Working with architecture-specific NetBoot images

NetBoot images are architecture-specific. If your network includes both Intel-based and PowerPC-based Macintosh clients, you must create separate images for each architecture from appropriate architecture-specific Mac OS X Install DVDs or volumes.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Mac OS X Server 10.4.x

Mac OS X Server 10.4.4 and later can create and host architecture-specific NetBoot images for Intel-based and PowerPC-based Macintosh computers. Mac OS X 10.4.4 and later (client) can, too, but first you must install the latest version of System Image Utility.

For information on creating and using Universal images see this article.

Creating a Mac OS X NetBoot image

System Image Utility is the application you use to create Mac OS X NetBoot images.

Note: You must purchase a Mac OS X user license for each client that starts up from a NetBoot disk image.

To create a NetBoot image:

  1. Log in to the server as an administrative user.
  2. Open System Image Utility.
  3. Click New Boot.
  4. In the General pane, type a name for the image you're creating. This name will identify the image in the Startup Disk preferences pane on client computers.
  5. In the image index field, type an Image ID.
    • To create an image that is unique to this server, choose an ID in the range 1-4095.
    • To create one of several identical images to be stored on different servers for load balancing, use an ID in the range 4096-65535.
    • Multiple images of the same type with the same ID in this range are listed as a single image in a client's Startup Disk preferences panel.
  6. Optional: Type notes or other information that will help you characterize the image in the Description field. Clients can't see what you type.
  7. Choose whether the image is to be delivered using NFS or HTTP. If you're not sure which to choose, choose NFS.
  8. To serve the image on the server on which you're creating the image, choose Local.
  9. Optional: To store the image on a remote computer and offer it via NFS or HTTP click Remote.
    • (remote service only) To deliver the image to users via HTTP on a remote server, complete the path with the remote server's host name, the HTTP user name, and the password used to access the file. Complete the entry by providing the port used to access the HTTP server (typically port 80).
    • (remote service only) To deliver the image to users via NFS on a remote server, complete the path with the IP address, image path where the file will be stored on the server, and the NFS export setting (client, world, or subnet).

      Important: System Image Utility will create the actual image on the local server. By completing the information requested in the path pane, an indirect NFS or HTTP path will be created for your image. Once you create the image, the admin user of the remote server must copy the image to and serve it from the exact remote path you specified.
  10. Click Contents and choose the source for the image.
    • You can choose an install CD or DVD, a mounted boot volume, or an existing disk image.
    • If you're creating the image from CD or DVD, be sure it is inserted.
    • If you're creating a Mac OS X v10.4 NetBoot image, System Image Utility creates a minimal boot image.
    • Similarly, System Image Utility creates a minimal boot image and will only use the first 2 CDs when creating a Mac OS X v10.3 NetBoot image.
    • However, when creating a 10.2 Netboot image, the resulting image will contain everything in the installation CDs.
    • If you don't want a minimal boot image, click Customize. Important: If you have created a standard disk image (.dmg file) from an OS install CD and want to use that image as the source for a NetBoot image, double-click the .dmg file in the Finder to mount the image, then choose it from the pop-up menu.
  11. CD source only: Choose the default language for the system. (Available only if you have already inserted the CD and chosen it as the source.)
  12. Optional: Click the Add (+) button below the Other Items list to add an application package, system update package, or post-install script to the image.
  13. CD source only: Click Default User, type a user name, short name, and password (in both the Password and Verify fields) for the system's default user account. You can log in to a booted client using this account.
  14. Optional: Click Model Filter, and select the radio button to allow only computers to boot that are enabled in the list of models. If you want to allow any Macintosh computer to boot, select Allow any Apple Computer.
  15. Optional: Click Sharing Prefs and in the Computer Name field, type the name that the NetBoot or Network Install client gets after installation or booting. Note: Each client will have its computer name and local hostname set to the name you supplied plus the MAC address (without the colons) of the client. Note: Alternatively, type the path to a tab-delimited .txt or .rtf file that has a list of MAC addresses and their corresponding computer names and local hostnames. Each client will get the name that corresponds to its MAC address in the specified file.
  16. Optional: Click Directory Services. Click Apply Directory Services (DS) settings from this machine to all clients, if you are not using DHCP to provide NetBoot clients with Open Directory information. If you want each client that will boot from this image to get a unique set of directory service settings each time it boots, click Authenticate and authorize this selection. Notes:
    • To create per-CPU Directory Services bindings, the computer you are creating the image on should itself be bound to the DS server. Otherwise clicking the authenticate button will result in the error message "No DS bindings found."
    • For the checkbox that says "Apply directory services settings from this machine to all clients," you should set up the computer where the image is being created to bind to a DS server using Directory Access app and then check the checkbox.
  17. Click Create. If the Create button is not enabled, make sure you have entered an image name and ID, and have chosen an image source.
  18. In the Save As dialog, choose where to save the image.
    • If you don't want to use the image name you typed earlier, you can change it now by typing a new name in the Save As field.
    • If you're creating the image on the same server that will serve it, choose a volume from the "Serve from NetBoot share point on" pop-up menu.
    • To save the image somewhere else, choose a location from the Where pop-up menu, or click the triangle next to the Save As field and navigate to a folder.
  19. Click Save. To check progress, look in the lower-left corner of the window. If you need to insert another CD, you'll be prompted there. To create the image without including the contents of a subsequent CD, click Finish when you are prompted to insert it. Important: Don't open the .nbi folder in /Library/NetBoot/NetBootSPn while the image is being created; clients won't be able to use the resulting image.

From the command line

You can also create a NetBoot image using commands in Terminal. For more information, see the system image chapter of the command-line administration guide.

For more information on creating NetBoot images, refer to the System Imaging and Software Update Administration guide available here.

Published Date: