I’ve been toying with DeployStudio for a little while now and am growing to love it. However I find myself referring back to this video a lot because it has a lot of detail without a lot of fluff.


In order to improve the signal to noise ratio even further, here are my shorthand notes on how to set up a DeployStudio server- I made the notes because it is kind of annoying to have to start and stop a 20 minute video all the time, these notes allow me to blast through each step as fast as I can read. OK not quite that fast…..


Pre Work

Download DeployStudio, Profiles, Server.app, AutoDMG, CreateUserPKG

If Doing a Fresh Install

  1. Install current OS- but check compatibility. Sierra 10.12 works but 10.12.1 doesn’t (as at DS v1.7.5)
  2. Copy DeployStudio and Server.app to machine
  3. Name your server, set up IP address and DNS if needed
  4. Start up Server.app check host name
  5. Set up a User in Server.app (usually DS or ds)
  6. Delete unused share points in ‘File Sharing’
  7. Create DeployStudio share point. Usually in /Users/Shared/DeployStudio
  8. Add your DS user to the new share, check R/W privs
  9. Enable File Sharing
  10. Go to NetInstall service in Server.app and check where to store Netboot data- can change storage point


Setting up DeployStudio

  1. Open DeployStudio, Install and go to System Preferences/ DeployStudio. Click ‘Launch Assistant’
  2. Start Server and click ‘Set Up a DeployStudio Server’
  3. Accept server address, input DS username and password
  4. It’s a master server
  5. You can set up the share to be on a network afp://x.x.x.x/DeployStudio with DS user/pass. If you choose to set a local share it won’t work, set it up as a network login volume.
  6. This creates a filesystem under the share
  7. Blow through next few pages of settings…..
  8. Back to DS Assistant, click ‘Create a DeployStudio NetBoot Set’
  9. Name it so people know what they are selecting
  10. Set your Server, then add DS user/ pass- if you leave this out, you can set up a dangerous workflow that will erase a disk, and unless staff know the user/pass they won’t be able to log in and it will be safe!
  11. Leave ‘Display Runtime Log’ on- this will display any errors
  12. Most other settings ok, then this will create a NetBoot image from the current booted Drive- takes a while. if you get a message about a mismatch in versions- use the OS X Recovery Partition Update script.
  13. You can add pre made packages to the /Users/Shared/DeployStudio/Packages and other folders. Eg. Users made with CreateUserPKG, Scripts, Outset, trust certificates, OD and AD binding, Profiles etc.
  14. Go to Server.app and turn on ‘NetInstall’ service


Setting up Your Workflows

  1. Go to Utilities folder and open ‘DeployStudio Admin’
  2. Set your workflows in ‘Workflows’
  3. Turn off unwanted Workflows with ‘Publish’ by ticking or unticking
  4. Click ‘Runtime’ to test your workflows
  5. Name your Workflows so others can understand what is going on

Notes for Workflows

  1. When doing a restore process, if you leave the Target Volume at ‘First Disk Available’ it will fail with a message that the restore volume is too small. It may be trying to restore to the recovery volume? Choose ‘Previous task Target’ and it will work
  2. If you add a ‘Configure’ step and try to do things like ‘Rename machine’ ‘bypass setup’ ‘add account’ these steps won’t work. Probably because I didn’t read the manual……