automated system installation on Mac OS X

Posted on 2009-02-17
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We would like to automate the installation of new systems on Mac OS X,
like :
- mail settings and passwords
- user accounts and passwords
- user privileges
- network settings

Could it be done by using Applescript or a Shell script? or with automator?

Has anyone experience doing this ?

hope to hear.

Question by:Ludo_Dirckx
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    I am not entirely sure at this time if that can be done in the manner you queried. In the meantime please take a glance here;
    LVL 39

    Expert Comment

    Are these stand-alone Macs .. or part of a network with an OSX Server?  The normal route would be to use Open Directory to control all the users and settings from the central server.

    Changing settings related to users and permissions is a very high-level activity and beyond the scope of Automator .. you are entering the realms of terminal commands and shell scripts.

    You'd need to provide much more detail on what exact activities you are trying to achieve ... for example when you say "mail settings and passwords" what do you want to achieve.

    In most lab or network environments .. the best route is to build 1 mac .. with all software and 1 standard user.  Then create a disk image and using something like Apple Remote Desktop  .. or Deploy Studio .. roll the image out to all Macs on the network.

    You could also use ARD to send out settings & updates to machines on the network.

    Then with an OSX server you would store all the User Accounts and permissions/settings on the server so that users can login to any Mac and have their own desktop and settings.

    Author Comment

    Hi Michel,eoinosullivan
    Thanks for the reply.
    Michel, the article of yours is little bit for other purposes but still it is useful to do other things.

    can you please explain little bit more about the disk image method, it seems interesting for us but how are we going to do the network settings if it is static.

    Is the disk image should be dropped in on partition and it should be rebooted.

    hope to hear.

    LVL 39

    Assisted Solution


    I cannot provide much more information until you tell me what your infrastructure is.  Do you have a network, an OSX Server?

    Have you looked at Deploy Studio ( and ARD (

    You can use a program such as CarbonCopyCloner to create disk images.
    The Network Settings CANNOT be static - they need to use a DHCP / DNS server of some sort so that each Mac can get a unique IP once it is imaged.


    Author Comment

    Hi eoinosullivan,
    Our environment is around 100 macs include 25 macbook pros , 25  mac books.
    remote desktop or ccc is not an new environment for me but the idea of this method is good for me but we are working in a press/graphical environment  and the ip address are  static. I can not change any thing of it to dhcp.
    When we make the disk image what about the licenses of  the programs like cs3 and quark programs.

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