Creating a NetBoot Image and Setting Up a NetBoot Server
Disclaimer: This knowledge base article is no longer being updated. Apple does not recommend using NetBoot imaging to upgrade computers with macOS 10.13 or later. Computers with macOS 10.13 or earlier can use Server.app 5.6 or earlier or the NetSUSLP for hosting NetBoot images. For more information about NetSUSLP, see the following website: https://github.com/jamf/NetSUS
A NetBoot server is a server that hosts a NetBoot image. You can boot computers to a NetBoot image in place of a recovery partition or external drive when imaging.
This article explains how to create a NetBoot image that can be used with the Casper Suite, and set up a NetBoot server on a server with macOS Server installed.
Note: The NetBoot image is not deployed to computers during imaging. It is the image that computers boot to during imaging only.
- A minimal base OS image. For instructions on how to create a minimal base OS image, see Creating a Minimal Base OS Image.
- A server with macOS server installed that you can use to host the NetBoot image.
Note: If you are booting a macOS 10.11 computer to the NetBoot image, the computer must first trust the NetBoot server. For more information, see the Booting macOS 10.11 or Later Computers to a NetBoot Image Using a Policy or Casper Remote Knowledge Base article.
- Copy the minimal base OS image to a server with macOS Server installed.
- Open the Casper NetInstall Image Creator.
- Select the path to your image source.
- Enter an image name.
- Enter an image index that differs from other NetBoot images hosted on the same server with macOS Server installed.
- Click the Enable this NetInstall Image checkbox.
- Click the Set this NetInstall Image as the Default Image checkbox.
- Select the latest version of Casper Imaging.app.
- Click the Create Casper Preference File checkbox.
- Enter the JSS URL.
- Click Create.
If you are already using the NetInstall service, the image will be enabled immediately upon creation. If you have not yet configured the NetBoot service, open the Server application, and start the NetInstall service.