Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Apple > Operating Systems

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Modular Image Overview and Preparation

The workflow for creating a modular system image suitable for deployment is a bit more involved than what is needed to create a cloned system image. However, as you’ll see, this technique yields cleaner system images and an easier upgrade path and is easy to automate.

Understanding Modular System Images

A modular system image is a disk image that uses installation packages for every item and setting in the configuration to create a fully customized Mac OS X system. That is, instead of installing the operating system and all your custom software and configurations to a booted Mac system, you install these items directly to a disk image.

The use of installation packages for every item and setting in your system configuration results in a truly modular system image creation workflow. The only requirement is a base system image with an installation of Mac OS X. After that you can add as many more installation packages as you want to your system image. This allows you to easily create multiple system images by simply adjusting the number of installation packages applied to the image during the creation process. Further, updates and configuration changes are easily handled by adding installation packages to your creation workflow.

The workflow to create a modular system image can be split into two primary stages, each with several steps. In the first stage, the preparation stage, you collect or create the installation packages that you will use to build your modular system image. There is no particular order or even an end point to this stage, as you will continue to add installation packages as your needs change and as your software needs updating. Most of your time will be spent in this stage locating or creating the appropriate installation package modules.

In the second stage, the build stage, you actually create the system image using the installation packages you prepared during the first stage. With previous versions of Mac OS X the build stage must be performed manually or using a third-party tool. The Mac OS X v10.6 version of SIU, with the introduction of NetRestore, provides an automated mechanism to easily build modular system images. This build process is covered in the “Understanding SIU Workflows” and “Building Modular NetRestore Images with SIU” sections later in this chapter.

Required Equipment

To build a modular system image, all you need is one Mac OS X v10.6 system with access to enough storage space to contain all your installation packages and disk image files.

Nevertheless, the use of a separate scratch drive will speed up the modular system image creation process. In this scenario, your installation packages are stored on your primary drive, and during the SIU build process you save the image on the scratch drive. This method ensures that while the system image is being built, one drive is always reading while the other drive is writing, thus maximizing drive bandwidth and reducing build time.

Preparing for a Modular System Image

Before you begin building a modular system image you need to prepare a collection of installation packages that includes the Mac OS X v10.6 installation, any software updates, any additional software, and any custom configuration installation packages. Once you have prepared all the installation components that will make up your modular system you can move on to the build process using SIU.

Preparing the Mac OS X v10.6 Installation

All system images must include an installation of Mac OS v10.6. However, by default, the system installation process isn’t conducive to the modular system image workflow. The primary issue is that the Mac OS X installation usually resides on inconvenient media: an optical disc. You will need more frequent access to this installer, so you should create a disk image of the Mac OS X Install DVD or the Mac OS X Server Install Disc.

As you learned in Chapter 2, “Deploying Individual Items and Containers,” it’s fairly easy to create a disk image using the contents of a folder or volume. In the graphical interface, you can use the Disk Image application, or at the command line you can use the hdiutil command.

Preparing Additional Software and Updates

Preparing additional software and updates can be easy or difficult depending on what additional items your modular system image requires. The key is that all additional items must be added to your modular system image through an installation package. All Apple software and many third-party items are distributed this way, so preparing these items is as simple as collecting all the necessary installers in a convenient location on your build system.

However, third-party items distributed using simple file containers or non-Apple installers will need to be repackaged inside a custom-built installation package, as outlined in Chapter 3, “Deploying with Installation Packages.” Specifically, the PackageMaker snapshot technology can help you easily repackage third-party items.

You can use your build system to create these installation packages, but a better option is to use a second dedicated “clean” system for building and testing your custom installation packages. During the testing process, you will undoubtedly come across installation packages that don’t deploy as expected. Use the techniques covered in the “Installation Package Maintenance” section of Chapter 3 to inspect and troubleshoot problem installation packages.

Creating Configuration Installation Packages

For most administrators the process of creating configuration installation packages is the most difficult and time-consuming step of the entire modular system image workflow. Essentially, you have to research and develop a payload or script to be built into an installation package, which performs all the custom configurations, including configuring system settings, creating users, and configuring any user-specific settings, that you would normally do manually to a model system.

It’s possible to set any Mac OS X configuration by using the appropriate command or by replacing the appropriate file as illustrated previously in the “Customizing System Configuration” section of this chapter. Nearly all the customizations presented earlier can be automated and made part of an installation package. Exploring all the possible configuration options that can be automated is beyond the scope of this text, but the following references (all from Peachpit Press, 2010) should get you started:

  • Apple Training Series: Support Essentials v10.6—Specifically, Chapter 3 of this guide includes a command-line and scripting primer.

  • Apple Training Series: Mac OS X Directory Services v10.6—This is a comprehensive guide to both local and network directory services and user accounts in general.

  • Apple Training Series: Mac OS X Security and Mobility v10.6—This is a general guide to advanced Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server configuration.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020