No need for licensing?

New Contributor III

I'm being asked why we need more than 10 Jamf Pro licenses for 500 Macs. The idea behind this is once a Mac completes the DEI process, why not just delete it from the server. If they every need a change they can re-enroll and then get deleted again.


The biggest problem I see is with Apple Apps. Every time anyone needs an Apple App they will need to enroll, go through the installation process and then get removed from the server. It sounds like a lot of messing around but we are looking at a HUGE cost savings! I'm hoping to get some more input on this concept. Thanks!


Valued Contributor

I would ask the question of why use Jamf at all if you are just going to delete the computer.  Jamf is a management tool not an imaging tool.  If you are just going to use it for the initial setup of the device, go back to 1989 and manually setup the device.  Jamf will be useless to you if you use it in the fashion you describe.  Or maybe look at Jamf Now.

New Contributor III

Mr. DBrowning,

Sorry for the late reply. As you know time travel hasn't been invented yet and it's probably a good thing because nobody would be here. We purchased Jamf for two reason which are to "image" newly purchased Macs and manage Apple Apps.  We already had/have a single Application that can install Applications onto Macs, PC's and Linux. I still would be imaging Macs the way I did back in the Sierra days and decades before that if I could. It was cheaper, easier and faster then the tools we have today but I'm getting off topic.

If a manager asks me why we need 250 licenses for a process that we will mostly only run once on every Mac, what can I tell them? What is the advantage of having a Mac sit in Jamf not including installing Applications.

New Contributor II

Wow.. interesting way of handling this...  there are times when things are stagnate on the device, but yes, what about the times you may need to update/add a profile, and of course the apps.  Thats a lot of overhead to deal with.  I get the cost savings, but perhaps there may be a better tool for what they are asking you to do.

New Contributor III


Sorry for the late reply. We already had/have a single Application that can install Applications onto Macs, PC's and Linux. I'm just not seeing any big advantages to having Mac lingering around in Jamf unless you can come up with some.


Contributor II

The way I read this, it's just like saying - "I've created my Word document, so why do I need a MS Office subscription? Can't I just cancel and then renew if I ever need to write another document?" Never mind that constantly enrolling and re-enrolling that many machines is bound to get real old real fast.


If all you want is imaging, then Jamf Pro is the wrong tool. If you want to be able to deploy software at a moment's notice, create a self service environment for your user base, be able to deploy configuration profiles to proactively minimize some of the more annoying aspects of macOS (i.e. PPPC approvals), to keep deployed applications up to date, to be able to lock rogue/stolen devices, gather inventory information so you have documentation of your assets, etc - then these ongoing management tasks is what Jamf Pro is good at.

New Contributor III


Sorry for the late reply. If I was only going to create one Word document why would I need a MS Office subscription? What would you recommend as a good tool for imaging Macs? We don't use the self-service abilities in Jamf mostly due to everyone wanting to download every application available without a license. I like your idea about configuration profiles especially when the macOS version changes.  I might be able to use keeping Apple Apps up to date but we already have way too many applications for inventory.

A few things to unpack here. . .


First. . .I'm not sure why you're irrationally clinging to imaging. It's dead - and it ain't coming back. The sooner you accept this and stop fighting Apple on this, the easier your life will be as an admin.


"mostly due to everyone wanting to download every application available without a license" - so I read this as one of 3 possibilities - 

1 - Your users are using unlicensed software and you feel powerless/unable to stop that.

2 - Your company is relying exclusively on free software.

3 - Your company expects the users to license their own software.

All three of those possibilities sound pretty horrible.


As for "we already have way too many applications for inventory". . .I highly doubt that. It may seem that way if you don't have systems and processes in place to manage your estate. 


But based on this as well as your other replies, I'm left with the impression that your company is trying to do things as cheaply as possible, even if it means skirting the ethical boundaries.

New Contributor III
  • Are you expecting to never make a change to your 500 Macs once you enroll them?
  • Do you not have security policies at your organization that requires specific configurations, operating system and software versions, etc?
  • If Apple makes a change to how something works that you have already configured during an OS update, do you not need a system to adjust that setting?

If all these questions are no, not only do you not need 500 licenses, then you most likely don't need Jamf Pro in the first place.

Yes, there are huge cost savings involved, if you don't value the time involved to make changes to a fleet of systems without a management system to do it.

If you or your organization can't afford Jamf, that's cool.  There's tons of free/open source tools out there for managing Macs that you can use in it's place.  Where Jamf shines is having most of the things you need all in one product to manage your fleet, the scalability of their service, and ease of setup compared to some of the lower cost solutions that are out there.

New Contributor III


Sorry for the late reply. I'm sure there will be some changes over time, especially with a new macOS release. We have a separate security application we run on all the Macs and PCs. We purchased Jamf Pro when there was only a handful of Mac MDM solutions available and our clients would not allow us to use any free and unsupported open source application.

Jamf has two settings for MDM Mac management. Locking everything down with a Configuration Profile which our users find difficult to work with or trying to write a script and delivering it with a Policy. I'm not a great script writer and if that's the solution I could push that out with Apple Remote Desktop. Plus scripts seem to need a lot of changing with the release of a new macOS.

Legendary Contributor II

I had planned to add something to this discussion, but honestly, everyone else here has already said it so well, there's not much else to say. If you really want to use Jamf Pro in this way, it's the wrong tool for the job. I would look at something like Mac Deploy Stick or one of the other new "imaging" tools that have cropped up since Apple killed the old style imaging model. They may serve you better.

New Contributor III


Sorry for the late reply. Unfortunately I think you might be correct. I say unfortunately because in order to purchase and install a new management application I will have to go through a long and detailed process. I will need to compare multiple solution with advantages, disadvantage and pricing. This will be reviewed and more questions will be sent that I will need to forward and get answers from. And finally we will need to demo every application and a final comparison data sheet will be produced. This is what was done to purchase Jamf and now it might be overkill.

New Contributor II

If its a build and forget environment without any security or auditing concerns then you don’t need jamf.

But things to consider:

  1. Data Leak - Its very common for IT to be responsible for this.  You might want to have the means to remote wipe in the event of loss.  Well before it gets sold to ebay.
  2. Support Situation - How many people do you have at hand?  500 devices without an active mac management tool seems a bit daunting.
  3. Software Auditing - you’ll need to have excel spreadsheet(s) to manage this, since you don’t have inventory in jamf.

If you do have the time, do check out MDS* since those are free, just have to go thru the learning curve.

*Mac Deploy Stick


Sorry for the late reply. It's beginning to look like we need to explore different solutions. The biggest problem with that and MDS is we have a lot of Macs running older operating systems and a lot of time these newer solution don't support them. MDS does look very interesting, thanks for the suggestion.

All of our Macs are encrypted in case they are lost or stolen. Our users don't want to be locked down so when we manage something on the Mac it's only a suggestion and we already do have several applications with inventory solutions.


Because stealing is bad?  Dunno.  But like everyone else is saying...  if you don't need Jamf, don't get Jamf.  If you need it (or any MDM), then deleting the records defeats the entire purpose.

(and FWIW, minimum seat count for Jamf is 50 IIRC)