How To Create Nested Folders for Apple Remote Desktop Templates

Posted on Posted in Blog, Computing, Technology


Apple Remote Desktop - Template View No Folders

Do your current Apple Remote Desktop template lists look a mess? Are they full of numerous ‘COPY’ jobs, a bunch of packages to ‘INSTALL’ and hundreds of ‘UNIX’ commands that you remotely send to machines? Well, I recently discovered that you can make your lists looks much simpler just by adding in a few folders to nest all of the commands in.


The best thing about the template lists is that ARD stores them in a user editable format. I personally use TextWranger to open the plist files on my MacBook and work iMac. Knowing where these files are stored can also be handy if you need to edit a previously saved template, rather than having to copy it, save a new version and then delete the old version.



Firstly, where does ARD store the files for Copy, Install, UNIX and Reports? Well if you open finder and navigate to
/Users/[username here]/Library/Containers/ Support/Remote Desktop/Presets
or press CMD + Shift + G while in finder and enter the location below, you’ll find the folder where the plists are saved.

Obviously, you will need to substitute [usernamehere] for your actual username / home directory


Firstly, here is the code that you need to wrap around the commands you would like to put into a folder.


For example, here is a small section from my ARD UNIX Commands file where I have a folder, with two UNIX commands inside, one to show hidden files, and the other to hide hidden files.


My ARD UNIX command list now looks more like this.

Apple Remote Desktop - Template View



















Obviously, this has limited benefits for a UNIX command list with just 2 commands in it. My full template list at work is growing by the day, as I discover more tools and commands to make my life easier and workflow simpler. The aim here is to automate as much as possible, and where things can’t be automated, to make them as quick as possible. The above code doesn’t just have to be used for the UNIX commands plist. It can be used on any of the Apple Remote Desktop plists. (Copy, Install and Unix, as well as Reports too!)

Unfortunately, you can’t nest a folder inside a folder. Believe me, I’ve tried, and ultimately failed miserably! It looks like one nested folder is all the drop down menu can handle inside Apple Remote Desktop.

If you encounter any problems, let me know in the comments or send me an email here, and I’ll try my best to help you out!