Today’s post is all about adding a welcome message to your login screen. Most of the time it displays a list of users and options to restart, shut down or log into your Mac. This string of text can be very useful if you have a fear of your Mac getting stolen or mixed up with other Mac’s. The string is short but can be used to display a useful bit of information. This post took me about 15 minutes to research and put together, and about an hour to try and grab a screen shot of the screen in action (I never found a working solution).
To do this little trick fire up Terminal. This is located in Applications > Utilities. Within it copy and paste the following:
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText "Your Message Here"
If you want to change the message alter it in TextEdit (quickest method) and then paste it into Terminal. You will be asked to supply your admin password. Once as the command runs the message will be changed. Use the quick log out option to see your handy work. The switch will probably take a long time. I thought my Mac had crashed but when the screen eventually loads you will see above the list of user name the piece of text you have just added.
Useful information can include your name, address of a piece of unique information such as your address, email, phone etc, something that can only be linked to you. This means that if you Mac get stolen and the user name deleted it will be easily identifiable to you. Unless your thief reads this blog and has read this tip, it will be very hard for them to get rid of this bit of information. If you know your Mac wont get stolen add something funny or humorous. The text can only be one line. I’m not sure of the length however I would keep it short.
If you want to change it back and remove the text simply copy and paste the following into Terminal:
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText ""
The text will be gone.
If you want to learn more about Terminal command, either search this site or read some of the cool Terminal books on the market. I recommend MAC OS X UNIX Toolbox or Mac Command Line: Unix Under the Hood. There is plenty of resources out there.