Newbie NetBoot question

appleaday4k
New Contributor

Hi All,

I am updating an older JSS server, and one of the issues is the server will not boot our newer machines over the network by holding the N key as the NetBoot image needs updating. Our ultimate goal is to startup the machine over the network and then drop a image to it

I was getting ready to update the image, then I realized I will have to update the NetBoot image in the future for new hardware or OS's.

Is there a better way to handle network based booting of Mac's for imaging that does not require reoccurring updates?

11 REPLIES 11

appleaday4k
New Contributor

Another factor we are considering is speed. We want to switch to a thin image model, but also saw that target mode may be faster.

Brad_G
Contributor II

NetBoot has many advantages but it also comes with some cost in terms of overhead. Keeping the NetBoot .nbi images up to date to support newer hardware, network design and other factors can also come into play.

It might help to know a bit more about your environment to give suggestions. Is your shop central or do you have branches across the globe? Is this to support a dozen machines or thousands? Is the JSS also the NetBoot server, distribution point, MySQL server (your question kind of made it sound like it might)?

There are many folks here with great input but some idea of what you're trying to do and the size and scope will help.

Brad

appleaday3k
New Contributor II

Hi Brad,

Great questions! We currently use a Linux server for everything related to Casper (NetBoot, Distribution Point, etc). The server sits behind a firewall and is not exposed to the public and serves about 30 or so Macs. The server sits in a data center on a fairly robust network connection (although I am debating a distribution server as well). The data center is not in the same location as our office.

We only have one physical location currently.

Our end all goal is to thin image and send software down via Casper

I am looking to optimize things long term and appreciate your help!

bentoms
Honored Contributor III
Honored Contributor III

@appleaday4k Are you using AutoCasperNBI?

The main idea of that is to cut down the faff when creating NBI'a & also when needing to create a new one.

There will be a Sierra release this weekend, & AutoCasperNBI saves your selected options & settings to that when you need to create an updated NBI. Just supply it a new OS.dmg & Casper Imaging.app then hit build.

appleaday3k
New Contributor II

Very cool, I need to look at autocasperNBI.

My worry is involving to many 3rd party tools may introduce support issues if something goes wrong but maybe it's a non issue?

bentoms
Honored Contributor III
Honored Contributor III

@appleaday3k Up to you.

If you use System Image Utility & it goes wrong, Apple won't help much.

AutoCasperNBI was written by myself, is used by me & many, many others.

I'm not going to stop maintaining it & NetBoot is not really a technology that is likely to change much.

If, ACNBI did stop working.. you could go back to SIU.

Or.. DEP & no imaging at all.. then no need to worry about 3rd party.

BUT, you're missing a bit part of the "JAMF and..." piece where you can extend the suite with other tools.

appleaday3k
New Contributor II

Cool, thank you. I will take a look at it first thing Monday.

appleaday3k
New Contributor II

@bentoms Question for you. All the directions I see refer to using OS X server to host the NetBoot image. I think (and need to verify Monday) that our NetBoot image is hosted on a Linux box. Do you know of any Linux specific directions I can provide to our Linux team, to update the current NetBoot image?

mpermann
Valued Contributor II

@appleaday3k have a look at BSDPy. That should allow you to host your AutoCapserNBI on a Linux box. There is a Slack channel on MacAdmins for BSDPy for assistance if you need it. The author (@bruienne) is very active and helpful on the channel.

bentoms
Honored Contributor III
Honored Contributor III

@appleaday3k you'll need to verify what the NetBoot server is with the Linux admins.

It's most probably NetSUS or BSDPy.

Either will work with ACNBI, & there's a check box for them.

appleaday4k
New Contributor

Thanks you! I will investigate what we currently have then figure out how to update it.