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When you manage a setting on a mac client through workgroup manager/open directory, you can verify its effect on the client in two ways.

  1. Open a Terminal and run mcxquery

  2. Run System Profiler, and choose Software -> Managed Client from the left column.

I expect the two to yield identical results, but more than once I've seen that they do not. Why are they different? Was I right in thinking they should be identical?

Addendum: When preferences are actually composited, which of these two sees things the same way as the compositor?

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The computer where I just saw this was not on the network, and when I reconnected it, results were as I expected. This leads me to believe that mcxquery gets the information live, and that the data used by System Profiler is cached. I wonder what the compositor uses.

Update: In 10.6, the mcxquery command has a -useCache flag that "Returns the caches computer settings in the local node if they are available".

This makes it seem clear to me that the system profiler reports cached data, and mcxquery does not (without the flag). I would guess that the compositor uses cached values.

Note, however, that mcxquery does show preferences managed on the local computer (and not on a directory), but System Preferences does not appear to do so.

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