AutoCasperNBI & AutoImagrNBI 1.5.0 – the final major updates

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Today I have released my seemingly annual pre-JNUC post-new macOS updates to both AutoCasperNBI & AutoImagrNBI, these are likely to be the last major updates to the apps & quite possibly the last updates to the apps ever.

Below is why I have updated the apps, & why this is likely to be their last update.

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How To NetBoot A VMWare Fusion & ESXi Hosted VM

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VMWareFusion

For a number of years, OS X VMWare Fusion VM’s either hosted locally or on ESXi have supported NetBoot. Rich Trouton has covered this before here & here.

(Incidentally whilst this post refers to VMWare OS X VM’s, you can also NetBoot Parallels OS X VM’s & Kyle Bareis has a post on NetBooting VM’s created with that here.)

On occasion, the odd question still pops up on how to do this. So I’m posting this in the hope of rebroadcasting the message for any that have missed it.

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Faffing About With csrutil

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el-cap-ship-date-demo-100613417-large970.idge

At Apple’s recent event, the release date for the next release of OS X (El Capitan) was “leaked” in the above shown email.

Not only is this release going to be the most magical since the last one, it’s main focus seems to be on performance & security. The latter of which will affect us admins, especially System Integrity Protection (read: SIP).

This post will try to explain one way SIP may affect you, & possibly how to prepare.

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Making the most of the Mac Mini for use with the Casper Suite

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MacMiniWith the death of the Xserve & subsequent killing off of the MacMini server many Mac Admins have either sought to remove all Apple branded hardware from the server room or have been forced to.

Myself? I now look after a total of 25 Mac Servers, 21 of which are dedicated to our JSS & are installed across 8 different sites globally, some of the challenges of which are touched upon in the JNUC2014 Panel I was on, titled Thinking Big: Scaling JSS Infrastructures for the Mobile Workforce.

The focus of the post below is the Mac Mini’s which are used onsite for Casper Suite Distribution Points, NetBoot Servers & Caching Servers.

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Introducing AutoImagrNBI

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AutoImagrNBI_256 Say hello to AutoCasperNBI’s relative AutoImagrNBI.

As the name implies, AutoImagrNBI is a variant of AutoCasperNBI but will create NetBoot images for use with Imagr.

This came about as the requirements for an NBI for Imagr are similar to that of Casper Imaging, & so hasn’t been a massive amount of work needed.

AutoImagrNBI differs from AutoNBI in that the end result is a NetBoot Image & not a NetInstall Image. A NetBoot Image is a full OS that can be made available for network booting, whereas NetInstall is a limited environment. AutoImagrNBI can also create a DMG for restoring to external media such as USB sticks.

Click here to go to AutoImagrNBI’s user guide & download link.

Enabled/Disabled Identifiers & NBImageInfo.plist

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NetBoot

The below is to try explain the use of the Enabled/Disabled Identifiers arrays in the NBImageInfo.plist on OSX Server.

This is to try & better explain their use.

NBI’s that are generated via SIU have a NBImageInfo.plist which is populated from the SupportedModelProperties array in /System/Library/CoreServices/PlatformSupport.plist.

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AutoCasperNBI 1.2.0 – Released!

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AutoCasperNBI has been updated to 1.2.0 & this is a MASSIVE release with 39+ issues resolved or enhancements added!

Many thanks to those whom tested, logged issues & enhancements.

There are a number of massive changes, so the Help Guide has been updated too.

The issues are listed below & the latest version of AutoCasperNBI can be found here.

 

 

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JNUC 2014 AutoCasperNBI and the Casper NetInstall Creator – Session Slides & Links

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Photo courtesy of Richard Purves

On the last day of JNUC2014, I gave my first public talk. The session was dedicated to AutoCasperNBI and the Casper NetInstall Creator.

You can find a video of the talk here, with the other sessions videos from JNUC2014 being available here.

Many thanks to those whom attended, I think the session went well. Lots of humour (some unintended), & some great collaboration. Especially in the Q&A.

Also, a special mention to those whom beta-tested AutoCasperNBI & my JAMF buddies Dan & Nick (mostly for putting up with me).

Below are some links to the content that was covered, as well as some links from the Q&A.

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AutoCasperNBI – Release

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AutoCasperNBI_256

If you hang around on JAMFNation, you may have seen the “AutoCasperNBI – open beta” thread.

Well today, (whilst presenting at JNUC2014) I’m happy to announce the full release of AutoCasperNBI.

To all those whom helped throughout the beta, be it via JAMFNation, Twitter, ##osx-server IRC or your own blogs & posts: THANK YOU!

I hope you find the app of some use, & that we can develop it further.

For more information, go to: AutoCasperNBI

How To Create An Never Booted OS.dmg Using Casper Admin

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UPDATE: AutoDMG makes this process, "stupid easy" so I'm going to move away from the below to using that tool. Also, if you're master distribution point is a JDS you cannot compile configurations. Again AutoDMG to the rescue.

Ever since Casper Admin has allowed for compiling configurations way back in the 10.5/6 days I have been successfully creating an OS.dmg via Casper Admin. I still use this method today & since 10.7 this DMG also includes the Restore Partition.

The end result is an DMG of the OS that has never been booted & is an asr image. Much like DMG’s created by InstaDMG & AutoDMG.

I’m not sure why I seem to be the only one doing this, but below is the how;

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