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This page was placed here to include some information about making netboot with Mac OS X Server edition. I have a page for setting up netbooting with Linux that is rather detailed if you would rather view it instead.

William P McGonigle's NetBoot Web Site has a number of documents and links related to this process. Many of them are very good, and some of the ones I liked can be found on my Documents and Links page.. William McGonigle can be reached via e-mail with William.P.McGonigle@HITCHCOCK.ORG and I can be reached via email with (Realize, I am very busy, and may not have time to respond to all e-mail messages.)

The normal set up (procedure): (incomplete, may need revision)

  1. Acquire a G3 or later Mac.
  2. Buy Mac OS X Server with Mac OS X NetBoot software. (If you do not wish to buy a copy of Mac OS X, then you may check out Alistair Riddell's web site which offers information on how to make this work without the server software. (His does still require a recent copy of Mac OS, and has the same restrictions for hardware as Apple supported netbooting, but is an alternative if you are interested.)
  3. Obtain a number of IP addresses equal to the total number of ethernet interfaces on your server plus the number of net booting clients you wish to serve.
  4. Obtain all of the networking information for your network. (I.E. Subnet Mask, Gateway/router, DNS, Time Server (if you have one), NetInfo Server, and determine if this server will be acting as a router and seeding the network for a zone, or another network device will be doing this. If this machine will seed the network, make sure you obtain a range to seed from your network administrator.
  5. Format the HD on your G3 for the Mac OS X File System, and make sure you either:
    1. Provide a separate HFS+ (Extended) formatted partition with more than 1.5GB of disk space just for the Net-Booting software (bad idea to use a partition on the Mac OS X System disk since many Net-Booting Macs using image files on the same disk as the Mac OS X server shall cause a great deal of disk thrashing when the heads all seek between the images being read, and the files being used by the server.)
    2. Provide a separate drive formatted for HFS+ dedicated for use by only by the Net Booting Macs.
    3. Provide a Hardware Based RAID box that can connect to a separate SCSI bus dedicated for use with the Net-Booting Macs and have its logical volume formatted as HFS+ (extended).
  6. Install the Mac OS X Server software onto the Volume you have set aside for Mac OS X Server, not the volume described above for the Net-Booting software that was formatted as HFS+ (extended) system. (Realize this volume chosen cannot be used as the volume that contains your Macintosh Net-booting Images, since it will need to be a HFS+ based volume and the Mac OS X server will modify the format of the volume it is being installed upon to something different (UFS) than what you format it before installation.)
  7. Configure the networking of the server as you need it.
  8. Install the Net Boot Manager software, and specify the HFS+ volume you set aside for the Net-Booting software.
  9. Configure the Networking for the server again (it should walk you through it. Enable Net-Booting on the interfaces from which you want your clients to make their requests. (If you have one interface, then you will only have one choice. When you choose to NetBoot on an interface, it will grey out the TCP option and File-Sharing option, but will force them on. They are required for Net-booting, and though they are grayed out , they are on when you enable Net-Booting.)
  10. After the configuration is finished, you will need to reboot.
  11. After reboot, your server should be patched with the latest patch for Mac OS X. (As of the writing of this, the latest was 1.0-2 and could be found here for download.)
  12. Reboot again after patch is installed.
  13. Add a new user to your server that is not an administrator.
  14. Grant this user Net Boot Manager access, and make sure they are in the same group as the files that were stored in the HFS+ partition so they can modify them.
  15. Boot up the client and connect to the server by holding down the N key during reboot, or changing Startup Device control panel to deal with network booting.
  16. You may need to authenticate yourself against the server with a valid server username that is a member of the NetBoot Manager group.
  17. Run and configure the NetBoot Manager software by using the Chooser on the booted Mac NC to mount up the share from the server.
  18. This finishes the basic set up of the Net Booting Server.

[Designed for use with LYNX!]

[Simple Network Analysis for Mac OS X Net Boot Server]
[ DHCP v 2.0 ]

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Comments and/or suggestions?: Email me at: that I am very busy, and may not have time to respond to all E-mail messages. If you include NETBOOT MACNC (all Caps) as beginning it is more likely to get my attention... ;-)
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