A beginners guide to installing DeployStudio

Adrian CantrillSolutions Architect
Deploystudio is a system which can be used to deploy OSX clients and servers within the small/medium or large business environments. The system is built ontop of the OSX Server NetBoot system and uses images & workflows as its core assets. Although very powerful, the system isn't the easiest thing to install correctly. Through this guide I hope to provide an overview of the process for a simple & standard install. Comments are welcome, but keep in mind i'm intentionally keeping it simple as it forms a pre-requisite to my future OSX articles.

Start OSX Server manager that is located on the dock towards the bottom of the screen. Ensure that the local server name is listed in the tree view on the left, select it and the server information should be displayed in the main window on the right


Ensure that the settings option is selected and click the ‘Services’ Tab to show which components of OSX server are active.

Ensure that the ‘AFP’ and ‘SMB’ services and selected and click ‘Save’. Once completed the entries should appear in the tree view on the left.


Select the ‘SMB’ service click the ‘Overview’ button and then click the ‘Start SMB’ button. Follow the same procedure for the AFP service, select AFP in the tree view, select the overview button and click ‘Start AFP’ button towards the button of the screen.


To enable the netboot service, click the server on the left hand tree view, click settings followed by the services tab. Select the ‘netboot’ item from the list and click ‘Save’. Once complete the netboot item will be added to the tree view on the left hand side of the screen, select it and the right hand pane will be updated to the netboot context.


Select netboot from the tree view, click ‘settings’ and select the ‘general’ tab. Ensure that the netboot service is bound to the primary Ethernet adaptor by selecting the ‘enable’ checkbox next to the adaptor – in addition ensure the ‘images’ checkbox is ticked for the primary HD. Click save and ignore the netboot warning ( we haven’t created any images yet so it wont allow service start).


The deploystudio system is an add-on for Netboot – giving increased functionality and granularity of control while deploying workstations. The first stage is to download the software – which is free at the time of writing (open source). Go to http://www.deploystudio.com/Home.html and click the ‘deployStudio Server’ link towards the middle of the screen.


Double click the package indicated below to begin the installation ( which may change slightly depending on the version ).


Click continue as indicated below to proceed through the installation process, when you reach the next page click continue again


After reading the license, click continue & ‘Agree’ to proceed to the screen below.  By default the software will install on the primary HD – you should agree to the defaults unless a reason exists to deviate from the norm. Click the install button and proceed to enter an admin username and password to allow installation to complete.

Start system preferences from the dock towards the bottom of the screen and select the Deploy Studio icon towards the bottom.


From the Deploystudio configuration screen shown below, select ‘Launch Assistant’


Click ‘Start’ when prompted and select the ‘Set up a DeployStudio Server’ option, followed by ‘Continue’.


On the next screen, leave the ‘Server Address’ field at the default and enter a suitable username and password into the boxes as prompted.


Since this is the first server we will be creating a master, select the appropriate option when prompted.


Click continue and select to use a network Share point when prompted on the next screen. You should enter an available network share i.e afp://servername/Deploystudio (NOTE you should create this within servermanager) – use a suitable user on the OSX server for authentication, i suggest an admin user.


At this point we cannot click continue as the share doesn’t exist. To create the share, go to finder, and locate the primary HD. Create a folder on the drive called DeployStudio. Start server manager and locate the folder in the File sharing tab


Click the ‘Share’ button on the right of the screen and click ‘Save’. Return to the deploy studio window and click ‘Continue’

The next screen will offer the ability to send emails upon successful completion of a deployment (or otherwise). Fill in the details as per the screen shot below additionally completing any site specific items.


On the next screen alter the drop down selector to pick a SSL certificate, ideally the one with the FQDN of the machine the system is being installed on. Click Continue.


Click continue four times to complete the installation and restart the deploy studio server. At this point you have installed deploystudio and configured the OSX server to enable its operation. The next stage is to create the boot images with deploystudio which will allow netboot to boot OSX clients. This is the mini version of OSX containing drivers, config and a small subset of files needed to launch the Deploystudio system on a client which is used to deploy the actual workstation images (discussed in a future article). This stage should be performed on EACH hardware type (PPC and intel at the time of writing) that you have within your organisation.

Launch the Deploy Studio assistant from the system preferences application.


Select the ‘Create a Deploystudio Netboot set’ option and click continue. The system will warn you that the image should be created on the most recent copy of OSX available – this should ideally be a server patched to the latest revision of OSX.

The next screen asks for a few final configuration items, an image name, a time server. These can be populated as needed. Care is needed for the image identifier which should be unique within your organisation.


The next screen will ask for the URL to the deploystudio server, if you are creating this image on the OSX server it will auto populate otherwise manual entry is required.


The next screen asks for authentication information. Entering a username and password will result in the entire build login process becoming automated. For security reasons I would suggest leaving the password blank. Entering a VNC password allows monitoring of the process using VNC or Apple Remote Desktop.


Enter the details and click ‘continue’ three times followed by a admin password entry. The penultimate screen will ask where the image is to be saved, if the process is being completed on the OSX server it will pick the netboot folder – automating this next step partially, otherwise enter the NetbootSP0 folder location into the box (/Library/Netboot/NetbootSP0).

Return to server manager, expand the server, locate the netboot service and click. Select the ‘settings’ button, images tab and ensure the new image is enabled and selected as default.


Click ‘Start Netboot’ to start the service and allow clients to boot. N.B if you have multiple image types (ppc and intel) ensure the architecture is set specifically to PPC or Intel rather than universal.

I hope this guide was helpful, it will form the baseline for my next article detailing the process to create and deploy OSX client images. Please comment on this article and mark as helpful if it is!. Also please visit my blog and check out all my articles including some not yet posted to EE.  
Adrian CantrillSolutions Architect

Comments (1)

Kash2nd Line Engineer

all the pictures are missing ???

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