The name "defaults" derives from OpenStep's name for user preferences, Defaults, or NSUserDefaults in Foundation Kit. Each application had its own defaults plist ("domain"), under ~/Defaults for the user configuration and /Defaults for the system configuration. The lookup system also supports a NSGlobalDomain.plist, where defaults written there will be seen by all applications. In macOS, the Defaults part of the path is replaced by the more intuitive Library/Preferences. defaults accesses the plists based on the domain given.