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I am attempting to setup an open directory authentication system for a small iMac laboratory.

The open directory authenticates network users properly and allows a login on the Mac system although the only way to make a network user an administrator is to select the account via System Preferences and check the "Allow user to administer this Mac" checkbox.

Is there an easier implementation that allows a user/group on the open directory to administer all of the macs connected to the directory?

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Yes, you can nest/add the OD group (e.g. workgroup) to which the networked users belong to the admin group in the local directory of the Macs. Something like this should do it (you could issue this to the client Macs using ARD, or include this in a configuration script applied with something like munki or DeployStudio):

dseditgroup -o edit -u localadmin -P <password> -a workgroup -t group admin
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