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A basic how-to for using System Image Utility
Authored by: icondaemon on Jan 07, '09 12:24:30PM
I've been using SIU now for several years to push to my campus macs (> 150 total, including iBooks and MacBooks) and the software just keeps getting better. Several things to be aware of, though, before you delve right into SIU:

• Update to server 10.5.6, which fixes some major problems with binding machines to OD after pushing the NetInstall image. See: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1245 for more info. I have yet to need 10.5.6 for NetImaging myself, but I wish Apple had caught this before I spent 3 days pulling my hair out last September before I figured out was was happening.

• In terminal, use the scutil --set commands before you image to make sure that you blank out the three 'name' locations: LocalHostName, HostName & ComputerName:

scutil --set LocalHostName ""
scutil --set HostName ""
scutil --set ComputerName ""


• If the source machine has been under construction for a while, system logfiles and other crufty logs build up. It helps for future troubleshooting to see log data gleaned during the use of a particular machine itself, and not all which came before NetImaging. In terminal, type sudo periodic daily weekly monthly to clean things up. Once the source is mounted in FW Target mode visit /var/log and /Library/Logs and delete all the *.gz and *.bzg compressed files. It won't hurt to delete all the logfiles you find, either. And don't forget to empty the Trash and user Downloads folders, too!

• Although the disk image creation step can be eliminated and the NetInstall image created directly from the target machine, I like to create the disk image and make a copy read/write so I can make changes to various files without having to boot the source should the need arise.

• Once the source machine is booted into FW target mode, always run the Repair Permissions and Repair Disk actions in DiskUtility.

As for SIU itself, the 10.5.4 version had some errors & omissions which also caused some grief:

• The "Apply Computer Name and Local Hostname settings from a file" module is broken.

• Make sure to disable Spotlight indexing for the FW Target drive once it is mounted on the server.

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