Best practice on deploying new Macs?


A JAMF server was set up by JAMF jumpstart this year and shortly we will be getting our annual Mac order. I have never used imaging servers before. What is the best practice for images for new Macs with JAMF? Should I:

  1. Create a base image with all our standard apps and have JAMF push that huge image to the new machines upon JAMF enrollment?
  2. Just have JAMF push the app packages I created with Composer and the policies to the new machines upon JAMF enrollment?

Valued Contributor

Any chance you can order through a DEP vendor? That's the 1st question under "Best Practice" and would take care of both issues above in one step.

Valued Contributor III

Option 1 isn't how thick imaging works, you couldn't push a base image to clients that enroll. You'd use option 2 for that. Option 1 would require using Netboot or another method where you aren't running from the OS partition (target disk mode, USB boot).

Option 1 is good for when the target system doesn't have a fresh, current OS since it would be faster than manually wiping the device and installing a new OS and then using Option 2. A lot of shops don't even bother with Option 1 and only have Option 2. We do both (Option 1 for used devices, Option 2 for new devices).

Valued Contributor

Thin installation.

Keep the OS that ships with the computer from apple and overlay applications on top of it.

so #2.


You want may to look at DeployStudio. This can do both thin and full imaging.

You can also use enrollment policies to essentially thin image via Casper.

DEP can be utilized for automatic MDM enrollment.