How to master the NetInstall service

One of the toughest things you have to tackle in your IT life, beyond the Sisyphean task of keeping everyone you deal with happy, is deploying devices in a way that doesn’t require touching every single computer you’re responsible for. Apple’s NetInstall service, which is one of the features available in Apple’s Server app, offers a simple yet efficient set of tools to help you create and distribute images to every Mac in your environment. Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at the NetInstall service, so you can get a leg up on imaging and make it easier for you to deploy Macs in your environment.

As was the case with our Profile Manager Primer a few weeks back, you’re going to need a copy of the Apple’s Server app to set up the NetInstall service, so go and get yourself a copy. It will also be best if you attempt the following exercises on a server that isn’t a production server. What we’ll do here is unlikely to cause any trouble, but it’s never a good idea to do test work on a computer that hosts your business information. So, practice on a test server and, once you’ve completed what we cover of the next few weeks, take what you’ve learned and apply it to your production environment.

The beauty of the NetInstall service is that once you’ve created and tested an image you can copy it to the proper location on your production server and it will still work.

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A primer in Profile Manager: Managing many devices

This is the final episode in our series on setting up and managing devices using Server’s Profile Manager service.

If you’re just tuning in now, you’ll want to look at:

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A primer in Profile Manager: Payloads for iOS devices part 2

This is episode 14 in our series on setting up and managing devices using Server’s Profile Manager service.

If you’re just tuning in now, you’ll want to look at:

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A primer in Profile Manager: Payloads for iOS devices part 1

This is episode 13 in our series on setting up and managing devices using Server’s Profile Manager service.

If you’re just tuning in now, you’ll want to look at:

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A primer in Profile Manager: Payloads for OS X part 2

This is episode 12 in our series on setting up and managing devices using Server’s Profile Manager service.

If you’re just tuning in now, you’ll want to look at:

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A primer in Profile Manager: Payloads for OS X part 1

This is episode 11 in our series on setting up and managing devices using Server’s Profile Manager service.

If you’re just tuning in now, you’ll want to look at:

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