4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 14, 2009 10:29 AM by PatGmac

    Using 'N' to start a default imaging process





      Hi all,


      I was wondering if it’s possible to start a default imaging process of a new OS X machine that just came out of the box using the ‘N’ key at boot.


      We setup an XServe server using the documentation ‘Macintosh Operating System Deployment (v2.1) – DOC 5149’ by snowman and we are able to push a re-imaging job the existing machines using a Distibution Package. But this only works for machines that are already in the LANDesk database.



      It’s very cumbersome to install the default OS, install the LANDesk Agent by hand and then start the push job to start the re-imaging to get the preconfigured image on this new machine.


      What we would like is pressing ‘N’ and booting to the default netboot and that a (Default) OS X image is distributed.


      Linux in combination with LANDesk uses the default.cfg file which is similar to the profile directory on the XServe and uses MAC addresses to identify individual machines. When a specific MAC address can’t be found it defaults to a predefined command line.


      Does anyone know if something similar is possible in the XServe environment?

        • 1. Re: Using 'N' to start a default imaging process

          'N' key booting (or selecting netboot from Startup Disk or Option boot) is a broadcast and is limited to the subnet the client machine is located on. This would work if your Xserve is on the same subnet as your clients. If they're not, you have two choices:


          1. Configure your routers to pass BSDP information to your Xserve(s)
          2. Run a script on the new machine that specifies the netboot parameters. This is all LANDesk is doing, it's running a "bless" command to set the startup disk. Figure out where this command is stored and you can just run this on a new Mac without having to install the LD agent.


          More info here: http://www.bombich.com/mactips/nbas.html (be aware, NBAS does not fully work with Leopard or Snow Leopard without slight modifications).

          • 2. Re: Using 'N' to start a default imaging process



            Thank you very much for your anwer. We will try the nvram settings from within the default netboot image to set the correct OSx boot image which contains our predefined settings and LANDesk Agent.



            • 3. Re: Using 'N' to start a default imaging process



              I have been working together with Ruud on this particular case, and I would like to clarify our wishes:


              First of all, we have no problems with NetBoot. It's working just dandy, when we send a reimaging command to a landesk-enblad workstation, the landesk agent sets the correct boot parameters, reboots the machine and the NetBoot image will be fired off, a LANDesk agent picks up the job and the workstation has been reimaged.


              Patrick, the suggestion of running a script with the correct boot parameters might just work (although I have my doubts, LANDesk will have no idea of the incoming machine), but doing stuff from within the OS is exactly not what we want. We want to avoid having to boot the default installed OS first, so we dont have to answer irrelevant questions about registering, MobileMe and so we dont have to endure a non-interruptable "Welcome" movie.

              • 4. Re: Using 'N' to start a default imaging process

                Then you will need to either reconfigure your routers/switches to pass BDSP traffic to the netboot server, or boot from an external device such as a HD or large flash drive in order to run the script to kick off the netboot. Either way, LANDesk will have no idea about the incoming machine so you will either want to include the agent on the image (and delete the /L/P/com.landesk.uuid.plist file) or have the agent install done after imaging (we use Deploy Studio and have the agent installed as part of the workflow).