My Workflow to create new Netboot Images


I thought I would share my current workflow to create net boot images as quickly as possible. Any suggestions and advice are welcome. We purchased Casper in November and while we are using the package deployment stuff right now, we won't be doing a full reimage of all our machines until August/September when we upgrade from Mountain Lion to Mavericks in all our labs.

I get a fresh new Mac and use the App Store installer to install the full version (10.9.2 at the moment). I create the initial deployment account (always the same credentials) and then fire up composer.

I create a new package using "new and modified snapshot" method and make my changes. I then save it as a pkg/dmg. If i want to make more changes I can fire up composer with the same method, apply the pkg to the machine, make my changes and save it again.

The benefit is that if I want to make a new net boot image after that, I can just use the latest appstore installer, set up the deployment account and apply the pkg. Job done (well, nearly). I boot to a second partition and use Composer to capture the OS as a dmg and transfer to my server where I create the NBI using system image utility. I then adjust the kextcache to be under 32MB and make sure the net boot dmg is at least 10GB expanded to ensure I don't get complaints about disk space (only started doing this today, information in this discussion - )

I have a couple of bits in there now such as an rsync login item for the deploy account that always gets the latest version of casper from a share and a post install script using dockutil that removes all but the essential dock items. It also changes the background and the icon on the login window so it looks more JAMFY.

I am also considering a script on the desktop to install a createosxinstall.pkg straight to the Macintosh HD drive (with a quickadd.pkg combined in it) and a reboot. Then all machines pick up software via policies depending on their smart group.

I would like to safely remove the recovery partition as part of this as its essential that students can't access disk utility from the recovery partition but I have had issues when removing the recovery drive that have left machines in an unbootable state so thats where my testing is heading for now.