Best major OS upgrade workflow for labs?


Greetings all,

tl;dr: Can I do a major (Sierra or High Sierra to Mojave) macOS update on my student labs without having to click through screens on site.

Longer, more Bruce-like version: We have a variety of specialty labs in what we call the Center for Creative Computing (my group). Most are still in Sierra for a variety of reasons, one is already in Mojave and fully "Jamfified" because it was new equipment in January and Apple was seriously recommending not using monolithic imaging. Plus, it was good practice (I mean actual practice for us, not "good practice", although I guess that applies too...). This summer (starting next week, actually) we are going to begin converting all of the labs over to Mojave and installing the Fall application and preferences sets. In the past, with monolithic imaging, we always just did a full wipe on the drive and dropped the image. I believe now we want to still do a full wipe, but then use the Apple installer and Jamf to build everything.

I'm also going to be talking to our Apple SE tomorrow as well, but the question is: Is there any way to do this build without having bodies on site to click through those, I believe three, screens at that beginning that you don't seem to be able to bypass? This isn't a problem with our faculty and staff office installs, but we don't generally have people sitting in the lab when we do these semester rebuilds.

It's not a big deal, since we have had to have people there with external hard drives to to the monolithic imaging in the past. I just want to make sure I'm not missing something easy. This is going to be a learning experience for me as well as others as these are the first labs we are building this way.

So, do I need to recruit some mouse-clickers, or is there another way to do this? Thank you very much for your suggestions and assistance.


Honored Contributor II

@bcarter5876 Have you looked at macOSUpgrade? It's designed to be run via Self Service, but it could probably be adapted. Nevermind, I hadn't noticed the Read Me states startosinstall requires a logged in user.

Contributor III

If you want to do a wipe, you'll still need to complete setup assistant (and re-enroll if not net up for automated enrollment) after you to the startosinstall with the --eraseinstall flag. It might be worthwhile to try a policy to just upgrade a test device using startosinstall and see if that works for you. An upgrade install of macOS Mojave would preserve enrollment, and additional apps and preferences you've applied to the system.

If the devices are running ok now, then the old adage "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" might apply.