Casper Beginner - NetBoot Imaging

New Contributor

Hi Folks,

Brand new to the Casper world and looking for some pointers. I can successfully image a machine in target mode, but cannot get a network installation to work. I created my minimal base OS, made a NetBoot Image, and successfully hosted it on my server.

I've used PXE on the Windows side to push OS images and applications out across the network and it's relatively straight forward. With Mac NetBoot, however it appears it loads a functional OS from the network without actually installing anything. How do I use the Casper Suite and my NetBoot setup to automatically push my minimal base OS image, application configurations, and join the JSS?

As I said, we're new to Casper so aside from my test machine that was joined via TMI, none of my machines are associated with the JSS yet. They'll all be getting reimaged as a part of this process. Pointers to previous discussions / guides would be much appreciated as my own searches for a specific step by step process both here and in the admin guide have proved unhelpful.

Many Thanks,


New Contributor II

Hey Joel, I've only started using Casper this year and the JumpStart handover by a Casper specialist gave me an overview on EVERYTHING! Plus, in the process you end up creating deployable boots, images, policies name it. Highly recommended! Good luck and's probably one of my favourite applications in the deployment/desktop management world.

Legendary Contributor III


Its hard to tell from here since I don't have insight into how you created your NetBoot image, but from what you've described, it sounds like what's missing is the Casper application copied to the NetBoot image as well as adding the app into the login items for whatever account it auto logs into.

So the process would be, when you make the base NetBoot image:
- enable the root account
- copy the Casper into the main /Applications/ folder
- log into the root account
- add Casper into the root account's Login Items under System Preferences
- while in System Preferences, set up auto login and select the root account (shows as System Administrator, you'll be asked to enter the root account's password here), so when it boots up it should log right into root
- launch Casper Imaging at least once while still in the root account to set it up, entering any information it asks for, such as your JSS address, etc. That sets up a preference file that will get read from the root account on future launches.

Then test this setup by rebooting the machine a few times. It should auto login to root and the Casper imaging application should launch automatically and ask for credentials. This would be an account in the JSS that has imaging privileges. Once you do that it should connect up to the JSS, showing configurations, etc.

Once you deem everything good. build your NetBoot image from that OS and host that off your OS X server.

Once you've got that all working, you can look at the Admin Guide for how to set up automatic imaging using Pre-Stage.

Hope that helps.

Valued Contributor II

Did you follow the instructions here:

Specifically, under:

"If you plan to create a NetBoot image from your minimal base OS image, consider performing the following tasks:"

I think there is some confusion and duplication between that article and

I think JAMF should break these into a few disparate topics. Right now you've got 2 KB articles which cover:

1) creating an OS image
2) making it a NetBoot image using SIU
3) making it a Casper Imaging NetBoot image

I believe the mixing of topics between the two causes some confusion...

Contributor II

Once you get the netboot image with Casper Imaging app working, you should consider thin imaging as the methodology for new hardware. By thin imaging I mean don't erase what you get from Apple on a new computer - just add your applications, settings and admin account(s).

Valued Contributor II

Couldn't have put it better myself. Also make sure that you grab a copy of your Casper Administrators Guide.