Lab Mode and Deployment

Particulars is useful for displaying system information on different Macs and for helping to distinguish them. In computer labs or data centers, Particulars can be broadly deployed and configured with macOS Managed Preferences or other deployment tools.

Particulars has a special mode named 'Lab Mode' that disables end-user interaction. In Lab Mode, Particulars must be configured using a deployment tool.

In the examples below, the preferences are modified using the defaults command in the Terminal application. However, the information should be sufficient to use with another deployment tool or MDM. (Not all configuration changes take effect immediately.)

labMode

Lab Mode eases deployment of Particulars in a computer lab or data center. It changes the following about Particulars' behavior:

These changes combine to make the user interface of Particulars inaccessible. The value is boolean, meaning it will take YES or NO.

This preference is also available in the Today Extension (Widget) where it hides the Info button that reveals preferences.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars labMode -bool YES

Quitting in labMode

Since all user interface elements are disabled in labMode, how to quit Particulars is not immediately obvious. If you need to quit Particulars while in labMode, open the Terminal application and enter:

killall Particulars

Setting preferences

detailLevel

The standard Detail Levels can be configured as follows. The value is an integer.

LevelNumber
Hardware253
Status2045
Network4093

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars detailLevel -int 2045

preferredDisplay

Sets which display (or monitor) on which Particulars will show system information. If the display is later unavailable, Particulars will default back to the primary display.

The value is an integer, taking 2 for the 2nd display, for example.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars preferredDisplay -int 2

desktopPosition

Sets the relative position of system information on the desktop.

The value is an integer following the layout below.

0 - Top Left1 - Top Center2 - Top Right
3 - Middle Left4 - Middle Center5 - Middle Right
6 - Bottom Left7 - Bottom Center8 - Bottom Right

Values not documented in the table above are ignored and the default (Top Left) is used.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars desktopPosition -int 6

textTheme

Sets the text theme. Each theme has a corresponding number. If using a custom theme see the section below.

ThemeNumber
Default (Lato)0
System1
Mono2
Custom255

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars textTheme -int 1

lightDarkText

Particulars has 3 options for the shade of the output. The value is an integer and the options are as follows:

ShadeNumber
Automatic0
Light text (default)1
Dark text2

Values not documented in the table above are ignored and the default is used.

The Automatic setting scans your desktop picture to determine what setting to use. If battery life or performance is a concern, use 1 or 2.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars lightDarkText -int 2

textSize

Sets the text size. The default is 18. Values between 12 and 24 are typical.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars textSize -int 24

labelCase

Sets the letter case of the labels. Each case option has a corresponding number.

This preference is also available in the Today Extension (Widget).

CaseNumber
Unaltered0
lower (Default)1
UPPER2

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars labelCase -int 0

dropShadow

Determines whether the system information on the desktop has a drop shadow behind it. The value is boolean, meaning it will take YES or NO.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars dropShadow -bool YES

valueFont, valueColor, labelFont, labelColor

When using a custom theme, fonts and colors for labels and values are stored in binary formats in the above named preferences. These binary formats makes them difficult to set with the defaults commands. They can be extracted from the preferences file and copied to other computers.

Advanced Preferences

allNetworkInterfaces

By default, Particulars only displays information about the primary active network interface. To show information about all active network interfaces, set allNetworkInterfaces. The value is boolean, meaning it will take YES or NO.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars allNetworkInterfaces -bool YES

coreCount

Adds a count of CPU cores to the CPU item. The value is boolean, meaning it will take YES or NO. Changing this preference requires a restart of the application/widget to take effect.

This preference is also available in the Today Extension (Widget).

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars coreCount -bool YES

detailLevel

In addition to the pre-defined detail levels, it possible to construct a custom detail level. To create a custom detail level, take the numeric value of each particular piece of information in the table below and sum them.

Computer name1
Model identifier2
Model name4
Serial number8
CPU/SoC16
RAM32
GPU64
Operating system128
Current user256
Uptime512
Disk free space1024
Network2048
Darwin version16384

For example, to only display Model name, Serial number, CPU, RAM, GPU and Operating system, the total is 252 (4+8+16+32+64+128).

This preference is also available in the Today Extension (Widget).

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars detailLevel -int 252

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars.Widget detailLevel -int 4095

dhcpLeaseRemaining

Particulars shows the DHCP server address and the length of the DHCP lease. Setting this preference will also show the remaining lease time. The value is boolean, meaning it will take YES or NO.

This preference is also available in the Today Extension (Widget).

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars dhcpLeaseRemaining -bool YES

firstRunDone

On first run, Particulars displays a welcome window that describes how it runs on the Desktop and then hides all other apps and opens the preferences window. To skip this first run experience, set this preference. (As mentioned above, enabling labMode implies this setting.)

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars firstRunDone -bool YES

hideDockIcon

Enabling this removes Particulars from the macOS Dock. Enabling or disabling this preference from Terminal will automatically restart Particulars and open the Preferences window. The value is boolean, meaning it will take YES or NO.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars hideDockIcon -bool YES

ignoreHiding

When Particulars is running with the Dock icon shown, it will be hidden along with all other apps when you select Hide Others from another application's menu. This preference allows you to keep Particulars visible. The value is boolean, meaning it will take YES or NO.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars ignoreHiding -bool YES

macAddressFormat

By default, MAC (Media Access Control) addresses are formatted with colon separators and in lowercase. There are other MAC address formats available.

NumberNameDescriptionExample
0Plainlowercase, no separators0123456789ab
1Unix (default)lowercase, colon separated01:23:45:67:89:ab
2Ciscolowercase, dot separated0123.4567.89ab
3Windows/IEEEuppercase, dash separated01-23-45-67-89-AB

The value is an integer. Values not documented in the table above are ignored and the default is used.

This preference is also available in the Today Extension (Widget).

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars macAddressFormat -int 2

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars.Widget macAddressFormat -int 3

networkDetailLevel

By default, all network information is displayed. It is possible to construct a custom set of network information. To create a custom network detail level, take the numeric value of each particular piece of information in the table below and sum them.

Interface name1
MAC address4
SSID8
IPv4 addresses16
DHCPv4 server and lease32
IPv6 addresses64
Router256
DNS servers512
DNS search domains1024
NAT IP2048

This preference is also available in the Today Extension (Widget).

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars networkDetailLevel -int 2933

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars.Widget networkDetailLevel -int 885

networkNotifications

When enabled, Particulars will post system notifications when it detects a change in the primary IPv4 address or the NAT address. Notifications are also governed by settings in the Notifications preference pane in System Preferences. The value is boolean, meaning it will take YES or NO.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars networkNotifications -bool YES

showMenuBarExtra

Adds an item to the macOS menu bar that allows quick access to preferences, copying, and other functions. The value is boolean, meaning it will take YES or NO.

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars showMenuBarExtra -bool YES

subnetMaskCIDRNotation

Use this preference to have Particulars display subnet masks in the short CIDR (Classless Inter-domain Routing) notation. For example, 255.255.254.0 will show as /23. The value is boolean, meaning it will take YES or NO.

This preference is also available in the Today Extension (Widget).

defaults write net.glencode.Particulars subnetMaskCIDRNotation -bool YES


Help Home