Automating Locations with networksetup

The new location options in networksetup are pretty interesting and while I’ve mentioned them in writings in the past I thought I would explore scripting against them, as they do reflect an interesting new challenge, mostly if you’re looking to script against non-booted volumes. To script against a booted volume is fairly straight forward. You have the -listlocations, -getcurrentlocation, -createlocation, -deletelocation and -switchlocation options which lists all locations, lists the current location, creates a location, deletes a location and potentially switches a location. To get started, first look at what locations your system has:
networksetup -listlocations
If you are on a freshly installed system you should see Automatic as your only location. Therefore, that should be the output of the next option. But just to make sure, now use the -getcurrentlocation option to show your current location:
networksetup -getcurrentlocation
When you’re scripting the creation of locations you will use the -createlocation option. This option will allow you to create a new location without any network services created for that location. Let’s create an empty location called Work
networksetup -createlocation Work
This will create an entry in the /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/preferences.plist. Each of these entries is marked with a unique identifier. That unique identifier is then referenced as a Set within the preferences.plist and as you create network services they are in turn referenced by a unique identifier within the set. While we’re creating locations we can go ahead and create one with the default set of network services (1 of each physical adapter). To do so, use the -createlocation option again, but this time follow it with a populate verb. We’ll use this location to setup a location for home.
networksetup -createlocation Homeq populate
Oops, did we misspell Home as Homeq, we should probably delete that and create the one we actually meant to create. To do so use the -deletelocation option and then add the Home location again:
networksetup -deletelocation Homeq
The -deletelocation option will amusingly output the string found it!
networksetup -createlocation Home populate
Next, in order to configure the various network services within each location you will need to switch to that location. Here, we will switch the active location using the -switchlocation option:
networksetup -switchlocation Work
With the appropriate location selected, use the -createnetworkservice, -removenetworkservice and -ordernetworkservices options to more granularly configure your locations, as I previously covered.

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