Netboot Using Mojave and Server 6.7.1

New Contributor II

I'm not looking for anything crazy at this point. For 10.12 i was using DeployStudio to reinstall the OS in about 5 minutes. Now, if i can just setup a NetBoot of Mojave I would be happy.

I know it was removed in the newest version of macOS Server, but what are people using to be able to NetBoot for a reinstallation now? I am in charge of a large number of computers so booting to internet recovery will just take too long. I have to turn around about 20-30 computers a week on top of a ton of extra work, so the fastest way possible would be the best.



Booting to internet recovery should take the same amount of time as Netboot unless you have serious bandwidth issues. Also, if you have an Apple Caching server on your network, it will cache internet recovery as of High Sierra (there were some bugs but I think around 10.13.5 it started working reliably).

I use internet recovery or flash drives. In your situation it might be easiest to get a bunch of flash drives with OS installers on it. You have to update the flash drives every time you push OS updates out unless you're ok with deploying an older OS and pushing updates to the Mac after install, but that'd be similar to updating Netboot I'd imagine...

I don't think you can create a deployable image of an APFS partition, people were making 10.13 HFS+ work though.

Valued Contributor II

asr restore & DEP will work on any of the macs w/o that security chip (iMac Pro & 2018+ MBP and has to be done from a machine without it). I use that regularly. Otherwise to get Netboot in the, you have to go back to 10.12, put setup an NBI and then upgrade to 10.13 & the newer Server app and it will show, which is how I've been doing them. But that method is on borrowed time.

Valued Contributor

As @crbeck mentioned, Apple has made it clear the installer is the tool they want us to use. With that being said we are still able to access internet recovery. If you want something straight forward and that you could use to get someone to help you, I'd look at installr. You can erase and install OS and add quickadd/policy pkgs in 1 step. You could also host it over http for mass use. This works for the new T2 Hardware.

Valued Contributor III

I will note that I agree with everyone else really need to get off of NetBoot imaging as I don't see the future being great.

That being said, if your goal is to setup a Mac running Mojave to host NetBoot service, check out page 18 of this documentation. It covers how to transition from macOS Server to using just a computer running macOS:

New Contributor II

My #1 issue is time. I understand imaging is not a thing, but I am behind a pretty crappy proxy and it takes forEVER to do an internet recovery. Any idea on how to get it done a little faster? Install flash drives aren't much quicker either.

Also, DEP isn't a thing for us either. Sad, but true for our situation...

Valued Contributor III

I can appreciate 18 of that document shows how to build macOS client into a NetBoot sever. You could also do NetSUS as well.

It’s not maintained by Jamf but is maintained by people “close to them”

The only machines that cannot NetBoot period are iMac Pros and 2018 MacBook Pros right now. That being said as more new hardware gets released by Apple, NetBoot doesn’t have a bright future due to changes on Apple’s end:

New Contributor II

Thanks for the info @blackholemac. I appreciate your help :)

New Contributor III

I just saw this thread, and wanted to add that I just tried Installr from GitHub. Loaded 10.14.1 onto the USB drive and booted to recovery mode. Worked perfectly. I didn't need to add the quickadd pkg since we are DEP. I just assigned the computer to my pre-stage enrollment, and after the install, the machine booted and got all of my policies without a hitch. I am looking at using this solution for existing computers that we re-deploy. Previously, I relied heavily on DeployStudio, for redeploying computers. DeployStudio was great, and I appreciate the effort the developers put into the program, however, I think it is clear that Apple is moving in a different direction.

New Contributor III

I am actually looking into this now, and I call it netboot even though it is old. With DEP though you are restricted to ordering everything online in the store. Without or with DEP though you could, as you mentioned, add them to pre-stage and call it a day. Now if you needed to redo a machine, i.e format and start over, how are you handling that? Using OTA install of Mojave and same process? What happens with Mojave is no longer OTA and the next OS, 10.15 is released?

Contributor III

Do I need to do anything special to the USB drive? I followed the instructions and copied the folder onto a drive with the Mojave installer but I repeatedly get command not found...never mind......I figured it out

New Contributor

I am also looking for an alternative to Deploy Studio to restore a clean OS with automated enrollment. We use it to streamline machine naming and to install a quick add package that automates enrollment on machines out of the box with a pre-installed OS as well. We aren't able to use DEP in our environment yet, so I'm getting hung up on the quick-add package installing properly using the munki installr/bootstrapr methods mentioned in this thread. Has anyone had any luck getting those to work using those methods?

Valued Contributor

This is super interesting. On a 2018 MacBook Pro I'm seeing a "Permissions Denied" message after the target disk is erased, when attempting to install 10.13.6 Build 17G2208. Anyone seeing the same?

I also tried disabling Secure Boot and this didn't help. The build of 10.13.6 is the correct build for the 2018 T2-equipped MacBook Pro.

New Contributor II

another option, that may be faster and work for a longer period of time, is to put a "netboot " partition on the machine itself, about 15gig.
turn off sip, so the machine can boot to that partition through a policy, have the "netboot" partition connect to a share and run whatever install you want against the "Macintosh HD" partition.