Mac os x server netboot setup

At the Image Settings screen, provide a name for the image, as well as how the index number for the image is created. Click Next. Then, when prompted, select a location to store the Disk Image, provide any tags to be applied to the files that comprise the image and click on Save. The computer will then start creating the NetBoot set. To get started, go back to the Server app.

First, define which disk will host NetBoot Images. To do so, click on the Edit Storage Settings button.

How to Netboot install ESXi onto Apple Mac Hardware?

At the Storage Settings overlay, select the volume that Images will be hosted as well as the volume that Client Data will be hosted. The Image is what you are creating and the Client Data is dynamic data stored in images. Then click on the OK button. Double-click on an image. Additionally, use the Make this image available for diskless booting option to allow computers without hard drives to boot to the image.

Click on the image and then click on the cog-wheel icon. Do so to start the service. Once started, open a Terminal window. But to end this one, many an old-school admin might wonder where all the settings went that used to be in the GUI. Well, serveradmin still maintains a lot of the older stuff. Recently, Pre-orders for a special price were added as a feature to the App Stores , but these can also not be used for VPP. Overall, I would love if all software were available in the Mac App Store and could be managed and distributed with VPP, but we are a long way from that reality.

By now it seems fairly obvious that Apple wants to get macOS system security to a point where only Apple can ever affect and change system software and firmware. That is a worthwhile goal. It means that your data is secure on an encrypted drive, they decryption key is locked in the secure enclave, but Apple can design solutions like TouchID and FaceID to unlock everything quickly.

Hands on With Apple's NetBoot, Part 2: Creating and working with images

To close the loop for all this security, the system needs to be able to verify and confirm that the software running the system both the OS and firmware are up to date and in their original state. Imaging, NetBoot and NetInstall bypass most of this security. I believe it could be possible to create a networked installation workflow with all the security in mind, but it might just not be worth the effort.

Mac OS X Server: How NetBoot and NetRestore work - theisugmortgerga.ml

Apple seems to think this is not worth doing right now. And remember that imaging and NetInstall are not valuable in themselves, but they are valuable as tools to achieve something useful, namely: automated installation and configuration of Macs.

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In many use cases, DEP allows for workflows that were not possible before. Other technologies in macOS High Sierra snapshots promise some more useful tools, but they are not quite there yet. Right now the gap between what we currently use as admins and what will come down the road is getting really wide. These to goals are often at odds and balancing them is a circus act in the best of times. Right now Apple is making our collective lives harder by shaking the rope we are standing on and throwing a few new balls in to the juggling act at the same time.

Take a good look at your deployments using imaging and NetInstall: might a different deployment scenario work? In education, labs are often used because certain software is too complex or expensive to be provided to all laptops. In this case virtualization, switching to another software solution or different OS might be a solution.

And please let your Apple rep know you are considering switching to another OS. That is the great leverage we have on Apple to support better workflows. To buy some time, you could hold on to Sierra for a while longer.

Netboot Services

Right now, all Macs except the iMac Pro still support Sierra. As new hardware gets released next year, your options will dwindle. Maybe your organization can accelerate or postpone purchases with that in mind. This cannot last forever, but buy you some time. How will you support those when they are purchased? The high price of the iMac Pro might discourage purchases, but for how much longer. You will need to have an answer in place. Your answer may very well be, that you will have to accept the extra manual affort required to re- install High Sierra based Macs. However, then you had better have an idea of how much more effort and time will be required, to justify the extra workload to your organization.

Did you get the budget for it? Are you testing deployment workflows with it? For the past year and more, the writing has been on the wall that this is the way to go. Whether it is just an idea or a finished workflow, please discuss and share it in the MacAdmin community. The MacAdmins Slack is a great place to start. Maybe someone in the community will figure out how to use APFS snapshots to quickly and reliably restore a Mac to a well-known state before Apple does.

There are already some interesting ideas out there. Well done!


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This would be a great time to present your solution and how you got there at a Mac Admin meeting or conference. Many other admins would love to learn from you. Or just write a blog post. Talk with your Apple Reps, file bugs , etc. The orchestration for Apple to get the new hardware and software components and pieces in place must be enormous. Some pieces take longer and with patience we will see how everything fits together.

If Apple forces using MDM and environments that implement it in BYOD environments could unknowingly provide a mechanism to allow pirating VPP software which is a major concern on education environment. There are potential workarounds until Apple resolves the issues, but not without allowing access to users personal devices that could potentially impact or expose access to privacy. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.

Learn how your comment data is processed. Skip to content. This will not work with proxies. Also requires access to But this gives us enough confirmation of facts to know: NetBoot is dead! Why all this? Where to go from here? There are two things a system administrator needs to balance: provide a stable and efficient environment to manage the computers, software, configurations, and users adapt the environment and workflows for new and future requirements and technologies These to goals are often at odds and balancing them is a circus act in the best of times.

Test, test, test!

We are living in interesting times! Happy New Year !

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NetInstall is Dead, too – Scripting OS X

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