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Mac Thread, Mac imaging in Technical; So we are a most PC university, but our mac population is growing. We have a mac server with it's ...
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    Mac imaging

    So we are a most PC university, but our mac population is growing.

    We have a mac server with it's own switch that run server app and we use that to deploy images to laptops and desktop that we are deploying. When we do a lab, the same process occurs. We have been looking at a more "networked" solution, something similar to SCCM / MDT / WDS that we use for our windows labs.

    So couple of questions:

    Would mac's image over the PXE protocol?

    Can we have both pc and mac's in the same vlan and expect the machines to communicate to the right server for imaging?

    Is the basic method, setting up the Server app to DHCP / PXE from our apple server?

    Thanks!

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Macs cannot use PXE to boot from your network. However, they do have their own network boot protocol called NetBoot. There is a NetBoot server built into OS X Server.

    NetBoot and PXE servers can quite happily exist on the same network segment, your Macs and PCs will just find the right one. If you're using multiple VLANs, you will need to put in an IP helper to point at your NetBoot server.

    The NetBoot server built into OS X is functional but pretty basic. Deploy studio is considered to be one of the best Mac deployment solutions out there and is free as well!

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    free780's Avatar
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    Presumably you can have the sccm client installed on the Mac. Can it do osd for macs? I know sccm treats macs like devices rather than PCs.

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    The native Microsoft SCCM client for the Mac is extremely limited. It can't do OSD.

    There is one from Parallels which can but it is expensive. Read my series of blogs on the subject here if you want more information

  5. Thanks to Norphy from:

    TheScarfedOne (30th July 2014)

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    So really the simplest way for right now would be to get the mac mini that is in our data center updated with Mavericks, and Server OS X 10.9. Put it on the "lab" vlan where all the macs are and enable netboot?

    Previously we could build the image for our macs on a machine then use firewire to capture the netrestore image to the server to then deploy it, does that same principle apply?

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agarabaghi View Post
    So really the simplest way for right now would be to get the mac mini that is in our data center updated with Mavericks, and Server OS X 10.9. Put it on the "lab" vlan where all the macs are and enable netboot?
    That's certainly the simplest way. You don't necessarily have to move it to the same VLAN as your lab but there would need to be an IP helper in your data centre VLAN pointing at the Mac Mini Server's IP address (and a route between the two VLANs obviously).

    Quote Originally Posted by agarabaghi View Post
    Previously we could build the image for our macs on a machine then use firewire to capture the netrestore image to the server to then deploy it, does that same principle apply?
    Pretty much, yes. The NetRestore image needs to be an NBI and there is a section inside the OS X Server app which lets you add NBI images to be booted from. I can't tell you exactly how to do it because I don't use it.

    The process would be, create a "Master" image on a Mac, install all of your software, customisations, default user profile etc. When you're finished, boot the master Mac into Target mode and connect it to another Mac using FireWire or Thunderbolt. Open the System Image Utility (Found at /System/Library/CoreServices) and take an image. You can use the System Image Utility to create a workflow to automatically partition your disks and name your Macs. Once the image has been created, copy it to your Mac server and add it to the NetBoot section in the Server app.

    /edit

    The NetInstall part of OS X Server looks pretty self explanatory:
    netboot.png
    Last edited by Norphy; 30th July 2014 at 01:42 PM.

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    ahh so 1 extra step. We would need to capture the image to another mac and then upload it.

    Cool. Updating the mac mini now. Ill keep everyone posted.

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Or you could connect the master Mac to the server Mac and take the image on that. That would eliminate that step. The only reason I don't do that is because the server that hosts my NetRestore image is a) a Windows server and b) In a different physical location

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    yea i dont want the guy making the master images walking into our data center

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Oh and just for the record, I'm sure you realise this but it's worth mentioning just in case. To boot from a network image you either need to hold the option key when starting the Mac or choose a network boot volume from the Boot Disk preference pane. Just like with a FireWire volume I guess. It looks like this under System Preferences.

    boot disk.jpg

    You may want to set a firmware password to stop people buggering about if you haven't already.

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    yup. thanks! installing 10.9... server osx 10 (v. 3) purchased
    here we go!

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    so we got the mac server up with osx sever and create just a maverick image from the installer. Im assuming ill have to add an ip-helper line to the vlan that points to the ip of the server?

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    That's correct, yes.

    This is what the configuration for the data VLAN looks like for one of our HP switches:

    Code:
    vlan 20
       name "{VLAN Name}"
       untagged A1-A24,B1-B24,C1-C24,D1-D3,D5-D24,E1-E24,F1-F24,G13-G17,G21
       ip helper-address 10.10.1.14
       ip helper-address 10.10.2.14
       ip helper-address 10.10.2.30
       ip helper-address 10.10.1.218
       ip address {x.x.x.x} 255.255.252.0
       ip igmp
       exit
    We have two DHCP servers, two PXE servers and a NetBoot server. The NetBoot server lives on the same server as one of the PXEs.
    Last edited by Norphy; 30th July 2014 at 04:13 PM.

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    ok line added... flashing earth went away, circle globe showed up.... now its the spinning wheel and apple logo..... waitttting....

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    Sounds promising so far!

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