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Using DeployStudio as an Active Directory domain migration tool

November 27, 2013 1 comment

As part of a domain migration project, I was recently tasked with figuring out a way to handle migrating the Macs from one AD domain to another. I had the following requirements:

  1. Unbind the Mac from the old AD domain
  2. Bind the Mac to the new AD domain
  3. Migrate the user’s data from the old AD domain to the new AD domain

Preferably, it would be a procedure that anybody could use. That way, anyone on the team could be perform the migration process regardless of their personal skill level with Macs.

I had a pre-existing interactive script that I could modify and use to fulfill requirement 3, but I needed a way to fulfill requirements 1 and 2.

With some help from DeployStudio, I was able to develop an unbind / rebind procedure that fulfilled requirements 1 and 2. It also gave me the following features:

  1. Anyone on our helpdesk team could do it, regardless of familiarity with Macs or Active Directory.
  2. Potential for human error was minimized
  3. Reboots (generally a good idea when making directory service changes) were a built-in part of the migration process.

For details, see below the jump.

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Installing custom OS X builds using DeployStudio and createOSXinstallPkg

July 15, 2013 11 comments

From time to time, Apple will release a custom build of Mac OS X to support a new Mac model. A current example is the Mid 2013 MacBook Airs, which were released after 10.8.4, but before 10.8.5. Since they have hardware that wasn’t accounted for in the standard 10.8.4 software, they’re running a custom build of 10.8.4.

Mac App Store 10.8.4 build number: OS X 10.8.4, build 12E55

Mid 2013 MacBook Air 10.8.4 build number: OS X 10.8.4, build 12E3067

While the Air’s custom build should run fine on older 10.8-compatible Macs, the Mid 2013 MacBook Airs aren’t able to run from the 10.8.4 build currently available from the Mac App Store.

In the event that you need to reinstall OS X on a Mac that needs a custom build, Apple’s solution is to use Recovery HD or Internet Recovery to download and install the correct version of OS X for that Mac. However, if your network connection is behind a proxy server, you may not be able to connect back to Apple while booted from Recovery HD, or be able to boot from Internet Recovery.

To help address this, you can use DeployStudio and OS install packages created by createOSXinstallPkg to help address situations where you can’t use Apple’s Recovery, but still need the ability to install custom builds of Mac OS X. See below the jump for the procedure.

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Building Mac test environments with VMWare Fusion, NetBoot and DeployStudio

January 23, 2013 4 comments

When new software appears, Mac admins need test boxes that match their standard configuration in order to verify that the new software doesn’t adversely affect anything in their environment. In the past, this has usually meant that admins needed to either have an available test box, or go find one when they needed to test something.

The advent of good virtualization solutions meant it was easier to build test boxes without needing additional hardware, but getting the VM to match your standard could take some time and effort.

In VMWare Fusion 5.x, VMWare added NetBoot support for virtual machines running Mac OS X. This proved to be an enormous boon to Mac admins who used NetBoot to help set up their machines: They could now build VMs using the exact same processes that were used to build their users’ Macs. They could also leverage tools like createOSXinstallPkg to set up template VMs with either the latest available OS X installer from the Mac App Store or custom builds of OS X that ship with new hardware.

See below the jump for an example of how you can leverage VMWare’s NetBoot support, createOSXinstallPkg and DeployStudio to set up a new Mac VM with a factory-fresh install of OS X Mountain Lion.

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Installing Mac OS X 10.8.x on an erased hard drive using DeployStudio and createOSXinstallPkg

July 25, 2012 5 comments

As a follow-up to Greg Neagle’s unveiling of createOSXinstallPkg, a installer package-based tool for deploying Mac OS X 10.7.x and 10.8.x, I wanted to do a sequel to my earlier post on installing OS X using DeployStudio. Using packages created by createOSXinstallPkg, you can use DeployStudio to do an automatic clean install of Mac OS X 10.7.x or 10.8.x and correctly create the Recovery HD partition. See below the jump for the procedure.

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Installing Mac OS X 10.7.x Server on an erased hard drive using DeployStudio and InstallLion.pkg

June 4, 2012 Leave a comment

As previously described, you can use DeployStudio and InstallLion.pkg to clean install Mac OS X 10.7.x on a Mac. For those who need the same capabilities to install Mac OS X Server 10.7.x, you can use the same methodology to build a workflow that installs Mac OS X Server, assuming that you have access to a Mac Mini Server.

If you do have access to a Mini Server, you can download an InstallESD disk image using Apple Internet Recovery using the procedure described here at AFP548.com. The downloaded InstallESD.dmg will include all of the needed packages to install Mac OS X Server. Once you have that all-important disk image, see below the jump for the procedure.

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Installing Mac OS X 10.7.x on an erased hard drive using DeployStudio and InstallLion.pkg

June 4, 2012 5 comments

One of the great advantages of using DeployStudio for building Macs is its flexibility. Another element of flexibility was added over the past few days, when the DeployStudio folks released DeployStudio rc132. Among the various entries in the release notes were these two for the DeployStudio Assistant application:

-live package install support in 10.7 NetBoot sets,

-improved support of python in 10.7 NetBoot sets.

If you put those two items together, you have the necessary support to install InstallLion.pkg on an erased or otherwise empty hard drive from a DeployStudio boot set running Mac OS X 10.7.x.

In other words, you can use DeployStudio to do an automatic clean install of Mac OS X 10.7.x and correctly create the Recovery HD partition. See below the jump for the procedure.

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Modifying JAMF’s NetSUS to host DeployStudio NetBoot boot sets

February 7, 2012 7 comments

Gary Larizza updated his NetSUS appliance write-up earlier today, to include information on how to modify the NetSUS’s /var/www/webadmin/scripts/adminHelper.sh so that it can accommodate DeployStudio’s NetBoot sets.

Gary’s way is elegant and uses vim. Consider this the illustrated version that’s doing the same process the hard way with nano. See below the jump for the details.

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