Problem with Netboot Appliance

New Contributor

I have the appliance set up. I have copied in my netboot image and started the service. I believe I have correctly configured my subnets. The server is not in the same subnet as my clients, however I do have the helper address configured on my switch. When I go to startup disk in system preferences I do not see the netboot server. If I start up the machine and attempt to netboot the server is not found. If I manually set the machine to netboot with:

bless --netboot --server bsdp://serverIP; restart

it works!

So how can I get the netboot server to show up in system prefs under startup disk or on boot when holding option?


New Contributor III

I might be wrong, but I thought the appliance didn't broadcast itself. I may well be wrong, but I thought that was what I was told. I am building an appliance this week so will test it.

Out of interest do you run your server with a static ip or dhcp. I need to give mine a static ip.



Honored Contributor

Hi everyone,

If I recall Netboot doesn't broadcast at all, it listens. Netboot, and it has been a super long time since I have read the white paper on it, is a subset of DHCP. So, when a client requests an IP they can also request to netboot, if I recall.

So, if you want support over multiple subnets you will most likely have to set up some IP helpers in your network to help guide the traffic along.

Of course you can always netboot via a policy as well to set the netboot server, bless it for next boot only and then force a reboot. As long as the client machine as able to check for policy this could be accomplished.


Honored Contributor

You're spot on. NetBoot and its variants (like PXE) rely upon extensions built into RFC 2131. There's reserved area for vendor supported technologies. The primary one that took off was PXE, though NetBoot is another one of these.

New Contributor

Hmmm. So I have an Apple Netboot server (10.6.8), and the netboot appliance in my server range. The clients I am attempting to netboot are in another range. I have helper addresses for both servers set up.

If I have the Apple server up and I boot the macs holding down option, they see the server and can boot to it.

If I have the Appliance up and I boot the macs holding down option, they do not see any available netboot options. If i then boot these macs into the OS and force a boot to the appliance via Bless it works.

So I i'm trying to figure out what is the difference?, why does this work with the OS X server and not with the appliance?

Valued Contributor

It is a known issue with the NetBoot/SUS appliance.

See the above link for the post made by Eric Krause at JAMF

Encapsulated requests are not currently being handled by the appliance.

New Contributor

Ahh, thank you I will await a resolution from Eric

Contributor II

I've been playing with the NetSUS appliance in our environment and it looks very promising as I get more familiar with it's configuration.

Since we currently boot across subnets this is of interest to me. Has there been any headway on this issue?