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[2017.09.08] DeployStudio build v1.7.8 (checksum, release note).
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[2013.02.23] DeployStudio last universal build v1.5.17 (release note).

#1 2013-10-18 13:56:02

Registered: 2013-10-18

Live editing of a master image

Is it possible to boot from a master image in netboot style, edit the image (add/remove software, tweak settings, run updates etc) and then simply shut down leaving an updated master image on the DS server?

If this is already possible without having to deploy, reboot, make changes and re-image then anyone let me know how. If not, that would be a pretty cool option, I have lost count how many times I have fogotten something or needed to add something trivial at a later date.


#2 2013-10-27 17:35:27

Registered: 2010-06-27

Re: Live editing of a master image

I've never tried this. But maybe something like the following might do what you want?

First issue is that I think the .dmg images are read only. So either first convert them to read write. Or make use of the command line "hdiutil -shadow" command to create a writeable shadow file for that image.

Now mount the writeable image (or image/shadow file) and install all of your updates into the mounted image. Either GUI or the command line "installer" command.

Now you should have your updated .dmg file. You may want to convert it back to a read only format. Etc.  And if you went the shadow route, you may have to convert that back to a single dmg using the hdiutil command. Or maybe Deploy Studio won't care?? That itself is an interesting question...

You might also look at things like instadmg. But I appreciate that there is more up-front effort with things like instadmg, than just starting with a "golden master"

Last edited by PaintedTurtle (2013-10-27 17:39:45)


#3 2013-10-27 19:18:30

From: Delft, Netherlands
Registered: 2008-09-02

Re: Live editing of a master image

Simple mistakes can sometimes be corrected with post-install scripts, or post install packages.
(like copy a config file to your image)

I usually keep my 'master' mac a while after creating a new master, so re-imaging is faster (just make changes on the master, re-image) but that is not an option everyone can do, you need to have a 'spare' mac to be your master.


#4 2013-12-19 06:48:29

Registered: 2013-12-19

Re: Live editing of a master image

You might also look at things like instadmg. But I appreciate that there is more up-front effort with things like instadmg, than just starting with a "golden master"

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Last edited by samith (2014-01-02 12:17:14)


#5 2014-01-06 11:23:19

Registered: 2008-10-19

Re: Live editing of a master image

For creating unbooted images I recommend AutoDMG (the follower of instadmg):

It is possible to shadowmount a master image as writable and then edit the contents of it. Then when all editing is done create a new image from that shadowmount.
However, most installers cannot install on external volumes or if they can there may be some issues with their postinstall scripts.
You can update drag&drop apps but if you do not like to bother users with security prompts when launching the updated app for the first time you should remove the quarantine bit from updated apps too.
This gets quite complicated so it is still easiest to deploy your master image, update that and create a new updated master image from that.
I do this 2 times a year for classroom Macs which have the same hardware configuration.

But mostly I deploy a nonbooted baseimage and use Munki to deploy additional applications.
I use master images (and they are updated with Munki after image restore) with mostly static classrooms environments only.
Any deployment solution (Munki, JAMF Casper, Absolute Manage, etc) that can install and update existing applications beats monolithic imaging in flexibility.


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