Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

DeployStudio has the ability to import a csv file that is populated with the MAC address and a few specific settings. This allows you to prepopulate the database with the names that you want each machine to have. If you purchase a lot of machines from Apple then you can get a list of MAC addresses, or, you can use a bar code scanner to scan them as you’re unboxing.

If you have a list of MAC addresses (en0), then you will need to format them in a very specific manner. Here, I have included a sample csv file with the data that goes into each field, which I have nameĀ DSImporter.csv.

Once you paste the data that you’d like into the csv, provide the computer names (these can be pasted or compiled using formulas). Once done, save and then open Deploy Studio Admin. From here, click on Computers and then (as you would with iTunes) click on the plus sign (+) and create a new computer list (this step is optional, but I prefer to always import into computer lists, just in case something goes wrong, especially with my first import). Once you have created the computer list, you should see a screen similar to the following.

Next, click on the Server menu and select Import.

Now browse to your csv file and then click on the Import button. When the import is complete you will see a screen informing you as such. Click on the Done button to complete the process.

You will then see your computers listed in the database and should see the names that you assigned them listed as well. You can now set a workflow item in DeployStudio for Reconfigure system with computers database content (shown below). This will set the name (and any other fields you decided to use) from the spreadsheet that you imported into the computer list.

Once you have your computers in a group, you can also set a default workflow for them for their first time imaging, by clicking on the name of the group and then clicking on the Automation tab at the bottom as you can see below.

Here, you will set the workflow to run and optionally set the computer to not have a default workflow moving forward or just be disabled so users can’t accidentally reimage their computers later.

If you don’t have the MAC addresses for your computers ahead of time, you can use the Hostname option instead.

This will enable you to enter the computer name that you would like to use moving forward into the DeployStudio Runtime at imaging and then have it stored in the DeployStudio database, where it can be used to build future workflows or even be exported and imported into the Open Directory computers.

Overall, the computers and groups in DeployStudio Admin can be used to design more and more complex imaging sequences and to provide much of the scripting logic that a number of organizations need. Beyond that, JAMF, FileWave and a few other solutions offer even more logic and even more features or a little shell scripting can take you a really long way.

August 3rd, 2010

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mass Deployment

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

  • Is there a way to automate the import? We have a separate asset database and ideally we’d like the DeployStudio database to be synchronized periodically, or have changes pushed over. I tried updating the plist files directly, but the DeployStudio server seems to cache them and doesn’t notice until I restart (though this was a few RCs ago).

    • Working on an article for importing accounts now. They’re stored in property lists, so it’s pretty straight forward. I’ll try and figure that post tonight or tomorrow.

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  • Steve Camuti

    The column name in your CSV for computer information omits “Computer Information #2” and repeats “Computer Information #4”, just a headsup.