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Apple Mavericks Server 6601

Creating a Network Install Image for Mavericks (Mac OS 10.9)

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If you want to create customized install images and deployment images you are going to want to download an application from the App Store called Apple Configurator. While use of this software is not covered in this posts I do have other posts that cover it.

If you have a Mac Server on your network and deal with alot of installations then Network Install images can be a huge time saver but there has been alot of confusion out there regarding how to create a Network Installation image for Mavericks since Apple does not provide a traditional installer for installing the OS. So here is the trick for how it is done.

Download a copy of Mavericks from the App Store, this will place an application called “Install Mac OS X Mavericks” in your /Applications directory.

Now on you server navigate to the following location: /System/Library/Core Services and launch the System Image Utility Application. If you prefer doing this from the command line the System Image Utility can be accessed by vai the following command sudo ‘/System/Library/CoreServices/System Image’. This application will allow you to create Restore Images, NetBoot Images and NetInstall Images. Since you have the Mavericks Installation application in your /Applications that should be picked up automatically and already be listed as a source for you to create an image from.

Creating A NetInstall Image
Select “NetInstall” and click continue. You will be asked to give it a name and description. These will be preset for you but can be adjusted to meet your needs. Click Continue, you will be asked where you would like to save the image. Note that the image is preset to be saved at the correct location if you will be hosting it from the primary drive on the server. If you want to put it on a different volume it will need to be stored at the following path to work correctly: /Library/NetBoot/NetBootSP0/

NetInstall Storage SettingsFrom your Server launch the Server application log in and select NetInstall from the sidebar under the advanced options. Click Edit Storage Settings.. at the bottom of the screen and set the shared volume that contains your image to Images Only. Once this is this set if you did everything properly the image you created should appear in the list of images. You only need to set a location for Client Data if you will also be hosting NetBoot Volumes.

At this point you can turn the service on.

To utilize your NetInstall Image simply hold down the Option Key when booting up a device on your network. Be aware that the default settings for NetInstall do require the connection to be via Ethernet.

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About Author

Avery Z ChipkaBorn in central Vermont, Avery has spent is life exploring the wonders of nature. When he isn't off in the backcountry he can be found behind the keyboard digging through lines of computer code.View all posts by Avery Z Chipka →

  1. Michael Dreyfus-Pai
    Michael Dreyfus-Pai04-07-2014

    I saved the Mavericks installer while upgrading a different machine and copied it to the server. The image utility tells me “No valid sources found.” Will I have to re-download Mavericks? Do you know why it doesn’t like this installer?

    • Avery Z Chipka
      Avery Z Chipka04-07-2014

      Your going to want to download the installer on the machine that you are creating the mage with. You can run the system image utility from any machine to create your image. In all likely hood the reason its not liking the image is because when you copied it over some of the internal items may not have came over with the correct permissions. If you don’t want to download it again you may want to login as the root user on the server and try it from there. Note the Installer for Mavericks absolutely must be in the /Applications directory or the Image utility will not pick it up as being a valid source.

      You could also try going into the Image Utility application and clicking the “Customize” button at the bottom, click agree then manually locate your installer source.

      If these work please feel free to use that PayPal donate button above 😀

  2. Team development
    Team development10-19-2014

    Greetings! I know this is soimewhat off topic but
    I waas wondering if yoou knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  3. Nicolas Daingeault
    Nicolas Daingeault01-08-2015


    I did this for leopard and lion installer before. Now when I do this procedure, everything seem to work fine, but when I boot with a client computer, I have a kernel panic. The netboot server is a 10.6.8 server, the *.nbi image is maverick an yosemite. The client is compatible with the os, in fact I tryed more than once with a computer with maverick on it, juste to reinstall it, but it reboot by itself after a kernel panic. What can I check?


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