Deploying Macs

New Contributor

We are deploying some new Mac desktops for one of our departments as they are in dire need of an upgrade. I wanted to ask everyone what there process is for doing this. We would like to take as much of the setup out of the users hands as possible. In fact they should just be able to log in and access the desktop. We need to be able to Name the computer, install a few Apps (Chrome, The Latest Office with a few other applications that need to be packaged) create a local admin account, set the WiFi (although they wont be using) and of course enroll it into JSS. I'm sure I am missing something from that list =(.

I know that the imaging process takes care of all of this, but I would like to just configure the devices rather than image them (to save time?) They come with the latest version of MacOS (10.12.5) and thats what most of our others mac are running.

Anyway, I was just curious to what others are doing for a situation like this. I usually just image a device with all of these settings. I also inherited JSS but really like it so far πŸ˜ƒ



There are a couple options you could do:

  • If your org is enrolled in VPP, you could put the new Macs in there and set them up using pre-stage enrollment - that would allow the users to simply turn them on, connect them to the internet, and let the Macs pull down all the settings - wifi, programs, connect to directory services, etc - and create their accounts and go
  • If you don't have VPP, you could simply boot the Macs, using Imaging (or another imaging software like DeployStudio) to install all the necessary parts, add any admin accounts you want, etc, and then you hand the machine to the user and have them create their accounts and they're all set. Doing this takes maybe 10 minutes of your time to unbox it, put it in target mode, and configure your imaging software.

Valued Contributor

I am not a big fan of imaging computers due to the amount of time it takes. I just have a basic package I have created that:
a.) Enrolls the Device (this enables our WiFi by pushing down the wireless profile post enrollment)
b.) Prompts for a New Computer Name
c.) Create a Local Admin Account d.) Binds to LDAP

^All of the above is done via scripts that just trigger items that are placed in /library/tmp once the "Startup Package" is triggered.

Everything else is just placed in our catalog and the users can go an install it themselves (I recommend using a cacheing server for big installs like Office '16). I have no recommendations on account creation for the users. All of our accounts are on our LDAP server and are the users folder is created upon login and is mobile (so it can work when a network connections is not active). Honestly, my way is more manual, you could just use DEP and have the computers enroll themselves and have everything pushed down via policies. I am willing to post the scripts if you need them (all of them are here on JAMF Nation - I only modified them to suit my needs).

Valued Contributor II

What you're asking about is easy for "New" macs. Run an enrollment package and then have policy(s) set to install the applciations you're asking about as @jared_f says. It's redeployment where I find imaging useful (queue folks telling me that imaging will be dead). For now though, the difference is stark.

New Contributor

if you're enrolled in DEP and the devices being deployed are in your DEP list and being assigned to your jamf server:

create a prestage deployment and configure policies at enrollment to deploy software

if not DEP devices:

I just use Casper imaging to dump a base image and enroll, then the same process of policies that deploy on enrollment for software configuration.