Last month we had a look at setting up DeployStudio on a freshly built Server running 10.6. We configured a DeployStudio Admin account, Server Admin settings, including a repository for images and NetBoot for the network booting. In part 2 we will take a look at building a fresh client image, configuring some specifics, and then imaging using DS.
You want to start out with a freshly built Mac – either from the restore discs, or a clean build from an Apple release such as Snow Leopard. Once booted, run software update and install all of the Apple updates available. These can include iLife and iWork if you want to include them in your base image (obviously these will make your image larger, but it can save the hassle of assigning them later if they are important to your users).
Keep running software update until it reports back that there are no updates left to do. If you have firmware updates to do, do them before imaging!
There are a few things I like to do on my images before running DeployStudio, you can take these or leave them – depending on your own requirements.
Firstly, I like to edit the “auto_master” file as the network these Macs are on is an Active Directory and making this change stops an error when users try to logon straight after someone else has logged off. Head up to the “Go” menu and “Go to Folder…” – the “auto_master” file is in the /etc/ directory.
This file will be locked if you edit it directly, so I find it easier to drag the file to the Desktop, then open it up in TextEdit (or similar). You need to comment out “/Network/Servers” line. Your finished file will look like so:
Save the file and place it back in the /etc/ directory.
Other Pre-Image Changes
Now is also a good time to set up you local Admin account. Head in to System Preferences and Accounts, select your Admin account and make any changes you feel necessary – maybe a nice strong password! Disable “Automatic Login” and I prefer to have “Name & password” selected as i’m working with an AD network.
I also like to enable the “Root” account for really difficult situations. You can do this via “Directory Utility” found in:
Or even quicker found via the “Join” button in Accounts > Login Options.
“Enable Root User” can be found under the “Edit” menu when Directory Utility is open. Again, set a really strong password as this is a powerful account!
Back in System Preferences open up “Sharing” – if you use Apple Remote Desktop, then now is a good time to enable “Remote Management”. Other options could include setting a time server now before we image.
DeployStudio already includes a Workflow for basic imaging – so we don’t need to look at creating our own Workflows yet. If you are ready to image your Mac head in to System Preferences, Startup Disk and (if you followed Part 1 correctly) your NetBoot set should appear in the list next to your hard drives. Select “Network Disk” and “Restart”.
Once you have rebooted in to DeployStudio select “Create a master from a volume” and hit the “Play” button (the interface is very iTunes).
You now have the opportunity to name your image, enter any additional keywords to identify the image, and change any other settings if you require. Personally, I leave the rest as default.
Press Play again and the imaging process will begin. The time this takes will vary depending on the size of your image and speed of your network. Even once the imaging process is complete it will take some more time to appear in the DeployStudio Admin – don’t panic, it will be available at some point (have a look under “Activity” in DS Admin)!
Restoring the image
So again, without creating any of our own custom Workflows – DS comes with a ready made restore Workflow “Restore a master on a volume”. Like before, simply reboot to the NetBoot set you created, and from the Runtime select the Workflow.
On the next screen you have a few options. You can select the disk you wish to restore it to (if you have multiple HD’s or partitions) and optionally rename the volume once the restore has completed. Select your image you just created from the list of images (there are lots in my screenshot, as it’s taken from my production server).
Press Play and away you go!
If there is interest I may do a Part 3 in which we will take a look at creating Dual Boot images. We’ll see.