Takeaway from Apple tech update in Natick today
So i sat through Apples tech update today where they spoke about the death of monolithic imaging. The reason this will not work with APFS volumes boils down to the fact that in order to update a system to High Sierra, the installer physically updates the machines firmware in order to support the new file system. That being said, one way around this (as promoted by Apple at this event) was to go back to the old NetInstall method. So in theory, clonedeploy could be used to mimic Apple NetInstall instead of Netboot in order to do an actual install of the OS which in turn will trigger the firmware update install on the client. After the install i would think it would be possible for clonedeploy to THEN install an MDM/Munki agent in order to pull down the apps needed? I'm not saying this would happen anytime soon as we all know you are super busy, but i just wanted to give you some insight into my takeaway from the event today in hopes it saves you some time and research.
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Thanks. I can look into the net install thing. Not sure how helpful it would be though. Definitely would be a much slower process than imaging. I can't stand apple. Simply put they just aren't enterprise products. I think for now as long as u don't update to apfs it could work with high Sierra. But eventually apple will force update to apfs. Something like deploy studio is probably better for this with some type of work flow. I'll continue to research but for now this is very discouraging
The big draw back of DeployStudio is the fact that it needs to be ran on Apple hardware. That's what made CloneDeploy so awesome, the fact that i run it on Windows Server VM in my VMware ESXi environment. I think it's comical how apple requires Apple hardware to run their Server OS, yet they don't make any enterprise grade rack mountable hardware anymore more...It makes me want to ask them "So what do you have in your data center in Cupertino? 500 Mac Mini's all stacked on top of each other?". If Apple could just check their pride at the door and allowed there server software to be licensed to run on ESXi on any blade severs then none of this would be an issue...but they will never check such pride as long as they can sell Mac Mini's to suckers who need them....
I thought i would add this as well that i found. Apparently HighSierra has a build in command line utility that can install packages post install...so this could be interesting to use in a NetInstall session....
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Here is what I've got so far.
According to macmule an nbi made from high sierra is not working properly yet. Apple has some bugs to work out. I used an nbi made from Sierra and CloneDeploy 1.3.0 and I was able to capture and deploy a high sierra mac with hfs+. Obviously apfs isn't working yet. So as long you don't upgrade to apfs you should be good, no firmware update needed. I found this command which will prevent the automatic upgrade to apfs.
[code]/Applications/"Install macOS High Sierra.app"/Contents/Resources/startosinstall --converttoapfs NO --agreetolicense[/code]
That should buy some time until apple forces an upgrade to apfs, probably in 10.14.
Additionally I created a netinstall for high sierra and was able to use CloneDeploy to push it out. When using a netinstall, CloneDeploy really isn't involved. All it does is serve the netinstall with CloneDeploy proxy dhcp.
So my takeaway is that we should have at least a year to figure this out as long we don't upgrade to apfs