NetBooting Macs remotely...?

Valued Contributor

HI Folks,

First off, please accept my apologies if this is a duplicate discussion.

I am kind of stuck and need guidance. We have several Macs that are still on Yosemite, but a number of them are now on El Capitan. In the past we could remotely or with a policy netboot these Machines. Doing this, we could schedule it and we are golden to let things happen over night. This is problematic these days.

What are you all doing to reimage your Macs without "physically" being in front of them? Maybe I am asking the wrong question or I am thinking wrong about how to go about this.

Talking with Apple, the support person through our AppleCare Select agreement said it wasn't possible without the intervention of a third party. So I thought Casper could do it. I just haven't found a way to do this. I really don't want to have to touch every single system to whitelist the netboot server if I don't have to.

As always, thank you for your kind feedback.


Contributor II

Welcome to the world of SIP. We've been talking to our Apple SE and trying to push back for Apple to give us a tool or method to systematically do this in a better fashion.

But those El Cap machines are going to need to have some type of manual intervention. We're finishing up our summer refresh of lab and podium machines. Since we still do a nuke and pave on those systems I created a modified recovery partition on a USB stick for our installers. They boot to the stick and run a script that whitelists our netboot server and then runs the bless and boot commands to get them netbooted and to the Casper Imaging window.

This way in the future if a lab machine reports a problem I can update/reload the machine using Casper most likely with similar workflows to what you're currently doing.

Valued Contributor

Thanks @Brad_G this is helpful to know I am not the only one who is trying to find a way through this. For the short term, I am going to utilize some physical labor from our IT students to help me get these imaged. Long term though, it is appearing that we have to find a good, consistent way of getting this done.

Does anyone know if JAMF is working on a solution for this? Apple told me third party vendors have solutions to make this work. I was surprised that I couldn't find a built in solution using Casper. As I mentioned, I am sure I am overlooking something on this. We have a couple of weeks before classes begin and I wanted to get this down pat before moving forward.


Valued Contributor

Hey @Brad_G any chance you might be willing to share your script? A colleague of mine thought your solution was extremely creative and it might work for us. I would love to take this conversation off line if you wouldn't mine at some point. You can email me direct: Thank you.

New Contributor

Hey @Brad_G or @mconners can any one of share your script it will be helpful to me .Thank you in advance

Valued Contributor

Hi @ravi1172577 I don't have script to make this work. I have attempted this before and without any success. I ended up doing this manually while in front of the computer. Sorry.