Netboot without OS X

Valued Contributor III

So one of the things that's on my current worklist is to find a replacement for our ageing xserves that (amongst other things), provide Netboot.

Am I correct in understanding that my choices to keep net boot are as follows?

1) Either a Mac Pro or Mac Mini server
2) JAMF's NetSUS appliance
3) Roll your own via one of the more intricate unix guides i've ever seen on RHEL 6.



We went with 2 on a VM. Works great for Netboot and SUS.

Contributor III

We've moved to Mac Mini servers in Sonnet xMac mini server cases. Easiest thing to deal with, imho.

It's the database that really does the heavy lifting, which we'll probably transition to Linux when the xserves give out.

Valued Contributor III

We already have a Reposado/Margarita based SUS. I guess NetSUS is the way we'll be going.

johnnasset: How are you dealing with two of these? Are you clustering behind a single DNS service name?

Contributor III

Been using the JAMF NetSUS Appliance. Works fine for what we do.

Legendary Contributor III

While we aren't using NetBoot in our environment, we're looking to go fully NetSUS to replace our internal Mac SUS servers (mostly Mac minis). Hosting this all on VMs instead of physical boxes will make things easier for us. Also means we can spin additional ones up in regions as we go without the need to locate or acquire hardware for it.

We had already spun up one instance of NetSUS previously for testing and I like it.


We have both the SUS and Netboot on a single VM so no clustering. Both services resolve to

Valued Contributor II

I'll be very interested in how this goes. I've got two very high end NetBoot servers that should last me a few more years. After that... I'm hoping that a couple of Mac Mini's with LOTS of high speed I/O will be there for me.

@jannassett: How's the performance on your NetBoot form VM?

Valued Contributor II

i just switched from a MacPro 5,1 16GB to a CentOS Linux HPZ620, my netboot image is by no means optimized or made as small as a lot of people worry about doing, usually i bake a 50GB space saver in so i can install CS on a netbooted image to test the package. Anyway my Linux server netboots noticeably faster. Other things i have notices when rsyncing packages from a client to the new server, i now get 90-108MB/s where as the best i ever saw on the MacPro was about 47MB/sec.
And My company is never going to allow some little single power supply non-rack mountable server in the room, much less can i get any server team to manage the Mac servers. Linux on the other hand they do all day long, and that gets me out of server management. Very happy with Linux netboot. Now you almost have to be a genius or really lucky to cobble all the pieces of information you can find on google to get something that works for both new and old hardware etc. Maybe one of these days i can post the best of what i found to get it working. But, JAMF has the nice appliance and i bet more people go with it. Ubuntu doesnt fly with my server teams either so thats why i had to stay away from it.

New Contributor

is it true the appliance doesnt work accross VLANs even with helpers in place