I’m not sure if this is already known news but it was news to me when I discovered it a month ago.
You CAN manage ‘byhost’ settings in 10.4.
Read on for more…The procedure is actually almost painfully simple.
First wipe all the ‘byhost’ settings on a example machine and reboot. Then set all the appropriate preferences on a example machine.
After this is done go into the byhost folder for the user or system and copy them to the desktop. Strip off the mac address from the file name (com.apple.screensaver.plist for example) and then open the file in Property List Editor.
From here you can clean up any prefs you do not want to push out to clients, make sure to do this step as there are some things that could cause problems passing out to machines.
After you have saved the file, open up Workgroup Manager and go to the preferences for the machine, group or users you want and then go to the details tab. Now click the add button and add the saved out and edited file. Now you will be able to move around all the separate prefs to once, often and always. Once you save the preferences will be pushed out to the clients like any other MCX pref.
I have tested this in 3 different setups running 10.4.2 and 10.4.3 with com.apple.screensaver.plist and I propagated at the machine level, finally allowing me to force screensaver times and password on wake from screensaver/sleep. This was viewed as a huge security issue in our environment.