Archive for January 23, 2013

Building Mac test environments with VMWare Fusion, NetBoot and DeployStudio

January 23, 2013 7 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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