The hierarchy is missing /Users/username above the Library folder. When you click FUT, Casper substitutes the username with the correct location in the user template folder.

The screenshot above would put the contents in the library folder in the root of the hard drive.

Valued Contributor II

Thank you. Do I litterlaly create a dummy user name at /Users in Casper Composer?

/Users/template/Library/<my settings go here>

Here is a screenshot of my original attmept. This shows the .DMG mounted, showing the folder structure as it appears on the DMG.

I thought this was correct, but Casper Imaging isnt dropping into the correct location on my images.


Honored Contributor II
Honored Contributor II

Yep, that will do it.

Valued Contributor II

I must be doing someting wrong, or there is a bug in Casper Imaging 9.93 perhaps?

My (manually mounted) DMG looks like this:

/Volumes/SIMR User Template 2016-07/Users/template/Library/<my custom settings are here>...

After imaging with Casper Imaging 9.93, I get:

Macintosh HD/Users/template...

Here's what the DMG looks like in the JSS:


Honored Contributor II
Honored Contributor II

In composer, it should look like:


The username shouldn't matter.

The only other thing I'd check is whether it works ok when run via a policy.

Valued Contributor II

Yup - Mine looks identical to your example.

I just ran it as a Policy with no issues. The Policy dropped the contents of the DMG via FUT as expected (into the English.lproj subdirectory). Looks perfect.

I think there must be an issue with Casper Imaging. Ill contact JAMF support.

Edit: Spoke too soon. Rebooted and the template folder was also located at /Users. Finder must not have refreshed fast enough for me to see the changes in /Users when the Policy ran.

Weird thing is that it ALSO populated FUT for sure (I watched the User Template populate before my eyes)

This makes sense, because none of my users have complained that they are missing settings that are in the User Template. So the additional 'template' folder at the root of /Users is merely 'collateral damage' (which I can easily delete with a script/policy on Macs that have the /Users/template folder)

I discovered this issue accidentally looking at reports of accounts in /Users and investigated. Saw "template" on a couple Macs and it lead me here.

I just ran the Policy again. Took my time and watched the process a little more patiently.

As soon as the Policy runs, the DMG mounts and the OS X User Template gets populated as expected, and then 5 seconds later /Users/template folder also shows up too (same exact contents)!

Now I need to figure how HOW and WHY my FUT DMG User Template is landing in 2 places!

Thanks @davidacland

Valued Contributor II

I found a (3-year old) post describing the same problem I am seeing with JAMF 9.93 and FUT DMGs